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Showing 1-10 of 3,406 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,611 reviews
on July 14, 2012
I wanted a small, simple, inexpensive radio for kitchen use. The Sony ICF38 is well made, can use either an AC cord that stows in the back of the radio, or 4-AA batteries.

Styling is simple and clean, with clear, solid controls. Sound quality is very good for such a small radio. Very happy with the radio to this point.
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on July 27, 2013
This is one of four Sony Radios I recently purchased. I wanted a whole bunch of radios for each room in my home, one in my shed, my Travel Trailer and one to keep in my JEEP. All the Sony radios are perfect. Just the kind of quality I would expect from Sony.

What sets this radio apart from the others is it's large speaker, among other things. After purchasing all the Radios this one is only one of my favorites. The radio accepts 4 'AA' cell sized batteries which has kept my radio playing for well over 2 weeks. I use the radio for about 2~3 hours per day. I don't use the AC corded power very much but it's nice to have that extra capability.

The large speaker is what makes this rig beautiful, though. It has a full rich bass sound with ample mid-range and very sufficient treble. Compared to other radios with a single speaker (not including boom boxes) the sound from this Sony is almost High-Fidelity. There is a tone switch on the side of the radio which helps reduce the level of noise during AM reception. I prefer the bass tone rather then the treble tone but regardless of how you have the switch set the radio still sounds really good in either position.

I like that there is a large tuning knob which makes for easy, accurate and dead-on fine tuning. I also like the tuning indicator which helps to further fine tune the radio. A also like how the handle folds down into the radio and out of the way, too.. The handle easily flips up into the carry position when your ready to go.

This Sony sits easily on any table and is very stable since it's very wide and not so tall therefor, it won't accidentally tip over even if you bump it really hard. The radio also has a very nice appearance. It's a pretty radio which would look very nice on any kitchen counter-top or Bathroom shelf. I think it would look great anywhere you place it though.

I've been a Ham Radio Operator for over 35 years so I think I am very qualified to offer these three very important characteristics for a radio. A good radio has to have good sensitivity, selectivity and good sound. Well, this radio has all three of those quality's which makes this Sony the perfect companion.

FM reception is very impressive. I have six commercial stations on my Island and the radio receives all of them without me even having to extend the FM antenna. AM reception is equally impressive, I am able to hear stations 100 miles away loud and clear with very little receiver noise. I don't have to turn the radio all that much to try and capture AM stations either, so it's very sensitive, again with almost no receiver noise.

All this being said and for the price it's being offered for, it's also a great radio to kick around town with. You don't have to worry about bumping it around harshly since it's easily cheap enough to buy another, not that I would do that but it's certainly a radio that can withstand some decent abuse.. Anyway It's pretty hard to find a decent sounding radio with good sensitivity, selectivity and great sound these days but this particular Sony has absolutely blown me out of the water. I highly recommend the purchase of this Sony. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Thanks
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on November 29, 2014
I ordered this after extensive searching on Amazon. I wanted a portable radio with a handle, but most important was it had to have great reception. I didn't want to spend a lot, but my trusty old GE radio was dropped a few too many times, and I finally completely broke the antenna and the handle so it was time for a new one.

I could not find the same GE model I had so off to amazon I went to find an equivalent.

The only thing I use this radio for is for listening to the Green Bay Packers radio broadcast while watching the game on TV. Depending on which TV network carries the game, the radio broadcast is not in snyc with the TV, so I have to search among the six or seven radio stations that broadcast the game in order to find the one that is closest in sync with the TV. Some are AM some FM. This means I have to go from one station to another and try to fine tune in some distant stations, but most are fairly local. The Sony was supposed to have an excellent tuner with great reception. This was NOT my experience.

I didn't find the manual tuner to be very easy to fine tune, it seemed kind of "loose" to me so I couldn't easily fine tune the stations. The FM had a hard time differentiating stations that were close to each other on the dial. An FM station that is located only 35 miles away would come in fine, and then a few minutes later it was a problem. I had to continuously move the antenna or lay the radio flat, or sideways, etc. to get the station in decent.

SOUND: The sound on this radio was not good. You could only turn it to a medium volume, and then no matter how much higher I tried to turn it up, the sound never got louder.

SIZE: The radio was larger than I expected. It was okay, but I would have preferred a bit smaller. My GE radio was the perfect size, and this radio was probably 2" longer and 1" taller.

ON/OFF switch and Band Switches: These switches seemed very cheap and very touchy to me. I was very surprised as I expected much higher quality from a Sony device.

I have owned other Sony radios that I have been very pleased with (very small portables) so I was very disappointed in this radio.

I tried it for 3 Sundays in a row thinking that maybe it was just weather affecting the reception, but each week I had the same problems, and the sound issue never went away. So I returned it. Thanks AMAZON for a great return policy and easy system.

WHAT DID I END UP BUYING?
I then went back and revised my search and decided I would spend a little more to get what I want. This is what I ended up with: Sangean PR-D18BK Portable Digital Radio (Black/Grey) also bought from Amazon. WOW.... other than not having a handle, this radio is the perfect size, shockingly better than the Sony. Brought in same FM stations with better clarity even without the antenna extended. Had it for about 5 days now, and LOVE IT!
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on March 23, 2016
This is a neat little radio. I say little, but it's a little fatter than I was expecting. I bought it because I wanted to sit outside while at the drive in and not have to run my car. I was afraid it wouldn't be loud enough but I only used about half the volume capacity. The sound and signal strength were quite good. I really like that it also comes with a power cord, and that you can stow that inside the radio.
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on May 18, 2015
I give it 4 stars. The reception isn't as good as in my car but it let's me listen to baseball games since I'm a cord cutter and I don't get them on television. Here's some answers to the most common questions:

Has a headphone jack (1/8")
Battery powered (4 AA)
Also can be plugged in
Made in China

It's no frills but it serves a purpose and seems like halfway decent quality.
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on March 7, 2009
Having been a radio nut for years, and using this radio for about five months now, this review is not given casually. Probably could stock my own radio store.

If you're looking for a basic AM/FM portable radio with excellent reception, sound, portability, quality and brand, you've come to the right place. And there's even a Tone High/Low switch which gives a nice variety of sound choices.

Rather than going into the specifics of the antenna, carry handle, aesthetic appeal, speaker size and quality, functionality of the knobs, battery life, suffice it to say, for $25 you can't go wrong! Try it - you'll like it.
(and no, I'm not a Sony nor Amazon representative)
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on March 2, 2016
Vwry rich sound, good FM sensitivity. High-low tone switch useful for news or music. Mainly, really clean sound out of such an inexpensive radio. I like the old-fashioned simple analog knob and dial for tuning as I can zoom through the statios quickly to find what I want. I use batteries so far and they have lasted a few months with intermittent use. My son has one and recommended it, though he uses his very often and opted to use the included AC adator. Yes, I also own many other mp3 devices and high- and midrange- bluetooth speakers, but sometimes you just want "a radio".
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on June 13, 2015
I LOVE THIS THING!

Had one of these when I was a kid and it was on all the time. I lost it in a garage sale when my mom attempted to make me grow up. Well take that mom! This thing looks and feels like the 80's to me. Dials in stations accurately and is simple. The sound quality is far superior to what I was expecting. In my two car garage I no longer use my phone connected to computer speakers. It is too much of a pain hooking it all up, finding the music I want and blah blah blah. With this, I walk in the garage, flip the switch and the music is right where I left it. So seldom have I bought something this inexpensive and adored it so much. But, it does bring out the kid in me.

Update:

Took this radio to a cabin in Long Barn, CA. Long Barn sits at about 5000 feet in pretty dense forest. My car barely hung on to a station driving up and often lost it completely. This radio sitting near a window with the antenna extended pulled stations from both Merced and Modesto. Put that in your Google map and you'll get an idea of the range this has. Most stations were crystal clear and never buzzed once. Extremely impressed!
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on June 6, 2016
We've had a Sony ICF36 radio for many years. Nice little radio, with decent sound, and the ability to run from the AC supply or from its batteries. It gave us excellent service, but after a while the channel selector showed signs of wear - sometimes it was difficult to select the band before tuning. In addition, the two TV channels were no longer relevant (not the fault of the radio).
We looked into buying the ICF38 - basically a more modern version, without TV or weather channels, but still with the powerful sound, and the ability to run from batteries or AC.
Unfortunately, there were a number of reviews that implied that Sony had outsourced production to China, and the quality had suffered as a result. Five star reviews had dropped to one-star.
After a few years, when the bad reviews seem to have stopped, we bought an ICF38.
We've had it for a couple of months, and it seems OK. The sound is every bit as good as its predecessor,and it seems to be doing the job, without problems. A tentative four stars. Maybe Sony has sorted out their problems with their Chinese supplier.
Recommended? Not yet, but so far, so good.
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on March 7, 2016
Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio (Black)
Pros: The best AM reception ever 22 station from New York City? Wow!
1.Four "AA" batteries/rechargeable or standard.
2. Powerful 4.5" speaker with delivering high quality sound to listen for hours , even with tone adjustment.
3. Shell built of PBS impact resistant plastic.
4. Retractable handle (though ICF-38 have no belt ,no hooks for hanging over your shoulder)
5 Led tuning light very helpful, plus tuning string very bright neon lime color (easy to dial even in a low light condition).
6. With radio I can reach stations I never heard before,very sensitive FM tuner though.
Cons:
1. /Heavy dew to AC/DC transformer placed inside with very rugged permanently attached 110v cable inside / to hold comfortably = 2 lbs / 1 kilo with batteries, slippery plastic ( round over all edges )
2. None water splash resistant with huge ,unnecessarily open ventilation grills .Dust,sand,mildew will accumulate with time easily .
3. Headphone output in MONO and only to one ear .
4. The ON/OFF switch placed on top , so if you have wet hands the water will come trough and may oxidize and/or damage whole unit.
5. Very primitive circa 1970's (without even imitation of polished chrome grill, or knobs) make it looking very cheap.

Nowadays radio stations oriented on very mediocre listeners, with brainwashing pointless junk. Forget about news about the rest of the world. Choice of musics are very poor. I'm end up listening with only one station,living in the "Capitol of the world" New York City? just in the kitchen or when taking bath.
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