Spring Deals Automotive HPC Children of Blood and Bone New-season heels nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Stream your favorites. Amazon music Unlimited. Learn more. GNO for Samsung S9 Fire TV Stick: $29.99. Offer ends 3/26/18 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry SpringEvent_Lawn_and_Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon TheGrandTour TheGrandTour TheGrandTour  Echo Dot Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop now TG18PP_gno

on October 16, 2009
I'm a big time radio guy, and have used many models over the years. There are two things that really make any radio stand out, and this one has both of them.
The ICF-38 is an excellent performer as far as reception of both AM and FM signals go. Weak signal pick up on both bands is markedly better here than with almost all small portable radios I've used, and even more importantly, selectivity (ability to seperate stations cleanly) is better as well. The tone switch (which some radios don't even have) cuts the treble when desired, if you want a less harsh sounding AM signal. The dial has no clock or light, but an LED for indicating if a station is tuned in. Battery life is excellent if alkalines are used (it takes 4 AA batteries). Output volume is listed as 4 watts, quite loud for a radio of this size, with little distortion at top level.
The other ingredient for a good radio is ease of use and a well thought out design. There are little things here which most people won't notice that actually make this radio a joy to use. Many radios today that run off both internal batteries and AC require a seperate wall-wart that plugs into the radio and the outlet, but the ICF-38 has the power cord built in so you won't have to search for it when needed. Also, the battery cover is hinged, which is great as battery covers can disappear as easily as wall-warts (and you can't just go to Wal-mart to buy a new battery cover). The carry handle flips up when needed, and there is an indentation in the cabinet which allows you to slip in a finger to raise it easily, and you'll find out how nice this is when your hands are full and you need to bring the radio with you as well. Both slide switches for band selection and power have a raised bump in the middle which makes it easier to change bands or turn it on. Finally, The shape makes it easy to place in most locations and it is very stable, making it unlikely to get knocked over.
If there were no markings on this radio to indicate the manufacturer, I would have easily guessed that it was a Sony product. It has the great performance and clever design that I associate with Sony.
3232 comments| 1,864 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
While this is a portable, I leave it in the garage. There's no bass frequency response to speak of but the radio sounds pretty good otherwise. Talk radio sounds peetty clear and FM music sounds mediocre but underwhelming. I haven't had trouble tuning in stations and they isolate well with no bleed over. I think that even considering the size and materials of this radio, it's only fair that I mention that this cannot get very loud. You can turn it up approximately half way then it distorts. The strange thing is that when you crank it up, it doesn't get any louder but it simply distorts into a lot of crackling fuzziness. Pulled it out of the garage and use it outside with 4 AA batteries. Still unimpressive. Sounds thin and distorts easily.what I do like is that it's AC/DC and the cord is attached and can be stored inside the battery compartment with batteries in it. I bought it 6 years ago on Amazon for about $25 when that was all I could afford. Six years later, today, these things are nearly $100 but the design and materials have not changed. I don't understand that. Seems like a bit of price gouging by Sony who is taking advantage of the great reviews. I would NOT buy this again even at a lower price, let alone at the current price. Panasonic has a competing model available for approx $32 at the time if this writing (RF-2400, which I've tried and I'm unimpressed with). In my experience, Sangean makes better radios than Sony and Panasonic in recent years. Radios are like electric guitars in that each brand has its own kind of "signature sound" due to the proprietary circuit design each employs. Sangean radios are known to be a bit warmer, deeper, and fuller than some others. Listeners who aren't expecting that sometimes complain that they are "too bass heavy". I like the sound of my Sangean and would recommend that brand over Sony or Panasonic in many cases.
33 comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on June 12, 2017
I have always liked Sony products, and needed a table top AM/FM radio and bought this one based upon the reviews, even though it is much pricier than similar items. This morning I attempted to tune in AM 580, a local public radio station, and I could not hear any more than a transient noise as I dialed over 580. Frustrated, I dug out an old Sony Sports Walkman Armband Radio AM:FM Tuner that we bought many years ago. It has a digital tuner, and when I set it to 580, the station came in fine. But I did not want to use an armband radio with ear phones, I wanted a table top radio that works. This radio cannot tune in a local station that can be easily tuned in on an ancient Walkman radio.
review image
11 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Sony makes an excellent little radio, for the money. I previously owned the ICF-34 (now discontinued), which I purchased in the late 1990s. I had that thing for over fifteen years, and I think I’ve changed the batteries maybe eight or ten times. I don’t use the radio often, but when I do, I use it for hours and hours at a time. It recently took a spill and broke, so I went with the ICF-38 as a replacement.

The ICF-38 is the latest offering that replaces the ICF-34. As with its distant cousins, this radio is compact and requires very little power. It sips energy, and a full tank of battery power goes a long way. The ICF-38 uses four AA batteries, not four C batteries, like the ICF-34. As a result, it doesn’t last as long, but you’ll get plenty of time before needing to replace its power cells. It also supports AC power through an integrated AC plug tucked in the battery compartment.

The control knobs can’t be seen in the picture on Amazon, but the tuning, volume, and tone controls are on the right side. They’re recessed knobs that are a deviation from the larger knobs used in the -34. I prefer the larger tuning knob on the right and front knobs for tone and volume control. But they work fine and fit the compact size of this radio.

Because the ICF-38 is so small, sound has little-to-no bottom end. The -34 had a fuller sound, mainly because the speaker was a bit larger. But this radio is intended to be a convenient table-style radio. I use it for when I’m working a project in the garage or around the house, and, for me, it works perfectly.

Unlike the -34 and -36, the -38 does not offer a weather band or TV bands; it’s only an AM/FM radio.

If you’re looking for weather band, TV bands, AM/FM, and a fuller sound, go to that other used auction site (name left out) and search for ICF-34.

If you like this compact style and would like to also have weather band, TV bands, along with AM/FM, consider the Sony ICF-36 Portable Radio AM / FM / Weather / Analog TV here on Amazon.

If all you need is AM/FM and don’t mind the size, stick with this radio.

Small, compact, reliable, and priced right, if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills table radio, you just found a good one!
22 comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 13, 2013
First, this is the Sony ICF-38 which is available for $10.00 less elsewhere on Amazon. It is a nice looking smallish radio and seems well built with the basic features you might need. It did not work for me however as the reception in the lower end of the FM dial was plagued by reflections of stronger stations higher on the dial and I could not receive the station I was looking for at 88.1. We have an old GE model 7-26600 portable that gets better reception with a partially broken antenna. Maybe FM is just not important to radio makers anymore - seems like most newer portables have this problem, unless it's a car radio. I am going to try a more expensive Sangean or Crane model next.
66 comments| 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 14, 2016
I bought this as an emergency radio. When I tested it, It wouldn't pick up any US stations directly. It turns out it's set up for Europe.
It can be reset to US by:
1 - Set time, any time (It will be erased so don't worry about setting the correct time)
2 - Turn the unit off
3 - Hold down the Sleep/Clock button, then hold down the power button for 5+ seconds.
4 - You will know it changed when the time you set, resets to Zero
After resetting, it works great!
33 comments| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 31, 2012
I wanted to receive reception for KYW 1060 news radio,125 miles away in Philadelphia. Only my car radio could ever pick it up. This radio does the job, so I will be retiring my GE Superadio and also an older GE 7-2825a (similar) to the thrift store. FM sound quality and pull-power is better than most for this size, even at higher volumes. The nice touches such as a soft rubber antenna cap, hinged battery door, tone control, flush-fold carry handle and separate on-off switch are appreciated. Although it plugs in, battery life is excellent, as is tuning. Earphone (meaning one) jack outputs to one ear using standard stereo earphones which is what I expected. This is good product, better than I had hoped.
11 comment| 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 19, 2015
This is a great TABLETOP radio. The description stating that it's small enough to fit into a pocket or purse is pure rubbish. Like another reviewer, I was expecting something much smaller (to fit into my Go Bag) and was rather stunned when I took it out of the box. It's pretty big, and heavy, as the dimensions, which I apparently failed to notice, DO state, (mea culpa). Also, the statement that the tuner is lit up by LED led me to believe that the frequency range window was lit up for night viewing. That is not the case. What happens is that when a station is locked in, a small red LED light comes on. Kind of unnecessary, since anybody who has ever used a tuning dial can hear when the station is clearly dialed.

Otherwise, it appears to be a well built, no frills radio that uses both AC and batteries, thus making it handy to have in the house. For my Go Bag, I have ordered the following. We'll see how it works out.

0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Through the years I have bought several of these radios as a gift for my mother. She loves listening to the radio and prefers to listen to it rather than TV as she does her chores around the house. The first radio broke after a fall on a tile floor after several years of daily use. After it broke, my mother told me to get exactly the same radio as she really liked it (and she had many others before this one).

She loves it because
1) Great reception no matter where she is in the house: bathroom, kitchen, yard, and so forth
2) She mostly listens to AM radio, and not all radios give you good AM reception, this one does
3) It is very light, so it is easy to carry around
4) Takes 4 AAA batteries when the outlet is not handy (runs a long time on rechargeables) - great when cords are in the way or when there is a power outage

I love this radio because she loves it, and I also love that such a good radio comes at such a reasonable price.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 2, 2012
I like this radio, because it has a nice large speaker that sounds well across a large room at less than half volume. The sound is not tinny like most portables. The separate tone switch is nice, and I use it when I dial between talk radio and music radio.

I live in the radius of a large metropolitan area, and it receives AM as well as FM signals. The tuning light is great to get center station, and the FM AFC locks the stations in nicely without any perceptive drift.

I mostly use it with the cord, so it keeps my cat company while I am out - no battery expense. When I take it to the beach, I just tuck the cord out of site in the rear compartment, and it switches power to the 4 AA cells; then I pull up the flush-mounted handle. BTW, the cord compartment has a hinged door, so no lost doors. Also, while at the beach sometimes there are other noisy radios about, so I just plug my earphone into the side jack. The jack is only a monaural jack, and only plays in one ear.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse