Customer Reviews: Sony ICF-F10 Two 2 Band FM/AM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
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on December 29, 2012
This is a decent radio at a good price. Mine seemed to have good sensitivity and fair selectivity (was good at pulling in faint signals and fair at separating signals that were close to each other on the dial). Sound quality from the single speaker was good for the price.

It is simple and basic. The tuning and volume knobs are on the front. A three position switch- off, AM and FM, bottom to top- is on the right, along with an earphone jack. I would have preferred that the on-off switch be combined with the volume knob instead of the AM-FM band switch, because in turning on the radio to FM you must pass through the AM band first, and since I am operating my radio in an office full of computers this results in a momentary blast of electronic computer noise. That's a minor objection, though, more a matter of taste than anything else.

The earphone jack accepts a standard miniature stereo headphone plug, but the radio is mono only, and the sound will only come out of the left side of the stereo headphones. I presume that the radio is set up this way for convenience; stereo earbuds are a lot more common these days than the one-sided earphone a radio like this would have had back in the old days.

The radio doesn't have an AC cord, or even a socket to allow use of an external AC transformer. The only source of power is a pair of D cells. This may not be an issue, since it is very likely that the batteries will last a good long time. The manual that came with the radio claimed the batteries would last 220 hours on AM or 200 on FM, but didn't say whether this was continuous play or some limited time per day. (Batteries will generally give a longer total life if you use them a half hour, hour, or so, and then turn the radio off for a while.)

The radio is a bit less than 8 inches long. I'd guess it weighs between 1 and 2 pounds.

I have fancier radios that I use to try to pull in faint and weak stations. They have better selectivity and sensitivity than the Sony ICF-F10, but they are also more complicated to operate and cost a lot more. I wouldn't recommend this set for the faint signal "DXing" hobby, but it seems to give good results on any radio station strong enough that you might actually want to listen to it for an hour or two at a time.

It's definitely good enough for local AM and FM stations during the day, and one of the AM stations I got with it clearly at night was 700 miles away, so I would say it is adequate for an emergency radio to use during power failures and the like. Especially if you have some spare D cells for your flashlights; this radio uses the same D cells. It would also be a good radio for the garage, working outdoors, picnics, and the like. It will give good service, and at the price it will hurt a lot less if this falls into the creek than it would if you did the same with some fancier digital set.

Myself, I bought it to use in my office. It's great for that, because it does very well with a clear signal, and the weak and rare signals aren't going to be able to break through the office's fluorescent light and computer electronic hash anyway.
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on February 19, 2013
Howdy Folks

I don't write many reviews for Amazon, but every once in a while when I get a really good product, I'll throw in my 2 cents and write a review.

I originally bought this radio to bump up a free shipping order, I didn't really expect a great radio when I bought it at this price, I was in for a pleasant surprise!

I live in an extreme fringe area in deep woods, and to make matters worse, I have a metal roof on my house which really messes up radio reception.

This Sony is actually 8 inches long and 5 inches high, It works very well on FM and pretty good on AM, the radio puts out plenty of volume and the tone is good.

The radio looks nice, is simple to operate, it also comes with a cheap looking plastic strap to serve as a handle, but I have already throw that away, it's easy enough to grab hold of and carry somewhere else.

I use mine for a kitchen table radio, and drag it out to the deck when BBQing, it's also been camping and does pretty good there also.

I don't think this little Sony can be beat when you compare the modest price and the quality performance it delivers.
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on September 24, 2013
This is a great radio for minimalists, people on-the-move, or people who just don't like stringing cords all over the house. I've had this little gem long enough to test it out, and I even decided to buy a second one because it's so economical to have one in my everyday carry bag...and because I have a bit of a radio addiction right now. With all of that said, let's get down to business:

+ Sound: It's got that warm, slightly-tinny classic radio sound that I just love. It doesn't get amazing low's and high's, but it isn't built to! The great thing is, it takes having the volume turned up almost to the maximum in order to hear any volume-based distortion at all! That in itself is quite amazing. I sometimes put this radio outside of the shower in the mornings, and can hear it above the sound of running water AND the exhaust fan, with no distortion!

+ Reception: This little jewel barely has any drift whatsoever! Also, electronic interference doesn't seem to decimate the signal as badly as it does with some of my other battery-powered radios. Perhaps its power consumption makes its ability to pull and maintain a signal much stronger? I'm not sure, but it falters far less than others (like the ICF-38 and the ICF-S10MK2) when it comes to electromagnetic interference.

+ Economy: It's fifteen dollars! What more could one ask for in a basic-featured radio?? The battery life alone seems quite economical (I have yet to wear out the first set with almost daily use [1-3 hours]), and one can purchase rechargeable batteries (or at least D-cell spacers so that you can use rechargeable AA's) in order to save more money on battery costs. In my opinion, 200 hours of play out of a pair of D-cells certainly seems worth the price of admission. Some might complain that this model has no built-in power cord option like the ICF-38, but when the grid power in your home fails, this little baby will still be going strong.

+ Durability: Feels durable enough, although I DO NOT abuse my electronic devices. Do I carry them all over the states with me? Sure, but I DO NOT intentionally treat things badly in order to see how far they can be pushed. I have not performed any drop tests on it; nor do I plan to. Speaking of drops...

- The carrying strap feels like it will disintegrate at any moment. This isn't a huge gripe, so I only subtracted 1/2 star...the reason being: If you don't want people dropping such a fine radio and having to replace it often, you'll give them a better carrying option! That being said, I fashioned a rudimentary carrying strap out of paracord that will be more than sufficient.

- The tuning knobs feel a little loose, and therefore seem to "lag" a bit when you're adjusting the volume or tuning. For this, I subtracted another 1/2 star...although truthfully it shouldn't bother you if you love sticking with your favorite channel like I do. That being said, I may just end up taking this radio apart and modifying the knobs so that they turn a bit more stubbornly. Your mileage may vary, but I thought this was worth mentioning.

Bottom Line: When it comes to having a radio around for a long time that won't break the bank, this no-frills package gets the job done.
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on July 26, 2012
It is a Sony - and capturing all stations very well. Better looking than other similar Radios from Sony (ICF-18 / 38), but no AC and no stereo headphone reception (which is typically not required from a table top radio). It is likely very similar built as the ICF-18 and shares a nicer (treble) sound if compared to the ICF-38 (which does have AC connectivity). Highly recommended - even for areas that have weaker signals (not tested, but assumed due to strong reception in my area). Highly recommended!
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on January 27, 2013
For an old school radio this guy is hard to beat for under $20. Because I have nothing better to do, lately I've been comparing similar radios to the ICF-F10, and it still comes out on top.
Tuner sensitivity is decent, I get all the stations I should and radio doesn't freak out when I walk by it. I listen to the radio at night next to my computer with it, and aside from my cell phone causing some AM intererence when it is within a foot of the radio, the radio stays tuned in.
From the large speaker you get a decent dynamic range (all things considered). You can turn the volume up pretty high and the sound stays distortion free, loud enough to fill a garage or workshop.
I like the large tuning and volume knobs as opposed to the wheels on similar radios.
All this radio is really lacking is an AC power option. I suppose this is what keeps the price down. That said, after a month I have yet to change the batteries and I listen to it on average for 2 hours a day. With two D batteries and an analog tuner I expect to get another month or two out of these batteries,

The Panasonic RF-2400 has similar sound, but the reception is not as good and is really prone to interference. At double the price it isn't worth it. The Supersonic SC-1085 has similar issues and inferior build quality. The Sony SRF-18 has tiny tinny speakers. I haven't owned the ICF-24, but other reviewers have, so you can see what they say about the two similar models.
The Sony ICF-18 (not SRF-18) appears to be the same radio but all black. Personally I like the genlty retro styling of the ICF-F10.
Highly recommended!
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on December 15, 2012
I've got upwards of 20 radios of all makes, sizes, costs, etc. This radio isn't fancy, and is basic analog, BUT has much better sound than radios costing 4-5x as much. Very pleasant tone on AM & FM. Reception is very good, on both bands. Don't expect it to be a GE Superradio but it IS well worth the money.

I like the D cell powered radios because they the batteries last a LONG time. This is the best of the D cell option radios I've owned. GREAT emergency radio and light enough that I'll be taking it to the cabin in the mtns. If you can get this for under $20, do so. BeSwift
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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 very large Speaker, among other things. After purchasing all the Radios this one has become my absolute favorite. The radio accepts 2 "D" cell sized batteries which has kept my radio playing for well over a 3 weeks. I use the radio for about 5~6 hours per day.

The large speaker is what makes this rig beautiful, though. It's 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.

I like that there is a large tuning knob which makes for easy, accurate and dead-on fine tuning. A also like the adjustable carry strap, too.. Radios with plastic handles can only be carried with your hand, this unit however allows you to adjust the the strap so the radio can be carried by hand or over your shoulder.

This Sony sits easily on any table and is very stable since it's wide and not so top heavy to make it tip over if you accidentally bump it. The radio also has a very nice appearance. In the right environment the radio seems to add to the beautiful wood motif of my home.

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.

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on February 17, 2013
This is a simple radio that does not require a book of instructions to operate and runs for over 200 hours on TWO ,easy to find, 'D' cells. It has a good receiver with a large speaker and has a simple ,but QUALITY feel to it that gives confidence to it's ability to work when needed. Great for listening to NEWS,WEATHER,TALK RADIO, and does a fair job with music.You really can't go wrong with this radio and at such a good price too.
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on December 27, 2012
I've owned this radio for almost a month now. Like a couple of other reviewers have mentioned, I bought it mainly as an inexpensive, simple radio to use during power outages. It's about as no-frills as you can get: it doesn't have a clock or alarm, station presets, a back-light, or even a power-on light (so you have to be careful to make sure it's completely off and not just turned down). I did like the look of the radio though; it has kind of an appealing retro style.

Unfortunately, the ICF-F10 looks more stylish in pictures than it does in real life. Its plastic case is pretty unattractive and out of the box there were scratches on the clear widow over the dial. The radio rocks back and forth on its base slightly and you can jiggle the knobs up and down. It feels a bit cheap overall.

The radio does work reasonably well though. The knobs turn smoothy. The volume knob has a small amount of annoying play, but the tuner knob is precise. It's not as easy as using a digital tuner and it requires some patience, but you can still zero in on the station you want.

Reception is good on the ICF-F10, but I'm not sure if it's any better or worse than my other radios. FM stations generally come in clearly and I'm able to pull in far away AM stations at night. The antenna doesn't swivel, which is kind of weird, so you may have to move the radio around more to get optimal reception.

One of the best features of the ICF-F10 is its speaker. You can feel the speaker vibrate when you hold it. It can get surprisingly loud (2 on the volume knob is enough to fill a large room) and it has a nice tone. It is a little tinny and bright, but the sound from the speaker is relatively full and open for this type of radio. Vocals in particular are pleasant and warm. I have a Grundig YB400PE that is similar in size and was much more expensive, but the Sony sounds better.

There is a headphone jack on the radio, although it only plays in mono. Using stereo headphones, I was able to get sound in the left ear, but not the right one, which I think is normal. You'll need an adapter or headphones with a mono switch to get sound in both ears. Or you could just use a single ear bud. The jack works okay and the sound isn't bad (talk radio sounds fine), but since it's not in stereo, I'll probably rarely use headphones.

The ICF-F10 runs on two D batteries (not included). There's no AC adapter or an input to accommodate one. That might be a negative for some people, but I find myself carrying the radio around the house more because it's not tethered to a cord.

It seems like D batteries are kind of rare these days; AA or USB rechargeable Li-ion batteries are more popular now. Radios that need a lot of batteries can be a hassle though (my Grundig uses six AAs) and I like to reserve AA batteries for flashlights during a power outage. In contrast to USB rechargeable players, something like my iPod Touch or Sansa Clip might run for around 20 hours on a full charge, while the ICF-F10 claims to have a battery life of 200 hours. I'm hoping that the Sony's batteries will last for a couple of years or more with occasional light use.

My guess is that this radio isn't really meant to appeal to the American market; it's probably geared more towards countries that lack a reliable power grid (though you could argue that power in the US isn't exactly reliable either). In addition to emergencies, you could also use the ICF-F10 as an everyday desk radio. It might be tempting to bring it along on camping trips because of its long battery life and the fact that it's very light weight, but there are relatively large slots in the back of the radio that aren't covered by a grill cloth, so I'd be concerned about dust and dirt getting into the case.

All in all, I'm happy with the radio. I've been using it more than I thought I would. It's definitely a bargain at around $15. I would like some kind of LED indicator to show that the power is on and the sloppy volume knob can be aggravating, but those are my only complaints. For less than twenty bucks, it's a good value and makes a nice add-on to any Amazon order.
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on May 10, 2013
Straight forward battery operated radio with simple tuner and volume dials. Nice sound and the headphone jack is a plus. Only negative is the tiny on/off/am/fm slider switch on the side which is a little challenging for my old hands. Other than that, great radio and a great price.
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