Top positive review
187 people found this helpful
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.