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Showing 1-10 of 1,378 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,530 reviews
on February 21, 2006
Man, I wish I knew about this radio a year ago when I bought a highly-rated but, as it turned out, temperamental digital pocket radio. This one has most of the digital radio's virtues and none of its flaws. Reception of the stations I listen to is fine, AM sound is good, and FM sound quality is fantastic, comparing quite favorably to the digital. The local classical station sounds sublime, and "Coast to Coast AM" doesn't fade out on me. Construction is lightweight and extremely rugged. The tuning dial is a little difficult to fine-tune; if Sony wants to improve this model, they'll make a large disk-type dial with a recessed window that shows the frequency instead of this tiny and ambiguous linear scale. The included headphones don't do justice to the radio's clean sound--an extra $8 to $10 and you're good to go. The belt clip appears to be rugged, but only time will tell. It holds the radio firmly in place.

If you want a simple pocket radio, this one is the best value for the money. Sony still makes really good low-end stuff.
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on January 19, 2008
Sony is offering a nearly-free gift. For fifteen dollars, you can purchase a phenomenal AM and FM Walkman radio complete with headphones. Light as a feather, the SRF-59 is so sensitive that Internet groups have popped up just to discuss its use. Sony's radio has become the standard in a new category of 21st century portables known as ultralights. Hobbyists who relish exotic long-distance reception have heralded the SRF-59 as a technological miracle.

The unit houses a little printed circuit board with two integrated circuit chips. One is a self-contained complete AM / FM tuner and the second is the audio amplifier to drive the headphones. Due to its concise nature, its single AA battery lasts for over 100 hours. The SRF-59's performance is comparable to other radios costing hundreds of dollars. Sony's ultraweight Walkman has been compared favorably to legendary units such as the GE Superadio, The Sony ICF-2010 and the Sangean CC Radio. If you are looking for the ultimate receiver to hear distant ball games or talk shows, this is it.

Seasoned DXers, the skilled sophisticated listeners who often homebrew their own equipment, have devised several modifications for the radio itself along with ideas to augment its circuitry with powerful outdoor antennas. Even as a stock unit, right out of its plastic bubble packaging, SRF-59 owners have heard AM radio stations all the way across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from places like Japan and Saudi Arabia. The SRF-59 truly has enormous ears.

After using Sony's miracle for several years, only a few criticisms can be made. The headphones are only average quality. Tuning the Walkman is a little fussy. The knob provided to adjust what station you are listening to is pretty tiny even for petite thumbs. With ferocious abuse, you can wear out the radio. After about a year of pounding during train commutes, and walking across Manhattan, I had to buy a new one because I wore out the tuning capacitor. The SRF-59 is worth the price of admission. I used to listen to WWKB in Buffalo, New York, on AM radio, while sitting in an electronic noise nightmare (a steel Metro-North commuter train) on my way to New York City. WWKB was 300 miles away!

Whenever you need a little casual entertainment, the SRF-59 can't be beat. Leave one in your purse or coat pocket or in your attache case. The SRF-59 is low maintenance. You don't need to download to it. It almost never needs a battery. You can hear amazing things nearly everywhere you go. It weighs so little, you'll have to feel into your pocket just to know it's there. For in-depth information, take a look at two radio hobbyist web sites: [...]. As a dyed-in-the-wool radio listener, I couldn't recommend a purchase more highly! At this incredibly low price, you can't miss!
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on December 8, 2006
If you want a good, cheap, dependable, lightweight walkman type AM/FM - this one's a must have. I bought mine a few months ago-use everyday for about 3 hours - no problem. Good signal strength, long single AA battery life, and acceptable sound quality. As previous reviewers noted, headphones are junk - mine lasted a few weeks before one channel died - replaced with a $7.99 "upgrade". A simple Walkman is hard to find in these days of the iPod - grab a few of these before they become extinct.
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on September 17, 2015
I have bought two of these radios, both at very low prices. Initially, in both cases, I was happy with both the reception and low price. However, both times the radios quit working suddenly, without any indication something was wrong. After the first one, which I had bought new but at a low price, went belly-up, I decided to buy a 2nd one new, which I also got at a low price, figuring the first one going bad was just a rare occurrence. Nope. The 2nd one did the exact same thing: it started out working great. Then it just quit, without any indication that a problem was developing. All I do is walk, no jogging, carrying the radio usually, or in the winter time, maybe having it in a pocket. Neither radio received any rough treatment of any kind. If you do purchase this radio, absolutely don't pay the higher prices for it. And do, in my opinion, pay for the warranty. You may be likely to need it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 3, 2014
Terrific portable radio. Reception on a par with my digital tuning walkmans of old. Battery life on FM radio must be in the 100 hour range - longer than on my old panasonic that featured extended battery life. The earphones double as the antenna - not quite as good as expandable antenna, but much more convenient. This is a diminutive version of the walkman - smaller than a pack of cigarettes by a good measure. Entirely satisfied

NOTE: in 2015 Sony discontinued this radio and consequently Amazon's price has changed from $15 to $45 as it unloads existing inventory. I went to get a replacement radio as I gave the first one away - but I'm not going to pay $45.
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Love this AM-FM small Sony radio as it is perfect for when I take a walk, shop or work out, even carry to listen to while around the house.
PROS:
1) Small size.
2) Belt clip is snug and keeps the radio safely attached to my belt or pants.
3) Great sound for such a small radio.
4) Picks up AM fairly well (I live in the mountains and getting AM to come in clear is not easy. However, this Sony does a great job of picking up my favorite AM stations.
5) Wonderful stereo sound on FM stations and the Sony headphone has a good sound to it. However, while walking I carry my iPod type of headphones and the sound is just superb using them.
6) Uses just one AA battery and it is said to last about 30 hours of listening or more.
7) Small size, small enough for a pocket or purse with ease.
CONS:
1) No digital settings for the stations, however, it is easy to change the stations.
2) The belt clip is rather tight, but this is so it will not easily come off.
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on December 22, 2013
Reminds me of the ones I used way back when. It's light, the headset fits perfectly (it's adjustable), sound system is good even with only getting a couple of decent stations out in the desert. One of them is an oldies, but goodies station, so I'm a happy camper. LOL...

Battery life seems to be good. I walk every day, but don't always take the radio & thus far I haven't had to replace it.

Trying to get the darned thing out of the packaging was like pulling teeth the old fashioned way!!! Lord have mercy... I finally got out the X-ACTO knife out & managed to get the little guy out. That was pretty frustrating.

Nothing but pros all the way for this purchase & you can't beat the price. Am loving it!
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I bought this radio so I could listen to my favorite hot-headed AM political radio shows on the way to work while I was experimenting with a combination of walking and riding the bus. As long as you have one favorite station, you are fine. Tuning is very sensitive and you've got to get a feel for the analogue tuning dial.

The stations come in clear, but so does the interference from street lights, power sources, etc. that one is continually exposed to in a city environment. Maybe I'll listen to it while doing yard work at home. This is the kind of ratio you take for a walk in your small town or kick back on the deck and listen to with the headphones so you don't disturb others. It's a cute and functional radio for the money, but it didn't work for what I intended to use it for.
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on January 2, 2009
I've been using these radios for the past 20 years or so, starting with the original model that had a black case but, I think, the same circuitry as this one. I use the plural because I've had to replace several. Most required replacement because the earphone jack quit after about a year's use. I tried to get inside to push the contacts back in place, but the one contact I needed (the middle one) was inaccessible. I think they've improved the jack in the last few years; my replacement frequency has decreased.

I note that my radios receive VERY heavy use, as I am an NPR addict. Moreover, my local NPR station is AM and there is simply no pocket AM radio on the market that can hold a candle to this one. Good AM radios cannot be made smaller than this, because the antenna has to fit within the case, and the bigger the antenna, the better the reception.

The circuit design is an old one with no presets and analog tuning and volume control; it uses a "potato masher" variable capacitor as a tuner, and a variable resistor as a volume control, which, in my opinion, are good things on balance, because you have actual round knobs you turn to perform both of those functions. Another advantage of the "old" circuitry is that when you switch the radio off, it is truly off and not running down your battery. I must admit that one of my radios had a defective volume control that emitted a scratchy sound when you turned it. One downside of the variable capacitor tuner is that it is difficult to tune to a weak FM station that is right next to a strong one (this often happens to me with NPR stations in other cities I visit). For this case, I think the newer lock-in circuitry might be preferable, but those radios typically use AAA batteries and draw power even when switched off.

It almost appears that some radio manufacturers are taking bribes from the battery companies. You see these ridiculous radios and other portable electronic devices that take three AAA batteries. I hate that. I love the design of the Sony, which uses ONE AA battery. Simpler, cheaper, and lighter in weight. It makes it easier to carry a spare. And, by the way, the battery life is the best I've seen in a portable. I use a rechargeable NIMH in mine and it works fine. And, best of all, it doesn't quit when IT thinks the battery is low; it lets YOU decide (here again, an advantage of old technology). As the battery is depleted, and the amplifier section gets more stressed, the sound gets progressively more distorted. Finally when the voltage is insufficient to run the tuner section, it quits too, which causes the radio to emit a scratchy hiss. At that point you can turn it off, wait a while and turn it back on to get another 30 seconds or so of use. It's probably best always to carry a spare battery. But don't put it loose in your pocket with spare change and keys; it will short out and be useless, possibly even setting your pants on fire. I keep mine in a prescription drug vial and that works fine.

One downside perhaps is the set of earphones that come with it. I throw them away (what a waste) and use a cheap set of earbuds (also Sony) that I get from Amazon. Pretty good sound for a pocket unit, much better than others. Certainly good enough for NPR news shows, which is all I listen to. Another downside is that compact fluorescent lights seem to interfere with AM reception, but they seem to do so with all AM radios except for the large ones that are probably well-shielded.

All in all, I'd say this radio is TOO good a deal, which is to say that, because of what must be a low profit, it's hard to find at brick-and-mortar retail stores, who would just as soon you not know it exists, and who would much rather sell you a $50+ radio using the "latest technology." I had one of those once and it was a disaster, even though, it, too, was a Sony. It had the fancy presets (which I don't need because I usually only listen to one station), ate batteries like crazy and quit well before the batteries were completely depleted. Upon battery replacement, all the presets had to be reset.
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on March 11, 2017
The RADIO worked as promised. However, the illustration and description of the item purchased CLEARLY indicates that HEADPHONES come with it, not (ugh) earbuds. Only earbuds were in the package when it arrived. I feel I did not get what I asked for and payed for. Amazon usually delivers what it advertises, but not this time. Very disappointed.
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