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Customer Review

on November 8, 2005
I'm one of "those people" that always seems to have room for one more radio, even if it is roughly the same as many others I own. After reading several reviews for the ICF-S10MK2 and seeing the $10 price tag, I couldn't resist. After spending a few days of extensive listening, it has sent a few other radios to the display shelf. The Sony is a bare-bones FM/AM transistor - no clock, dial lighting, bells or whistles. The clear plastic front and splash of brushed aluminum around the dial selector give it just enough style to be noticed. Controls are kept to a minimum at volume, tuning, and band-selection. The audio quality is good, but par for a transistor radio. As long as awe-inspiring surround sound isn't expected, you won't be disappointed. The FM antenna folds out from the left side of the radio and swivels around for optimal reception. A much better option than just protruding from the top. The earphone plug on the side is mono only, and will only play in the left ear with a standard set of headphones. FM performance is good - a little too good, as the signals tend to overload a bit. Away from the city areas, FM signals come in distant and fairly well. The AM band is where this little Sony really shines. While most small radios can't cope with decent AM reception, this one goes above and beyond radios 3 times its size and 6 times the price. The AM tuner has excellent sensitivity and selectivity, and gives you the option of some tougher signal catches. I have been able to listen to a small station 35 miles away at 1140khz, while almost next to the antennas of a 50,000 watt monster at 1180. The S10MK2 performs some good feats on only 2 AA batteries, with an average listening life of 40-45 hours per set. Alot of enjoyment for little money. For a quick breakdown:

Pros:

- Long life on batteries

- Fairly loud volume without distortion

- easy to operate

- excellent reception

- cheap price tag

Cons:

- earphone audio in left ear only without special adaptor

- minimal styling. Won't stand out in a crowd

- antenna arcs, but doesn't swivel

- FM selectivity not all that it could be

- audio quality is OK, but not spectacular

- battery door isn't hinged and could be easily lost

- no option for AC power. Batteries only

Although there are some radios that perform better than this particular Sony, you won't find any of them this inexpensive. For good listening on the cheap, make sure to get one...or two. Maybe 3 just in case.
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