Customer Reviews: Sony ICFS79W AM/FM/Weather Band Digital Tuner Shower Radio (White)
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Showing 1-10 of 1,022 reviews(verified purchases). Show all reviews
on September 22, 2008
I very rarely write reviews but I love this radio so much I felt inspired. (Actually I own the S79V, but it seems to be identical to this one.) It is simply the perfect shower radio. Reception is excellent and better than some of the more expensive radios in my house. It has a clever suction cup aerial that sticks to shower tile well. The controls are simple and I particularly like the timer function, so I don't need to worry about turning it off. It goes forever on a set of batteries. I also like that this isn't equipped with a CD player, which would add bulk for a questionable extra function.

The white plastic has yellowed over time (four years?), and the top control panel membrane has deteriorated slightly, but it's still going strong. I purchased a replacement just to have a spare handy should I need one and find that Sony has stopped making these gems.
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on November 29, 2008
This sony radio is a good shower radio and clock. It has an external antenna that suction cups to the wall.

There are a few parts of this design to note that make this a good product, not a great one. First, the radio has a strap that clips on the back and while hanging, it does not lay completely flat. Second, it takes C batteries and three of them. They are generally sold in packs on two or four and they are not included. Third, the buttons are on top. Style-wise this is a good decision, but because the radio needs to be high enough to see the clock, it makes it more difficult to see the buttons. There is a sleep timer built in to the on button. It would be great if I did not have to push the button five times to get the radio to turn off after 10 minutes. Lastly the volume control; it is well designed and simple to grip, but has only one purpose, unlike all the other pieces on the radio. It stands out as odd.

I wish there were another sleeker option for a clock radio for the shower, but until this one breaks it is good not great.
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on July 30, 2009
I bought one of these about 3 years ago and I love it! My girlfriend and I listen to music or NPR every time we shower, so it gets easily an hour of use per day. The radio has yellowed a bit with age, and the battery connection has finally corroded to the point where it no longer works. I scraped the corrosion off the battery connection a few times but now there is almost no metal left... she's finally hitting the recycling bin.

(I'm posting some pictures of the new vs. old radio for those who are interested.)

I have owned other shower radios that didn't last more than a month, so to me this one lasted an eternity. I have mine hooked around the shower head where it receives a continuous trickle of water. If you can place yours out of the direct flow of water it would probably last even longer.

We have become so "spoiled" that we can't live without this radio! I'm buying 2 more because I moved to a place with 2 bathrooms. If I don't put a radio in the second bathroom then nobody will ever shower in there!

This radio was very handy during and after hurricane Ike last year. Our power was out for about 2 weeks. During that time we listened to the radio and TV. The radio is so energy-frugal that the batteries never needed changing, even though it had been using those same batteries for about 4 months of regular showering.
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on September 29, 2010
I happily owned the analog predecessor to this radio for at least seven years and finally gave up on it when all the knobs broke off after falling on the shower floor. I really cannot complain because I accidentally dropped it. I then purchased this digital version. When I bought it, I was surprised that there was no gasket around the battery compartment. However, the compartment seemed to be designed to drain water away, so I did not worry about it.

Over the year that I used it, I occasionally noticed that the batteries were low. When I checked, it turned out that the water had corroded the battery contacts. The main drawback is that I had to be careful about getting corrosive battery material on my hands and the need to replace batteries that should have lasted much longer if they had not been exposed to water. Cleaning the electrical connections with steel wool generally did the trick. However, after about a year, the metal springs that hold the batteries in place (and provide electrical contact) snapped due to corrosion from the battery acids.

Now, I kept this radio on the shelf in my shower and I typically shower for about 5 min each day. It is not drenched in water, but it did get some drips from the showerhead. In thinking about it, I should have made my own gasket when the radio was new by using silicone caulk after the batteries were in place. This is a odd solution for a major design flaw and would require breaking the seal and putting in a new seal with each battery change.

I went ahead and replaced the metal springs with some careful soldering, then put in new batteries, and sealed it up with caulk. It worked for a few days, and then I noticed the low battery indicator. Apparently the moisture from the drying caulk was sufficient to again cause a corrosion problem. I then removed the caulk seal and gave the radio to a friend. It is sitting in his dry garage and working fine as long as it is never again exposed to moisture. I now have the Sangean H201 and hope that it will serve for many years. At least it has a seal around the battery compartment.

I am therefore giving this product a single star because of this design flaw that could have been so easily fixed. If you have this radio, I recommend that you never get it wet. Since it is sold as a shower radio, this is a clear problem.
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on June 6, 2011
I have owned this radio for nearly a year. I used it in the shower almost everyday. The water from the shower seeped inside the radio case, and destroyed the contacts for the batteries. My understanding is that this radio can be used in the shower and that water would not seep into the battery compartment of the radio, and damage the contacts, rendering the radio useless. I have owned Sony shower radios in the past, and never had this problem before, because they were sealed, which this one was -supposed- to be.
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on July 2, 2010
"Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me." My first purchase of this product was satisfactory for around four years, then the rubbery top plate began to crack, allowing water to seep inside, and kill, the radio. Well, I guess four years isn't too bad, so when I wasn't confident in competing products, I bought it again. On the second one, after one year only, water found its way inside and onto the speaker, which no longer produces clear sound. The radio still operates, but the sound is unlistenable. I'll probably try the Sangean H-201 this time. I have a Sangean table radio that is used daily --- for over 19 years. Whereas Sony gives dire warnings about letting water splash directly onto its shower radios, Sangean says the direct contact is not a problem. Of course, I always kept my Sony radio away from direct contact with water, but the MERE PROXIMITY of water appears to have killed my second radio.
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on September 17, 2008
A shower radio that actually gets great reception! The design is a little clutzy, especially the hanger clips, but the number of stations that I can listen to makes up for a few external design issues.
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on October 12, 2010
I have owned three of these radios. The first one lasted for years. The second one lasted just a couple of years. The last one...which just died...lasted only
a few months before water leaked into it. Very disappointing
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on December 14, 2009
I've been using this radio pretty regularly for a little over a year and just put in new batteries for the first time, which is what prompted me to post this review. I'm an NPR addict and this little radio goes with me in the shower, out to greenhouse, into the bedroom, to an outdoor home improvement project site - anywhere out of reach of my plugged-in radios. Even my skeptical husband is pretty impressed. I give it high marks for strong and clear sound quality, durability and portability. If I have any 'issues' with it at all it would be the dangling antennae as I move the radio around. I don't need to use the antennae very often, but its suction cup doesn't adhere to the radio well. I've settled on wrapping it around the radio base and securing it with a wide rubber band. Now back to All Things Considered!
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on October 13, 2008
I saw the 5 star rating on Amazon and thought "really?" So I bought one for my shower and I loved it. Easy digital tuning and 5 AM presets and 10 FM presets. Then I bought a second one for my office. Amazon warned me I had already bought one, but I soldiered through their thoughtful warnings. My office is in the vicinity of a very weak but entertaining local university station that now comes through like a champ. My office is also a radio frequency nightmare due to the 1950's wire wall plaster. (H-Bomb proof, but hard on AM reception) This radio comes with a foot long wire antennae and a small suction cup that I plastered to my office window. In my opinion the Sony ICFS79W is the post-nuclear dream radio of the year!
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