Portable AM/FM Radio
Really, really cheap sound!
For the life of me, I can't believe all the good reviews I've read on the internet of how good this set sounds. The sound is so tinny and anything over half volume is distorted.
The build quality is decent and the sensitivity and selectivity are good but it's too bad Sony couldn't have put in better speakers.
Part of the reason I purchased this was to use it as an external speaker for my iPod. With the cheap sound it provides, it'll never happen.
March 10, 2013
SONY SRF-18 AM/FM PORTABLE RADIO REVIEW
Precocious child. A Portable Audio Question. The Culinary Arts. Experience. Analog Tuning. MP3 Portable Stereo Speaker Dock. 3.5mm Line Input Jack. 3.5mm Line Output Jack. 3.5mm Headphone Jack. Lithium Batteries. Stunning Appearance. Stereo Sound. Auditory Perfection. Bright Sunshine. Form. Function. Unity. The World Stage. A Great Sports Event. Beautiful Immersion. The Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM Stereo Radio mobile speaker system is an outstanding offering and welcome addition to the diverse universe of the Sony portable audio product community. It is not immediately obvious that the Sony SRF-18 portable stereo speaker is in fact a portable radio until you look at the top panel of this unit. This item’s outward appearance resembles a high-performance stereo speaker driver cleverly hidden in an all-purpose mobile speaker cabinet. The portable speaker is located behind a well-built all black speaker grill that is ready to stand up to demanding daily outdoor use. If you believe that the primary purpose of this particular Sony product is to provide a battery powered speaker dock for your on the go MP3 digital music player outdoor playback needs, then I am not inclined to disagree with you. The question arises: Is the built-in radio function on this item just an afterthought by this esteemed consumer electronics manufacturer? Absolutely not. This unit’s radio reception performance is all-star caliber but it is just not the primary focus of this product’s value and utility to the mobile audio consumer. The AM tuner offers top notch reception of late breaking news reports, sports talk radio shows, college ballgames, a late afternoon MLB baseball game, NFL football game, NBA Finals basketball game, NHL playoff hockey game, FIFA World Cup Soccer match updates, Wimbledon tennis match results, PGA golf event leaders scoreboard, political commentary, weekday weather forecasts, rush hour traffic reports, Sunday morning public affairs programming, and public radio cooking shows on a daily basis. Reception of out-of-market AM stations are easily obtainable after sunset until sunrise under appropriate seasonal conditions. Clear channel 50,000 megawatt stations do not require much tuning effort to receive. Low powered AM stations can be honed in on with precision thanks to this item’s analog rotary tuning dial. Whether its Disney radio for the kids, reliable pet care advice for the entire family, or advanced car repair tips for adults, the Sony SRF-18 portable stereo speaker delivers big league quality reception throughout the day and night. The AM band tuner is very sensitive in its reception of weak and strong signals that is nothing short of amazing in the pocket radio product category. Adjacent channel AM band reception does not demonstrate any bleed through of next door neighbor strong signal broadcasts. The Sony SRF-18 radio’s selectivity reception performance on the AM band and FM band in this regard is simply flawless. I feel comforted from a product reliability standpoint when this unit’s bright red TUNE LED lights up when I have locked in on a particular broadcast. FM band tuning is a joy on my Sony SRF-18 portable radio. Contemporary jazz, classic rock, guitar rock, southern rock, garage rock, soft rock, oldies, love songs, disco, country songs, bluegrass, rhythm & blues, soul music, slow jams, grunge, alternative new wave, indie rock, hip-hop, classical music, opera musical scores, Broadway show tunes, and rock operas play magnificently on this acoustically balanced stereo speaker. It is my experience that the traditional noise, static, and hiss artifacts associated with analog radio broadcast technology that are a byproduct of multipath distortion to be reduced to a bare minimum or mostly absent during extended listening sessions of my favorite FM music stations. The dual band analog tuner demonstrates an excellent signal-to-noise ratio and wide dynamic range on the vast majority of FM band stereo broadcasts. The built-in telescopic FM antenna and ferrite bar AM antenna do not require the user to constantly readjust the position of the radio or fiddle with the whip antenna to achieve high quality AM/FM reception results. The Sony SRF-18 pocket radio provides a robust multi-dimensional 1-7/16” (36 mm) powerful stereo speaker system with excellent channel separation for the pocket audio product group. Bass performance is accurate on the FM frequency spectrum. In particular, the drums and electric bass stand out on rock, hip-hop, and club music tracks. The treble frequency range sparkles on sad love songs as it is possible to hear the emotional pain, torment, and anguish in the singer’s vocals. Midrange tonality on this hi-fi portable speaker offers superb recreation of acoustic guitar strumming on the most well-known folk rock tracks of the 1960’s and protest rock songs of the same era. The Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM Stereo Radio offers advanced high-fidelity stereo sound in the pocket radio community that all portable audio consumers can celebrate and rejoice from. The Sony SRF-18 AM/FM Portable Radio provides spectacular connectivity options for any type of portable audio task. The portable radio offers a stereo headphone jack for concert quality sound reproduction with Sony Extra Bass headphones, a 1/8” line input jack for seamless connection to your iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, Zune, Sony Walkman MP3 player, Sony VAIO Laptop, iMac, desktop PC, tablet computer, smartphone, cassette deck, turntable, and a 1/8” line output jack for connection to an analog or digital portable cassette/MP3 recorder to archive AM/FM radio programs for personal use. Alternatively, the line output jack can be attached to a pair of powered speakers for more powerful audio playback, a Sony Walkman CD Player, Sony Walkman Cassette Player, portable HD radio, or an integrated stereo amplifier. The Sony SRF-18 stereo speaker dock operates on a pair of 1.5V or equivalent AA cell batteries. Personally, I recommend Duracell Coppertop, Duracell Ultra Advanced, Duracell Ultra Power, Energizer Max alkaline batteries, or Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries for maximum battery life and audio performance from this brilliant Sony SRF-18 portable stereo radio. The Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM radio offers a stellar product feature set for the first time pocket radio buyer, experienced pocket radio collector, outdoor exercise enthusiast, portable audio devotee, a lifelong radio listener, or an inquisitive child looking to obtain up-to-date information, explore new subjects, or learn from many different people from all walks of life. That high quality portable audio feature set includes the following: Analog tuner, AM/FM broadcast reception, top panel AM/FM tuning dial, AM band monaural reception, FM Band stereo reception, AM Band Frequency Range: 530-1710 kHz, FM Band Frequency Range: 87.5-108 MHz, AM Band Tuning Dial Channel Guide (5.3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 17 x 100 KHz), FM Band Tuning Dial Channel Guide (88, 94, 100, 108 MHz), bright yellow tuning marker that always reminds me of a sunny day, red LED Tune indicator, thumbwheel-style rotary tuning dial, FM/AM band selector switch, AM/FM log scale, AM/FM dial scale, FM Stereo logo, rotary notched thumbwheel volume control, tactile dot located above volume control for efficient ergonomic operation, volume control directional arrow indicator, 3.5mm Audio Out jack, 3.5mm green color-coded stereo headphone output jack, universal headphone jack symbol, Power On/Radio/Audio IN/Power Off switch, 3.5mm Audio In jack, internal ferrite bar AM band antenna, 17-inch 6-segment FM telescopic whip antenna, two 1-7/16” (3.6 cm) diameter high-fidelity stereo speakers, 7.2 ohm nominal speaker impedance rating, 80mW + 80mW (JEITA) total speaker output power, perforated speaker grill, hinged battery compartment cover, battery compartment, positive and negative battery terminals, 2 AA battery operation, two exterior right side panel holes for an optional third party hand strap, 3.0V DC battery power rating, rear panel system air vents, 1 rear panel case screw, 3 battery compartment case screws, Sony trademark corporate logo, polished black exterior, slim rectangular build with rounded edges, rugged high-impact plastic housing, lightweight and compact design, built-in stereo power amplifier, stereo headphone amplifier, state-of-the-art transistor radio layout, 22-inch (558.8 mm) 3.5mm silver-plated stereo mini plug patch cable for connection to an optional MP3 player, operating instructions, and this item comes with a warranty card. The product dimensions are as follows: 6-1/8” x 3-1/4” x 1-3/8” (155.4 x 80.3 x 34.2 mm w/h/d) including projecting parts. The total system weight is 7 oz. (198 g) with batteries installed. The Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM Stereo Radio comes with a one year parts and labor limited manufacturer warranty. Unfortunately, the Sony SRF-18 AM/FM radio does not provide a carry handle, built-in nylon carry strap, carrying pouch, a detachable battery compartment cover, NOAA WB forecasts, FM HD radio stations, a DC input jack to conserve battery power, or digital tuning that are normally associated with other fine portable audio radios available on the market today. The supplied 3.5mm male-to-3.5mm male audio connecting cord is made from the poorest quality materials and feels cheaply made. The Sony SRF-18 portable radio is beautiful looking and it seems like a natural fit for seasoned portable audio users around the globe. Clearly, Sony has taken advantage of its rich manufacturing experience in the portable audio field to produce a remarkable mobile radio and speaker dock that is light years ahead of its competition in terms of immersive sound quality, AM/FM reception performance, and enhanced connectivity feature set. If the Sony SRF-18 Portable Radio is the last pocket radio that I could have, then I would be gratified beyond measure. Good Luck. Enjoy.
June 22, 2012