Sony Pocket AM/FM Radio - $13 and no service contract!

I have an MP3 player the size of a matchbox that has an FM tuner, so I can listen to public radio most of the day at work, and switch to loud music when the sound of people talking on the radio isn’t enough to drown out the sound of people talking in the office. However, it certainly cost more than $13, the reception is occasionally terrible, and who knows if it will live 10 years? So far, so good, but I’m going to say . . . no.

I hear these are popular in the joint, the Big House, the hooskow. So whatcha in for? :wink:

Alerted to this by an longtime friend who, like me, used to
work for VOA. The 7600G is among the classic portables
and the last one in the SONY line was the 7600GR. There
are many of these fine shortwave portables available now,
and you can still here what is left on the shortwave bands…

I have a little Grundig-branded radio – a “Mini World 100 PE” – that looks about the same size as this.

It gets AM, FM, and has a slider for 6 shortwave bands.

I was using it as my desk radio, but I kept leaving it on overnight and burning through batteries.

I think I’ll put it on top of my emergency quake-bag.

Cost: Free; I got it for free when I bought two Grundig emergency radios, which I used as gifts.

But an overwhelming majority of the content available on it is ad driven. Is there an ad blocker for this device?


There is I believe. It’s called ‘volume’.


For a few dollars more you can still get the Sony SRF-59, which has near-cult status in the “DX” community, and is stereo. Downside is it is slightly larger, and only works with headphones

For radios what is important is not so much whether the tuning mechanism is digital or analogue but whether the sensitivity and noise rejection will bring you distant stations clearly. I’ve never heard of any smartphone radios-on-a-chip that can compete with these Sony radios on range and selectivity.

I long ago gave up on terrestrial radio in the Toronto area. It’s almost universally terrible, except for cbc. Which is what I listen to when I run out of podcasts to listen to

Radio in Edmonton is pretty solid. I have six preset FM stations and none of them are commercial.

Here’s my little Grundig:

It came with a nice little case.

Some people complained about my expressions of deranged glee when displaying items to my webcam, so I’m affecting a introverted glower.


This does seem like a cool little product, but I thought tv killed the radio star?

1 Like

But all I hear is radio gaga.


Back pre-mp3/internet days I had a similar unit that also got TV audio band, so I could listen to talk shows like Charlie Rose & Nightline while I worked. Sometimes in desperation I would even listen to dramas. You could tell the quality of the writing by how well it “listened”. I remember being hooked on “Forever Knight”, about a vampire cop in Toronto. It was surprisingly good as a radio play!

Today I have a Sansa Clip, a tiny MP3 player with FM so I can listen to NPR in addition to podcasts and audiobooks. It’s running Rockbox, an open source OS for mp3 players that is truly wonderful. I also have an analog Sony am/fm headset, but it doesn’t get much use anymore.


Yeah. Up until quite lately (like two or three weeks) I’ve listened to almost exclusively radio in my car. Pretty much the entire time I’ve had cars. I’m sometimes confused by those who forget radio exists.

Buuut there’s plenty of reason to forget about radio. Even if you find yourself 5-6 stations in one area that are worth listening to in relation to your tastes, at least half of them will be ClearChannel stations and you’ll go through several blocks of time where all 6 are either playing ads or playing stuff you just cannot stand to listen to.

I drive a lot. I wish I didn’t because I hate driving. AM/FM’s star isn’t shining quite as bright as it used to. So I’m using a clacky tape converter (which was super hard to find for whatever reason) and using my MP3 player.

I am intrigued by the SSB stuff I’m seeing. It’s this kind of research that kills anything else I might have done for the day. Y’all should be ashamed of the rabbit trails you accidentally sent me on.

1 Like

I miss the deranged glee. Your glower’s good, but it’s just not the same. :frowning:


But Test Match Special is on longwave.

1 Like

I remember as a kid discovering the shortwave setting on my dad’s workbench radio, and finding english language cuban communist propaganda. Fun listening. I assumed short wave would be pretty dead nowadays. But this gives me the idea to crank up the vacuum-tube antique radio I have here, it has a short wave section (though only from about 2-6.5 Mhz. Different sections have labels like “police”, “planes”, “amateur” and “49 meters”, which I’m assuming are outdated)

1 Like

If you’d like to listen to radio from around the world with less gear, try this

Sadly SW is dying off…transmitters are expensive and internet is cheap. Nearly all of the fabulous national services are either cutting back or shutting down entirely. I haven’t used my 7600 in years.
I spent so much time listening to great programming from BBC, CBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands, VOA, Radio China, and the delightful Arnie Coro from Cuba. In the Before (Internet) Time, I was the best informed person in the office. Good times, good times.

I used to use the 1980s version of that little FM radio when I took the dog for a walk after installing a pirate radio transmitter in my tree, just to see how the reception was in the neighborhood. Later I upgraded to a 50 foot mast, then installed the Tx in the mountains with a remote feed and had 50 DJs spinning incredible tunes so it would be interesting. Those were the days.

FM radio still exists, in fact our hackerspace just got a construction permit for a new station! I may need to buy another of these little jobs.