Pros: Sony quality that you'd expect. Good reception for radio/TV stations
Cons: Station LED could be larger, and easier to view.
At work we use to have a boom box we all listened to. However, one guy likes the Edge, another likes the Bone, and myself I like WildOn. So we all like different radio stations, and would find ourselves in this daily radio battle. Eventually, the guy who owned the boom box took it home since we'd always turn off his station. So my search began for a compact radio that could pickup stations in a computer service lab. With all the computer equipment we have, not just any radio will work for tuning in stations. After reading various reviews, it was down to a few different Sony portable models, this being one. And because the layout looked nice, and the price was right, I bought this one at Best Buy for $49.99, plus an $8 extended three year warranty.
OUT OF THE BOX:
It's packaged in a clear plastic container that will need to be cut a long the edges to open it. In the package, you'll find the Sony radio, a velcrow strap that connects to the radio, a head set, and *no batteries*. So if you purchase this, pickup at least 4 NIMH AAA recharagable batteries. This way when one set dies, you have the fresh set ready. The headset is okay I guess, but nothing I'd use on a regular basis. I tried using it for a few hours, and it's fair, but nothing like my Sony earbuds (http://www.epinions.com/content_76313759364)for quality listening. The velcrow strap has a plastic snap on it, that goes to the clip on the radio, and locks in place. I don't use the strap yet myself.
MY FIRST USE:
Well, it's not rocket science to use this without reading the manual. The two AAA batteries that you must supply go in the back. The batter cover is clearly labeled on where to unsnap it. And there are pictures explaining what direction to install the batteries. There is a little white lever on the front, this lever locks the buttons so you don't accidentally hit the buttons. This button comes locked by default, so do keep pressing the buttons wondering if it's broke like I did. Just easily move the lever in the down position, and all the buttons will work as they should. The display and buttons are angled in such a way so that if strapped to your arm, it's easy to get to. On the end of the radio is the power button, mega bass, and start/stop button. I had to look up the start/stop button, it's for a timer/stopwatch.
LOOK AT ALL THESE BUTTONS:
The volume is a wheel located almost right where you plug in the headset on the side. The back also has band sensor switch that you won't really need to mess with. If you get bad reception, try flipping this switch to get signal gain. There are five programmable buttons on the front, and and sixth that is the weatherband. The programmable buttons are easily set by simply holding in the button for three seconds or more. It will give a small beep to let you know the button is now programmed for that station. A smaller white button can change bands AM/FM or TV stations 2 through 13. Most all compact radios that offer TV stations only offer 2-13 by the way. The volume is a level style switch. There are two tinest white buttons, one for mode, sets time, stop watch, or timer. And the other is an enter button to help set the time. On the end where the power button and timer start is, there is also a mega bass. It works well, however my earbuds normally are already heavy in bass, so it almost becomes distorted if I use this with my earbuds.
So far I have only used mine at work. I click it to my shirt in front, and put the extra earbud cord in my shirt pocket. This way I can easily get to the front buttons and change the station at any given moment without searching my pocket. Once the radio is programmed, it works like a radio should. And I can even listen to the morning news on TV while at work. Keep in mind, I'm totally surround by computer/electronic equipment, and this radio has no problem pulling the stations. The only station with static would be the weatherband. But I don't think I ever heard the weatherband clear on any radio. If you do have problems with some static, just move your headset cord around some. You see, the headset cord is also the antenna for the radio. So if a station for me does go static while I'm walking, I just pull some cord out of my front pocket. This extends the antenna and betters the reception. The clip that I use to clip on my shirt could be tighter, and it doesn't snap down at all. The clip is more for the strap that comes with it for your arm. I haven't tried this radio for working out in yet, but I will in the future.
Like most the products I purchase, I first did extensive research on reviews for this radio on the internet. This is a very fine portable radio that picks up stations exceptionally well. For me, this is what my biggest concern was. And for a price of $50, it was actually cheaper than some of the others I priced that offered the same, but was shaped differently. You'll find the pricing pretty standard at $49.99, so I'd recommend getting it locally. If your radio hunting, you've just found a high quality radio to add to your list!