Sony small portable radio

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Most expensive radios SONY

This page includes the most expensive radios SONY, or more specifically all products from the category radios SONY sorted from the most expensive to the cheapest. This way, the most luxurious pieces can stand out. At the moment, the most expensive product is Sony XDR-S61D White, which costs €129.36 incl. VAT. Check it out, you may like it. Or you’ll get inspired.
Sony ZS-PS50W - Radio Recorder
Sony ZS-PS50W
Radio Recorder - AM and FM tuner with 30 presets, media playable: CD and USB flash drive, supports AAC, MP3 and WMA, power performance: 4W, USB, headphone output 3,5mm and jack output 3,5mm, power supply via battery and network
Sony CFD-S70 white - Radio Recorder
Sony CFD-S70 white
Radio Recorder - AM and FM tuner with 30 presets, media playable: CD and cassette, supports MP3, power performance: 3,4W, headphone output 3,5mm and jack output 3,5mm, automatic tuning, clock, power supply via battery and network
Sony CFD-S70 Black - Radio Recorder
Sony CFD-S70 Black
Radio Recorder - AM and FM tuner with 30 presets, media playable: CD and cassette, supports MP3, power performance: 3,4W, headphone output 3,5mm and jack output 3,5mm, automatic tuning, clock, power supply via battery and network
Sony ZS-PS50B - Radio Recorder
Sony ZS-PS50B
Radio Recorder - AM and FM tuner with 30 presets, media playable: CD and USB flash drive, supports AAC, MP3 and WMA, power performance: 4W, USB, headphone output 3,5mm and jack output 3,5mm, power supply via battery and network
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Most expensive radios SONY

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With the rise of streaming services and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in seemingly every device, a good old-fashioned portable radio may not be on your radar anymore. But if you enjoy trekking out into the backcountry, or just want additional security when the power goes out, you should consider having an AM/FM radio on hand.

We selected a variety of portable radios, including emergency radios, two-way radios, weather radios, and even small tabletop radios that’ll look good in your home too. Whether you’re looking to keep things traditional with a barebones AM/FM or upgrade to something with a few more modern conveniences like Bluetooth, here are some of the best portable radio options.

How We Selected These Radios

We relied on our previous reporting on portable radios, and researched expert reviews from publications like Gear Junkieand Rolling Stone. We assessed these radios based on their consumer review ratings and features like number of channels, emergency power options, durability, portability, and more.

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Great Value

Sony ICF-506 Analog Tuning Portable FM/AM Radio


For a big sound in a portable package, the Sony ICF-506 is a reliable radio choice at an affordable price. It features an integrated analog tuner for you to switch between AM/FM radio stations, and you can either listen wirelessly with three AA batteries or plug into the AC adapter. Weighing just two pounds with a built-in carry handle, this radio is easy to take with you without sacrificing decent sound.

Stylish Design

Eton Elite Traveler AM/FM/LW/Shortwave Radio


If you prefer to travel in style, consider the Eton Elite Traveler with an included leather case that won’t break the bank. This little radio offers both manual and digital tuning for AM/FM, longwave, and shortwave bands. You can also use it as a clock and alarm (with snooze!) thanks to the orange LCD display. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, though you’ll have to buy an adapter separately if you don’t want to rely on battery power.


Tivoli Audio Model One Bluetooth AM/FM Radio

$199.99 (39% off)


The Tivoli Audio One is a versatile, retro tabletop radio with AM/FM and Bluetooth connection that’ll add style to your home. Though it’s not designed to be as portable as other options on this list, its dimensions are only 8 x 5 x 4 inches, and it weighs about four pounds, so bringing it with you on a trip certainly isn’t out of the question. Though it comes at a high price, you get the convenience of backup Bluetooth and aux connection along with an analog tuner, along with the aesthetics of its handmade wood housing, available in multiple color options.


Sangean H201 Portable AM/FM/Weather Alert Waterproof Radio


Whether you like to bring your radio with you in the shower, or just want it to withstand a rain shower, the Sangeon H201 is a popular option with an average rating of 4.7 stars from over 2,000 reviews on Amazon. It comes with 25 memory presets and a variety of clocks and timers, and it receives all 7 NOAA weather stations. It’s especially convenient if you’re bringing it with you to the backcountry thanks to its emergency LED light and buzzer, its battery power indicator, and its built-in swivel handle that allows you to hang it anywhere. In addition to being waterproof, it’s also sink-proof, meaning it’ll float back to the surface if you drop it in the water.


Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio



While it’s great to have a battery-powered radio on hand in case of power outages or other emergency, a dedicated emergency weather radio is even better. The Midland ER310 has three power sources: a hand crank, solar panel, and rechargeable 2600 mAh battery. It also features an emergency flashlight and ultrasonic dog whistle that can be used to signal for help, as well as a NOAA weather scan that will alert you to severe weather updates. Plus, you can even use it to charge other devices with the included USB charging cable.


Motorola Talkabout T800 Two-Way Radios


You might want to consider a two-way radio if you regularly spend time with someone outside just out of earshot. Motorola’s Talkabout T800 allows for a 35-mile voice range, and 20-mile data range, in addition to keeping up with weather reports on 11 NOAA channels. In addition to radio settings, these portable radios have Bluetooth connectivity, offline location tracking, and off-grid group messaging. These durable handheld radios are also designed for the outdoors with weather-proofing and an LED flashlight.

Paige SzmodisPaige Szmodis is an editor for Runner’s World, Bicycling, and Popular Mechanics, who researches and writes home, tech, and outdoor product reviews and news.

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Transistor radio

Portable radio receiver

This article is about an electronic device. For the fourth studio album by M. Ward, see Transistor Radio (album).

A classic Emersontransistor radio, circa 1958

A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver that uses transistor-based circuitry. Following the invention of the transistor in 1947—which revolutionized the field of consumer electronics by introducing small but powerful, convenient hand-held devices—the Regency TR-1 was released in 1954 becoming the first commercial transistor radio. The mass-market success of the smaller and cheaper Sony TR-63, released in 1957, led to the transistor radio becoming the most popular electronic communication device of the 1960s and 1970s. Transistor radios are still commonly used as car radios. Billions of transistor radios are estimated to have been sold worldwide between the 1950s and 2012.[citation needed]

The pocket size of transistor radios sparked a change in popular music listening habits, allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went. Beginning around 1980, however, cheap AM transistor radios were superseded initially by the boombox and the Sony Walkman, and later on by digitally-based devices with higher audio quality such as portable CD players, personal audio players, MP3 players and (eventually) by smartphones, many of which contain FM radios.[1][2]


A seven-transistor USSR radio Orljonok with the back open, showing parts.

Before the transistor was invented, radios used vacuum tubes. Although portable vacuum tube radios were produced, they were typically bulky and heavy. The need for a low voltage high current source to power the filaments of the tubes and high voltage for the anode potential typically required two batteries. Vacuum tubes were also inefficient and fragile compared to transistors and had a limited lifetime.

Bell Laboratories demonstrated the first transistor on December 23, 1947.[3] The scientific team at Bell Laboratories responsible for the solid-state amplifier included William Shockley, Walter Houser Brattain, and John Bardeen.[4] After obtaining patent protection, the company held a news conference on June 30, 1948, at which a prototype transistor radio was demonstrated.[5]

There are many claimants to the title of the first company to produce practical transistor radios, often incorrectly attributed to Sony (originally Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). Texas Instruments had demonstrated all-transistor AM (amplitude modulation) radios as early as May 25, 1954,[6][7] but their performance was well below that of equivalent vacuum tube models. A workable all-transistor radio was demonstrated in August 1953 at the Düsseldorf Radio Fair by the German firm Intermetall.[8] It was built with four of Intermetall's hand-made transistors, based upon the 1948 invention of the "Transistor"-germanium point-contact transistor by Herbert Mataré and Heinrich Welker. However, as with the early Texas Instruments units (and others) only prototypes were ever built; it was never put into commercial production. RCA had demonstrated a prototype transistor radio as early as 1952, and it is likely that they and the other radio makers were planning transistor radios of their own, but Texas Instruments and Regency Division of I.D.E.A., were the first to offer a production model starting in October 1954.[9]

Sanyo8S-P3 transistor radio, which received AM and shortwave bands.

The use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes as the amplifier elements meant that the device was much smaller, required far less power to operate than a tube radio, and was more resistant to physical shock. Since the transistor's base element draws current, its input impedance is low in contrast to the high input impedance of the vacuum tubes.[10] It also allowed "instant-on" operation, since there were no filaments to heat up. The typical portable tube radio of the fifties was about the size and weight of a lunchbox and contained several heavy, non-rechargeable batteries — one or more so-called "A" batteries to heat the tube filaments and a large 45- to 90-volt "B" battery to power the signal circuits. By comparison, the transistor radio could fit in a pocket and weighed half a pound or less, and was powered by standard flashlight batteries or a single compact 9-volt battery. The 9-volt battery was introduced for powering transistor radios.[citation needed]

Early commercial transistor radios[edit]

Regency TR-1[edit]

Two companies working together, Texas Instruments of Dallas, and Industrial Development Engineering Associates (I.D.E.A.) of Indianapolis, Indiana, were behind the unveiling of the Regency TR-1, the world's first commercially produced transistor radio. Previously, Texas Instruments was producing instrumentation for the oil industry and locating devices for the U.S. Navy and I.D.E.A. built home television antenna boosters. The two companies worked together on the TR-1, looking to grow revenues for their respective companies by breaking into this new product area.[5] In May 1954, Texas Instruments had designed and built a prototype and was looking for an established radio manufacturer to develop and market a radio using their transistors. (The Chief Project Engineer for the radio design at Texas Instruments' headquarters in Dallas, Texas was Paul D. Davis, Jr., who had a degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University. He was assigned the project due to his experience with radio engineering in World War II.) None of the major radio makers including RCA, GE, Philco, and Emerson were interested. The President of I.D.E.A. at the time, Ed Tudor, jumped at the opportunity to manufacture the TR-1, predicting sales of the transistor radios at "20 million radios in three years".[11] The Regency TR-1 was announced on October 18, 1954, by the Regency Division of I.D.E.A., was put on sale in November 1954 and was the first practical transistor radio made in any significant numbers.[12]Billboard reported in 1954 that "the radio has only four transistors. One acts as a combination mixer-oscillator, one as an audio amplifier, and two as intermediate-frequency amplifiers."[13] One year after the release of the TR-1 sales approached the 100,000 mark. The look and size of the TR-1 was well received, but the reviews of the TR-1's performance were typically adverse.[11] The Regency TR-1 is patented by Richard C. Koch, US 2892931 , former Project Engineer of I.D.E.A.

Raytheon 8-TP-1[edit]

In February 1955, the second transistor radio, the 8-TP-1, was introduced by Raytheon. It was a larger portable transistor radio, including an expansive four-inch speaker and four additional transistors (the TR-1 used only four). As a result, the sound quality was much better than the TR-1. An additional benefit of the 8-TP-1 was its efficient battery consumption. In July 1955, the first positive review of a transistor radio appeared in the Consumer Reports that said, "The transistors in this set have not been used in an effort to build the smallest radio on the market, and good performance has not been sacrificed." Following the success of the 8-TP-1, Zenith, RCA, DeWald, and Crosley began flooding the market with additional transistor radio models.[11]

Chrysler Mopar 914HR[edit]

1955 Chrysler – Philco all transistor car radio – "Breaking News" radio broadcast announcement.

Chrysler and Philco announced that they had developed and produced the world's first all-transistor car radio in the April 28th 1955 edition of the Wall Street Journal.[14] Chrysler made the all-transistor car radio, Mopar model 914HR, available as an "option" in fall 1955 for its new line of 1956 Chrysler and Imperial cars, which hit the showroom floor on October 21, 1955. The all-transistor car radio was a $150 option (equivalent to $1,450 in 2020).[15][16][17][18]

Japanese transistor radios[edit]

The circuit of a Japanese 5 transistor radio.

While on a trip to the United States in 1952, Masaru Ibuka, founder of Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (now Sony), discovered that AT&T was about to make licensing available for the transistor. Ibuka and his partner, physicist Akio Morita, convinced the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to finance the $25,000 licensing fee (equivalent to $243,640 today).[19] For several months Ibuka traveled around the United States borrowing ideas from the American transistor manufacturers. Improving upon the ideas, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation made its first functional transistor radio in 1954.[11] Within five years, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation grew from seven employees to approximately five hundred.[citation needed]

Other Japanese companies soon followed their entry into the American market and the grand total of electronic products exported from Japan in 1958 increased 2.5 times in comparison to 1957.[20]

Sony TR-55[edit]

In August 1955, while still a small company, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation introduced their TR-55 five-transistor radio under the new brand name Sony.[21][22] With this radio, Sony became the first company to manufacture the transistors and other components they used to construct the radio. The TR-55 was also the first transistor radio to utilize all miniature components. It is estimated that only 5,000 to 10,000 units were produced.[citation needed]

Sony TR-63[edit]

The TR-63 was introduced by Sony to the United States in December 1957. The TR-63 was 6 mm (1⁄4 in) narrower and 13 mm (1⁄2 in) shorter than the original Regency TR-1. Like the TR-1 it was offered in four colors: lemon, green, red, and black. In addition to its smaller size, the TR-63 had a small tuning capacitor and required a new battery design to produce the proper voltage. It used the nine-volt battery, which would become the standard for transistor radios. Approximately 100,000 units of the TR-63 were imported in 1957.[11] This "pocketable" (the term "pocketable" was a matter of some interpretation, as Sony allegedly had special shirts made with oversized pockets for their salesmen) model proved highly successful.[23]

The TR-63 was the first transistor radio to sell in the millions, leading to the mass-market penetration of transistor radios.[24] The TR-63 went on to sell seven million units worldwide by the mid-1960s.[25] With the visible success of the TR-63, Japanese competitors such as Toshiba and Sharp Corporation joined the market. By 1959, in the United States market, there were more than six million transistor radio sets produced by Japanese companies that represented $62 million in revenue.[11]

The success of transistor radios led to transistors replacing vacuum tubes as the dominant electronic technology in the late 1950s.[26] The transistor radio went on to become the most popular electronic communication device of the 1960s and 1970s. Billions of transistor radios are estimated to have been sold worldwide between the 1950s and 2012.[24]


Prior to the Regency TR-1, transistors were difficult to produce. Only one in five transistors that were produced worked as expected (only a 20% yield) and as a result the price remained extremely high.[11] When it was released in 1954, the Regency TR-1 cost $49.95 (equivalent to $482 today) and sold about 150,000 units. Raytheon and Zenith Electronics transistor radios soon followed and were priced even higher. In 1955, Raytheon's 8-TR-1 was priced at $80 (equivalent to $773 today).[11] By November 1956 a transistor radio small enough to wear on the wrist and a claimed battery life of 100 hours cost $29.95.[27]

Sony's TR-63, released in December 1957, cost $39.95 (equivalent to $369 today).[11] Following the success of the TR-63 Sony continued to make their transistor radios smaller. Because of the extremely low labor costs in Japan, Japanese transistor radios began selling for as low as $25.[11] By 1962, the TR-63 cost as low as $15 (equivalent to $128 today),[24] which led to American manufacturers dropping prices of transistor radios down to $15 as well.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

An early 2000s transistor radio (Sony Walkman SRF-S84 transistor radio, released 2001, shown without earphones)

Transistor radios were extremely successful because of three social forces — a large number of young people due to the post–World War II baby boom, a public with disposable income amidst a period of prosperity, and the growing popularity of rock 'n' roll music. The influence of the transistor radio during this period is shown by its appearance in popular films, songs, and books of the time, such as the movie Lolita.

In the late 1950s, transistor radios took on more elaborate designs as a result of heated competition. Eventually, transistor radios doubled as novelty items. The small components of transistor radios that became smaller over time were used to make anything from "Jimmy Carter Peanut-shaped" radios to "Gun-shaped" radios to "Mork from Ork Eggship-shaped" radios. Corporations used transistor radios to advertise their business. "Charlie the Tuna-shaped" radios could be purchased from Star-Kist for an insignificant amount of money giving their company visibility amongst the public. These novelty radios are now bought and sold as collectors' items amongst modern-day collectors.[28][29][30]

Rise of portable audio players[edit]

Since the 1980s, the popularity of radio-only portable devices declined with the rise of portable audio players which allowed users to carry and listen to tape recorded music of their choosing and may additively came with a radio tuner. This began in the late 1970s with boom boxes and portable cassette players such as the Sony Walkman, followed by portable CD players. A common type now is the portable digital audio player. This type of device is a popular choice with listeners who are dissatisfied with terrestrial music radio because of a limited selection of music and reception problems. However, transistor radios are still popular for news, talk radio, weather, live sporting events, and emergency alert applications.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Petraglia, Dave (5 March 2014). "Why You Owe Your Smartphone To The Transistor Radio". Thought Catalog.
  2. ^Bray, Hiawatha (6 November 2014). "Is Your Smartphone Ready for Radio?". The Boston Globe.
  3. ^Arns, R.G. (October 1998). "The other transistor: early history of the metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor"(PDF). Engineering Science and Education Journal. 7 (5): 233–240. doi:10.1049/esej:19980509. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  4. ^Handy et al. (1993), p. 13.
  5. ^ ab"The Revolution in Your Pocket". Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  6. ^Invention and Technology Magazine, Fall 2004, Volume 20 Issue 2, "The Revolution in your Pocket", Author: Robert J. Simcoe
  7. ^Book Title: TI, the Transistor, and Me, Author: Ed Millis, page 34
  8. ^Article: "The French Transistor", Author: Armand Van Dormael, page 15, Source: IEEE Global History Network
  9. ^website:, Regency TR-1 Transistor Radio History
  10. ^Donald L. Stoner & L.A. Earnshaw (1963). The Transistor Radio Handbook: Theory, Circuitry, and Equipment. Editors and Engineers, Ltd. page 32
  11. ^ abcdefghijkDavid Lane & Robert Lane (1994). Transistor Radios: A Collector's Encyclopedia and Price Guide. Wallace-Homestead Book Company. pp. 2–7. ISBN .
  12. ^Deffree, Suzanne (17 October 2017). "TI announces 1st transistor radio, October 18, 1954". EDN. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  13. ^"Regency markets pocket transistor radio". Billboard. 30 October 1954.
  14. ^Wall Street Journal, "Chrysler Promises Car Radio With Transistors Instead of Tubes in '56", April 28th 1955, page 1
  15. ^Hirsh, Rick. "Philco's All-Transistor Mopar Car Radio". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  16. ^"Mopar 914-HR Ch= C-5690HR Car Radio Philco, Philadelphia".
  17. ^"North America | FCA Group".
  18. ^Chrysler Imperial Owners Manual, 1956, Page 13
  19. ^"Sony History. Chapter4: Ibuka's First Visit to the United States". Sony. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  20. ^Handy et al. (1993), pp. 23–29.
  21. ^John Nathan (1999). SONY : the private life. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN . page 35
  22. ^"Transistor Radios". ScienCentral. 1999. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  23. ^"Sony Global – Sony History". Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  24. ^ abcSkrabec, Quentin R., Jr. (2012). The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 195–7. ISBN .
  25. ^Snook, Chris J. (29 November 2017). "The 7 Step Formula Sony Used to Get Back On Top After a Lost Decade". Inc.
  26. ^Kozinsky, Sieva (8 January 2014). "Education and the Innovator's Dilemma". Wired. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  27. ^"Broadcast Band – All Transistor Wrist Radio". Galaxy (advertisement). November 1956. p. 1. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  28. ^Handy et al. (1993), pp. 46–51.
  29. ^"N.A.". Antique Radio Classified. John V. Terrey. June 2002. p. 10.
  30. ^"N.A.". Antique Radio Classified. John V. Terrey. March 2008. p. 6.
  • Handy; Erbe; Blackham; Antonier (1993). Made in Japan: Transistor Radios of the 1950s and 1960s. Chronicle Books. ISBN .

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael F. Wolff: "The secret six-month project. Why Texas Instruments decided to put the first transistor radio on the market by Christmas 1954 and how it was accomplished." IEEE Spectrum, December 1985, pages 64–69
  • Transistor Radios: 1954–1968 (Schiffer Book for Collectors) by Norman R. Smith
  • Unique books on Transistor Radios by Eric Wrobbel
  • The Portable Radio in American Life by University of Arizona professor Michael Brian Schiffer, Ph.D. (The University of Arizona Press, 1991).
  • Restoring Pocket Radios (DVD) by Ron Mansfield and Eric Wrobbel. (, 2002).
  • The Regency TR-1 story, based on an interview with Regency co-founder, John Pies (partner with Joe Weaver) "Regency's Development of the TR-1 Transistor Radio" website
  • Bryant & Cones (1995). The Zenith Transoceanic The Royalty of Radios. Schiffer Book for Collectors. Schiffer. pp. 110–120. ISBN .

External links[edit]

Unboxing SONY XDR-P1DBP DAB/DAB+/FM radio

Why the hell are they hanging around here. Tim stands a little apart among them. A short kid with a handsome, tanned body, blond, ever-tousled hair, and a distinct New England accent.

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Sony Portable Radio With Speaker ICF-P26 - Overview

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