Regarding the SONY ICF-506 portable: Although I was satisfied with the apparent quality of this radio, there were several things that I really did not like about it and I ended up sending it back. 1) As compared with the Panasonic RF2400, this radio draws twice as...
Regarding the SONY ICF-506 portable: Although I was satisfied with the apparent quality of this radio, there were several things that I really did not like about it and I ended up sending it back.
1) As compared with the Panasonic RF2400, this radio draws twice as much power from the batteries.
I tested both radios side-by-side. The RF2400 drew about 15-20 ma, the SONY ICF 506 25-35 ma for the same signal and loudness settings.
This means that battery life on the Sony will be much less that the Panasonic RF2400. In addition, the SONY only uses three AA batteries (4.5 volts) vs the Panasonic 4 AA batteries. (6 volts) . This also is a factor in longer battery life in the Panasonic.
I''ve run the Panasonic for many days without need to change the batteries. I''m amazed at the extremely long battery life of the Panasonic RF2400..
2) Although the SONY ICF-506 has a dial tuner, it is a digital system designed to simulate analog performance. Maybe some battery life is saved by not having a digital tuning display, but the tuning mechanism is still digital ''under the hood''. It also means the tuning still has ''notches'' '' vs smoothly transitioning between stations. Bottom line for me: I don''t like the fake analog idea very well, not at the sacrifice of smoother analog tuning and lower battery life. On the other hand, the SONY gives up the best aspect of digital: the precise frequency readout.
3) The SONY ICF-506 radio has a tuning LED which in use I found to be virtually useless. To compare again. the RF 2400 Panasonic has a much more useful analog tuning LED (just like a signal strength meter). The brighter the LED, the better the signal is tuned
On the SONY, the tuning LED is either ON, or OFF and as I tuned the SONY, I''d clearly , obviously, already know if I was on station or not.
So the LED on the SONY is a wasted feature on AM at least.
4) On sound quality: I found the SONY ICF-506 to be not is clear sounding as the Panasonic RF2400. (which costs at least $10 less BTW)
I tried listening to each with the built in radio speaker, and I also tried listening to each radio using headphones.
The SONY headphone tone quality was inferior to the Panasonic RF 2400. (SONY had less bass, and a more muddled sound. The Panasonic had better high frequency sound and yet clearer mid-range and bass also.
5) The only thing that I do like better about the SONY ICF-506 vs the RF-2500, the case and knobs seem a bit more robust on the SONY.
Both radios are easy to use, both pull in stations quite well, but I kept the Panasonic RF2400, it was an easy decision.
Please remember (coming from an engineer)
Digital products are not always better than analog, Simplicity in electronic circuit design has its advantages. Microprocessors such as are used in the Sony use more power, cost more in more batteries, and are not as reliable.