Sony ICF-S80 Splash Proof Shower Radio Review

The Sony ICF-S80 is an update to the earlier Sony ICF-S79W splash-proof shower radio. It has an improved design and offers several features that make it ideal for use in the shower, including a water resistance rating of IPX4 and a handle for attaching it to a shower. Let’s take a closer look…

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Water resistance rating of IPX4
  • Strap holes and detachable handle for hanging the radio in the shower
  • Auto power-off function and countdown timer to save battery life
  • Saves 5 preset stations which can be quickly accessed via preset buttons
  • Takes 3 C-sized batteries
  • 12-hour clock
  • Four rubberised feet for added stability

Dimensions: 14.5 cm tall x 12.9 cm wide x 6.2 cm deep
Weight: 499 g
Model number: ICFS80.CE7

Performance and use

Battery life

One of the most impressive things about the Sony ICF-S80 is its battery life—the radio can last up to 100 hours when used with some good C-sized batteries. This means you shouldn’t need to change the batteries for months even if you use it every day.

The radio has a timer function which automatically turns the radio off after a set period of time. You can use this to save the battery life and make sure you or other members of your household don’t spend too long in the shower.

Ease of use

The Sony ICF-S80 is very easy to use, which is just what you want from a shower radio. Tuning in stations is straightforward, and you can easily save them as presets and access them quickly later using one of the 5 dedicated preset station buttons.

Radio

Unlike many other shower radios, the Sony ICF-S80 has good reception on both AM and FM, so you shouldn’t need to spend a long time adjusting it to get a good signal. It doesn’t have DAB radio, but in some ways this is an advantage as DAB would eat through batteries more quickly, and digital reception is still unreliable when compared to AM/FM.

Water resistance

The Sony ICF-S80 is rated IPX4 for water resistance, which means it can withstand splashes of water. It’s not completely water resistant, but it is very resilient as long as you don’t intentionally try to drown it.

Sound quality

Nobody would expect a shower radio to have amazing sound quality, and the Sony ICF-S80 certainly won’t replace a high-end radio. However, for a small shower radio, it has very good sound quality. It’s not tinny or muffled like some of the cheaper radios out there.

Pros

  • Very good battery life of up to 100 hours
  • Easy to tune in stations
  • Easy to save and recall preset stations
  • Good reception
  • Good sound quality for a small radio
  • Small, which is convenient for using it in the shower
  • Rubberised feet and buttons are good for when it gets damp

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with batteries included
  • Not completely watertight—water can get into the battery component if you’re not careful

Verdict

The Sony ICF-S80 is one of the best AM/FM shower radios you can get right now. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other shower radios available, but it’s worth paying a bit more for something that offers good radio reception, decent sound and is a product that has been carefully designed with the shower in mind.

Since it doesn’t offer DAB radio, it might not be ‘futureproof’. However, AM and FM probably won’t be switched off for another 5 years or more, and AM/FM radios such as the Sony ICF-S80 offer much better battery life than their digital counterparts, which you’d need to recharge after using just a few times.

Similar radios

If you’d like a shower radio with DAB, a good choice would be the Roberts Splash. It’s more expensive than the Sony ICF-S80, but is a versatile portable radio that you could also use in the garden or around the home.

A cheaper alternative is the Philips AE2330/00 Bathroom Splashproof Clock Radio, which is an AM/FM radio with similar features to the Sony ICF-S80, including a strap for attaching it to a shower.

For more suggestions, check out our roundup of the best shower radios.

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