Sony ICF-P36 Radio Review

Sony ICF-P36 Radio Review

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The Sony ICF-P36 is recommended if you want a small, straightforward AM/FM radio with no bells and whistles.

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The Sony ICF-P36 is a small and inexpensive portable AM/FM radio with a hand strap so you can carry it around easily. The radio has a built-in speaker as well as a headphone socket so you can listen privately if you wish.

Find out more about what the Sony ICF-P36 is can do and how it performs in this review…


  • AM/FM radio
  • Hand strap
  • Stereo headphone jack
  • LED tuning and battery level lights
  • Takes 2 AA batteries
  • Built-in mono speaker

Dimensions: 13.2 x 7 x 4.3 cm
Weight: Roughly 220 g including batteries

Performance and use

At 13.2 x 7 cm, the Sony ICF-P36 is small enough to fit in a large pocket, and it also has a handy carrying strap. This makes it a very convenient radio for carrying around the house or the garden.

This radio generally has good reception on both AM and FM, and the LED tuning light helps you find the right frequencies. However, tuning it in to the right frequency can still be fiddly because the tuning bar is very short.

The radio doesn’t pick up digital stations, which makes it a bit backward in 2017. However, many people find that reception on FM is still more reliable than on DAB, and an added bonus is that AM/FM radios have better battery life.

The Sony ICF-P36 takes two AA batteries, which can be rechargeable batteries. The batteries should last at least 25 hours, which means you won’t need to replace them as often as you would with a portable DAB radio (where battery life can be less than 10 hours). The radio has a battery level indicator that will warn you when the batteries are about to run out.

Obviously a radio of this size at this price point isn’t going to have amazing sound quality, but like most Sony radios, the Sony ICF-P36 sounds decent enough. The built-in speaker is mono but you can listen in stereo through headphones.

The Sony ICF-P36 is very simple and easy to use. It doesn’t have any advanced features, but this could be a good thing if you just want a straightforward, no-nonsense radio.


  • Batteries last a long time (25+ hours)
  • Good value for money
  • Feels sturdy and well made
  • Small and compact
  • Decent sound quality for its size


  • Batteries aren’t included
  • Can be hard to tune in


For the price, the Sony ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM Radio is a great little radio for listening to in the garden, taking on holiday or carrying around the house. It has excellent battery life and sounds relatively good for such a small radio.

The radio’s main flaw is the tuning system, as it can be fiddly to find the right frequency as the tuning bar is so short.

The Sony ICF-P36 is recommended if you want a small, straightforward AM/FM radio with no bells and whistles.

Similar radios

One popular alternative to the Sony ICF-P36 is the Roberts Sports 925. It’s a cheap and compact LW/MW/FM radio with a built-in speaker and a headphone socket. Like the Sony ICF-P36, the Sports 925 has a carrying strap and takes two AA batteries.

If you like the look of the Sony ICF-P36 but would like to get a DAB radio, the Sony XDR-P1DBP would be a good choice. It’s very small (11.5 x 5.7 cm) but has a high-quality built in speaker and can pick up both FM and DAB/DAB+ radio.

For some other similar radios to consider, see this article: Best Pocket AM/FM Radios.

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