Tecsun PL880 Portable Digital PLL Radio Review

Tecsun PL880 Portable Digital Radio is a 2013 release from the famous manufacturer- Tecsun. Being a radio-lover myself, I was quite excited about what’s new in there and how they’ll improve my music experience. To be frank, I got more than what I expected!

I am glad that apart from mere technical improvements, Tecsun has put a lot of efforts to improve the UX of the device. Especially, a smooth and precise control over the volume, great sound, nice backlight and a very solid reception.

I am excited to show you what I found more while reviewing this awesome device. Let’s dig deeper-

Tecsun PL880 Product description:

Excellent Sound quality

The PL-880 has an excellent sound system. Here, the manufacturer used 3-watt Mylar speaker and 450mW audio amplifier ensures the best quality sound. Moreover, FM Stereo comes with the delivery through the jack.

Back-Lighting option:

As it has a long lasting battery, you can turn on the backlight forever. But you have the option to turn the backlight on and off. Hence, this is a good option for you to control the backlighting of the radio whenever necessary.

Power

The PL-880 is powered by 18650 lithium battery. Besides, it has 5V USB port for recharging. Moreover, for the rough use, the manufacturer offers 2000mAh battery. If you need, you can replace it with 5000mAh 18650 battery later on.

Selectivity and sensitivity

This Tecsun receiver ensures full range coverage- SW, LW, FM and AM broadcasts. In addition, it has excellent selectivity. If it shows too much sensitivity then you need to minimize the antenna gain. Besides, selectivity is also a great feature of this tech gadget. It can pull in signals very precisely. Again, FM and MW reception of the receiver is also good.

Comfortable tuning system:

This product has main and fine tuning knobs for tuning all bands. Besides, you can directly enter the frequency by keypad. Again, it has the scanning system. You can scan the station with a long press.

Tuning for International broadcast band

You can get the interesting stations like Cameroon, Greece, Deutsche Vella, Romania, Japan, Vietnam etc. But to get this bands you need to follow the strategies like- Phone App for SW, find the best bandwidth, search for the specific station at the recommended time, try for the longer wire antenna on the outside etc.

High memory storage

This Tecsun radio has a great memory storage per page. Thus, it can store up to 100-250 memories for a single page and like this, there are 25 pages in all total. Therefore, you can use ATS Auto Tuning Storage which can detect and remember the stations for all bands automatically.

Bandwidth filtering:

The Tecsun pl-880 has 4 and 5 bandwidth filtering option in AM and SSB respectively. It’s another great feature of Tecsun which ensures good audio quality without sacrificing much.

SSB is perfectly rocking on this receiver

Single Side Band, SSB is excellent on this receiver. You can see that it has both USB and LSB mode. Mostly all radios nowadays are calibrated to nearest kHz but PL-880 shows 100th on SSB. Hence, you can easily calibrate it. Again, USB is used above 100MHz whereas LSB below 10MHz. Finally, this radio has precision tuning which is not possible to get at this price range.

Great RECORDING system

If you wish to record any favorite stories, you can do that with this Tecsun PL-880. Here, you can record from the line out output to mic in of the Mike recorder with the help of headphone volume controlling system. This is because the volume control can minimize the line level of the radio.

User-friendly gadget:

With the lots of features, the operation gets harder in different other receivers. But for this case, it’s very easy to operate. It’s handy and if you go through the manual everything will be clear. Thus, you don’t need to study a lot to operate this receiver.

Included accessories:

The delivery comes with accessories. This includes- lithium rechargeable battery, user manual, external SW antenna, carrying pouch and stereo headphones.

Variety in features:

The other features include- 8 bandwidths, 24 hours alarm clock, 0-120 min sleep timer, simple tone control, headphone jack, line out recording, internal AM antenna, external antenna jack etc.

Moreover, if you go through the manual, you’ll notice some technique like- dynamic noise reduction, SSB calibration, Synchronous detection etc.

PROS

  • Splendid sound especially on FM.
  • Great building quality at this price
  • Auto scan, manual tuning and auto scan and store tuning mode available.
  • Bandwidth setting with 4 and 5 selectable filters
  • No muting while changing the channels
  • Excellent selectivity and sensitivity

CONS

  • No external MW/LW antenna connector available but there is a secret setting for this.
  • Not that much difference between treble tone and bass settings

Conclusion

PL-880 is a wonderful piece of kit which can make your tuning precise and easy. This is a portable multiband radio. Though it’s little bit expensive with no external antenna connector for MW/LW, you can keep it in your choice list for great selectivity and sensitivity with SSB receiving feature. It’s a fun to tune the band after dusk.

Happy tuning!!

Joshua J. Salisbury
 

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