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Reviews > Communication Gear > Radios > Sony Walkman Digital Weather FM AM > Owner Review by jerry adams

Sony Walkman Digital Tuning Weather/FM/AM Stereo Radio
BY JERRY ADAMS
OWNER REVIEW

June 25, 2014

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Adams
EMAIL: jerryaadamsatyahoodotcom
AGE: 60
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon, USA
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 195 lb (88.50 kg)

I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Sony
Year of Manufacture: I've had three manufactured 2000 to 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://sony.com
MSRP: US$29.99
Measured Weight: 3.4 oz (96 g) including battery
Measured Dimensions: 3.2 x 2.5 x 1.2 in (80 x 62 x 30 mm)
Other details:
The Sony Walkman Digital Tuning Weather/FM/AM Stereo Radio (SRF-M37W) radio is a portable AM/FM/Weather band radio.

It uses one AAA battery. They say it lasts 54 hours on AM. I routinely get this plus a little, even if I use an external speaker some of the time.

It has a digital tuner. There's an up and down button that can be pushed to get to the next frequency. There are also preset buttons that can be programmed to specific stations.

It has a black plastic case with some silver colored plastic trim.

There is no external antenna. There is an internal AM antenna, and the headphone cord is used for an FM antenna.

On the front:
* LCD display for frequency or time
* power button
* clock button
* band button to select AM/FM/weather
* 5 preset buttons
* button to select weather band
* up and down tune buttons

On the top:
* analog volume knob
* hold switch - disables all the buttons so they don't get accidentally activated

On the left:
* headphone plug
* DX/local switch - I've never figured out what that does (playing dumb here)

On the back:
* removable belt clip
* battery compartment

Sony SRF-M37W:
IMAGE 1

FIELD USE

I have used the Sony SRF-M37W radio for years. I've worn out two of them and I'm currently on my third. The first two intermittently started cutting out. If I fiddled with it I could get it to work. The battery door broke on the last one but I can still get it to work.

I probably take a radio on 200 nights of backpacking before it breaks. Plus I use it around town. I am totally satisfied given how much I use them and abuse them. I have noticed that there are chips off some of the buttons I use more, but this is cosmetic.

The first radio I got would also get TV stations, which I used occasionally, but then analog TV was discontinued so that doesn't work anymore. The latest radios I bought don't have the TV tuner functionality.

The radio is not waterproof, but I sort of ignore this, and that's probably why my units quit working. Also, I drop them occasionally.

I can usually find at least one AM station that I can get during the day, no matter where I am in Oregon or Washington. NPR is often available. At night I can get numerous stations. 810AM KGO from San Francisco is a good one.

I normally put a nylon cord through the belt clip and hang it around my neck. Then have the headphones to my ears. The belt clip works okay as a belt clip, but I wear no belt and if I did, it's sort of a long distance up to my ears.

The AM and FM reception is as good as the best portable I have used. The reception on my generic car radio is better. I wonder why they can't make a portable radio with as good reception as a car? Probably the car 12 V battery power supply has something to do with this.

This is the lightest weight portable radio that I know of. This is partially because it uses only one AAA battery. I usually take a couple spares when I go on a multiday trip.

I use an external speaker sometimes which the radio drives pretty good. I have to be pretty close to it to hear because it's not very loud. There are also external speakers that have batteries that are louder, but then it's too heavy. If I'm listening to a distant signal during the day, sometimes I can't hear with the speaker, but with headphones it's okay (but poor quality).

SUMMARY

I really like the Sony SRF-M37W radio. I have been using it for more than 10 years.

It receives three bands:
* AM - best for distant signals when I'm in the wilderness
* FM - this works if I'm on a ridge where I get better line-of-site to station
* Weather - this often works - very complete weather report repeated frequently

Good things:
* Very light weight with only one AAA battery
* Very good reception for signals that are far away when I'm in the wilderness
* Digital tuning which is better than analog tuning - easier, more accurate, more stable, and allows preset buttons

Bad thing:
* No internal speaker

Since it has no internal speaker, I have been looking for another radio with reception as good and with an internal speaker.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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