Sony ICF-P36 Portable AMFM Radio

Sony ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM Radio Review – Detailed Analysis, Pros, Cons, FAQs, & More

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We understand how important is to have a portable radio with you. As an outdoor adventurer, you need a device that can perform consistently.  

This is why we have decided to review various features of Sony’s ICF-P36 portable radio. Along with that, we’ll also highlight some essential FAQs.

Sony ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM Radio

Sony’s ICF-P36 is an analog radio designed for personal use. We were pleased by its simplistic yet efficient features. Furthermore, it has a dual-band system to receive FM and AM signals.  

Alternate #1

Sangean PR-D6WH

Sangean excels in high-quality radios and the same goes for the PR-D6WH model. We found it to be highly durable even under extreme conditions. Furthermore, it features an AUX port for personal listening. 

Alternate #2

Panasonic RF-2400D

Panasonic has a reputation for highly durable electronics. We found the same to be true for their RF-2400D radio. It features a mix of new and old-school features for a smooth listening experience. 

Quick Summary of Sony ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM Radio

Radios are designed to be portable for personal use. This is exactly why Sony kept their ICF-P36 radio as simple as possible. 

We were surprised by its dual-band radio feature. You can listen to any radio channel in your area on the go. 

Does it have a radio tuner?

Even though it is a compact radio, we also found the feature of a radio tuner. It enables you to accurately tune into a radio channel without any static. 

Furthermore, we noticed that it has a highly powerful antenna as well. You can use it to tune into AM channels around the world. 

Is this radio lightweight?

Another aspect that our team really liked is its lightweight body. Besides its speaker, there isn’t anything that adds weight to it. 

You can easily carry it along for outdoor adventures. Our team found it to be an essential tool for hiking and camping.  

  Check out our in-depth review of Sony Stereo CD/Cassette Boombox and find out if it meets your needs.

Features and Benefits

Audio Output Quality

First, we must discuss the audio quality of this radio. Despite its small size, we found its speaker to be quite powerful. 

We tested the speaker in multiple conditions and found no signs of static or distortion. Even at high volumes, the audio is crystal clear. 

Why is there no static on this radio?

You don’t get any static in the output because all the power is directed to the speaker. This way, your radio can perform at an optimal level. 


As we have mentioned earlier, Sony’s ICF-P36 comes with a highly powerful antenna for its size. Sony chose this setup to ensure quality reception for FM and AM channels. 

Our team conducted a series of tests to check the performance and found positive results. The antenna can efficiently perform, even in weather conditions like thunderstorms. 

How far does the antenna stretch?

Another important thing we must mention is that the antenna stretches roughly 1-½ feet. This provides enough room for reception even if you are in an indoor environment. 

Material Quality

Next feature we must mention is the quality of the electronics used in this radio. Our team found that each and every component is produced by Sony itself. 

This ensures that every single part works as intended. Furthermore, we discovered that Sony provides a 3-year warranty in case it stops working. 

How does the material quality benefit me?

As an outdoor adventurer, you can rely on this radio to perform regardless of the conditions. This makes it a handy tool to have at your disposal. 

Control Buttons

Lastly, we must mention the control buttons available on this radio. In total, there are 3 control buttons. This is mainly due to its simplistic design. 

You can use one of the control buttons to switch FM to AM and vice versa. The other buttons are used for volume control and channel tuning. 

Why does it have so few buttons?

Sony has designed this radio for average users that don’t have much experience with radios. You operate it conveniently and listen to your favorite radio channels. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Sony ICF-P36 

Body Design

First and foremost, we must discuss the design of Sony’s ICF-P36. Our team found that its compact and analog design has multiple benefits. 

For starters, it is quite convenient to carry. Secondly, you can easily fit it inside your pockets or backup for outdoor adventures. 


Next factor you need to keep in mind is the price of the Sony ICF-P36. While it is fairly cheap, it does lack some features. 

Other than that, you have to buy batteries over and over again to power this radio. This adds overhead costs if you are a regular user. 

Power Source

Lastly, we must mention that this radio only features a single power source. Our team found that you can use a pair of AA batteries.

Besides that, there is no option to power it through an AC cord. So, we recommend that you keep an extra pair of batteries at hand. 

Pros and Cons


  • Compact 
  • Powerful speaker
  • Dual-band radio
  • Headphone jack
  • Lightweight


  • Only available in one color

Social Proof

After our tests, we decided to look at some customer reviews. Our team was surprised due to the overflow of positive reviews from a number of people. 

social proof

Most people praised the reception of this radio, even in severe weather conditions. They stated it showed no signs of static. 


Some users also pointed out its portability. They mentioned it was quite easy to carry it around because of its lightweight build. 

social proof

We also found multiple reviews that praised the battery consumption of this radio. They stated that a single pair can last up to multiple hours without any drop in performance. 

Sony ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM Radio Alternatives (Recommendations)

#1: Best Reception Radio – Sangean PR-D6WH Review

For our first alternative, we picked the PR-D6WH from Sangean. Our team selected it because of its high-range reception feature. 

You can listen to AM and even FM channels from different countries. Furthermore, it comes with a switch that you can use to navigate between FM and AM channels.

Does this radio have an antenna?

We must also mention that this radio features a powerful antenna. This enables you to use the radio without any lag in reception. 

Besides that, the antenna is covered in a rubber layer for protection against moist conditions. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Sangean PR-D6WH

Body Design

The first factor you need to keep in mind is the overall design of this radio. Unlike most portable radios, we found their design to be quite unique. 

While you can carry it with the help of its removable strap, it is still bulky. Our team found it to be difficult to carry in a backpack. 


Next up, you need to be aware of the price. We compared multiple market options with this radio and found it to be moderately priced. 

Moreover, you can choose from three different options at varying prices. Each option has a different color and slightly different performance. 

Power Source

Lastly, we must mention the dual power source feature of this radio. You can either use an AC outlet or 4 AA batteries to power it. 

On top of that, the AC power cord is included with the purchase. You’ll need a 120V outlet for optimal performance. 


  • Smooth audio output
  • Clear reception
  • Analog radio dial
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Removable carry strap


  • Not compact enough

Best Reception Radio

The best reception radio is the Sangean PR-D6WH because it comes with a highly powerful antenna. You can use it as a personal radio for indoor and outdoor purposes. Besides that, it has a dual-band radio system as well. 

#2: Best Outdoor Radio – Panasonic RF-2400D Review 

For the second alternative, our team picked Panasonic’s RF-2400D radio. We were surprised by its outdoor utility. 

After multiple tests, our team found that Panasonic has used a combination of highly durable materials. You can even use this radio in weather conditions like rain and snow. 

Is this radio easy to use?

We must also mention that it is quite convenient to use this radio. Every single button is clearly marked and it has multiple LED indicators as well. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Panasonic RF-2400D

Body Design

Firstly, we must mention the overall design of this radio. Our team noticed that it is compact and easy to carry. 

You can easily fit it inside your backpack for outdoor use. We found it to be quite useful for hiking and camping. 


Next up, you need to check the price of this radio. We compared it with multiple other radios and discovered it to be quite cheap. 

Furthermore, you can even get it at a discounted rate during seasonal sales of Christmas and Black Friday. 

Power Source

Lastly, we must discuss the ways you can power this radio. We found that this radio features both AC and DC power sources. 

For AC power, you’ll need a 120V outlet. On the other hand, for DC power, you can use 4 AA batteries. 


  • Easy to use
  • LED lights 
  • Compatible with headphones
  • Weather-resistant
  • Durable body


  • Only available silver color

Best Outdoor Radio

The best outdoor radio is the Panasonic RF-2400D because it features a highly durable external shell. You can use it for outdoor adventures without compromising performance. Furthermore, it has multiple control buttons for convenient use. 

Our experts have reviewed almost all the brands of radios like Prunus, Jensen, Baofeng, and more. Check them out.

Buyer’s Guide 

Is the Panasonic RF-2400D AC compatible?

Let’s check out some essential factors you need to keep in mind at all times.  

Body Design

First of all, you need to closely inspect the body design of a radio. We recommend that you get a radio that is compact and easy to fit inside your backpack. 

This way, it’ll be convenient for you to carry it around. Moreover, you can use it for an indoor or outdoor environment. 


Next aspect you need to keep an eye out for is the price. In most cases, you’ll find portable radios to be quite cheap. 

However, it is also important to not compromise on the quality of electronics. We suggest that you get a moderately priced radio that features high-performance internal components. 

Power Source

The last factor you need to keep in mind is the power source. In our opinion, it is beneficial to have a dual-powered radio. 

This will enable you to use the radio regardless of the environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now, let’s have a look at some of the questions asked by individuals from around the web.

Is the Panasonic RF-2400D AC compatible?

There are two models that you can get for this radio. One is DC only while the other features both options. However, you’ll have to buy a separate power cord to use the AC feature. For this purpose, you’ll need a 120V US-standard adapter.

Does the Sony ICF-P36 have a stereo or mono audio jack?

The Sony ICF-P36 features a stereo audio jack. It means that you can use any pair of headphones that has a left and right pair. You can also use mono headphones but the audio quality will not be identical.

Is the Sony ICF-P36 sensitive?

Even though the build quality is up to mark, the internal components are quite sensitive. Make sure that you avoid dropping it on hard or soft surfaces. This can potentially break the chipset inside and render the radio useless.

Does Sony ICF-P36 have a 3.5mm jack?

Yes, Sony has equipped its ICF-P36 radio with a 3.5mm audio jack. You can use it to connect your smartphones, laptops, and iOS devices. Furthermore, you can connect any headphone that has a 3.5mm cord.

Where are the control buttons for Sony ICF-P36?

You can find the tuner for this radio on the top end. It even has a visible slider to accurately tune your radio channels. For power and FM/AM switch, a button is located on the right side. On top of this button, you can find the volume dial.

Is the Sony ICF-P36 loud?

For personal use, the audio output of Sony ICF-P36 is enough. You can use it for camping and hiking. However, the audio isn’t loud enough to be used for a small or large gathering. On the other hand, you can connect a portable speaker with the audio jack.

Can I use my radio in other countries?

Most radios are designed to be used globally. The FM and AM features can work regardless of location. You can simply turn on your radio and the radio will automatically capture the radio waves in your area.

Can I power the Sony ICF-P36 with an AC power source? 

Currently, there is no AC connection for the Sony ICF-P36. You can only use DC batteries to power this radio. Furthermore, Sony has no future plans to release an AC version of this radio. However, its DC power consumption is quite low.

What is the optimal range for Sony ICF-P36?

Multiple tests showed that the optimal range for Sony ICF-P36 is 100 miles. If you are within the range, the radio will show no signs of static. Outside of this range, you’ll have to adjust the antenna to improve reception.

Can I use presets for the Sony ICF-P36?

Unfortunately, there is no option for preset radio stations in the Sony ICF-P36. You will have to manually adjust the radio channels every time. However, you can leave the slider on your favorite radio channel and it will automatically tune in the next time it is turned on. 

Is the Sony ICF-P36 made in China?

Sony itself is a Japanese company. All their electronic components are produced in-house. However, the external body is made by a variety of different third-party companies. These companies might be based in China. 

Does the Sony ICF-P36 have a wrist strap?

You can carry your ICF-P36 radio with a wrist strap as well. However, you’ll have to purchase it separately. Sony doesn’t provide one with a radio. This is to make sure that the customers can get one according to their wrist size.

Does Sony ICF-P36 have good AM reception?

The reception for AM channels is a little bit lackluster compared to the FM reception. Even with the antenna fully extended, you’ll have to adjust it quite a bit before it can get optimal reception.

Can I listen to AM channels without extending the antenna?

It depends on the radio you are using. Some radios have an internal ferrite coil for AM reception. If your radio doesn’t have one, you can simply use the default antenna for AM channels. 

Why don’t radios have metallic bodies?

In most cases, manufacturers avoid using metallic materials for the external shell. This is to make sure that the radio reception isn’t hindered due to any unwanted magnetic fields. Plastic is an insulator that completely removes this issue. 

Wrapping Things Up…

With this, we come to the end of our review of the Sony ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM radio. We hope this information proves to be useful for you. 

Sony’s ICF-P36 Portable AM/FM radio is designed to be highly portable. You can use it to listen to AM/FM radio channels on the go. Moreover, it is powered by batteries for convenience. 

Which portable radio do you prefer for personal use? Let us know in the comments. 

If you’re interested in finding out about radios, their reviews, working, troubleshooting, and more, check out our website.

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