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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Tecsun PL-880 Help

Reviews Summary for Tecsun PL-880
Tecsun PL-880 Reviews: 27 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $169.00
Description: Tecsun's 2013 release of their latest worldband radio with FM/SW/MW/LW. Freq range: FM: 870108/76-108/64-108 (user selectable) Tuning Step: 0.01MHz/0.1MHz
SW: 1711-29999kHz Tuning Step: 1kHz/5kHz
MW: 522-1620 kHz with 1kHz/9kHz tuning step
520-1710 kHz with 1kHz/10kHz tuning step (user select)
LW: 100-519kHz, Tuning Step: 1kHz/9kHz
3,050 Station Memories, Alarm Mode, 3W speaker, Earphone and Line-out jacks. Powered via 3.7V Li-ion rechargeable battery or via USB jack (DC 5V, Current >300mA.
Unit dimensions: 192(W) X 113(H) X 33 (D) mm.
Weight 520g (without battery)
Zippered Leather(ette?) slip cover provided along with long-wire SW Antenna, USB charge cable, and stereo earphones. Also included was a dual USB wall adaptor plug for charging the radio.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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OPP4BABA Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2018 07:14 Send this review to a friend
great for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 880 a couple of years ago. I have used it and compared it with my 30 odd other SW receivers..Sound wise it is in the top 5....only one really beats this one and that is the vulnerable old Grundig Professional 600....not much compares to that rig.

I took the 880 to India on my last trip and was really impressed with it's ability to pick up all kinds of stations, weak, strong, close and far....all without issue, all with just a long wire about 8 feet long strung and attached in my closed in balcony. Sensitivity, selectivity are top notch.

Should this one end up being broken from being dropped or whatever, I would get another in a is one of the few keepers.

P.S. It is a supreme pleasure to hear all the SW activity on the Broad cast bands still going strong in the south asian arena.
KF4TOH Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2018 21:24 Send this review to a friend
SLICK LITTLE BOX  Time owned: 3 to 6 months

for the money the 880 with the latest software
is a good little radio . SSB works good
its a little deaf on the MW AM BC bands cause
of the small built in antenna .
a lot better then my old YB-400

K3ANG Rating: 4/5 Nov 22, 2017 05:51 Send this review to a friend
Good for the $$  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got mine a few weeks ago from Universal Radio. I've used middle-of-the-road general coverage receivers in the past. My best before this was a RS DX-440 that died a decade ago. I'm using an Eton E10 currently. It's OK, but no BFO. The 880 compares IMHO favorably with the 440. It has a good, solid BFO. Good sound from the speaker. Feels durable. I've been listening to what is left of the shortwave broadcasters on the telescopic antenna, and reception appears good there. Reception of the local FM and MW stations is good.
I enjoy it, and I think it was worth the money.
N5LXI Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2017 21:35 Send this review to a friend
Good+  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have more portable SW Receivers than I should, and this is my new favorite. I mostly listen to local AM/FM Broadcast with the radio.

It has a very good user interface, the manual is fine and it's overall easy to use. The included Li-Ion battery is nice. It has good audio and is loud. More memories than you could ever use.

Google for 'hidden features'. The only one I used is hold down '8' to display seconds in the clock. The SW is average for a small portable. It gets WWV and the strong SW stations ok. Not the best choice for SW DX or the ham bands, although it does have USB/LSB and variable frequency width.

It charges using standard 5V USB and requires a USB Mini (not a micro), which is not included. The radio alarm sets easily and this may be my new travel radio.
N3NJ Rating: 4/5 Oct 20, 2016 18:47 Send this review to a friend
Worth the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review. Owned unit for 2 years now. I could not imagine life without this little radio. Love how I can lower the volume way down so I don't wake up the wife in the middle of the night. The stand is quite fragile and it broke off in the first few days. Be careful with the whip antenna. Seems to lock up occasionally but problem is cured with reset. Worth the money in my opinion. Great sound. Tunes in DX OK. Not the most dynamic reciever but worth the money in the grand scheme of things. Nice backlight. Fine tune works good on CW and SSB. Pros n Con's but don't be afraid to buy it. Plenty of reviews go in depth so read up but I think you'll have fun as long as you realize the limitations. 73 de N3NJ.....
KD8OPI Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2016 21:53 Send this review to a friend
Great for $150 bucks  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked this up for $159 & free shipping. 8820 firmware. Really a 4.5. Compared against my Sony 2010's, Sangean ATS 803A, Icom R75, CR1-A.



-Very solid FM receive and good sound quality, underappreciated in most reviews. I get a lot of stations from the Columbus/Cincinnati/Dayton areas and beyond. Impressive.

-Great bandwidth options

-Standard SW receive, comparable to other like radios; having said that, SW receive with a whip antenna on any radio is like eating soup with a fork.

-Hooked up a full sized external antenna (31' vertical with 32 radials), great SW receive, very good SSB, like blown away good for size.

-Tons of features, some hidden (because they suck and were deactivated and not documented)

-Memories, memories, memories.

- nice ergonomics, the USB battery charger is great and the battery lasts a long time.


-AM sensitivity is average.

-No standard way to hook up an external AM antenna; yes there is a way through hidden features with an 8-combo button press after you reset the radio to do it, as long as you only tune up (really). Not worth it. Get the cheap Sangean/Grundig loop and put it near the radio.

- "Hidden" Sync detection is basically useless. The hidden features mean that some features were undocumented for a reason. Having written this, I think Sync detection is over-hyped and useless a lot of the time. My Icom R-75 is a fantastic radio and the Sync on it was so awful they quit putting it in the radio 10 years ago.

- The manual is good, but its too bad a lot of features have to be discovered by users.

-Wx receive would have made this a great disaster radio.

Its a good portable, no radios in this class are table-top great. With a good external antenna it does well on SW; please don't expect this radio to defy physics and receive off-beam or tough DX with a 2 foot whip antenna. Small enough to be a decent travel radio, especially as you can charge it off a USB.
F6DFZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2016 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Review with tuning bug corrected  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

My previous review was not positive because recently manufactured PL-880 have a tuning bug that badly affect the tuning of SSB and CW signals when using the Fine Tuning knob.
I am glad to report that Anna from Anon-Co was able to correct this problem by loading in my PL-880 a 8820 firmware without the tuning bug.
I didn't saw any bad side effect with this firmware.
Now tuning, using the Fine Tuning knob, is extremely smooth, without any frequency jumps, without any discrepancy between displayed and received frequency (with the tuning bug, it can be as large as 2kHz), and without shuffling.
Considering its price, this small receiver is quite outstanding, with its 10 Hz steps (50 Hz with Variable Rate Tuning), its selectivity well suited for all modes, even CW.
Nice display, that can be lighted permanently, good ergonomics and the manual is OK.
The battery life is also large and charge is so easy.

On the weak side, I regret that memories don't keep the exact frequency (only to the nearest kHz) and the selectivity.
The sensitivity on the whip antenna is good, but not as good as the Sony ICF-2001D.
Also, the AGC attack time is too long, giving some distorsion to the first character of CW or the first syllable of SSB.

If you are an experienced SWL or ham radio operator, make sure that you buy a PL-880 without the SSB Fine Tuning bug; I can certify that this is night and day between a conform one and one with the bug.

AB1GO Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2015 20:07 Send this review to a friend
Nice radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First, there is a good external review here:

Things I like:

The sound quality is awesome. Not only does the speaker have an enclosure, but it also supposedly has a front-facing passive radiator. It really sounds like a much larger radio.

Tuning ergonomics are pretty good. The tuning is pretty smooth, almost analog. There is some chuffing on shortwave when tuning around powerful signals (the worst being the radio's own birdies). It's nice that the rate varies depending on the mode: fast for AM, slow for SSB (just right for adjusting the tone or zero-beating). The chuffing noise has this weird ~ 1KHz bleedthrough- I remember my old DX-440 did this also, but much much worse.

I'm happy that the battery is replaceable and that it's a standard 18650 Li-Ion cell.

The ATS function (scans for all stations) works well (on LW, MW and FM at least, didn't try shortwave).

It's cool that there is a function to re-sort the memories.

The DSP-based selectable bandwidth filter is awesome. My FT-857D has this!

It's nice that you can use SSB on MW and LW.

The timed LCD back light does the right thing.

It's funny that there is no AC adapter included (no need since cell phone adapters are ubiquitous)- no doubt this helps with the safety cert and world-wide shipping. The included accessories are nice though: a long wire for shortwave, a nice case. The large "Amateur Radio World Map" is awesome. They should include a timezone conversion dial for the full retro experience.

Things I don't:

Annoying birdies. The more powerful ones are at these frequencies: 3262, 6525, 7916, 15832, 22962, 23750, 25834, 27556, 29097.

It has a tuning mode and channel mode (VF/VM key). When you switch between bands (for example between AM and FM), it always resets to tuning mode. I wish it kept the current mode.

The backlight is nice, but to really use the radio in the dark you need some kind of lighted keypad. Wish it had this..

It only has 24 hour time: wish it had a mode for AM/PM.

The LCD is not large enough: The consequence is that one space is shared between clock, RSSI, "band" (like "31 meters"), channel and alarm. There is a button to select which function to display. It can be annoying because the display pops up stuff I don't want, like the "band". You need to wait a few seconds until the pop-up is done before it reverts to RSSI.

It would be nice if you could label the memories (if only there was more LCD space..).

The industrial design is pretty nice (particularly the speaker grill) given what it is: which is a cheap plastic case. Apple could do a better job, but would cost 5 times as much. Anyway, be gentle with it. I can easily see the stand breaking, for example.

Some reported images from powerful AM stations.. I didn't see this (the one near me reads 70 dBu- I can get its harmonics, but no images that I noticed).

Oh, the "DNR" hidden feature (6 key) does not exist on mine. It shows 8820 firmware, but the "build date" doesn't work either.

Summary: This is quite an awesome radio, especially given its size and price.
KK4TBJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2015 18:38 Send this review to a friend
Great radio that punches over its weight  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wanting a decent multiband radio, I purchased an Eton Satelit 750. After a few weeks I returned it to Amazon because I was disappointed with its performance vs cost. With some research and reading of owner reviews, to include here, I purchased the PL-880.
To my delight, this radio outperformed the 750 quite easily on AM reception, pulling in stations the 750 could not. The FM reception is great and, as reported by many sources, the sound is really great.
I have to invest some time in learning the functionality of this radio, to include exploring its shortwave capabilities(but I didn't really buy it for shortwave, that's a bonus for me). Having said that, this radio is highly recommended for the what it offers and what it delivers, for $150.
KB3RPI Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2015 09:00 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio 👍 has features that my Degen 1103 did not hav  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great little radio purchased on eBay on April 2015 for $150 dollars for replacement of my Degen 1103. Right away I noticed on the PLL that the sound is much deeper and clearer than the 1103. Yea it cost 30% more than the 1103. My AM reception in Orlando Fl is pretty good I am pulling in channels that I could not with the 1103. I would have to say that as far as SW is concerned the 1103 was slightly better. Overall I am happy with the replacement 😎
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