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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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W5TVW Rating: 4/5 Mar 8, 2015 19:13 Send this review to a friend
information lacking on excellent receiver.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is preliminary! I am so far EXTREMELY impressed by this little box! It does have flaws, but it is EXTREMELY usable!
Whoever wrote the latest instruction manual doesn't know quite how to handle the English language. I STILL cannot make what's written in the book work fully in the receiver.

Is there REALLY a simple way to program the memory slots with the frequencies it is capable of handling? I see what appeared to be an information source (Tecsun PL-880 Yahoo Group) is sadly NO MORE!

Anyone knowledgable out there who can steer me to how to manipulate the memory pages that works?

This set is a GREAT standby receiver for the amateur bands in spite of minor flaws that exist from reports and "Missing" information that wasn't included in the instruction manual!

Any "help" out there from the ex-Yahoo user group on this electronic "jewel:"?

SHORTWAVELISTENER101 Rating: 4/5 Feb 6, 2015 06:01 Send this review to a friend
Grundig Satellit 750 in a Sony ICF SW-7600GR's cabinet  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The PL-880 is Tecsun's latest addition to its line of Shortwave Radios and I have owned one for approximately a month and one half. Here is my review


- 3050 Memories with Up to 2400 for Automatic Tuning Storage

- Elevation Panel

- Secondary display alternates between time, signal strength and alarm setting

Solid world band sensitivity

-Sleep Timer (see cons)

-2 Tuning Knobs (see cons)

-Synchronous Detector (see cons)

-Digital signal processing

-Full range speaker provides excellent audio quality (better than that of the Grundig Satellit 750 Lap Portable)

-Excellent Selectivity

-Worthy Single Sideband Performance, aided by precise 10 HZ tuning steps, a LSB/USB switch and good stability (see cons)

-One step tone control

-Multiple bandwidths (4 for AM mode, 5 for Sync mode and 5 for SSB mode)

-Japanese and Russian FM 64-108 MHZ

-Only radio under $500 to have triple conversion circuitry

-Clock can be set while radio on (allows for it to be synchronized to time stations)


-FM and MW sensitivity not as good as some other similarly priced portables

-Sleep timer difficult to turn of permanently

- Tuning knobs mute (can be remedied by a hidden feature)

- Mediocre synchronous detector

- Bandwidths in Sync and SSB mode too narrow

- Overloading takes place when long wire antennas are used


- Manual

- External Antenna

- Ear buds

Features not mentioned in the manual:

- Synchronous Detector with LSB/USB Selection

- Adjusting Muting Threshold

- Digital Noise Reduction

- Adjustable FM De-emphasis

- Adjustable Line-Out Level

- Seconds on/off for clock

- MW and SSB Calibration

- Force Receiver to accept LW/MW antennae into the external SW antenna jack

Verdict: The Tecsun PL-880 is a great receiver for regular shortwave listening and it contains many features. However, if you are looking for a shortwave portable suitable for DXing, purchase its cheaper predecessor (the Tecsun Pl-660) instead.

KE5GGY Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2015 00:50 Send this review to a friend
This Rig Rocks!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I learned about this radio from several of the SWL groups on Facebook. I'm an active ham operator, own many radios and have pretty high standards and expectations regarding radios, especially when paying over $150.

The Tecsun PL-880 is a winner.

I love the feel of the rig. It feels well made...solid. The knobs have a smooth feel and the rig seems very well assembled.

The sound is superb and possibly the best sound I've heard from a portable.

The rechargeable battery is a great feature to the radio. And, I seem to get many hours of use before needing to recharge.

What's most impressive with this rig is how well it performs with just the internal and whip antennas on the ham and AM bands. In fact, it easily beats my Sangean 909x in this area. (Note: The Sangean and Tecsun perform similarly on my external wire antennas)

This is now my official 'road warrior' radio. It will be in my suitcase for all road trips. The well designed carrying case really protects the radio.

I recommend the Tecsun PL-880 highly and will probably buy another radio soon. A hot rig and a very good value. Buy one, you will not be disappointed. Email me if you have any questions or join us on 3.916 MHz nightly between 7 and 10 PM Central.


KP4MLF Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2015 13:23 Send this review to a friend
My favorite daily radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After made a lot of research looking for a very good shortwave radio i ends buying one this guys. I accept that i was scary because I never owned anything in that brand in my life and dont know any person that have one as well.

After received in a nice case with some goodies and notice that the battery last for very long (plus they sent me an extra one) i can say that im impressed. Is heavy and feel like a "Real Radio" not like a toy. Recently I found that im using the radio most for daily use for local stations thanks to their awesome audio quality than for shortwave. is my daily use radio now. I love the feature that you can have the backlight activated by when use the radio but also have a switch to leave it on, that is perfect! Many times I prefer use this little boy for monitoring HF bands than my big rigs because the audio is a LOT better.
BG6RLC Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2014 21:27 Send this review to a friend
Great Handheld Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Many reviews were written on Amazon but a lot of hams and quasi-hams are coming here reading reviews. So I'd like to present mine here.

My PL-880 was ordered on Sep. 30, 2014 directly from Tecsun, China and the product was qualified on Sep. 29, 2014 showed on the certificate of qualification card in the package. This might mean PL-880 has been sold well.

Now many reviews hare quite helpful and can be agreed on but I still have something to say about its pros and cons.

1, the biggest pro is Tecsun has really listened to consumers' feedbacks and improved PL-880 quite well. In previous or 8819 version, the SSB sound was a little trembling or wooble but the one in my hand gives quite stable sound just as shortwave transceivers do.

2, it has full set of bandwidth choice on SSB mode. Most of the handheld radio don't have this capability so they are not suitble for cw reception but PL-880 has.

3, it has 10kHz wide steps. As far as I've known only PL-880 own this special tuning ability. And without BFO, SSB voice can reproduce more natually. Just as the instruction writes, it can use SSB mode to listen to radio broadcasts for excluding interruptions from neighbor stations. Previously, radios with BFO injection such as S750, PL-600 etc. cannot perform this well. These are what we have been demanding for on Tecsun forum and their engineers really dwelled onto this property delicately.

4, the sound quality for AM and FM is nice, near on par with S750. It can reproduce deep bass and the tremble is also quite clear. Unlike Sangean ATS-909X, PL-880 has the option of 9kHz bandwidth on AM mode so the AM voice can be better recognized from PL-880 than ATS-909X. Actually I wish it could have the 12.5 or even 15kHz bandwidth option. Usually local AM transmitters can transmit signals with audio frequency upto 15kHz. A video clip on YouTube shows there is an AM station transmitting signals with the bandwidth as broad as 20kHz. You can imagine how good the AM sound is.

5, The image interruptions from strong broadcast signals are significantly less than other portable radios. I've tried to scan 7M and 14M amateur bands manually, finding that only 2 frequencies were interrupted. As a comparison, ATS-909X and PL-660 behave much worse.

Major Cons:
1, Like many radio transceivers, SSB sound distorts easily. I really cannot get it! Usually AM and FM sound need much much more dynamics which requires a lot of energy from the radio amplification system while sound on SSB is much narrower but can be easily distorted.

2, Sensitivity on 100kHz is on par with PL-600 but far less than S750. It might be a problem caused by the short ferrite antenna. Also on this frequency, the signal shows 4 or 5 dbu on AM mode but shows 46 dbu on LSB mode and 20 dbu on USB mode. So it this phenomenon caused by internal circuit interference?

3, the whip antenna is made of stainless steel which is good but the final part of it is too thin or too weak. I fear that I would bend it someday...

All in all, best radio up to now. However I think there are still some aspects for improvment. It might be that PL-990 can use color display.

NS5U Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2014 13:45 Send this review to a friend
Replaced a DEGEN 1103  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Tecsun radio is in everyway an improvement over the DEGEN 1103 which died upon power up after about 3yrs service. The DEGEN had the Kiwa mods and served its purpose well. It was annoying to tune and was anything but intuitive but it worked well and got a lot of play on the ham bands.

The TECSUN is everything the DEGEN was and a whole lot more.

1. The audio is pleasant and warm. Great on FM.
2. The operation is simple and quickly learned
3. Most of the issues noted in previous reviews seem to have been addressed now.
4. Useful bandwidths even for CW
5. Simple memory management and lots of memories
6. Long battery life with the included two batteries and charger
and it will play while charging.
7. Tuning is a joy with direct keypad and then course and fine tuning knobs
8. Direct from China it is a great value with two batteries, ext antenna, charger, nice travel case
9. Purchased from Universal Radio there is only a small premium for support from a solid US business
LEMOUSTIK Rating: 4/5 Sep 9, 2014 04:51 Send this review to a friend
A good portable receiver!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello everyone.
I am SWL for several years, with long periods stop.
I bought there a few times a frg 100 that gave me satisfaction, used with a dipole antenna in the garden;
I wanted to offer me a recent portable device with a keyboard and especially the ability to transport easily.
With numerous comparative reading, essays and videos on youtube, my choice was directed to a 880 Tecsun PL home, purchase made at in China.
The delivery was very fast (I live in France).
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this little recpeteur.
The finish and ergonomics are exemplary.
I had the opportunity to do some tests reception in SW, MW and FM.
I have not tested too long waves, there was little listen.
In Fm reception is excellent, the sound is very good, the quality of the speaker is here;
I tested the SW with AM and SSB that I have not found a reproach him, and do not get a perfectly decode SSB, no problem. does not notice the flaws that have been reported by others.
I also had the opportunity to listen to Asian stations and stations in Africa.
The receiver is sensitive and selective as my FRG 100.
The adjustment of the pass band AM and SSb is a plus and you can listen to stations that are close to each other.
All controls are easily accessible receiver.
The telescopic antenna is satisfactory, even to listen to amateur radio on the 7 MHz, for example.
A 27 meter long wire antenna in the garden gives also good results.
I am very pleased with this little receiver, it probably not replace a high-end device has several thousand dollars, but for 150 euros, I think he does very well what he is asked.

W2HP Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2014 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Really a nice portable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm a long time ham and have some very good equipment. Listening to Short Wave and Ham frequencies while on vacation is a added pleasure for me. I have the Pana RF-B65, Sony 2010, Eton etc. Saw a product review in QST from ARRL. I wanted to see and feel more. Purchased the PL-880 from Kaito in CA. Its triple conversion whith a sharp IF filtering. Variable bandwidths for all modes. Its tiny and for all the neg and pos comments taking into concideration its size is remarkable. Its a real winner. 10Hz tuning steps with 500z CW filtering. AGC signal pumping is caused by strong signals. The 880 has a RF attenuator which works very well. The short waves and crowded frequencies clear up with USB/LSB and CW mode like 2010. Its AM signals zerobeat and listing to either sideband. It works well. Now the internal battery, Lithium lasts a very long time. BUT, the switching power cube intros hash into receiver. Not a big deal! Internal antenna is OK. I have the Miracle Antenna which tunes everything and a short RG-174 mini cable to 880. That makes a huge difference and provides sharp tuning to reject outside band interference. Open RF can have intermod! I have the version 8820 and for $160 its a sure winner. No my B65 is not for sale! Pete W2HP hamming since 1954
WD4CQ Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2014 11:38 Send this review to a friend
This Is Now My Favorite Portable SW Radio!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I currently own several shortwave Radios and have been a SWL Fan before I was a teenager and now I am half a century old. Also been a Ham almost as long. I own an Eton E1XM, Grundig Satellit 750, SONY ICF SW7600 (both the old black & new silver models because of it's very good sensitivity) Also own a DEGEN DE1103 (Good radio for the price), a C-CRANE CC Radio Plus (Great Audio), Ham Rigs such as the ICOM IC-751A (Classic), IC-706MKIIG, I've also owned a SONY ICF-SW77 (was one of the best back in it's day but Sold after I got my Eton E1X). and many more just to name a few as well as being in the Consumer Electronics Repair Business for over 35 years. With all that said I find myself grabbing my Tecsun PL-880 over all my other radios as my Favorite Radio both for ShortWave Listening and as a Ham listening to the various Ham bands in SSB modes. I ordered mine from Anon-Co via eBay for $149.99 and got the newer 8820 Firmware which addressed many of the earlier issues others reported. Also got a super nice carry case with the purchase and an extra 18650 battery and battery charger from Anon-Co free with the purchase! I also ordered a nice clear blue plastic Radio Stand because I like the radio so much from Universal Radio and it fits and compliments the radio nicely. I use the radio mostly late at night in bed with a Portable Sangean ANT-60 Antenna I string across the room and enjoy surfing the bands and listening. It has given me more enjoyment than any other Shortwave Radio I've had in a longtime because it is so intuitive and easy to use. I can find the buttons at night and when I move the tuning dail the radio lights up for a few seconds then the lights shut off to conserve battery. The side dual tuning dials are so nice because you can zero in on a station both in AM or SSB modes. I find myself going back to this radio over and over. I also called a few very well-known places that sell shortwave radios and confirmed the impressions I was experiencing, that others once they had the Tecsun PL-880 with 8820 Firmware were finding themselves grabbing this radio as their go to SWL radio. I have all these SWL radios and more and my most favorite now is the Tecsun PL-880 and the many Filters in the Radio make it a pleasure to listen to AM/SSB/CW. Great Audio! And a great looking and good feeling Radio in your hands! Fit and finish and feel of all controls is very good. I've had my radio for 3 months now and think I've only charged it a couple times. Battery life is extremely good with these Li-ion Batteries. The Hidden features you can find with a simple Google search make the radio even more enjoyable. Can't wait to see what other Firmware versions will bring as I am extremely happy with firmware 8820. I've placed my Tecsun PL-880 next to all my other radios using the built-in Telescopic antenna and find that I am more than happy with the reception! I've even programmed my Radio to turn on for a few minutes every morning on my Favorite station to wake me up in the morning and then in a few minutes it turns back itself back off, but when it turns itself off it surprisingly doesn't just cut off the audio but rather the audio fades slowly out. Very nice touch!! I LOVE this small portable SWL General Coverage AM/FM/SSB/CW Radio!! Great buy at $149.99. This is a very nicely done Radio and for the money it is an excellent buy! I am very happy with mine and if I were to loose it, I would immediately go out and buy another today!
AD4C2006 Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2014 03:04 Send this review to a friend
Very good for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had previously the PL-600 and it was a good AM radio but very bad for SSB, it had drifting and distorsion of signals received.
Then after reviewing several videos of this PL-880 on youtube, made my mind and after been using it for two weeks I am glad I purchased it.
Mine was shipped from Canada and it works great specially on SSB where it receives with very good audio quality and very stable, the SSB filters works perfect, normally I tune all stations on 2.3 KHz BW, with the antenna all the way extended I can pickup stations from Europe and Africa on 20M as well as any other expensive radio using external antennas, its very sensitive and I do not have any AGC pumping as other users reported.
There are several hidden menues that has to be adjusted to improve the radio performance which I already did.
The antenna in my PL-880 when is bent back will swivel to any angle without any problem or falling.
I consider this radio to be a good investment for the $149 I payed.
The only thing I don't like is the meter reading signals in microvolts, I rather liked to have the 0 to 5 meter as the PL600. Other than that I am satisfied with its performance.

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