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Reviews For: Tecsun PL-606 FM stereo / SW /MW / LW DSP Receiver

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Tecsun PL-606 FM stereo / SW /MW / LW DSP Receiver
Reviews: 3MSRP: 47 (sample price)
The PL-606 uses DSP si4734 microchip (from Silicon Labs in the USA) to digitize the analog AM/FM broadcasting signal base with modern software technology and radio principles. This radio has highly improved sensitivity, selectivity, S/N ration and interference rejection.

The radio tunes:
FM 87.5-108 MHz, 64-108, 76-108 or 87-108 MHz (user setting)
LW 153-513 kHz
MW 522-1620 or 520-1710 kHz (user setting)
SW 2300-21950 kHz

FM (S/N-30dB) < 3 uV
MW (S/N=26dB) < 1 mV/m
LW (S/N=26dB) < 10 mV/m
SW (S/N=26dB) < 20 uV

Dimensions 126(w) x 82(h) x 28(d) mm
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD8ZM Rating: 2018-09-02
Disappointed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this radio for several years. It works just fine for FM, but I am an AM night-listener, and am rating this accordingly. AM reception is flat-out poor. You will be able to listen to strong local stations acceptably, but distant stations are simply unachievable with any degree of clarity. As far as I can tell through many experiments with long wires and this radio, this radio's external antenna jack doesn't do anything for AM. In fact, I even built a tunable AM antenna loop, which will blow the speakers out of every AM radio we own - EXCEPT for the PL-606! The loop does nothing at all for this radio's AM reception, which is both puzzling and frustrating.
For AM, this radio's not worth a plugged nickel. Its internal ferrite AM antenna is poor, and it can't be augmented via any means that I've found. It must be made to work only on a small island like Japan.
N1KSN Rating: 2012-07-31
Good, at least for a while Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I agree with the previous reviewer's comments. I was most impressed with this little radio's performance on AM, FM, and SW broadcast. It is very battery stingy and is my go-to radio for casual listening.

However, in the last three months it has developed a problem. When turning the volume or frequency wheels, the changes are unpredictable and "jumpy." Since I usually listen to only a couple of FM stations I have lived with it, but it is annoying as all get-out. Either there is a microcontroller problem or both encoders have gone bad.

If it weren't for this problem I would give this radio a strong 5.
KWDAVIDS Rating: 2012-01-28
The joy of six Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The Tecsun PL-606 is a digital signal processing radio based on the si4734 microchip. These radios, and there are quite a few now, do things one would not have expected in a low-cost radio just a few years ago.

One cannot help but compare the PL-606 with its slightly larger cousin, the PL-380. Indeed, an A/B comparison between the two radios finds them indistinguishable. What we end up with is the tradeoff between features and price. For details on the PL-380 features and performance, see my review of that radio.

In the plus column, the 606 adds an external antenna jack lacking in the 380. The 380 adds direct-entry frequency tuning and a thermometer display lacking in the 606.

Both have 550 memories, Easy Tuning Mode, ATS, switchable bandwidth, alarm, sleep timer, control lock, frequency scanning, a nicely lighted dial and the ability to run on and recharge 2 AA batteries. Both have a numerical readout of signal strength and S/N ratio. Both come with a plush carry bag, earphone, manual and external antenna. My PL-606 had a whip antenna extender.

I had problems with BOTH radios charging batteries that had been sitting around for a long time. In both cases I had to use a commercial charger the first time. AC power and charging comes from a standard mini USB cable.

Like the PL-380, the 606 has dual-speed tuning. If you turn the rough feeling tuning knob fast it uses one tuning step (5 kHz on SW) and if you slow down the step is reduced (1 kHz on SW). If you try to go to some particular frequency, you can do a huge amount of knob turning! So don't do that.

There is an automatic scan mode, but the best approach is to use Easy Tuning Mode to scan the bands and store all the usable frequencies and then use the tuning knob to run through saved frequencies. Nevertheless, I think the lack of direct frequency entry is a major drawback in this radio (and why I rated it 4 instead of 5). I think the $18 or so more that you'd have to play for the PL-380 to get direct entry tuning is worth it.

You'd be hard pressed to find a better FM radio than these DSP models, including the PL-606. You will not be disappointed. With switchable bandwidth (6,3,2,1 kHz), they can be effective at screening out adjacent channel interference on MW and SW. Another neat thing about DSP radios is that you can operate two next to each other with no interference. Shortwave sensitivity is good, again comparing well against more expensive radios. MW and LW are mediocre. I did find that the PL-380 was slightly more nullable than the PL-606.

If you have favorite stations you can set up as presets, or you use ETM/ATS to scan the bands, then this radio should do well. If you do a lot of random tuning, I'd suggest a radio with direct frequency entry. Of course, it doesn't do SSB.


Oops. This radio DOES have a thermometer accessible through a display setting.