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Reviews For: Tecsun PL-880

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Tecsun PL-880
Reviews: 32MSRP: 169.00
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://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VE4AMN Rating: 2019-01-31
Truly excellent Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have owned a host of small portable radios and this beats all. It is sensitive and selective, plus offers great audio for FM. I am seriously considering building a small TR switch and mating it with a QRP transmitter it is that good.

The battery life is excellent and the USB based charging process is fast.

I have two nits. First the leather case, while of excellent quality could be 1/2 inch larger to accommodate the portable antenna, charging line and earphones. Then the unit would make this a truly portable system.

The manual is poor. When I first switched the radio on, the sync was engaged and the SSB and CW sounded bad. After hunting around on Google I figured out how to turn this function off (which has always been marginal on any small radio I have heard). There are many "hidden" features not covered in the manual, but users have unearthed some really useful tricks. They appear at

In short this is a great radio.
N4MU Rating: 2019-01-27
Exceeded my Expectation! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Got the PL-880 after selling a tuner. Total cost: $24.99! This little gem has truly exceeded what I hoped would be a great receiver. I have had other comparable receivers but sent them back due to "non-performance". I bought it just to listen to the ham bands, especially CW and I have to say it is superb. Of course it does AM & FM but if I want to listen to those I can sit in my truck. The 10 Hz steps do the job very well and it is rock stable. There is absolutely no chuffing even when rapidly changing frequencies. The 500 Hz filter is great for CW!
I don't write a lot of reviews but when something this good comes along folks should know. It's great...did I already say that?
KB3HJK Rating: 2019-01-09
The best portable out there Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It's incredible. I have owned the 1103, a lower Tecsun, and a few Sonys. The SSB reception is outstanding. The bandwidth filters are excellent. It blows away the radios I mentioned. After researching this and the Sangean 990, reviews pointed me to this. Thank god. Note...this is based on using the supplied wire antenna. I did see a massive difference between the and the whip.
KB0HAE Rating: 2018-12-09
Very good portable radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I already had a Kaito KA1103 (see my review of it). Part of the reason that I bought the Tecsun PL880 is that it got good reviews, and that it runs and charges from USB (5Vdc), using an 18650 3.7V Lithium-ion battery. While the KA1103 is a decent radio, I wanted some of the features that the PL880 has that the KA1103 lacks. I made sure that the radio that I bought had the 8820 firmware, as I had read that PL880s with the older firmware had a few problems that were solved in the newer firmware version.

I have to say that the PL880 had exceeded all of my expectations! It is easy to operate, and works very well. Why I wanted a radio that would run and charge from USB is the availability of solar/hand crank power banks that can charge USB devices. I have paired the PL880 with a solar/hand crank power bank with 10000Mah battery capacity. This will allow the radio to operate indefinitely without an AC power source.
KM4OBL Rating: 2018-08-12
Excellent Performer With Great Speaker and Controls Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this radio to replace my aging Degen 1102. I had heard of the problems with the SSB AGC on the early PL-880's, and I was concerned that the problems had not been addressed adequately on currently-produced units. I need not have worried. While there are still quality control mishaps possible (my first PL-880 had to be returned due to an off-center tuning knob that didn't rotate smoothly), the 2nd unit is a stellar performer that looks and sounds wonderful.

This is a very attractive radio, with a somewhat retro, classy look. There are separate knobs for volume, tuning and fine-tuning, all of which feel solid and have the right "feel" in turning - just the right amount of resistance.

My PL-880 is very sensitive and selective on all bands, with none of the tuning "chuffing" heard on my 1102. The controls are also more intuitive on the PL-880, with setting memories and getting into SSB being particularly easy. You have to be careful not to press and hold buttons on this radio unless you are sure of the result - because there are "hidden" features that are activated by pressing and holding various buttons. I find the radio a pleasure to operate and tune. You have a wide selection of tuning bandwidths appropriate for each band - although the narrower bandwidth choices can produce a muting effect on some bands, as on other portables. The attractive amber backlight turns on when any button or knob is pushed/turned, and it can be set to stay on all the time or left on the default setting to turn off after five seconds.

The clock is easy to set, and although I have not used the alarm features, they appear easy to set also. The lithium-ion cell used to power the radio operates the radio for a long time - I have yet to recharge it. And the 18650 cell that comes with the radio is not a high-capacity cell compared to alternatives available for under $10 that will power the radio even longer, if you decide to go that route.

I do not detect on my radio the AGC kick-in delay or "wobbly" sound on SSB that were reported on some earlier units in online revivews - everything sounds great to my ears. And the speaker is really astoundingly nice for a radio of this size and price point. This is a huge improvement over any other portable I've had - I'm happy I finally bought one.
OPP4BABA Rating: 2018-01-11
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: 2018-01-08
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: 2017-11-22
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: 2017-07-18
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: 2016-10-20
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.....