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Reviews For: Tecsun PL-660 PLL World Band Receiver

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Tecsun PL-660 PLL World Band Receiver
Reviews: 63MSRP: 109.9
FM-Stereo /MW/LW/SW SSB/AIR band (118-137 MHz) World Receiver with high sensitivity and selectivity.
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K4FMH Rating: 2021-07-19
Very good Rx Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had SW and BCB receivers for over 50 years. Things have certainly changed due to the technology. Portable RXes are a very different performance animal than desktop ones. That should be kept in mind.

My purchase of the PL-660 from Anon came on the recommendation by Thomas K4SWL. His site is truly worth using for advice. Plus, he's a straight-shooter. Anon is THE preferred vendor for Tecsun. Excellent customer service from my purchases from her.

The 660 usually takes me to sleep each night with my earbuds in and my 90 minute sleep setting on. I've listed to SW and BCB since I was 8 years old. The PL-660 is neither the best portable I've used nor the worst. But it's closer to the best than the worst. If the purchaser reads the reviews on of the various Tecsuns (and competitors, several of which I've owned), the exact model can be better determined.

The battery is recharged by using the USB-powered additional adapter that Anon sells on eBay. It does a marvelous job keeping the battery full but not overcharged. Yes, I can do better reception with my Perseus, SDRPlay or SDRSharp receivers...or my venerable Drake R8A...but not while I'm outside my shack.

As such, I can recommend it IF one reads the reviews by Thomas K4SWL or Dave N9EWO first. There are NO gotchas for how I use the PL-660.
JABBATHECAT Rating: 2021-07-19
Not impressed at all... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought one of these almost ten years ago and really liked using it for dxing whilst out and about till one day after sticking it on the charger it wouldn't switch on. The display is there with the orange back light and the clock but even after factory resets, battery pulls etc. it won't switch on.
What's really annoying is that you cannot get any technical support from any dealer or the manufacturer so I will never ever buy any Tecsun branded products ever again.
All I've got is a mint condition radio that's lost the plot and if it wasn't in such good condition and a nice design I'd've probably taken a hammer to it a long time ago...
W8YFL Rating: 2021-02-19
Disappointed Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought this because it had SSB and was much smaller on the nightstand than my trusty Panasonic RF6300 which is large and getting a bit long in the tooth. The Tecsun seemed to fill the bill, and it did.
It came nicely packaged with accessories such as a nice travel case, external wire antenna and earbuds.
It did everything as advertised.... for 101 days.
Then it died. wouldn't turn on with old batteries, new batteries or external power. Attempted to reset repeatedly per enclosed instructions. Searched the internet for suggestions. Attempted to seek a remedy thru the vendor, no joy.
Cracked it open a couple times to look for the obvious.
Eventually gave up and tossed to the curb.
SV1DPP Rating: 2020-06-02
Amazing especially for SSB/CW Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For one year I tried without success to listen SSB/CW stations with this very expensive radio PL-880. The leading edge distortion from the bad AGC was a dissapointment. A few days ago I sold it and got this amazing radio PL-660. Yeah this sounds great. Now enjoy the great sound from SSB/CW.
EI3IBB Rating: 2020-03-15
Blows The PL-880 away! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had the PL-660 a good few years and it's pretty beat up physically now but it still works.

I am not happy at all with my PL-880 or S-8800 and their dodgy AGC is terrible on SSB, no SYNC detection, poor sound quality on SSB.

I was listening this evening to the PL-660, there were two stations very close, the one I wanted to listen to was much weaker so I turned on SYNC and it wiped out the weaker station, then I changed it to LSB and bang, up came the weaker station and gone was the stronger one.

Then I turned on the PL-880, the different BW settings helped but I could hardly hear the weaker station, then I changed to USB and could only hear the stronger station, then changed to LSB and I could hear the weaker station only, the BW settings on my S-8800 and PL-880 don't go beyond 3 Khz on SSB, 4 Khz doesn't work so the sound is very muddy and the dodgy AGC kicks in on SSB and destroys the audio with the pumping and distortion + that warbly sound you hear on those DSP rigs on LSB on an AM station which doesn't exist on the 660 on SYNC, then I went back to normal and I couldn't hear the weaker station at all again. The 660 SYNC detector is really amazing.

I got to say, going back to the PL-660 was an absolute pleasure. The Audio is so much better ON THE 660 in general than the 880 or 8800, not muddy, the voices pop right out at you and are much clearer, and SSB is a joy, sure, the lack of filtering the DSP rig provides means strong close signals cause QRM but to be honest the brilliant sound on the 660 shames the 880 and S-8800. The 660 has quieter audio too and it's not harsh like the DSP radios.

I Recently ordered a PL-680 because my old 660 is beat up but it still runs rings around the 8800 and 880. ( in most areas )

The PL-660 to me is Deaf on LW/MW which is the only criticism, the 880 and S-8800 work ok on MW/LW, the S-8800 has the advantage of greatly enhanced MW performance via the BNC socket.

If you're on the fence deciding whether you want the PL-880 then I would say, especially if you're a HAM and you listen to a lot of SSB then avoid the PL-880 and get the PL-660 or PL-680 and you'll get the added benefit of a great SYNC detector for amazing shortwave listening + much better audio. The PL-880 funny enough sounds good on FM and SW but the SYNC is what makes the 660/680 extra special for Shortwave.

You could also wait for the PL-990 which should be available in the Summer 2020 but is delayed due to the Corona Virus. Hopefully the PL-990 and H-501 have much better performance, the 990 will allow enhanced MW reception via the antenna jack and the H-501 has a separate "AM" antenna jack that will work for MW, I don't know about LW. Who knows what the final versions will bring. I heard rumours of Bluetooth connectivity of some sort too.

I hope this review has been helpful.
K6SDW Rating: 2020-03-04
Solid receiver Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Good receiver and audio.....I wish it came with a squelch control for listening to aircraft towers and ham repeaters.
AF4RF Rating: 2019-12-23
Excellent receiver! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned many general coverage receivers over the past 40 years. I still have quite an arsenal. However, I needed a small portable to replace my Sony ICF-7600 which is still going strong after many years of hard labor; the case is cracking around the antenna, which has been replaced a couple times over it's life. So I went on the hunt.
I spent about two years gathering info on many makes/models. was invaluable, as usual for great reviews. Eventually I narrowed it down to the Tecsun models. Particularly the PL-880 & PL-660. Being a ham and an avid SWL, I needed a good set of features, which these radios had. I also needed to be frugal in cost.
I really liked the look and feature set of the 880 and almost pulled the trigger on one. But I found several online reviews implying that the receiver was not as sensitive as the 660 on HF bands. Also, there was some negative data concerning the very slow AGC recovery in the 880. I then came across a very well made YouTube video by Robert Nagy, AB5N, who compared these two models side by side. This convinced me to go with the 660.
I have owned the radio for just over a week and I have used it every day. With the exception of the "feel" of the three knobs on the right side of the radio (tune, ssb, & volume) the PL-660 is a top-notch portable receiver. Sensitivity and selectivity are excellent. Better than that of my Sony 7600. In fact, better than that of my Yaesu FT-450! The buttons are a decent size for a small portable. The display is outstanding and the backlight is extremely good (makes my 7600 display look downright tiny & dim for a radio of the same size). The audio is quite outstanding for this size radio and is on par with my RS DX-390 (about 3x the size) so the sound does fill a room well. There are no warbles from the sync circuit once locked into a station.
The PL-660 is a good, solid-feeling portable with a nice little metal wire retractable "foot" available when using the backstand. The telescoping antenna is quite long. The radio receives excellently well on all bands and really shines far above my other receivers on LW! FM & AM broadcast bands it's a joy and can separate out some stations on a crowded AM frequency. The sync is quite aggressive, so I don't always use it when listening to very weak stations; it goes out softly enough with sync loss but slams in when it resyncs.
Again, the only thing I can nitpick about is the feel of the knobs. Though they don't feel super cheap, they also lack the weight and robust feel from high end equipment. Otherwise, I would have given it a solid 5 stars. I am quite happy with my decision to go with the Tecsun PL-660!

Update. I've come across an Eton E-10 on eBay today. Have no intention to get it, since it appears that the Tecsun PL-660 is the same radio.
WA7JFO Rating: 2019-10-10
Works ok Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
When I first started listening to this I thought there might be something wrong with the speaker. Turns out there was! There was a solder that was rattling around. I’ve now been using this for quite a while, and you enjoy it. Don’t expect all the bills and whistles from higher priced equipment.
KE5GK Rating: 2018-09-17
Jury Still Out Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I live in a very high noise level house (not the wife or grandkids). The reviews on You Tube are mixed.Most give it high marks. Some compare it to the PL 880 and grip about the sub par performance.We are raising 3 grandkids and my XYL is a semi-invalid; consequently, I have not had opportunity to go to a better test location.

The size is great, (old men like that) the battery life is bad, on FM it is stellar, AM is average, the sound quality beats my Sony 2010! When the noise drops below S9, I have been able to use the SSB feature on the ham bands. Maybe, just maybe. I'll have another review later.

I paid $109 USD. Been an SWLer since 1956 and ham since 1969. Is this a great hobby or what ?????

Earlier 3-star review posted by KE5GK on 2016-12-07

The Tecsun PL-660 is not a half good receiver; rather, it is a good half receiver. The better half is the super FM sensitivity and excellent speaker reproduction. The small size and price are in the much above average department. Memories galore and the ergonomics are very impressive. SSB and BFO work great.

The other half that is most disappointing is the digital readout is at least 2 kHz off on AM and Shortwave bands. In spite of three sensitivity positions, the intermod and image rejection is the worst of any radio I have owned. Standard batteries give out faster than a child’s toy on Christmas morning.

The gold standard for portable radios is my old Sony 2010. The Tecsun PL-660 makes an affordable, yet deficient, backup.
M6AIU Rating: 2018-02-08
Great for the price Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Great little portable Rcvr - yes it has its issues but I easily overlook them for what you get for your buck! Come on folks, be realistic - its cheap and cheerful and does the job maybe not as good as others costing over twice as much! Sold my others and this is a keeper..

Get your own rechargables and you are all set...