Sony ICF-38 (ICF38) Portable AM/FM Radio

Portable AM/FM Radio with Built in Speaker and Carrying Handle and Optional Batteries


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Sony Classic!

For years Sony has helped pioneer the road in the consumer electronics market. From the early days where "Listening on the go" was just wishful thinking, to modern times when just about every phone is a music player, Sony has always had their sights set on what was next. In 1979 Sony shocked the world with the very first portable music player, the Walkman. For the first time in history, people were able to enjoy their favorite tunes on the go. And since the Walkman was introduced in 1979, we have never looked back. We have been spoiled over time with the increasingly fast evolution of electronics, and the constant demand for the next big thing. Sony has managed to stay right on pace with this ever changing industry, without losing their grasp on what won our hearts in the first place. The joy, and convenience of portable music and radio is now a standard in most of the world today.

The Sony ICF-38 is a classic reproduction of what has brought us here, and what we have used all along. Its small, convenient size makes it the perfect addition to any trip in your car, outdoors, and camping. Unfold the built in carrying handle and take it with you on your walk. The IFC-38 has a built in speaker so you can get weather updates and conditions, even in a power outage. Overall, Sony's portable radios reliability make it a must have and is designed for daily usage, or to store in case of emergencies.

General Features:

  • Sony Portable AM/FM Radio Tuner
  • Tone control switch lets you adjust High/Low balance for pleasing sound
  • High power delivers great sound performance in a portable design
  • LED Tuning indicator for easy frequency adjustments
  • Built-in speaker makes it ideal for all environments and situations
  • Carrying handle and convenient size enables this to be brought along on any trip or outing
  • Operates off of batteries allowing anytime-usage
  • Optional AC power source to preserve battery life
  • Headphone jack for private listening
  • Also found as: Sony ICF38, ICF-38B, ICF38Black
  • Dimensions: 9-7/32"W x 2-23/32"D x 5-1/4"H
  • 1-year Manufacturer's Warranty


  • Display: LED Tuning Indicator
  • Speaker Type: Mono
  • Speaker Dimensions: 3-5/8" (92mm)
  • Frequency Range:
    • AM: 530-1710 kHz
    • FM: 87.6-108 MHz
  • Tuner Type: Analog
  • Outputs: 1 Headphone
  • Weight (Approx): 1 lb 14 oz (848g) with batteries
  • Battery Life (Approx): up to 80 hours
  • Battery Type: "AA" x 4 batteries (optional)
  • Output Power: 400 mW (at 10% harmonic distortion)
  • Power Requirements: AC 120V, 60Hz, or DC 6V

Product History:

Sony ICF-38 thumbnail
(newest, current model)
Sony ICF-24 thumbnail
(previous model, replaced by Sony ICF-38 (ICF38) Portable AM/FM Radio)

AM/FM Radio Features

Backlit Display
This means that the clock radio is backlit with the color specified here.
Display Color
This is the color of the clocks display. For digital clocks, this is the color of the numbers that are displayed. Analog clocks typically do not have a display color, unless the hands on the clock are illuminated.
Built-in AM/FM Radio
This means that the clock radio has a built-in tuner that receives analog AM/FM radio signals.
Built-in CD Player
This means that the clock radio has a CD player built-in. If the clock radio features an alarm, then the radio will often allow the user to wake up to the CD that is loaded.
AM Radio Preset
This is the number of AM radio presets that the clock radio has.
FM Radio Presets
This is the total number of FM presets that the clock radio has.
Built-in iPod Dock
This means that the clock radio has a dock specified for the docking of an iPod or iPhone. When docked, audio playback is available. In some cases, video playback is also available. Please see the product description for more details on this feature.
Headphone Jack
Headphone jacks allow a pair of headphones to be connected to the clock radio for quiet listening.

AM/FM Radio Specifications

Power Source
The type of battery the item uses. Some batteries are rechargeable, while others are not.

Rechargeable alkaline, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, and lithium ion polymer are all examples of rechargeable batteries.

Some batteries are integrated and built into the item, while others are removable.

Secondary Power Source
Additional options for the power source.
Power Requirement
This is the required way to give the unit power. Common power sources are 120V AC (Common house plugs), batteries, or a combination of the two.
Primary Color
This is the main color of the item.
The width of the item from left to right (side-to-side) measured in inches.
The height of the item, measured from top to bottom, in inches.
The front-to-rear depth of the item, in inches. If the item is angled or slanted, this value is the bottom measurement.
This means that the clock radio has the ability to easily be moved from one location to another location. They will typically have a internal or replaceable battery that will retain the time on the clock, even if the power cable is removed from the clock (on applicable radios).

Clock Radio Features

Clock Type
Analog clocks feature the traditional hour and minute hand. Digital clocks will usually have a LCD or LED display where the numbers are displayed. The type of clock is listed here.
Built-in Alarm Clock
This means that the alarm clock has the option to set an alarm. This is perfect for making sure that you wake up on time.
Dual Alarm
This means that the clock radio features a dual stage alarm. They enable two different alarms to be set. Great for couples that want to wake up at different times. Sometimes called a "His & Hers" alarm clock.
Snooze Button
Hit the snooze button and you can sleep in a little longer! This means that the clock radio has a button specified on the radio for delaying the alarm.
Sleep Timer
Sleep timer let the clock radio play for a specified amount of time before turning off. This is convenient for those that enjoy falling asleep music.
Atomic Time & Date
This method of displaying the time is very accurate. Clock radios that have this feature do not require the user to set the time and date, but instead the time and date are automatically set.
Projection Display
Clocks with this type of display will project the time on to a wall or ceiling.

iPod Specifications

Compatible Apple Devices
This list refers to the Apple devices that the product is compatible with.

Some Car stereos are compatible with iPods and/or iPhones. If the headunit can connect to an iPod or iPhone via USB or iPod connection cable, these listed iPods are compatible. This list does not apply if the iPod is being connected through the 3.5mm mini-jack plug. Newer iPods are usually compatible if the appropriate adapters are purchased and used.

Any iPods/iPhones released after the release date of this product have not been checked by the manufacturer and/or Sonic Electronix for compatibility. We therefore cannot guarantee their compatibilities or incompatibilities, including, but not limited to: playback, video, charging, and response time.

Mounts the iPod
This means that the device will mount the iPod or iPhone and hold it secure. This is a common feature for some iPod car devices that will mount the iPod on the dash of the car.
Charges the iPod
This means that the device provides a charge to the iPod or iPhone.

Specials with this Item

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Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
1 year
Labor Warranty Duration
1 year
Warranty Provider

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Average Attribution Rating


Van Nuys Ca

Great Value

August 11, 2013

This radio is good-powered from or outlet or battery - sound good as well.

4 of 5 found this helpful

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aspen, colorado

works great!

June 23, 2014

I purchased this item and 2 extra batteries as the charging port on my phone no longer worked. I now always have a couple of batteries charged in my bag and ready to go. Very happy with the purchase.

3 of 4 found this helpful

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Good Product

October 15, 2013

I have been using Sony ICF-38 for about one month. It is a good radio with clear sound. If I am using battery I can wrap the electric wire inside the radio.
It is easy to operate.

3 of 4 found this helpful

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San Jose, CA


August 14, 2013

I highly recommend this radio. I especially like the red light that gets brighter as you get the best signal. No need to keep moving the dial until the sound you think is best. The red light is a great feature. Also, a place for ear plugs. Watch TV and listen to the ball game with the ear buds.
Lightweight, easy to carry outside or wherever you go. Nice looking too.

3 of 4 found this helpful

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Dave the Man

Spanish Fork, Utah

Super value

April 28, 2013

This is a great radio! AM and FM, works on batteries or electricity. The sound is much better than I hoped for and it performs up to the high standards of Sony. I would recommend this to anyone. The price also makes it a great bargain.

3 of 5 found this helpful

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Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Sony ICF-38 (ICF38) Portable AM/FM Radio