The Sony ICF-SW7600GR Review

Shortwave radio is still important, even with all of the other telecommunication devices available at our disposal. First of all, what happens if those devices were to go down in case of an emergency? And secondly, who's in charge of the information you're seeing on your phone and computer?

Shortwave radio offers unfiltered access to news and media from all around the world. This makes it a powerful tool for activism and direct action. Shortwave radios are a potentially life-saving resource in times of emergency, as well.

You might be looking for a wireless shortwave radio to have on-hand in case of emergencies as you won't always be next to your antenna and receiver. The Sony ICF-SW7600GR is a popular model for hobbyists and survivalists alike.

Here's our review of the SONY ICF-SW7600GR to help you decide if this is the best wireless shortwave radio for your particular needs.

Sony ICF-SW7600GR Review

The Sony ICF SW7600 GR portable shortwave radio has been a staple of the market since its release in 2001. Considering how much tech has changed in the 21st Century, the Sony 7600GR's longevity alone makes it worthy of consideration.

Sony ICF SW7600 GR Stats

Power Supply: 6.0 VDC (4 AAA batteries)

Size: 190 mm x 119 mm x 35 cm without antenna

Weight: 1.4 pounds with batteries

Price: $100 - 230

Range: LW 150-529 kHz. MW: 530-1620 kHz. SW 1621-29999 kHz. FM 76-108 MHz. 100

The ICF SW7600GR is a frequency synthesized general coverage portable receiver. It's a dual-conversion radio receiver controlled by microprocessors.

You can tune into frequencies directly using a keypad. Analog tuning is also available using arrow keys. The Sony 7600 GR also features memory recall for saving your favorite bandwidths.

The display is a backlit LCD which showcases a frequency readout up to 1 kHz in the range between 150 to 29,999 kHz.

What Comes In The Box?

The ICF SW7600GR is fairly barebones in terms of packaging and accessories. You'll get an instruction manual for the portable shortwave radio received in six languages. A "wave guide" with a listing of station frequencies is also included. You'll receive a carrying case and compact antenna, as well.

Batteries are not included. You'll need to pick up 4 AAA batteries along with your shortwave receiver. AC and DC adapters are available separately for purchase, in case you'll be operating your SONY 7600 GR near a power supply.

Overview Of The Front Panel

A large speaker measuring 77 mm dominates much of the 7600 GR's front panel. It's rated at 380 mW with a 10% distortion ratio. The display, power and hold buttons, keypad, and time and temperature change keys make up the rest of the front panel.

The display features:

  • Frequency indicator
  • Battery charge
  • Hold indicators
  • Daylight savings indicator
  • Difference between local time and UTC
  • Synchronous lock status
  • Sleep timer
  • Two standby timers
  • Memory management channel
  • Time and temperature

There is no way to measure signal strength, unfortunately.

The 'hold' button on the upper-right quadrant of the front panel locks all of the shortwave radio's functions. This helps to reduce battery drainage as well as the possibility of accidentally changing the station or clock settings.

Side Panels

The ICF-SW7600GR's side panels offer more features than the front. The wide array of outputs and dedicated controls make it one of the best portable shortwave radios in this price range.

The left side panel has two inputs. One is for an external antenna, which helps in getting better reception. The other is an input for a DC power supply.

The left side panel also features numerous output jacks. There's a headphone output as well as a stereo audio out. Finally, there's a fully controllable variable attenuator.

The right side panel has just as many controls and features. There's the basic volume control you'd expect from any radio receiver. There's also 'tone selection', which lets you select between 'music' and 'news', for further customization.

The 'sync mode' is where the rubber really meets the road, though. The synchronous sideband detection is linked to a chosen sideband. SSB tuning is available for monitoring amateur and utility radio, via a variable control.

Memory and Frequencies

Selecting the right frequency on the ICF-SW7600GR is simple. Input the frequency you want to monitor using the keypad and then hit the 'EXE' button.

If you want to store that frequency in the memory, hit the 'page' button and then one of the numeral keys. You can skip the numeral selection step if you're saving more than one frequency per page.

You can save up to 100 memories, with 10 sub-sections of 10 pages. Memory is limited to AM, so you won't be able to save FM or SSB frequencies.

Calling up the saved memories is simple. Simply select the 'page' button, then choose the number of the sub-page you're hoping to access.

If you don't recall which subpage a memory is stored to, you can select the page and then hit 'scan.' This will find the strongest signal in the grouping.

Sony ICF-SW7600GR Review: Conclusion

The Sony SW7600 GR is a sturdy, dependable portable shortwave radio. It's been a staple for nearly twenty years. It's rugged construction and light weight means you can take it nearly anywhere.

Whether you're simply looking to monitor amateur and utility radio frequencies or will be traveling in areas with limited Internet and cell phone coverage, the SW7600 GR will meet your needs.

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