Video: Shortwave shootout with the Tecsun S-8800

After enjoying an afternoon testing the Tecsun S-8800 on the Blue Ridge Parkway this past weekend, I decided to return to the parkway yesterday and test the S-8800’s shortwave performance.

I carved out about two hours of my afternoon and spent the entire time comparing the S-8800 to the Tecsun PL-880 and the Sony ICF-SW7600GR. I tested the radios on several shortwave bands and in both AM and SSB modes.

On Sunday, we discovered that mediumwave performance is lacking on the S-8800. Not so on shortwave! Check out this short video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

In my comparisons, the Tecsun S-8800 has consistently outperformed the PL-880 and Sony ICF-SW7600GR on the shortwave bands. The AGC is pretty stable and sounds much like that of the PL-880 when QSB (fading) is present. Sensitivity is better than the PL-880, though, so the S-8800 can dig those signals out of the noise a little better.

Note, too, I had to pick up both the PL-880 and ‘7600GR  in my hand to obtain the best performance–that additional grounding gave each a slight boost. Quite common for portables. The S-8800 didn’t require this.

After I returned home yesterday, it struck me that perhaps a longer telescopic whip gave the S-8800 an advantage. Turns out, it’s only three inches longer than the PL-880’s whip.

Next, I need to spend a little time with the S-8800 mapping out any birdies on HF–a tedious process. I hope to start on that today.

To follow updates on this yet-to-be-released receiver, follow the tag: Tecsun S-8800.

UPDATE: Click here to read our full Tecsun S-8800 review.

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11 thoughts on “Video: Shortwave shootout with the Tecsun S-8800

  1. Roger Fitzharris

    I’ve noticed Tecsun Radios Australia is now taking pre-orders on the S-8800 in anticipation of a September release date. I’ve also noticed that Anon-Co raised their sales price on the S-2000 in August to $289 USD, up from $255 USD in March of this year. So I’m guessing based on that move and the prices listed for those two models on their (Tecsun Radios Australia) website for the S-2000 ~ 386 Aussie dollars and ~ 345 Aussie dollars for the S-8800; that when the S-8800 is finally released for production, later this month, that the Anon sales price will be between $229 – $259 USD for the S-8800.

    Which certainly begs a couple of questions: Can the PL-880 hold its own against its bigger “siblings?” And which Tecsun model offers the most bang for the buck or is the better overall value?

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      I’m not totally sure, but I think within the next few weeks. I’m sure Tecsun would like them to ship well before the holiday season.

      Reply
  2. Jean-Denis Losier

    How to compare pl 880 AM over the s 8800 is it better snr quality than the pl 880 and s 2000? Can u use the usb cable to charge only or u can then use it to power the radio to listen to somewhat stations? There is a site that said super high AM designed for the s 8800

    Reply
  3. DanH

    Stick an external antenna on the S-8800 and let’s hear a 8,500 mile SW signal. That’s what I can do on my Sangean ATS-909X. Nobody wants another whip antenna radio for SW at this low point in the solar cycle. RDS for FM would be a plus.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      I do plan to use an external antenna on the S-8800 and eventually post videos too. It actually has a very nice BNC connector for an external SW antenna on the back!

      Reply
  4. Daniel Alpern

    I understand that the s8000 cost over $300. And of course it has a much bigger speaker so I’m wondering if the Improvement has to do with the quality of the audio and I am really curious what features this radio has? Can you use the remote to put in the shortwave frequency and does the radio have DSP and what are the features?

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, Daniel,

      I have not heard about this $300 price tag–in fact, Tecsun hasn’t really hinted about the USD price. I do believe the S-8800e version retailed for about that much converted from Euros.

      Yes, the S-8800 is a DSP receiver. One dead giveaway is when SSB mode is toggled, it takes a few seconds for it to engage. Very similar to the PL-880.

      Also, the Tecsun S-8800 does ship with a remote and it works brilliantly. Quite easy to punch in frequency changes and the remote was obviously custom-designed for this radio.

      I’ll have more about this in my review.

      -Thomas

      Reply

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