Matt compares the Tecsun PL-990 and Sangean ATS-909X sharing an external antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Matt Blaze, who shares the following comparison of the new Tecsun PL-990x and the original Sangean ATS-909X communications receivers.

Like Matt’s recent comparison of the Tecsun PL-990x to the Icom IC-R9500, this review is in audio form and brilliantly narrated by Matt. I highly recommend listening with headphones or, at least, an audio device with separate left/right channels as his comparison takes advantage of this.


Yet another superb presentation, Matt! Thank you so much for taking the time to make these audio comparison tests.

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6 thoughts on “Matt compares the Tecsun PL-990 and Sangean ATS-909X sharing an external antenna

  1. Babis

    many thanks, my guess using the build in antennas, 990 may slightly better? so from what i read both can be find at same price if you search hard?

  2. Matt Blaze

    My bottom line on these radios: the ATX-909X is clearly the superior RF performer, and I’d say it was an unqualified winner except for: the lack of bandwidth choices (especially for SSB) compared with the PL-990, the apparently poor performance with the built-in antennas, and the slightly heftier size and weight. I hope they address some of this with the forthcoming 909X2.

  3. DanH

    Very interesting comparison tests especially when the cost of these radios is taken into consideration. I listened to the recording with Sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones and agree with Matt’s conclusions. Both the black and the white Sangean ATS-909X have been priced at about $220 – $215 on Amazon for most of the year although Covid 19 has interrupted supply and prices have wobbled quite a bit.

    1. john

      I monitor the Amazon price on the ATS-909X and you’re right, it wobbles a lot and there’s often quite a large price discrepancy between the White and Black versions.
      Currently at Amazon:
      ATS-909X White = $215.73
      ATS-909X Black = $249.26

      Meanwhile at WalMart the ATS-909X Black is selling for $216.99 and curiously, it doesn’t show up when you do a search at the WalMart webpage, you have to do a google search for ATS-909X best price. So go figure…

      1. DanH

        Yes, the pricing algorithm at Amazon is a lot of fun. Just watch, as soon as Amazon has the black 909X in stock again the price will be near $220. I saw the price for the black radio drop into the low $190 range once and that was last November.


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