A preliminary look at the Tecsun TU-80 FM Tuner

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mei Tao, who writes:

Hi Thomas:

I saw one reader had asked about Tecsun TU-80 FM Tuner several days ago, Fortunately, I have had this machine for only a couple of weeks.

Tecsun’s Chairman, Mr Liang Wei has told us that TU-80 was not designed for the pure Bclers not for the pure audiophiles either, but for the person who is both Bcler and audiophile. We have to use it with high quality external speakers. That’s it.

Let me show you some pictures I took yesterday:

Additionally, one reader misunderstood me as a seller, absolutely no, I am just a radio enthusiast and a college teacher, I major in western philosophy, especially American Pragamatism.

Yours sincerely.

Mei Tao

Thank you, Mei Tao. We truly appreciate your early access to these various models of portable radios. The TU-80 appears to be a truly unique model and I’m sure FM DXers are following it carefully. Thanks again!

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22 thoughts on “A preliminary look at the Tecsun TU-80 FM Tuner

  1. Still

    Talking about FM I have never heard anything sounding better than Tecsun PL-880 on FM stereo with fully extended rod antena connected to a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50X… And actually cannot imagine anything sounding better on FM 🙂

  2. Zach L

    Didn’t anyone understand that it is for audiophile DX ears?This is surely for my Aussie friend who still prefer to listen to vinyls!

  3. George Joachim

    I still like it because we have recently had a new techno music radio station come up.
    What type of speaker (s) could be paired with the tu-80? Compact bookshelf type?

    1. Robert Richmond

      The TU-80 is a receiver only, so you will need an amp, which ideally should be chosen according to whatever speaker types and sizes you want. In turn, the speakers ideally should chosen for the intended listening environment.

      I have no idea what the TU-80 costs in China, but a quick web search is returning listings for like $500+ via importers. o.0 I do not see that level of value IMHO, as one could do a decent AirSpy or SDRplay SDR and sound card combo for a fraction of the price, along with adding MW, HF, etc. capabilities.

      Then again, I was listening to a FM station via a ~$25 RTL-SDR v3 and affordable JBL earphones earlier. 😉

  4. Mario

    The FM band in my area is mostly rock, however, back in the early ’60’s it was much more eclectic. That’s when radios had AFC switches. I prefer AM. However the Tecsun is one beautiful-looking receiver.

  5. Gandalf

    With nothing really worth listening to on FM radio since the mid 1980s, I don’t see any point in this unit. Also, considering how many stations have an online outlet, you can probably listen to that weak station on your computer. This will be a radio for FM fanatics only.

  6. Chuck Rippel

    Real audiophiles turn their collective noses up at solid-state tuners vastly preferring hollow state” gear.

    I expect this is DSP and if it shares any of the architecture found in Tecsun portables, save they are a great value. Don’t expect to sell many on this side of the Pacific.

  7. Joseph Rotello

    First off, what in the world is a “Bcler” ?

    An FM only tuner / receiver has a a very limited worldwide market. Without having AM at least, or even a combined AM / FM / SW, Tecsun’s market is already shrunken down to near useless.

    Now, if Tecsun would place an SDR type unit in a handsome / attractive case with digital display, a linear power supply and ability to tune perhaps AM / FM / SW, and internal software to decode AM or AM Stereo, FM as a minimum, that might sell pretty well worldwide.

  8. Mike S

    If they are targeting this for the domestic (Chinese) market, I suppose they have already done their market research; and sales abroad are just gravy.

    But if they are really expecting to sell this in Europe or the Americas, and at that price point no less, they really need to do better market research before investing in R&D.

  9. Tha Dood

    Tuner spec’s would be nice, since serious FM DX’ers want to know about sensitivity, adjacent channel rejection, S/N ratio in mono and stereo, IMD rejection, etc. And, for today, IBOC HD Radio, would be nice to incorporate, even DRM+. In my mind though, this is a tuner that’s +20 years too late.

  10. Tracy Wood

    Sorry Tecsun. In the US the demand for FM-only tuners has seriously declined. The lack of diversity on the FM dial (LPFM notwithstanding), the crossband (AM-to-FM) translator craze that fills every available channel, and the increase of streaming-audio/audio-on-demand services all have led to the decline of FM-only tuners. We’re not living in the 1970s. If I am going to buy an FM tuner it will be web-enabled so I can remotely control the box and share the audio output with fellow DXers.


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