Would a Sony ICF-SW07 outperform a modern DSP radio?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, William, who asks:


Firstly thank you for the blog – I have been reading occasionally for several years – it’s really interesting.

I live in the UK. I own (was given as a gift many years ago) a Sony ICF-SW07 and have been playing with it for the first time in the while.

I’m wondering if you remember it or ever used it, and if you can give me a rough idea if a new radio, such as the latest Tecsun, have considerably better sensitivity – for SW and MW – or not?

Many thanks.

Thank you for your question, William!

To my knowledge, I’ve only used a Sony ICF-SW07 once and it was from a hotel room at a radio convention, so not ideal for really gauging anything other than economics and superficial qualities. I do know that my friend held it in high regard.  My inclination would be to say that the ICF-SW07 should hold its own and potentially even outperform many modern (late-model) portable receivers.

I do know this, William: in good condition, that ‘SW07 will fetch top dollar. I’m not sure I’d ever let go of it!

Sony ICF-SW07 owner comments and feedback?

SWLing Post readers: If you own the ‘SW07 and would like to share your thoughts with William, please comment!

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5 thoughts on “Would a Sony ICF-SW07 outperform a modern DSP radio?

  1. Smail Mebarkia

    Hello William,
    I owned this great tiny radio for many years. I bought it from a specialized shop in 2005 and it was the last one in the shop. It cost me £200 and I sold it this year for the same price. Although it is a great but I believe that my Tecsun PL -880 is better in all means! Ergonomically, it has many features that I love and it can compete with lots of first class radios. However, I think that it’s size which could be a problem!
    I love it and it really misses me! I actually own the big boss Sony ICF-SW77 and I am thinking of selling it as well! Anyway, if you have this pearl, hold on it and don’t sell it!

  2. John

    Hi William,

    Sony’s SW07 was/is the ne plus ultra of miniature SW radios, it easily matches, and exceeds in some respects, the performance of current DSP-based receivers.

    I would hold on to it, this model, as others have noted, fetches top dollar on the secondhand market.

    Does your SW07 retain the time setting between battery changes?
    Unfortunately, the battery/capacitor that powers the clock setting appears to fail with age.

  3. John Figliozzi

    I’ve owned the SW07 for a number of years as well as several more recent DSP radios. As stated in another comment, the performance of the 07 is almost identical to the much admired and long on the market Sony ICF 2001D/2010. Assuming the 07 you were given is in top form, I really don’t think a present day DSP portable radio could top it. That would be especially so if your O7 has been accompanied by the compatible loop antenna it came with. In any event, you have one of the finest portables ever made. Congratulations!

  4. Mike S

    I bet it would best them as well. It’s supposed to be the superior successor to the ICF-SW100, which i had for many years, and was very close in shortwave reception to the ICF-2010, which I’ve had many of, and the 2010 beats the pants off my Tecsun PL-880 in terms of being able to the pull things out of the muck. I know some have issues with the choice of bandwidths and SSB reception is a little wonky, but it hears things the PL-880- on the whip and on external antennae- does not, and better resolves weak signals both can hear. DSP chips can do some amazing things sometimes, but the really good old portables give them a run for their money.


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