I’ve had the opportunity to give this radio a considerable workout over the last few weeks and from the outset I must say that I’m more that satisfied by the performance and useability of this receiver. I base my reviews on actually listening to received stations and don’t give much notice to specifications, preferring to use them as a guide only. After all, if you can’t hear a station, there’s not much chance for the radio, atmospheric conditions notwithstanding.
With the above said, I tested the radio on shortwave, medium wave and FM and I’m pleased to say that I was delighted by the performance on all bands. Much has been said on line that medium wave is somewhat deaf with the S-8800 however it hasn’t been the case with the unit I’ve reviewed. Perhaps Tecsun has upgraded the unit from earlier radios in answer to unfavourable reviews of medium wave performance. I was able to receive my marker stations (ABC Western Victoria on 594 khz, 2CH Sydney on 1170 khz and 2GN Goulburn on 1368 khz, all stations difficult to receive from my QTH.) Coupling the radio with the excellent PK Loop inductive antenna really lifted the performance to better than my dedicated high performance medium wave receivers. Of a night, there is a plethora of medium wave stations with 909 khz, China being received easily. So I give the radio a tick here.
Shortwave is where the radio really shines and stations are easily received with just the telescopic antenna. There is provision for external antennas should they be desired. SSB capabilities are excellent and with a wide range of DSP filters for both AM and SSB, ECSS reception is possible. Listening to Ozyradio on 5045 khz and 4KZ on 5055 khz shows just what the radio can do on the telescopic antenna. A synchronous detector would’ve been nice but I don’t think the DSP chips that are used in the current radios allow for a successful result.
Using SSB does the job just as well. Here I give the radio another big tick!
On FM, the listener is rewarded with just what the DSP chip is capable of, excellent sensitivity and selectivity and superb audio. Only yesterday I was able to receive Noumea on 93 Mhz via sporadic reception with careful positioning of the telescopic antenna and most of the Sydney Commercial outlets are heard, that’s a distance of 200 or so kms. Again I’d have to give the radio a big tick.
So features of the radio are numerous, many of which are adequately explained by viewing on YouTube and internet sites so I won’t go into detail here suffice to say that the radio is mostly intuitive to use. As I’m not a big user of memory functions, preferring to directly input required frequencies, the radio does allow for automatic easy tuning that will allocate received stations to the memories which is a big plus if you are travelling with the radio. What is a huge bonus is the ability to control the radio by an infrared remote control. This is a big step forward by Tecsun with this radio, earlier models were somewhat cumbersome to tune, not so with the S-8800. Build quality is good and the finish is what you expect from Tecsun but with all radios out of China, QC can be an issue however with Tecsun, thankfully this is a rare problem. Something to keep in the back of your mind anyway.
So in summary, no radio is perfect but this one is pretty good all round!
Pros: Easy to use with many useful features especially the DSP filters.
Excellent performance on all bands especially SW and FM.
Runs on 2 rechargeable batteries which give reasonable run time.
Controllable with a very useful remote control allowing for direct frequency input. Well built.
Cons: Remote control can be easily misplaced making the ease of use cumbersome.
No Synchronous detector however ECSS can be used to dig tough stations out. No Air band which is available on other Tecsun Radios
No FM RDS capabilities which, for some reason only known to Tecsun, isn’t available on any of their radios. Other brands using the same chipset offer RDS. Not a deal breaker but nice to have non the less.
So is this radio perfect? No, but it does a good job! Keep in mind that no portable radio can compare with the performance of a good Communications Receiver connected to a good antenna system but if you want a radio that does perform well, can be carried around, sounds good then consider the Tecsun S-8800. I’d be surprised if you’re disappointed with it.
I hope you’ve found the review helpful and please contact Garry Cratt for more information of this radio.
Cheers……. Phil VK2GJF
The prompt service is very impressive and the radio is an amazing device. It performs well and is easy to use.
Review for XIEGU G90.
Having lots of fun with my new S2000 receiver and Tecsun discone in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast. Curiously, on the discone, the 49m band at night is full of interesting transmissions, they boom in. Seems odd given the freq and design of the discone. On Air band, traffic booms in from control towers and acft. One happy customer. I’m headed up nearby Mount Coolum and midnight soon to see I can catch up there using S2000 and dipole. Very pleased too with my PL880
Had the PL880 receiver recommended to me by several people and ordered one from Tecsun Australia. It arrived well packaged and promptly. These guys really love what they do and they have also hosted a Software Defined Receiver on their web site that I often use. After the great experience I also ordered a PL365 for throwing in the backpack and again arrive when expected and well packaged. This is also a great compact receiver.
We were able to purchase a Tecsun PL-660 and a Tecsun S-2000 via your website with assistance of friend in Sydney, who brought it back last week.
I have been listenning to that for last couple of days, and I must say am really happy with the product, especially the Tecsun S-2000. Its been a long time since i’ve used a shortwave radio, and was surprised at the how much shortwave radios have developed since I last used one.
I’m currently looking at options on how I can use the external antenna interfaces to improved reception.
Anyways thank you for the products, it’s likely I may order a couple other stuff later when needed.
The lit PL 365 has been received and I am quite impressed with it.
Great little receiver, way beyond what I expected!
The speaker tonality is great on all formats and its got great sensitivity too.
One thing which would make it even better would be some selectivity filters, a bit like the PL 880 which I also have.
So, by now I own 3 of your receivers, all great!
Many thanks and keep up the good work.
I have taken delivery of my S2000 SW radio and am most impressed with the performance and with your service, there is none better.
Thank you very much.
I received my Tecsun radio this morning, plugged it in straight away and tuned into the FM band. It works really well.
Thank you for the prompt service. I look forward to exploring the radio’s capabilities.
I thought you might be interested to know that I have been using the radio for a few weeks now after your repairs.
It is working perfectly with none of the previous issues now occurring.
Many thanks for your help.
Thanks to the team at Tecsun online..I recently purchased a PL8800 radio. The follow up communication was amazing couldn’t be friendlier and the radio nothing short of amazing. I wear hearing aids and the sound that comes out of this radio is fantastic…Thanks Greg …thanks Malcolm. Kind regards Jeff QLD
Hi Gary, Thanks for that, I have to say what a great little radio the 365 is, I have traveled with it a lot in Australia and Asia, picked up some sw dx while flying on 747s ect cant do that with my big radios
“Thank you Garry for your quick response.
I have had several product questions for you guys and I always get a prompt answer.
Customer service is a dying talent.
Are you actually located “down under”?
I think you are just getting into summer.
I would love to visit Australia some day.”
“I haven’t checked the mail yet today, as yet the 2nd DE13 hasn’t arrived.
But the S8800 is well and truly here and getting plenty use. I’ll mention one feature
that is a good change: the separate fine tuning control. Much easier to use than a concentric one.
Also, as expected, performance is ahead of the S-2000 and I have discovered more SW activity
than I was aware of. I still need to set up the antennae that I recently purchased. What I am using
at the moment is a short remnant of what used to be my crystal-set long wire.
One website that I find enhances my enjoyment is . It can be used to get
an idea of what frequencies are operating in real time, and also a frequency can be entered in and identified.
Regards & Thanks”
You are absolutely amazing … and all of my Tecsun Radio functions are now working perfectly.
“Exceptional all in one word!
Thanks Garry and your team.
I took delivery of the S2000 from our NZ post international mail center,after delivery failed at my home address.No one got up at early hours to attend the courier.This morning 11/5/2017.
I have been listening to SSB HF ,checked all other bands and every mode,switch and control work very well.SSB is very good.
So my report is 100% Top value for money and quality.
Very good service guys,can’t beat the Ausi’s for great service.Wish our governments saw eye to eye in a far better fashion.
Anyway thanks again .Can’t get good service like this over here and besides there is really no where here for good HF receivers……Put your foot in our door !!
Best regards from a true Kiwi HF SSB DXer.”
“Hi Gary. Received my Tecsun 2000 today. I am so pleased with it. Thank you for your prompt service..
Once again I love the radio. Exceeded my expectations.
“The radio came in the mail today, and I just wanted to let you know that this is a GREAT radio, I really like it.
I used a simple long wire antenna about 50 ft long and strung it up across the backyard and was totally amazed at how many shortwave stations I was able to pick up, and I really like all of the controls that are available on the radio to fine tune the signals to obtain optimal clarity.
I found a 6V adapter with center negative plug as you instructed, and it works great here in the U.S.A.
Thanks again for all of your help, this radio is fantastic and is going to get a lot of use!”
Thanks also for the attachments to your email. I own both the 660 and the 880, so will make good use of yourlayout documents.
As you will have gathered by now, I collect portable radios, stretching back over quite a few years. One of my earlier acquisitions was the Degen 1103, which I understand from Michael you also have. The first 1103 I got had all the numbers on the keypad in a straight horizontal line across the bottom of the radio. I later picked up one with a normal-type keypad, which of course was much easier to use.
I certainly appreciate having a Tecsun presence in australia. Although I am quite used to purchasing from overseas, it is very reassuring to have a local supplier where you can get service backup, not to mention excellent personalised service of the type I have received. I shall certainly tell other hobbyist like myself about Tecsun Radios Australia.
Thanks again for the trouble you have gone to.
“I received my PL880 today. I am very impressed by the sound quality of AM! And I have used a few functions already. I like the layout. In particular the rotary knobs feel very secure and robust.
I am very pleased with my purchase.
“Just to inform you that my radio arrived today and very happy with it. Thanks again.”
“My Radio arrived with a copy of your Tecsun Shortwave Listeners Guide … could I get another copy of that booklet as a .PDF file?”
“What fantastic ultra fast service, my radio arrived today, thanks. 73 Roger”