The Panasonic RF 2400 is the sort of AM/FM radio you’d want to have as a companion when you are alone in the basement working on a project. At least, that was why I purchased it.
Since I dislike working in quiet surroundings like a basement, my usual routine is to have music blasting from my MP3 player. For some reason, I hate using my smartphone to play music for a long time.
Anyway, I got inspired one day to get a simple basic radio to listen to the local FM stations while working. And besides, I recently got interested in long-distance AM stations. So my device of choice had to be basic preferably with a retro design and must come with both the AM and FM bands.
I finally settled on the Panasonic RF 2400; perhaps, because it had some great reviews, and of course, the Panasonic name is famous. But what really bowled me over was the simplicity of the radio.
I hope my Panasonic RF 2400 review would be able to capture the essence of this gadget. After several months of using it, I should know enough about it for a comprehensive review.
Panasonic RF 2400 Review
Without the 4 AA batteries, the set weighs just under 2 lbs. I love the laid-back silver and grey design which isn’t too laid back to be it dull and boring. The blend of the two colors is pleasing to the eye.
This is a radio without bells and whistles. What you see is what you get. A 4-inch front-facing speaker dominates the front. Considering the dimension of 5.8 x 4.6 x 9.8 inches, that is more than half of the size taken up by the speaker.
On the right side is a large station tuner or tuning knob. Below that is the volume dial. And further down is the 3.5 mm microphone jack.
On the left-hand side is the AC input port to connect the power cable to the electricity mains if you don’t want to use the AA batteries.
You would love the radio dial on the front. It is large and easy to read making tracking of the needle while tuning stress less. At the top of the radio’s dial panel is the band selector switch. This also doubles as the power on/off switch when you slide it to the right or all the way to the left respectively.
The slide switch, though firmly anchored to the radio is not stiff. Moving it in either direction to select the band you want to tune shouldn’t be a problem.
There is also an indicator that turns red when you hit a strong signal while looking for AM stations.
The radio comes equipped with a standard telescopic antenna for FM reception and ferrite rod antenna for AM transmissions.
At the back and bottom part of the radio is the battery compartment. It is easy to open and close so you don’t have difficulties inserting the AA batteries or removing them when you need to swap them with new ones.
Performance of the Panasonic RF 2400 Portable Radio
FM – My apartment is not far from the nearest FM station so the reception is okay. I don’t have to put up the antenna to get a good reception.
However, the device is super sensitive. That sounds like it should be a good thing right? But the sensitivity of the FM receiver means you get interference from other nearby stations quite easily.
Sometimes, bringing your hand close to the front would result in static distorting the sound. If you live in an area with several strong FM signals, you would have to learn to live with these stations distorting the sound/reception of your favorite FM station intermittently.
Don’t even think of putting up the antenna as that would only make the problem worse. Your best bet is to change the direction of the radio when the interference gets really bad.
Note that this an FM mono-only radio. So if you want to listen with a stereo earphones, the sound would get to you via just one channel.
AM – During the day, as expected, it is hard and sometimes even impossible to get good signals from AM stations. Even when you do, the static would render the reception practically worthless.
At night and early mornings though, the Panasonic RF 2400 is pure gold for a radio this size own as far as AM reception is concerned. You would be able to hook several stations including stations with weak signals.
Fortunately, the selectivity is pretty decent: so it easily separates the signals with careful tuning. And because it is actually a digitally-tuned radio (though it is an analog styled device), you shouldn’t have problems with signal separation as it tunes ‘in steps’ making the process less tedious.
You get further help with the LED light indicator that lights up when you hit the peak of a strong signal.
Sound – I wasn’t expecting much from the sound output. And there were no surprises as the sound was just okay. That is what obtains in units of similar price points.
So don’t expect stereo quality sound like you would get from a boombox. If you want that, several high-end products from Sony and Sangean can deliver such sound quality. Naturally, you should expect to pay more.
Features and Specifications of the Panasonic RF 2400 Radio
Speaker: 4″ front-facing
Port: 3.5 mm earphone jack
Handle: Fold-down handle
Power: Dual Power – 120V AC and 4 AA batteries for DC
Antenna: Ferrite rod for AM; Telescoping for FM
- Durable radio
- Easy to use
- Good AM selectivity
- Comes with AM LED tuning indicator
- Easy to tune
- Lasts long on battery power
- Audio is okay
- FM reception not excellent
- Rather expensive for such a basic radio
If you were expecting bells and flashing lights in this Panasonic RF 2400 review, sorry to have disappointed you. Like I said earlier, this is simply a basic radio that does what it is supposed to do without any fuss.
Though I used it indoors, it is easy to picture some bloke somewhere in the wilds using this as a camping radio. Maybe, you won’t get FM stations so far out of town, but you’ll definitely keep in touch with the wider world with the excellent AM reception especially early in the morning.