________  ________  ________       ___    ___
|\   ____\|\   __  \|\   ___  \    |\  \  /  /|
\ \  \___|\ \  \|\  \ \  \\ \  \   \ \  \/  / /
\ \_____  \ \  \\\  \ \  \\ \  \   \ \    / /
 \|____|\  \ \  \\\  \ \  \\ \  \   \/  /  /
   ____\_\  \ \_______\ \__\\ \__\__/  / /
  |\_________\|_______|\|__| \|__|\___/ /
  \|_________|                   \|___|/


Radio itself isn't obsolete; one can still listen to local AM & FM stations along with surviving shortwave broadcasts.
That's where the tiny but mighty ICF-SW1 comes in: a smartly built little radio only slightly larger than a deck of cards.
There are some genius design decisions that make this little guy a very popular pocket device to this day despite it being out of production
for almost 30 years. Instead of resting along the top or side of the radio, the antenna telescopes down and slides flush inside the case safely away from being bent or snapped off. Attached to the wrist strap is a thin plastic chip or disk that fits snugly in a slot in the rear of the
radio to create a stand when it's being used on a desk or table.
It sounds pretty solid for such a small device (disclaimer: I have somewhat of a tin ear) and tuning and programming memory keys is pretty
intuitive. I've had good luck listening to local NPR as well as shortwave when location & conditions permit. There are nice alarm and sleep
functions, which are getting somewhat rarer it seems. A definite feature of its era (late 80's - early 90's) is the dedicated tape recorder
output (complete with cassette icon that will surely bewilder future users). All this is powered by a pair of "AA" batteries for quite a while, actually. I listen to public radio most mornings and try my hand at picking up shortwave station some nights and the set I have in now has
lasted about 2 months, not heavy listening by any means but still impressive in an era where we have to plug most every device in each night.

Having extolled all the virtues of this tiny little marvel, it's certainly not without its quirks. I found a couple of these on ebay and
while they're usually in working order, if you do pick one up, I can't recommend enough getting it serviced and recapped by someone who knows
they're doing. A new set of capacitors and a LED backlight to replace the glorified watch light that was originally installed and you have
a very, very nice daily driver.

I originally picked up a cheap Tecsun for
work and travel as well as a C. Crane Skywave SSB for home, weather alerts, airport radio, single side band, etc. On paper, both of these should be a "better" radio to stick in your bag or pocket but they're both bulkier with the antenna stored by resting on top of the case, neither
sound 30 years nicer or clearer and there's just the charm of a solid, older device. That last bullet point is most definitely personal
preference and intangible.
There are several ways to listen to terrestrial radio presently (home stereo, streaming or if a receiver is built in to your
cell phone or smart device) but having a purpose-built, well-designed radio is an incredibly satisying option.

Links about the ICF-SW1: