on January 26, 2007
PROS- Does a lot of bands SW,MW(AM),FM w/TV band
CONS- The reception is awful. I can barely pull in any SW stations, and if I can it's hard to hear and I have to move the radio in the perfect place. FM and AM reception is fair to average. I noticed the tuning of FM is way off from where it says, for example I pick up 104.7 on what looks like 101.5 on the radio.
In conclusion, it does a lot of bands but it's reception is awful and it's hard to tune.
on October 21, 2007
This thing does not qualify as a radio in any regard. Well .. OK, it kinda looks like one, but a the photo will work just as well as the actual item. If you're looking for your first SW radio, spend a few extra bucks and get something else. The cheapest radio you can find on Amazon from Kaito (ie the WRX911)or Eton (ie The Mini) will outperform this thing by a mile.
My recommendations for a budget SW radio .. the Kaito KA1101 or KA1102 .. both excellent performers.
on December 8, 2008
I knew this was a painted plastic radio, but the picture made it look more shiny, metallic, & cool than it really is. It's a very dull paint job in reality.
AM & FM stations bleed through & over throughout every shortwave band, drowning out most of the shortwave signals that should be there.
I did pick up 1 church SW station on the higher bands in the day. I picked up Cuba, some more church, & voice of America in the evening. The hash of a dozen or more local AM & FM stations interfering across every SW band made getting anything else impossible.
It wouldn't even qualify it as a starter SW radio. A beginner would get so fed up
with the radio, they'd give up the hobby.
A 2 transistor regenerative SW radio I made when I was 12 in under an hour picks up more SW stations day & night than this radio.
AM reception is good for an under 10 dollar radio (I paid 8 bucks for it). OK for moderate AM DXing.
The AA batteries last a long time, so it's efficient.
I wasn't expecting any big sound from a small cheap radio, but I have many smaller & cheaper radios that have better sound quality.
FM reception is terrible. Worse than most bargain basement radios.
It does not pick up analog or digital TV channels.
Don't buy it for it's looks, it looks much duller than the picture.
Don't buy it for SW either, because it's almost useless at that. For starter SW, I'd recommend the Grundig mini 300.
Don't buy it for music either. FM reception & the sound quality is bad compared to others in this price range, & even smaller radios.
Recommended for AM talk radio & moderate AM DXing... nothing else.
Update a year later:
I installed a homemade AM & FM trap to the rod antenna inside. FM was over-driven anyway. Many stations where coming in many spots they shouldn't be all over the FM band... FM is very good now without the strong stations wiping out the entire dial. Fm stations interfering on SW greatly reduced. The internal ferrite antenna is used for the AM band so it was not necessary to have all the local strong AM stations leak into the rod antenna, & bleeding into all the SW bands. AM stations bleeding all over the SW bands was greatly reduced. Repaired earphone jack that was cutting out the speaker even when no headphone was plugged it. A hit would make the speaker come on before.
Aligned RF & IF sections for maximum performance.
After the repairs & mod, AM reception is better than any of my other under $20 radios. FM reception is now the best for this price range. Although I didn't notice more stations on SW, they came in clearer & stronger, without nearby AM & FM stations slashing interference on every SW band. They still bleed into the lower SW bands a little, but not as bad as before. Reception is now much better than my POS "Superadio" that I leave at work (got it on sale when they were $19.95). Although the "superadio" has better bass due to it's big speaker, it gets terrible reception. I will be replacing it with this little B&H radio because the reception is so much better after working on it.
Sound quality isn't very good for music but is OK for a small radio. Great for voice & talk radio. Can play remarkably loud for a 2xAA cell radio & the cells last a long time.
Even without the AM-FM trap mod, it wouldn't have been that bad of a radio if the RF & IF sections were properly aligned, & the earphone jack wasn't defective. So there is clearly a quality control issue with the radio. I did not buy it used, refurb, or as-is. It was purchased as a new unit from here.
on June 14, 2014
While the TV/FM band is basically useless in the 76 - 88 MHz part (thanks to the digital TV conversion), and SW band 7 is likewise useless, it DOES pickup WTWW (5830) at the 6.30 MHz markings, the off band HM01 (at 10345 Khz) on band 3, beats my old radio on AM and the normal FM band, and is OK as a beginner radio... You should get an English frequency list from one of many such sources on the internet to get started -- so you can tune in the likes of WHRI (World Harvest Radio), WWCR (World Wide Christian Radio), RHC (Radio Havana Cuba -- YES, they have English broadcasts from that nominally Spanish speaking country), WEWN (Eternal Word Network -- Catholic programming), etc. You may even be able to tune in Radio Australia during the summer months on the 15 Mhz band (I live in NYC, and can hear it loud and clear most nights). The best part of DXing is trying to match up the printed band with what you actually hear -- this radio is often 500 kHz off from the printed numbers (even on AM), but it is rather powerful for its size (and you can get used to what you really get as opposed to the numbers on the dial). I got it for $ 20 on closeout from Publishers Clearing House a while ago and began to use it once my old radio broke. So far so good....
on May 30, 2014
This was ordered as a replacement for the exact same radio. It even came with batteries. I turned it on, found my favorite station, was overjoyed that it worked and the sound quality was excellent. Couldn't beat the price, either. Love it! The only criticism is that it was packaged wrapped in newspaper and taped into a flimsy cardboard box. The box was totally crushed, so I was expecting a broken radio, but it seems fine. I have only had it for one day, but so far, so good.
on April 8, 2015
This is a very fine radio for travel purposes in particular. Sturdy, small and compact and has a remarkably fine speaker. I am hard of hearing and this unit produces the clearest hearing of any device I use regularly. Also it operates with only 2 AA batteries.
on January 14, 2009
I've bought two radios so far and am looking to buy another one. The batteries last a long time; I play mine all night every night and the batteries last for several months at least.
After a while, a year or two the static becomes fairly bad, that is why I'm replacing this one.
I have carried it all over on trips, cruises etc.
on January 19, 2011
I have bought one of these before till it got lost and never could be found. The AM reception is good under good conditions. The FM band is mediocre and is only good for local FM stations. The shortwave bands were pretty good for a cheap radio for antenna experimentation such as using an outdoor antenna with a series potentiometer then the radio would be ok. It receives signals most of the time and during the daytime. You just have to be patient with this radio while using it and knowing what you are looking for. It's a great small radio for travel, spending the nights at friends house, and armchair listening. For the price it is, it's better than not having a shortwave radio. It's better than those electronic lab AM/Shortwave radio receivers I use to build and listen to when I was young. It's something to get started in what shortwave is then you can get a better and better shortwave radio. This radio is a good prime example of what shortwave radio sounds like and how it can be improved.
on February 18, 2015
Had my first one about ten years - just wore out. I'm glad I could find another. Best radio for the price and use.
on April 8, 2009
This is the perfect inexpensive radio for around the house and for travel. I've been using mine for a few years and it's a great basic radio. The radio has AM, FM, Shortwave and VHF-TV band. The TV band will no longer be of any use for listening to television audio when the switch to digital television is complete. I have found the AM band to be very sensitive when I go for walks at night. I listen to AM around the house during the day with equally good results. FM is also very good for local stations, and a fully extended antenna will bring in the more distant stations. I have a low-power FM tranmsmitter connected to an MP3 player that transmits on 90.1mHz, and I easily listen to it anywhere in the house or right outside my home with this radio. There is a DX-LOCAL switch for lowering the sensitivity of strong stations that might overload the circuitry and cause distortion. The sound quality is very good for a radio of this size. I really enjoy listening to shortwave, and I have a few good radios for that, so I was very surprised when I tried the shortwave and starting tuning around. I picked up the BBC, The Voice of America, and many other domestic and international stations. I even picked up WWV in Colorado (I live in the northeast) on 15000kHz, and CHU in Canada on 7850kHz. You won't get the reception you get with more expensive radios, but for the price, this radio does an amazing job at picking up shortwave. The shortwave bands are divided into seven different sections, and are as follows; 5.9 to 6.9mHz, 6.9 to 8.1mHz, 9.3 to 10.3mHz, 11.6 to 13.5mHz, 13 to 15mHz, 14.8 to 16.5mHz, and 17.1 to 19.1mHz. That's a pretty good amount of shortwave coverage for casual listening. On AM, my radio only goes up to 1600kHz instead of 1710kHz, which has been part of the American AM band for quite a few years now.
I don't know if later models include the new frequencies, but that is a minor annoyance. One strange thing about this radio is that if you are listening to FM, and then you turn off the radio, it goes back to AM when you turn it on again. There are three small LEDs on the front panel. The "TUNE" LED on the left glows red and gets brighter as you tune your station in properly. It also doubles as a signal strength indicator. The middle LED glows green for MW/SW. MW stands for mediumwave, which America and Canada call "AM". SW of course is shortwave. The third LED located on the right is red, and it is for FM/TV. When MW is selected , the user chooses MW (AM) or SW by adjusting a slide switch on top of the radio. One of the nicest things about this radio is the simplicity that is missing in almost all radios today. Imagine putting in two AA batteries, turning on the radio, and choosing your station. That's it. There's no programming the frequencies into memory, no reading a 20-page manual to figure out how to turn it on, no fragile LCD display to break if bumped, no CPU to reset when it locks up, and no fancy keyboard with a hundred different buttons. It's just an easy-to-use, inexpensive, basic radio that doesn't require a degree in electronics to operate. There is also is a headphone/earphone jack for private listening, and the radio can be powered by an AC adapter that has an output power of 3 volts DC, and a negative center pin. For the price, this is a great radio of surprising quality and performance.