Top positive review
39 people found this helpful
Decent reception, good price, poor audio quality.
on November 2, 2000
I might have only given this radio three stars, but I think it gets a fourth for the performance it delievers at it price level.
AM and FM reception are quite good for a little radio like this. Shortwave reception is mixed. On one hand, you can pick up many stations, not just the big high-powered broadcasters that you get on low priced radios (BBC, CBC, etc.). On the other hand, they come with a lot of noise and fading distortion, and you get nothing but a local/DX switch to try to improve the situation. There's no ability to micro-tune, switchable audio or bandwidth filters, etc. I therefore feel that this is definintely an above-average radio on SW for its price, but that enthusiasts should spend more money and get something that will make distant or weak stations more pleasant to listen to. (Then again, I have come to believe that internet broadcasting is going to render SW obsolete in the U.S. and similarly developed countries, so maybe a mega-buck radio is just an unncessary expense.)
Sound quality through the internal speaker is poor. I assume this is because Grundig made a design decision to minimize battery consumption, size and weight, but that comes at the expense of a decent audio section. The sound is adequate for desktop or bedside listening of voice broadcasts. But music is tinny and the radio doesn't have enough juice to play across a mid-sized domestic room without distorting. Headphone listening is significantly better. If you think of it more as a walkman-type radio with a courtesy speaker for when the phones are inconvenient, you'll probably be pretty satisfied.
The radio is pretty easy to operate, looks good, and doesn't feel cheap. The sleep timer is a nice convenience. There are a couple things that bugged me though. One is that you have to shift between high and low shortwave bands, and cycle through FM and AM to get from SW2 down to SW1. Annoying and anachronistic. The second is that you lose your presets and clock time when your batteries go dead. I wouldn't have minded some more presets either, since I like to set favorite short-wave braodcasters on several of their frequencies to pick the clearest signal at any given time.
The radio is a good value, especially when it is discounted. With the "PE" version, not only do you get an above-average radio for the money, you get the ac adaptor, headphones, wire antenna, cheesy case, and a booklet, too. Some of their competitors make you buy this stuff separately for a good $20 or so.
Finally, a word of warning. There is some older stock of this radio floating around that appears identical to current production but has less frequency coverage than the current model (and may lack some other electronic impovements too). I actually got stuck with one of the older ones.