17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Very nice - one issue,
This review is from: Kaito KA200S Pocket AM/FM Radio, Gray (Electronics)ok i just bumped it back up a star... after living with this radio maybe a year i bought a second to leave in my work bag. the size rocks!
This radio is pretty neat.
It is very small - which makes it nice to pack away in a backpack. It does not require any special batteries - just standard AAA's.
Tone quality of the small speaker is impressive and clear.
On assessing reception I'll break it into the four components: sensitivity, selectivity, noise rejection, and stability (or drift)
Sensitivity refers to the ability of the unit to detect and receive weak signals.
This unit is highly sensitive - far more sensitive than any portable radio I have. I was pulling in distant stations on AM during the day, enough so it clearly impressed me.
(I have a Sony handheld radio that doesn't come close to this.) A++ for sensitivity.
Selectivity refers to the ability of the unit to select one station out of a jumble of close stations. Again this unit is impressive for its size, especially for a dial-tuned non-digital system.
Interestingly, it does this without sacrificing audio quality. Again, A+ for selectivity.
Noise rejection is the ability of the unit to pick a single off the background noise. I'm cheating here because this is really related to sensitivity. I did this because I wanted to mention the unit is pretty clean in its own right. Being analog it is "cleaner" reception than a digital tuner. Digital tuners can introduce noise of their own - this one is quite clean.
Stability - or drift - refers to the ability of the unit to stay put on a signal. Here is the weakness of this unit. If you tune in a signal you can get it in clearly (as above - great selectivity and sensitivity pull in these stations) but after a couple of minutes you find the unit drifting off to another station. The noise rejection is such that it might do this without you even noticing! You then have go and re-tune in the initial station.
I'd love to hear if others have the same problem or if its unit specific. I was going to buy another unit to test this, but the price went up so I hesitated.
I love this unit, but I'm torn between a 3 and 4 on the rating because of the drift issue.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 20, 2012 11:33:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 30, 2012 9:48:49 PM PDT
E. Paul Austin says:
Thanks for the detailed review. I have an older and larger Sangean that has too much bass, unless I'm listening to music (not adjustable) and only one switch, which forced me to go thru AM to hear FM. But the biggest grip is drift on the FM dial (that's all I listen to). So I have learned a few lessons on what to look for and will pass on this great deal.
UPDATE: On another make, my favorite portable is my week-old Sony IFC-38. Wonderful sound, tone control switch, AC/DC powe (internal cord), easy tuning w/ light-indicator, volume dial, separate on/off switch and AM/FM switch. The size is larger and it's heavier, but not too big. And no drifting on the FM. See my complete review under Sony ICF-38, "You cannot slip this into your pocket."
Posted on Oct 28, 2012 6:08:05 AM PDT
Robert H. Patrick says:
An FM radio, in order to have "drift free" or at least minimal FM drift, requires AFC; Automatic Frequency control; this feature "attempts" to lock the station once you have tuned it with the tuning indicator; this is not necessary, as the circuitry is extremely small; I have both the Sony, Panasonic, and will purchase the Kaito; it is a 5 star radio because of it's size, and it's similarity between the Sony and Panasonic! It also uses a mono headphone jack and on AM you need an AGC control; automatic Gail control for drift free reception!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 5:26:45 PM PDT
plubius tullius says:
actually I just bought another of these - the size simply makes it irresistable. now I carry one in my work computer bag.
I should probably bump up my review - I was getting spoiled by the degan 321 - a multiband sw that has digital pll.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 10:52:26 PM PDT
E. Paul Austin says:
I understand the appeal of a pocket-sized AM/FM radio and have two on the way: Sangean SR-35 and the Panasonic RF-P50. Usually these are so close by that a bit of drift can be easily corrected with the tuner. I'm unfamiliar with the Degen 321 but have not been much for shortwave, even though I've got two radios with SW; maybe if I lived in a remote area I might use SW. Any problem with drift on the Degen digital?
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