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I live in Los Angeles where many stations compete and go in and out, especially with the pathetic pig tail antennas that are stuck like a joke in the back of many radios. But the Tivoli has a great antenna and is easy to use. I only wish this radio had digital tuning presets. Also don't be turned off by the one mono speaker. Its sound is clear and brilliant.

Post Script: After owning the PAL for two years, I've come across some pros and cons:


1. Can be used with an Ipod.
2. Rechargeable battery and rubber casing make it good for outside use.
3. Speaker sound is good for radio of its size.


1. No digital tuning so it's not always easy to know what station you're on.
2. AM (MW) sensititivy is only average. (The best AM available is ironically on the cheaply priced GE Superradio III which boasts an 8-inch interal AM ferrite antenna, twice the size of all competition.)
3. For 50 dollars less you could get an Eton S350 Deluxe which has analog tuning and no presets but features SUPERIOR FM sensitity.
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on January 3, 2003
If you like to listen to radio and need to bring it with you (from room to room, camping, backyard, etc.), then this is the one. The sound is fantastic and clear; the reception strong, and the design well done. Easy to carry, easy to hold, easy to recharge.
Strange that I could think so fondly about a radio.
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on July 3, 2005
I have spent over 2 months trying to find a portable speaker system to complement my iPod. The problem was that most systems I tried either sounded horrible or cost more then the actual iPod (Bose sound dock). This system however was extremely affordable (at almost a third of the price of the sound dock) and it sounds great, with excellent bass and midrange response for its size, plus it has its own built in rechargeable battery making it easy to take anywhere. It also is at heart a radio, so if my iPod battery dies (because that never happens) I can still find something to listen to. The only thing this item lacks is the dock connector which would be a great asset, eliminating the somewhat "messy" cord (which is not included) needed to connect an iPod or other peripheral device. I would recommend this product to anyone who appreciates quality sound as well as value.
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on December 2, 2004
I adore NPR, but I live in a little NPR-free nook between two very large NPR broadcasting stations. Try as I might, I have NEVER been able to get one of my former radios to grab the signal successfully. Until today.

I've seen this product in catalogues and thought, "Yeah, yeah, yet another designer radio." Then I saw a sedate black one sitting on a friend's kitchen counter and asked if she liked it. She gushed. I became that little bit more persuaded (still gasping at the manufacturer-regulated price).

Yesterday I took the plunge and today (normal delivery even!!) my new best friend arrived. I'm in love. Out of the package, Fast-Charged for about 2 1/2 hours (although you can trickle charge while listening with no deleterious effect on the battery) and I am at long last on the receiving end of a crystal clear, static-free aural relationship with NPR. Didn't even have to extend the antenna!

You can plug it in and listen. You can charge the internal NiMH battery and listen. You can use it with your iPod (plus one of those FM transmitter gadgets) for headset- or earbud-free enjoyment of your iPod's collection either at home or at large. There's a headphone jack. And there is an auxiliary input jack that lets you plug in a portable CD player or mp3 device and listen through the radio's speaker. Attached rubber caps protect the jack inputs when you aren't using them.

It's cute in a simple, elegant way. The size and shape suit my cluttery available spaces. It's much heavier than you'd expect ... feels as solid as a tank. Rubberized exterior? Don't think iPod skin, think something more like a velvety soft metal that doesn't show fingerprints (your finger nail tapping on the surface will say "metal"). Controls are dialable luxury, with an incredibly satisfying resistance. And the sound is absolutely worth writing home about.

Being in my Green Period, I chose the green, despite serious misgivings based on the colour my computer screen comes up with for this product. Spring Green on my system winds up looking something like an icy green-blue, sea-foamy mist colour. Fortunately, Spring Green is more on the "Forest" end of the spectrum, only a little bit softer and a little bit bluer. The knobs, however, could qualify for that mist colour!

Yesterday I was shaking my head, questioning my sanity for spending this kind of money on a radio. Today I don't regret a penny of it. Who could want for anything more?
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VINE VOICEon November 13, 2004
I was having reception difficulties in my office with my previous radio, an upscale CD/radio/alarm combo by a well-known manufacturer...I just couldn't seem to get my favorite radio station, KROQ here in L.A., to come in with any regularity.

When my home alarm clock broke, I took the office one home (its' alarm is super cool...) and bought this one. I have to say I've been completely surprised and impressed at it's performance.

It receives the signal much better, and the sound is astonishing clear and crisp coming from that one little speaker! It's a joy to use. The tactile sensation of turning that retro yet in a supremely modern package. Ergonomically, it's just about perfect.

The front has, besides the speaker, a large tuning knob, a volume knob, and the on/off/AM/FM knob. That's it. That's all you really need.

The back has the extendible antenna, mini-jacks for AUX IN and headphones, as well as the power cord. All the connectors thoughtfully come with attached rubber plug-covers to prevent exposure from unwanted elements.

It feels rugged and solid in construction, and I can't wait to start using it elsewhere...out by the pool, washing the car...I just might have to go buy another one or two...

In all seriousness, having owned many radios in the past...Sony, Bose, far I'm happiest with this one!
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on January 5, 2006
Love, love, love this little box. I've had it for over 3 years now and it got me through the blackout of '03 without running out of juice. The sound is beautiful. And the design is so sexy and clean looking. But the plastic coating peels in a very unattractive way. I exchanged my first one for a new one because it was such a mess after a year, but the second one did the same thing. I like to move it from room to room throughout the day and the coating on area where the indents are for picking up gets separated and begins to peel away. Very disappointing on such an otherwise sweet box. If you can't carry it around without messing up the finish, then it isn't really very PORTABLE is it??
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on September 19, 2006
First of all, the PAL does sound great for its size. I could end the review there and give it 5 stars. However, to me, everything is relevant and all factors must be considered when giving a review.

Besides the sound which is superb for the size as well as the excellent reception, the unit itself is robust and well made. However, the control knobs seem cheap and plastic and not in line with the unit itself. It is interesting to note that the knobs on my Tivoli Model Two stereo table radio look much nicer with a "metal" look.

Also, seeing that this is a "portable" radio, as others have mentioned, it could use a handle of sorts. The PAL is a short, chunky brick-like size that is awkward in your hand...especially if you had small hands or are carrying other items. Considering that I will be moving this unit around to the garage, patio, driveway, beach, etc., it should have some kind of built-in handle or strap.

And last, the price is where the PAL and I part friends. Apparently PAL was originally listed and sold for $20 less than the current price. Whereas many electronic components drop in price, PAL now commands an even heftier price tag with no deals to be found. This MSRP for a glorified "transistor radio"? Alright, maybe that is a bit harsh and it is the best little radio I have heard, but my goodness, the apparent Tivoli mandated suggested retail price is rather high! Let's try sharpening that pencil and working on the numbers. At $50 less it would be pricey but acceptable. Why on earth is this PAL $30 more than the better sounding Model One? OK, its portable with a battery pack, but the Model One has a larger and better sounding speaker. Maybe the differences cancel each other out. I can see no justification for the price point.

So, all things knobs, no handle and outrageous price tag...3 stars. The sound quality for its size, 5 stars. But points taken for the price point!
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on October 29, 2012
I've had my PAL for about 8 years now. I had to replace the battery pack a couple of years ago and, as mentioned by other reviewers, the tuning dial and volume dial have become quite scratchy over time. Overall, I would say that it's an okay radio with okay sound. However, there is no justification for the price of this radio. I would not buy this radio again and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

One very important point, I recently traveled close to 200 miles from San Francisco but was still hoping to pick up the local SF AM broadcast of the San Francisco Giants World Series game. I brought my Tivoli PAL and it was unable to tune in the signal. But, my backup radio received it loud and clear. My backup radio in this case was the basic ten dollar AM/FM portable unit from Radio Shack. (Thank goodness I brought that with me or I would have been stuck watching the horrendous Fox coverage of the World Series.)

Anyway, consumers should be aware that the most basic, cheapie radio will outperform the Tivoli PAL.
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on November 9, 2006
I was looking for a small radio to keep in my bathroom so I could listen to NPR while getting ready for work in the mornings. Unfortunately, there's only one outlet in the bathroom, and it's nowhere near where I wanted a radio to live. So I started researching battery-operated radios, and eventually ran across the Tivoli PAL Radio. While I was a bit startled by the high price, I decided to jump in and purchase it anyway based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews I'd read about it.

When the Tivoli PAL arrived, I was like a kid in Santa's workshop! I ripped it open and set it to work. It fits perfectly in my bathroom, picks up all sorts of stations I can't get on other radios in the house or car, has a very nice "feel" when tuning, and gives off a great sound that I can hear over both the shower and bathroom fan. I'm thrilled with it, and the only reason I don't purchase more of them is that more would be unnecessary. If I want a radio in another area of the house, I simply grab this and go - no messy cords to get in the way!

Highly recommended.
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on February 22, 2006
I move around the house alot and hang out at the kitchen table, desk, porch, living room The radio sounds great at lower volumes. I don't need to crank the stereo anymore to hear my shows. I just carry the radio around to where I am and listen at lower volumes. It sounds really good and has nice receptoion. The analog tuner is a refreshing change, it's very lo-tech and easy to use.
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