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on June 24, 2012
This is a great product. The speaker is very loud and very clear, and even though the bass sound is not significant, you will not be disappointed. It will fill a room with sound. Battery life is great. I had firmware version 1.8 pre-installed with no problems or glitches.

Gone through this unit with fine tooth comb and everything works as advertised. The AM, FM and SW reception is good and clear with no complaints. The internal AM antenna is directional so weak distant stations will require the product face a set direction, but no positioning problem with decent local stations. The built-in stand is a nice feature. On shortwave (SW), flicked it on, did a scan and it stopped at an Australian station (during the day) using the installed antenna and it came in clear with the occasional fade... and this was in a house with lots of electronic noise.

Radio station or voice recordings were absolutely crystal clear. No need to preset the volume... it automatically adjusts. The microphone recorder easily picked up conversation from 12 feet away crystal clear. Can download to the computer allowing you to truly appreciate the microphone quality. There wasn't much difference in recording quality settings... but was slightly superior in the high quality setting with more subtle sound distinction.

Can preset the alarm to play MP3 music, turn on the microphone recorder, or record a radio station you are tuned to. Microphone or radio recording is about 1/2 meg per minute in low quality and 1 meg per minute in high quality. The 4 gigs of storage gives about 65 hours of recording in high quality mode, or over 1,000 songs.

Downsides:

When radio recording, the speaker comes on pretty loud, so it's necessary to plug in headphones to not hear the radio in the background.

The unit is a little complicated to operate and takes a few days to get it all down, but once you understand its operation... it's pretty straight forward. People who are technically challenged or have a slow learning curve might experience some frustration.

Summary:

I seldom write reviews... but this device is worth it. I really like this radio and highly recommend it. Since it's so small, it will be going everywhere with me. Bought a belt pouch to carry it in along with the earbud headphone (I did purchased a better quality and more comfortable earbud than the one supplied). Perfect hiking and traveling companion. Looks like they've worked out the bugs some posters complained about... so don't let them discourage you. I should add, if you are looking for a real simple device, then this is not for you... when a product has this many features, there's always a learning curve.
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on July 19, 2011
Had this radio been free of bugs I would have rated it higher...While the English manual is better than nothing it still lacks a few critical details...Especially, the timed recording functions..The AM/FM/SW reception is absolutely superb for such a small radio...The mp3 player is good but lacks some of the sophisticated features of pure mp3 players..The recorder is adequate providing the sound it set high enough or you are close enough for VOP...For a radio of this price and this high quality of reception its a very good value...

Originally the radio had v1.5 firmware and froze upon trying to exit the mp3 player...To reset it I removed the battery which seemed logical...Doing so it booted back up in Chinese but with normal symbols for music, radio, settings...I finally got it back into English after counting down the language and English positions in the menu...I then did some net searching and found a newer firmware v1.7 which I installed...After installing it again booted up in Chinese, so again I had to change to English...If you ever remove the battery make sure you have the AC adapter plugged in or it will boot back up in Chinese...Otherwise, the new firmware functions flawlessly...

I was amazed at the reception qualities in all the bands and the mp3 player sounds super when set in the rock mode...Even though the radio has an external extension whip antenna for FM and SW, the radio will also use the headphone wire as an antenna when using them alone...Extending the whip antenna while using headphones improves the FM/SW reception even more...I have 4 radios and all of then use either the whip antenna or headphone wire as an antenna, but not both...So I find this feature very useful to get better reception by using both or using just the headphones while walking or working..The DSP really locks in all stations in all bands, but especially the AM stations...My favorite AM station as night usually requires I set my large radio on local and narrow width to lock out a external station which always seems to creep in...The DSP on the DE 1126 filters out this and all external stations I have encountered...

I did one quick 5 minute alarm set recording to make sure it worked but I haven't tested that too thoroughly...Mainly because my primary recording will be done while I'm present...

The LCD is bright and the rubbery feel exterior is quite cool...

The more I use this radio the more I like it...After using it for a week I would rate it a 5, but honestly there was a huge learning curve along with searching and firmware installation to accomplish this...A user shouldn't have to do this so therefore the 4 rating...Then again, this is a Chinese radio that really hasn't been totally integrated into English as of yet...

If you can handle what I've mentioned above, then get this radio and you'll be amazed at the quality and reception...

Update: 8-10-2011

I have downgraded this radio down to a "3"...It now locks up at various times for no apparent reason, even with changing the firmware...I have to remove the battery and convert the Chinese menu to English every time after charging..This reminds me of the problems when I had a computer years ago which ran solely of DOS...Very frustrating and totally not cool in this age of electronics...

kd
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on June 24, 2013
My purpose for ordering this radio was for its ability to receive and record FM radio broadcast. I attend several assemblies / conventions annually and they are broadcast via FM. It is a lot of information so it can be hard to take it all in, therefore i like to be able to go back and listen to many of the talks at later times as a means of review.

With that in mind, I recieved my DE1126 about 2 weeks ago and had the opportunity to utilize it over the past weekend at my District Convention. I reviewed the instructions prior to going and did some practice recordings at home and found it very easy to use. As each session was about to begin, I simply turned it on, tuned it to 104.1, pressed the record button, and then pressed the lock button. I do wish that i had picked up some headphones with a volume contral built into the wires because, as brought out in other reviews, when you record, the volume goes to maximum and that was a bit louder than I would have liked, but not unbearable.

It is also extremely easy to transfer the files over to my computer, just plug it in and the device shows up as an external drive, cut/copy and paste and voila... Also, the quality of the recordings was very good; it came set at 128k wav files so i just left it there since that is the best setting and there is plenty of storage space on the recorder. ADDITIONAL NOTES : After transfer, i used Audacity to adjust (amplify and adjust w/ the equalizer to taste) and then convert the wav files to MP3 files; I then used VinylStudio to split and name the files...

There are a couple of things that hold this from being perfect for my use, but they were not enough to keep me from giving this a 5 star rating... they are things i knew ahead of time so i would feel wrong to really complain about them, but i can say that i wish that you could adjust the volume when recording and i wish that there was a way to mute the speaker so that if your headphone cord pulls out it would not blare out...

All in all, just want I wanted...
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on December 3, 2015
All actions really ARE complicated at first....but once you go through the actions a few times it's not really that difficult. Every issue I had was addressed in these reviews somewhere...you just have to read them.

I bought it to record from AM radio and it works for that. Been using it light duty for 3 years now, on and off.

Pros:
Records from radio.
Cheaper than anything else I found that records timed events.

Cons:
Not user friendly. It really takes time to get used to the steps to get tasks done.
Battery charge was never very lengthy. Every time it runs down you have to reset date/time.
Moving files from the radio to a computer is touchy. It can be done but don't touch it while it's transferring.
Every time it records a set-ahead timed radio station the volume comes on VERY loudly. (I stick a cutoff earphone plug in to cancel audio)
It advances recordings painfully slowly. Takes forever to advance any significant amount of time.

Bottom Line. Hard to find anything else at this price that you can record set-ahead radio broadcasts.
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on April 6, 2016
I've had this for about a year now and have probably put over 50 hours of use on it. When I originally bought it, I was really wanting a shortwave radio but it had to be portable. I knew the Degen brand name was decent but never had a chance to own one. I went with this product, the DE1126 because of it's price and size. The size is about the same as an iPhone 5 and a little big thicker. The LCD screen is easy to read and provides all the information I ever needed to navigate it. The actual menus and navigating the menus are good enough for the buttons it provides and the amount of pixels on screen.
Typically I only use it to listen to radio when I go fishing, camping or kayaking and it's never failed me. I've gone 3 day weekend trips doing all three and the battery was able to keep up which was super important to me (plus it only takes a few hours to charge any ways). I've even once splashed a decent amount of water on it and I've yet to notice any issues with it.
All 3 radio modes, AM, FM and SW work perfectly. You know they say that SW is dead in the USA, I can say I've picked up at least 15 stations in North Carolina. You get mostly spanish and religious stations but I was even able to get one of those chinese stations which is pretty impressive for the small radio this is. The audio quality is actually really good even on stations that have low quality because it has digital station selection, unlike on analog you tell this radio the exact numbers you want and it stays there.
I've only used this as a on the go device, so my main experience is listening to radio through it's loud speaker. When I say loud, I say you can use on a motor boat with waves crashing around and still enjoy talk shows. I've never had an issue with the audio quality or loudness. I can't say the same for the headphone jack only because I've yet to use it.
Now because it does have MP3, Recording abilities and ebook reader, so I'll address those. I didn't buy this radio specifically for those features but they work as you could expect for the price. The MP3 player I messed around with for 5 minutes and never used it again but you can load your own MP3 songs on the device. The audio was fine enough but I have iTunes and don't require an MP3 player.
Now for the recording app, you're not going to get super HD quality recordings from it. Actually, once when I went camping I thought record some banjo playing on it and it came out sounding like an old gramophone. High pitched, off and not really worth listening to. but voice recording doesn't sound too bad and it could be used for that.
As for the eBook feature, I loaded the pre-installed text file on it, it fit about 4 lines of text if i recall and I never used it again. The screen is just too small for it to be a fun experience reading. Again I have an iPhone for that.

So if you are looking for your first SW radio or just looking for something small and portable, I totally recommend this. I haven't upgrading from it since I bought it a year ago because it fits all my needs. I just hope the rechargeable battery lasts me a few more years!
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on March 20, 2013
Just got the radio, spent a couple hours on the net trying to find a manual - found one. No help. Radio comes with not a single insert of help except a mini CD. Many cd drives today are inserts and not trays thus the mini cd is no value. Finally found a review that said, just page through the Chinese or Japanese (radio comes with foreign language set up). With that in mind I took the radio in hand and decided to do just that. Press menu and everything single thing is in foreign language. Here's a tip. To get to English. Press the menu and scroll to the J/C language that shows only about 3 letters. Then page upwards to 10 lines. Press the menu button and VOILA! English. From there, just play around and you will find a wonderful unit that I would give 5 stars to if it had a usable manual. Even the manual you find online is of no help - forget it, just try until you get it. I purchase through Amazon and it was fulfilled by Etekcity. Sign on to their site -- no help, you will find nothing.
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on March 6, 2012
Update March 2013: Make sure the screw at the bottom (not the back) of the radio doesn't come loose or fall out. It holds the antenna. Trouble if this happens! Try not to twist the antenna as you extend it.

First thing, I had to switch from the Chinese display to English. That was a formidable task, until I found N9EWO's improved version of the owner's manual online. I'm not sure I could have managed without that; the included Degen manual was inadequate.

Careful opening the battery compartment! The tab is quite firm and I can see accidentally breaking it if care is not used.

FM/AM reception are fine where I live (NYC). Can receive a Cleveland AM station at night. Sound over the little built in speaker is like a pocket radio; over earphones really good, even the AM band sounds almost-high-fidelity. The radio performance seems much like my Sangean DT200, which I consider to be about as good as a pocket radio can be.

Shortwave: wasn't picking up too much here in Brooklyn, even with a long indoor wire antenna. But I don't have another SW receiver for comparison.

I use the MP3 player for podcasts and that works and is convenient; a would be nice to have: the display only shows the filename, wouldn't mind seeing other file tags.

The radio feels like a quality item; example: the earphone jack is very tight. A good sign in a new radio.

So far, I feel comfortable recommending this radio.
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on June 30, 2012
The Degen DE1126 is a great little am/fm/sw radio, mp player, recorder & voice recorder.

Good sound, good reception and good looking. It does everything you may want from a latest generation radio and has 4mb storage. However, the Kaito 801 is doing all the same and is actually thinner (although a tick wider), but costs $ 20 less at Amazon. Note: It has 4MB built in storage, even if the the text is stating 2MB.

Both are from the same manufacturer and I assume that both are much alike inside. I couldn't spot any difference in performance, only the minor body size variations and that the areal of the Degen is slightly longer.

If you want to save the 20$ go for the Kaito KA 801, if you want the slightly more upmarket looks, have the Degen DE 1126. Booth are highly recommend and available at Amazon.
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on February 23, 2013
I purchased the DE 1126 to replace my KA 800 unit with similar features. On paper, the DE 1126 looked like what I wanted: 4 GB for MP3s and AM/FM radio capabilities. My KA 800 had died after about 14 months of continuous service when the audio jack receptacle detached from the circuit board. This had happened after 6 months of service, but I was able to fix it that time. I debated between the DE 1126 and the DE 1127 units. I chose the DE 1126 unit because it looked a little more durable.

When I received the DE 1126 unit, I had trouble turning the unit on. I charged the battery and fiddled around with it and finally got it to turn on. I live about 30 miles from Chicago in a low valley. My favorite radio stations can be a little difficult to receive. I noticed that reception on both the AM and FM bands was somewhat worse than with the KA 800 unit.

Then I loaded up some of my favorite MP3s. I noticed that the unit periodically would hesitate on playback, like the CPU couldn't keep up. This was somewhat annoying. Then the unit froze up. The only way to get it to play was to remove the battery. Once again, it was hard to get the unit to power up. Eventually, I got the unit to power on.

Unfortunately, at that point when the unit booted back up all the menus were in Chinese. After downloading the manual for the unit from the internet, I was able to find the language menu and reset the unit to English. It would really be helpful if the menu for setting the language would present the various language options in their native language.

The unit played well, except for the previously noted shortcomings, for about one week. At that point the audio jack broke free from the circuit board, and the unit would only play through the speaker. I think that DEGEN needs to solve a few design and production issues for this unit to be acceptable. At this point, I returned the unit for a refund and purchased a SanDisk 4GB clip +, MP3/FM radio unit and a Sony SRF-M37W Walkman AM/FM radio. Together, these units duplicate the DE 1126 capabilities at a slightly lower price.

The radio reception on both units is somewhat better than for the DE 1126. The SanDisk play MP3s seamlessly with no hesitation. Downloading MP3s to the device is quicker than for the DE 1126. Also, the menus are all in English. Both units seems to be more robust. The audio jacks take a firm push to engage but seem to be quite sturdy. I own a SanDisk 250 MP3/FM radio player and several Sony Walkmans and have never had a problem with the audio jacks or the quality of construction.

The DE 1126 has a lot of nice features in a very compact package. However, the quality of construction and the durability of the design leave much to be desired. Maybe when DEGEN solves these issues, this will be an acceptable unit.
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on February 1, 2013
My DE1126 radio came last week with no manual. Also, all text on the LCD display was Chinese. I found a .pdf manual on the Internet using Google search. From this manual I was able eventually to use the menu key to go to the language tab and then convert the radio LCD display to English. Other reviewers have noted this same problem, which is solved by counting down through choices on the list provided in the manual. Also they give the tip, do not remove the battery w/o providing AC power, otherwise the language choice will be lost. Other than this initial puzzle, the radio works fine with very good FM and OK AM reception. Storing and recalling .mp3 files works well with file name display and large 4 GB storage. No structure or search is provided though, just a sequential file number. One problem I had with AM was that the digital station increment was set at 9 KHz, so one of my favorite stations at 1300 KHz could not be tuned in. The manual was not helpful with the problem, but through reading over various reviews and playing around with the buttons, I was able to change the station increment to 10 KHz fitting the US radio market. So, my first week with this radio has been a challenge, but worth the trouble and price thus far. I would buy it again.

jwwoods
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