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on July 31, 2012
After reading a review in a well respected shortwave internet site on the best AM/FM pocket radios - I decided to write this review. The radios tested on the internet site were the Sony, Panasonic, Radio Shack and Kaito current pocket radios. This test concluded that the Radio Shack catalog number 12-467 was the best. Since I own this radio and I also own the Kaito KA 200, I did my own review below:

Portability: Kaito is about 1/3 the size of the Radio Shack. The purpose of pocket radios is to fit easily in your shirt and pants pocket. The Kaito fits easily and the Radio Shack does not.

Sound: The Radio Shack has a larger speaker and can easily fill a room with sound - but the sound is somewhat muffled and the volume control is not linear (so that the range of lower volumes for bed time use etc. is more difficult to obtain). The Kaito is not as robust in sound volume but the sound is much cleaner and with more natural detail. The Kaito volume control is very smooth and will easily go through a linear range at both low and high volume. Note: these are personel radios and if you are using them as such - the Kaito wins this category.

Earphones: Both radios accept left and right earphones. Many other pocket radios just have a mono (only one ear has sound) output. Again, sound of Kaito is clear and detailed -the Radio Shack is robust but a bit muffled.

Tuner: The Kaito has a tuning light that identifies the best reception. The Radio Shack does not and is a little vague to tune.

Overall - If you want a pocket radio the Kaito is perfect. If you just want a radio to fill a room with sound the Radio Shack will produce higher volume.
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on November 13, 2016
When it comes to small pocket radios, the Kaito KA-200 is a great little thing that surprises me because of it's unusually high build quality. Most of the time when you are buying small electronics they tend to rattle, or the tolerances in quality are so much that the product doesn't work well, but the KA-200 works very well and feels solid. It doesn't feel like it will blow into pieces if dropped by accident. In addition to it's very good build quality, it has a nice form factor and the sound is excellent for such a small device. It takes 2 AAA type batteries, and the headphone jack sounds well enough, it will play mono out of both headphones.

All in all this is a great product, I could easily see it going in a survival bag or car for emergency situation, considering it weighs next to nothing (Even with the batteries, in my opinion.) Great stuff.
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on September 21, 2010
This radio is impossibly small and has unexpectly good sound through the external speaker. I bought it only for external listening but I can say that the earphone is compatible with stereo headphones--that is to say that it plays monaural audio through both earphone channels.

The AM reception is superb. I don't know how they did it in such a small package; perhaps they used their experience with shortware receivers in this radio. Very sensitive FM reception but it has a touch too much resistance for fine tuning. On the other hand, the volume knob needs much more resistance because I found myself accidentally muting or blasting the audio. It also has a rather fragile FM antenna that does not swivel or sweep at all--you bend it, you break it.

At this size it's a good compromise. The FM is nothing to write home about but the AM reception is just incredible for such a tiny radio.
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on November 17, 2016
My husband wanted a small radio that fits in the pocket. We received this radio and its smaller than I thought it would be but the sound is FANTASTIC! He absolutely LOVES IT! He has had it on since opening the package. There is nothing fancy about it but it is exactly what he wanted. The sound quality is better than our larger radio. I am very happy with this purchase and for the price it can't be beat. Sometimes old school is best.
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on September 30, 2017
Selectivity is good. Sensitivity is good. If you're in an area reasonably close to stations this little guy should do you just fine. I bought this to replace a radio that badly mixed signals from several stations. Now I can get the broadcast from each individual station individually and clear as a bell. The speaker is surprisingly loud as well. It's as compact of a package as you could expect for a radio and at $13, you can't ask for much cheaper. I can't imagine a better radio to bring to the ballpark or a football game because of its size and the ability to use headphones or a speaker. AAA batteries via Amazon are cheap and plentiful. This is a great budget am/fm radio that's nearly cheap enough to be disposable, but works well enough to meet average radio listening needs.
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I find this thing to be the best little radio I have ever had. Reception is great, tuning each station is a cinch since there is a little light that lights up when the station is tuned in perfectly. I also find the sound to be very good, especially on FM. I have honestly bought 5 different small cheapie radios here on Amazon until I found one that was acceptable. The WORST one I purchased was a Sony. This takes 2 AAA batteries and I'm being honest when I tell you that for a small, cheap radio, this one sounds best and tunes in stations the best. One reviewer mentioned that the FM is bad because of the antenna. Nonsense.. The reception is just fine. I live in NYC and this brings in WBGO in New Jersey better than the other cheap radios that I have purchased.The size is small and I love it. If there are any old timers out there, this is about half the size of the cheapie transistor radios we all grew up with as a kid.
THIS IS AN HONEST REVIEW WRITTEN BY ME. A PERSON WHO HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SELLER OR MANUFACTURER OF THIS ITEM.
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on May 11, 2016
My husband had an old transistor radio for years and it finally died. He has been looking for a nice little portable radio, nothing fancy. He just likes to listen to the Red Sox games when he is working in the garage or sitting outside. This Kaito Pocket Radio got good reviews and was a good price. When it arrived in a small box we had not realized how really small it was when we ordered it. It looks like a toy. Appearances are deceiving.
This is a great little radio. Fits right in your pocket, it is sturdy and well made and most importantly the sound is great. It has a wider range of channels and the sound is crisp and clear. Nothing fancy but does it's job well and the price is right. I would highly recommend this radio .
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on October 28, 2014
This is a SMALL radio, about the size of a deck of cards. My kids each wanted a small personal radio, usable with both earphones, and an external speaker, and one wound up getting this one, the other the Sony ICF-S10MK2.
If you want the smallest radio you can find, that still works decently, this is the one to get, IMO. It uses easy to find AAA batteries, and the battery door is captive, meaning that you unlatch it, and it hinges open, still attached to the radio, where it won't get lost (a plus for a kid's radio). Sound quality is surprisingly good for such a tiny thing, and the controls work well. The FM antenna pulls straight up, and does not swivel, but seems sturdy for a radio in this price point. I especially like the precise volume control, which lets even a kid get it 'just right', so they can hear it without it being too loud. The Sony I mentioned will put out more volume, but the volume control is kind of touchy at the lower settings, making it hard to set a precise volume at a low level. By this, I mean quiet enough to not disturb the other child in the same room. The Kaito, however can be precisely set from a whisper, to a pretty fair volume (loud enough for any personal use I can think of, but not at all what you would use to fill a room with sound). This would be a great radio to drop in your pocket to take to ball games, or similar, as it is so small you'd hardly know it was there.
Tuning is good, but not stellar. Again, it amazes me how well it works for being so tiny, and at such a low cost, but don't expect full-size radio performance. It catches local stations well, but distant stations tend to get drowned out by a strong station bleeding over, if it is close to the same frequency, but not too bad. In fact, I would have considered the tuner to be great or even borderline excellent for a small radio if not for the aforementioned Sony. It has to have about as good of a tuner as I have, in any radio, in both AM, and FM. Don't get me wrong, the Kaito isn't bad, it just isn't up to the level of the Sony. They both have a tuning indicator light, which glows when the radio catches a signal, and the stronger the signal, the brighter it glows. A nice touch, especially for kids going through the dial, trying to see what they can listen to.
Both work well with headphones, send sound to both ears, but not in stereo.
My quick verdict, buy this one where size is the most important factor (again, like a deck of cards). It seems well made, has precise volume control, and decent reception. It also has a more precise volume control.
Buy the Sony, if you can live with a bigger radio (literally double the size, but still fairly small, about the size of the old 9V transistor radios from the 70s) but the tuner is superior, both in sensitivity to weak stations, as well as the ability to hold a weaker station without hearing another station bleeding into it.
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on July 29, 2017
I typically ride in the car with my wife for coffee in the morning and then walk back over our hill in San Francisco. I listen to financial news and had used my iPhone with ear buds but the signal would drop-out once or twice on the walk back causing long buffering or complete loss of the stream. So much for 4G changing the world. Also, if you haven't noticed, listening to a radio application on your smart phone can pretty quickly exhaust your battery.

This little radio is simple, easy to use, and has good reception. It provides stereo audio which is not always true for these pocket radios. The Kaito takes two AAA batteries that will last many, many hours before needing replacement. I also listen to it when doing home improvement projects around the house. A bit more reliable and less risky that listening to your smart phone while standing on a ladder or crawling under the sink.

Perhaps the only negative is that it uses a rigid extendable antenna that is fairly easy to snap off if, like me, you have the fine motor skills of a Golden Retriever. With that disclaimer, it's a great, low-tech solution.
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on February 21, 2013
I own the Sony ICF-S10MK2 and also bought the Kaito KA200 because of it's smaller size. After listening to both, I have to say the Sony is the winner in almost every department. The Kaito beats the Sony only in size, and the fact that it takes two AAA batteries instead of two AA.

In NYC, the Sony receives more stations, tunes more precisely, and plays louder before its speaker distorts. The sound of the Kaito is harsher and can be hard on your ears. Unlike the Sony, the volume control is not ganged to the on/off switch but is inconveniently located on top of the radio, making it a two step process. The tuning dial is considerably stiffer than the Sony, and requires a bit more patience to tune "dead center" without overshooting your mark.

Nevertheless, the Kaito is still an OK radio and has its place, especially when traveling. However, it can't beat the Sony in overall performance. Not to mention, you can usually purchase the Sony at a cheaper price, although that would be my last consideration. If size is not important, my recommendation is to go Sony!
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