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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 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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This is a very small radio - smaller than your average clamshell cell phone. It's nicely rounded and feels great in the hand. It looks pretty sharp for what it is - an analog AM/FM radio. For an outdated thing like that it looks appropriately retro, although I think they were going for the more no-nonsense design. In fact, the whole thing is no-nonsense.

The speaker sounds decent, there's only one switch (Off/AM/FM), a telescoping antenna, a battery compartment (two AAA), and a headphone jack. There's no clock, no snooze, no strap, no bass-boost, sound does come out of both earphones - but it's mono... you get the point.

The ONE fancy thing is the green "tune" light that fades up and down depending on signal strength/tuning. The tuning dial itself is on the side and tiny, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in tightness, and making tiny adjustments is very easy. The AM antenna is internal so you improve the already good reception by rotating the unit.

It's $12, and it's a solid little radio. It's not a POS COBY or something, and you're getting what you pay for, and you're paying only for the radio. I got this strictly for the summer for ball games at the beach or the stadium - beats paying 5x as much for the MLB package on the phone and then searching around for 3G or WiFi all the time.

Good so far, and if you've read all this it's probably exactly what you're looking for too.
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on November 29, 2015
YOU CAN'T BEAT THE PRICE FOR A TRUE budget priced AM/FM "pocket" radio. I listen to talk radio for 2 hours, 5 days a week... still have my original alkaline batteries I put in them over two months ago... so battery consumption is efficient and thrifty to say the least.

Speaker quality is average, yet sufficient at this price point. Uses Include talk radio, baseball & football commentary, B.O.B. backup or just a simple AM FM radio to keep you in touch with the outside world. Small with rounded corners (designed even more ergonomically than most) make it a truly convenient pocket radio. The company also sells a version with NOAA weather for a couple of dollars more, if you're looking for that additional future. CONCLUSIONS: Great bang for the buck at this price point, for a decent AM FM pocket radio (that is easy on your batteries)!!!
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on August 12, 2015
Recieved the KA200 radio bought from Electronnix a day earlier than expected. I popped some cheap AAA batteries in it and went down the dial on both bands and was quite surprised at at the reception on slide dial a little longer than 1 inch. The tuning dial is nice and firm most likely to prevent drift. The volume dial is a little less firm, and may be OK that way since it is located on top of the radio. The telescopic antenna is only about 7 inches long but seems adequate to pull in local FM stations. The ferrite antenna for AM seems quite good to pull in stations. Even though it states it in the description, this radio does not include the extended AM; mine won't tune past 1610 kHz. The tuning light is a bonus and works well on both bands.

The sound from the small speaker sounds good at a relatively close distance; tested in a 15x15 room at medium volume and it was more than adequate. Plugged in some headphones and receive sound from both left and right, albeit mono. Reception via headphone cord seemed as good or better than using the antenna extended and sound coming from the radio's speaker.

Please note my test was at approximately 1pm indoors and received all local stations on both bands. I expect night reception to be better especially on the AM band, but it may not be what you would call a good distance listening radio. I will update at a later time.

The radio seems to be built well and should last years. The only quibble I have is the telescopic antenna has a small divot which may prove to be a failure point in the future (bending). Also, as reviewed previously the base of the radio will permit the radio to stand upright, but any little wobble of the surface it's sitting on or the slightest breeze will make it fall.

I chose this instead of the newer KA210 because I needed a tiny AM/FM to use at work to catch evening ballgames. I have other radios with Weather Band (two of which are Kaito) and it wasn't needed for my intended use. From reading reviews on the KA210, I believe the KA210 is bigger and through Amazon it is more expensive.

All said I think this a great purchase, and the price was right.
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on August 17, 2016
Very pleased with this tiny radio. The sound level is quite loud and clear, easily adjusted. It picks up both AM and FM radio quite clearly, which I was happy about after reading some of the reviews. We live far out in the woods so I think we are good people to judge this. Controls are easy to adjust and to understand. A great deal! It has a space for earphones. Transistor radios are now hard to find so I am doubly pleased. It runs on 2 triple As.
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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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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 April 16, 2014
You like me? You grew up listening to Baseball and rock & roll on a 6 volt AM radio? You have an i-pod and you can listen to a million songs/stations on your phone but sometimes it would be cool to just have an am/fm pocket radio that uses 2 AAA batteries. Well this is it. I had something similar to listen to ball games 3 x the size from Radio Shack. It worked fine for 2 years--died--so I opted for what sounded like an 'upgrade' with this one and IT IS! Its the size of an i-pod, has a big sound, sounds even better with headphones, and it 'feels' solid--it has some weight to it--it doesn't feel 'cheap' but for about $12 it is! Very happy with mine--I won't be back to Radio Shack.
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on November 14, 2016
I bought this specifically to listen to Tom Hamilton call Cleveland Indians baseball games when I was out and about. It works great and the signal comes in well on both FM/AM for the most part. I gave it four stars because sometimes in a good signal area, you have to touch the anntenna as a human receiver to get the clearest sound. But for the price, it does what it's supposed to and works well.
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