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Sangean TR678 AM/FM Radio
(5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
DT-110 cute, functional and pocket-sized
Oct 21, 2002 (Updated Oct 24, 2002)
Review by nkendrick
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Small and reasonably lightweight, easy to use, lock switch, carry case with belt loop
Cons:No backlight, no clock/alarm, short-ish battery life
The Bottom Line: If you want a no-fuss, well-priced, well-built AM/FM headphone receiver; go for it - but also buy some rechargeable AAA batteries & a charger at the same time!
The DT-110 is a no-fuss AM/FM PLL receiver that feels 'quality' for its price and size. The unit will just about fit in a shirt pocket, although it might find a better home in a pocket elsewhere (in which case the lock switch is very handy!), or around your waist using the belt loop on the back of the carry case.
Recommend this product?
Being 6ft 2inches (1.8m) tall, I found the ear buds (headset) cable just a bit too short when the radio was in my trouser pocket, but this is just a minor gripe. Don't freak out when you see the supplied headgear - one earbud cord is shorter than the other and the correct way to wear the ear buds is by wrapping the cord around the BACK of your head, with the lead then running to the radio down your left side only. Apparently quite a few customers query this so perhaps they should mention it in the instruction manual or put a note on the packaging!
Programming the AM/FM memories is straightforward and the simple controls are easy to use. Sensitivity is fairly good for the receiver's size and it passed my Notebook PC test by not resetting itself when swamped with noise when placed too closed to the PC - something that an older and cheaper digital tuning FM unit used to do with great regularity - even a 'spike' from a light switch would sometimes send it back to square one!
A useful or annoying feature according to your taste is the 90 minute auto-switch off. As I often listen late at night whilst winding down from a hard day's computing, I sometimes fall asleep with the radio on, so I find this feature useful - especially since battery life seems to be a weakness (see later). For contiguous listening, however, the auto switch off can be overridden by holding down the ON/OFF switch for a few seconds.
Major niggles? Well, only one: Battery life. I've tried a pair of Alkaline Duracell M3's and also a pair of rechargeable NiMh (700mAh) batteries and working life seems to be about 10 hours, which is a bit disappointing.
For the price, this is a superb radio. If I had to make a wish list it would be to add a backlight and a clock/alarm - I'd even pay a bit more for these features. Extending the battery life should also be a design goal for the next version.
23rd Oct update: I emailed Sangean's technical department about the battery life and they confirmed that for rechargeables a battery life of about 10 hours is right and that this is mainly due to the fact that the radio is almost all digital in functionality and has a CPU controlling the works. Sangean recommend using only Alkalines, which they say should last approx twice this time, but I'll stick to rechargeables as it'll be very much cheaper in the long run!
Sangean replied by return to my 2 emails so full marks for customer service.
The product details on this site state that there's no headphone socket - err, ignore that one!
In the UK the unit comes in a gold finish or 'Apple Mac' translucent blue - very cool!
Roberts Radio (UK) also sells this unit rebadged as their own brand but it's about 10UKP more expensive.
I note another reviewer claims a battery life of about 5 hours with 700mAh NiMh cells - that seems very low compared to my experience.
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