the holidays on the horizon, smart shoppers are looking for unique
presents with a “Wow!” factor. Here are some radios that nicely
fit the bill.
is a full-sized vintage radio receiver.
It’s a genuine
(reproduction) full-sized vintage radio receiver.
upon a time, before the Internet, mobile phones and even broadcast
television, full-sized console radios were temples that the whole
family gathered around. The Crosley CR-44-CD Console is a nod to
those wonderful times.
Modeled after the
great Crosley consoles of Radio’s Golden Age, the CR-44-CD comes in
a solid wood/oak veneer case and is equipped with an AM/FM radio,
three-speed belt driven turntable (under the lid) and front-loading
CD player. The CR-44-CD’s tuning is achieved using an “Illuminated
Electronically Assisted Airplane Dial Tuner,” says
where this unit sells for $439.99.
the original console radios, this replica has dynamic full-range
stereo speakers, a two-digit LED display, programmable 20-track
memory (CD player) and an external FM antenna. You can also find this
unit at www.bestbuy.com.
add to the cool factor, you can purchase CDs of old-time radio shows
to play back on the CR-44-CD for a truly authentic Old-Time Radio
Grundig S450DLX Field Radio
S450DLX can receive AM, FM and shortwave broadcasts.
This is an all-round
before purchasing the venerable Grundig nameplate, the Eton Corp. had
distinguished itself by producing quality, full-featured radios. The
Eton Grundig S450DLX Field Radio carries on the great Grundig
tradition, in this case as inspired by Panasonic’s much-respected
1980s-vintage RF-2200 AM/FM/Shortwave receiver (which this writer
Like the RF-2200,
the Grundig S450DLX is a robust portable — with a big mono speaker
— that receives AM, FM and shortwave (SW) broadcasts, the last
covering from 1711–29999 kHz. This radio also has a big, hefty
tuning knob, narrow/wideband filters, telescopic antenna and separate
knobs for controlling RF gain, volume, bass and treble. However, in
deference to the fact that this is 2013, the S450DLX has a big LCD
tuning display, high-performance integrated circuits and MOSFETs to
pick up weak stations (while suppressing distortion and
interference), 50 station memories and clock radio functions.
a rugged case and strap-type carrying handle, and the Grundig S450DLX
is ready for the great outdoors. Take it camping along with 100 feet
of wire, to connect to the radio’s external antenna input, to pick
up faint SW stations from around the world.
is $99.99 at www.shopetoncorp.com.
worldwide SW tuning information, check out the Ontario DX Association
Audio Tuner allows users to tune into Internet radio stations
and streaming services via WiFi.
essential addition to any component-based audio system.
advent of home entertainment systems has only enhanced the importance
of component-based audio, be it for CDs, AM/FM radio, TV/DVD/Blu-ray,
and now streaming video as well. But why stop with an AM/FM tuner?
What every audio hound also needs is a proper Internet radio
component that can be integrated into their home system.
Grace Audio Tuner fits this specification: It is a low-rise,
standard-shaped audio component that allows users to tune into tens
of thousands of Internet radio stations and music services (like
Pandora), via their home’s WiFi router (wired or wireless).
Grace Audio can be controlled by its own remote control, or Grace’s
iPhone app. The unit has a two-line LCD display, plus RCA analog
audio connectors, TOSLINK and COAX Digital audio connectors, plus an
FM tuner and FM antenna connector.
for $219.88 at www.gracedigitalaudio.com.
is a pocket radio with retracting earbuds.
is a great little pocket radio with retracting earbuds.
I like to have a
radio with me wherever I go, just in case disaster strikes (which
rarely happens) or I happen to get bored (which often happens).
Either way, the hand-sized Sangean DT-220A AM/FM portable is a
perfect traveling companion. Not only does it fit nicely into any
jacket pocket, but the DT-220A works both with stereo earbuds
(supplied) or its built-in 1-3/4 inch speaker.
DT-220A also comes with a carrying case, clock radio functions, an
LCD display, 25 memory presets, a 90 minute auto shutoff (to save
batteries), a sleep timer and a cool auto-wind feature for the ear
buds: They literally retract inside the case for easy storage.
told, the Sangean DT-220A is a lot of radio for just $45.22 (35
percent off its $69.95 list price) at www.costcentral.com.
Portable radios have
never led the pack when it comes to audio, especially smaller
monophonic units. The Tivoli Audio SongBook breaks this mold:
Although this book-sized single-speaker AM/FM receiver looks
unassuming — despite the recent addition of high-gloss finishes in
yellow, red, blue and white — the SongBook’s exceptionally rich
sound has to be heard to be believed.
Audio SongBook is a book-sized single-speaker AM/FM receiver that has
audio is full and easy to enjoy hour after hour, which is a credit to
this radio’s 2.5-inch magnetically shielded, treated full-range
speaker. The Tivoli Audio SongBook has a monochrome LCD display,
digital tuning, five presets, clock radio capabilities and the
ability to bring in external audio (like an MP3 player) through its
Auxiliary jack and setting. This radio uses six AA batteries, and
comes with an external AC adaptor and telescoping antenna.
$239.99 at tivoliaudio.com,
the SongBook is worth every penny. It’s the kind of high-quality
radio users will prize for years.
by Tom Kipgen, these are one-of-a-kind handmade crystal radio
receivers in wooden cases.
As a longtime radio
lover, I have a special spot in my heart for crystal radios, the
original no-batteries/AC mains-required radios that pull radio
signals out of the air and rectify them into listenable audio. Radio
engineering artist — no lesser word will do — Tom Kipgen shares
this passion, which he expresses through a range of unique crystal
radios sold at www.kipgen.com.
are one-of-a-kind handmade crystal radio receivers in wooden cases,
using designs that hearken back to radio’s early days, plus actual
vintage parts when he can find them. Some Kipgen radios are utterly
whimsical, such as his B-1 Bomber Crystal Radio; so-called because
this radio uses surplus aluminum plate left over from making B-1
bombers at Rockwell-Collin’s Tulsa manufacturing plant. Kipgen
makes custom tube radios as well; this writer predicts that his
handcrafted radios will quickly become valuable collectors’ items.
is nothing like them anywhere in the world.
Careless is a longtime contributor. He has written recently about
pirate radio, iTunes Radio, SoundCloud and other topics.