- How to choose a radio receiver: what to look for
- The main criteria for choosing a radio receiver
- Top Producers
How to choose a radio receiver: what to look for
The main criteria when choosing a radio receiver:
- Type: portable or stationary;
- Power supply (accumulator, batteries, mains);
- Antenna placement method: external or built-in;
- Supported frequency range (FM, AM, LW, MW, VHF);
- Adjustment method (digital, analog);
- Acoustic characteristics;
- Additional characteristics.
- The manufacturer of the device is also important.
The main criteria for choosing a radio receiver
According to the type of placement, radio receivers are divided into portable and stationary. The former are intended for use on the road, in the country or at home – if the quality of playback is not important to the user. Such devices are usually inexpensive (from 300-400 rubles), compact size and impact-resistant design. The disadvantage of a portable version is the poor sound quality, due to both the “not the best” reception of radio waves, and the installed budget acoustics.
For lovers of high-quality, rich and realistic sound, stationary radios are intended – massive, large-sized devices with a good antenna and well-developed acoustics.
The main disadvantage of stationary radio receivers is the relatively high price. They cost from 2-3 thousand rubles.
According to the method of power, radios are divided into two types – battery-powered, built-in battery or mains.
- Battery powered devices are usually in the lower price range. Since the power consumption of such radios should be minimal, the developers reduce the current consumption – they put low-power antennas, speakers and other “stuffing”. As a result, the sound quality becomes acceptable only in the immediate vicinity of the broadcasting station. Therefore, battery-powered radios are not recommended for purchase.
- Radio receivers powered by a built-in rechargeable battery can be waterproof or complemented by high-quality acoustics. Therefore, if a portable device is required, it is worth paying attention to such a technique.
- The third power option is mains operation. Such radios can be equipped with the most powerful acoustic equipment and active antennas, which provide the best sound quality. However, they are not portable.
The radio antenna can be placed both inside the case and outside. It is the devices of the second type that are recommended for purchase. Placing the antenna inside the case leads to a decrease in its sensitivity, so only radio stations with dense and stable broadcasts can be listened to without interference.
Telescopic external antenna keeps the connection more stable. In addition, copper wire can be “strapped” to it – and then the signal will become cleaner. This is important if you plan to listen to the radio outside the city – for example, in the country.
Active type antennas that provide the most dense and clear signal are rare, and radios equipped with them are expensive – from 10-12 thousand rubles. They are worth buying if you want to listen to stations broadcasting outside the usual range for the area – for example, foreign ones.
Supported frequency range
The supported frequency range determines the number of stations that can be listened to on the radio in use. There are five ranges:
- FM. The usual frequency range for Russia and the former USSR. Almost all stations available “with us” broadcast in the FM band;
- AM. 20-30 years ago it was widely used, today it is almost not used. A few regional radio stations broadcast in this range;
- L.W., M.W. rare ranges. It is not used in Russia, so foreign radio stations broadcast in it. A receiver that supports it should be purchased to listen to just such channels;
- VHF. A band with the maximum coverage area, but with a limited number of stations broadcasting in it.
Thus, FM receivers are recommended for purchase. But if you plan to listen to the radio in a place that is very far (more than 20 km) from the nearest tower, you should pay attention to models that support the VHF band.
There are two types of radio adjustment – analog and digital. The first involves setting the active frequency through electromechanical manipulation. The main advantage of the method lies in the fact that you can choose a range on which this or that station is better “caught”. And the disadvantage is that the choice of receivers with analog adjustment is limited.
Digital adjustment has many advantages. Firstly, the automatic station search mode will help you not to remember the frequency ranges of each of them. Secondly, the memory on the station allows you to quickly switch between them.
Unfortunately, with digital adjustment, it can be difficult to fine-tune stations, especially if the frequency it uses is clogged with garbage signal – but in adjacent bands the sound is clear.
Thus, receivers with digital adjustment are suitable for urban use, and for suburban use it is better to purchase analog devices.
The most important acoustic characteristic of a radio speaker is power. The higher it is, the louder the device plays. But the battery life is also reduced. However, many manufacturers deliberately overestimate the power of the speaker, and it is impossible to fit “45-watt” speakers into a relatively compact case.
The acoustic environment created by the radio depends on the number of speakers. Of course, the very method of radio operation implies broadcasting in mono, but devices with two speakers create a more pleasant acoustic environment than with one. But the 2.1 configuration is not needed for radio receivers – unless, of course, they are equipped with digital sound converters (MP3 support, etc.).
Among the additional features that can improve the user experience of the radio, we can highlight:
- Playing music from external drives – flash drives, memory cards, etc. A useful feature if the radio is bored and you want to listen to digital audio from your music library. Of course, the receiver must have the appropriate connectors and slots;
- Recording radio stations. The purpose is self-evident. The best option for this feature is delayed recording by timer – then you will not miss a show, podcast or an interesting interview. The receiver can record the station both on the built-in drive (and then its volume is important), and on the external one;
- Waterproof. An important feature for travel radios;
- Alarm. The radio receiver turns on at the specified time;
- bluetooth. Designed for communication with mobile devices. In this case, the radio works as an external speaker or hands-free headset.
The best manufacturers of radios are:
- Sony, Philips, Panasonic – produce high-quality radios of various types;
- Tecsun is perhaps the best manufacturer of portable radios with a wide range of supported frequencies.
- You can also mention the company Sangean, which produces high-end stationary radios related to the upper price segment.
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