Products & Product Reviews / Uncategorized

Holiday Gifts for Hams 2020: Shortwave and Internet Radios

Some of my earliest memories of radio take me back to my bedroom in Akron, Ohio, a small, cheap Panasonic hidden under my pillow, the smooth sounds of Cleveland baseball announcer Herb Score crackling in my right ear.

When my beloved team battled West Coast squads, I fought sleep for the chance to hear Charlie Spikes hit a round-tripper or Jack Brohamer turn a double play. As the signal faded in and out, I would usually nod off before, ultimately, the A’s or the Angels would triumph and the team that occupied my pre-teen thoughts would sink deeper into the cellar of the American League Eastern Division.

This was several years before every ballgame was broadcast on cable TV, and we could watch our heroes disappoint us in living color. Back then we had to envision the horror…the horror…the horror. It’s why radio was dubbed “Theater of the Mind.”

Even today, with a thousand cable channels and endless Internet viewing options, radio still captures our imaginations. And for many Hams, the magic of this medium doesn’t always have to be a two-way street of transmitting and receiving. As any shortwave listener (SWLer) will tell you, there’s nothing more thrilling than using one’s technical acumen with antennas and radios, knowledge of propagation, experimentation, and persistence to hear broadcasts (on frequencies between 540 kHz and 30 MHz) from the other end of the world—compiling impressive lists of stations and countries from which they have received verified transmissions.

Then there are those who enjoy international news, entertainment, and sports broadcasts, or radio shows they miss from their hometown.

If you have a radio fanatic in your life and are looking for a homerun of a holiday surprise, you’ve come to the right place. DX Engineering carries a nice selection of shortwave and Internet radios that make wonderful gifts. Here are a few:

Shortwave Radios

  • Sangean’s ATS-405 World-Band Portable Radio provides AM/FM/Shortwave performance and features normally found in far more expensive radios. This digital multi-band world receiver features 14 shortwave bands; five tuning methods (10 Key Pad Direct Frequency Access, Auto Scan, Manual Tuning, Memory Recall, and Push-Button Tuning); 108 station presets; wide/narrow filter selection for AM/FM bands; squelch function that adjusts the receiving threshold to eliminate weak transmissions; and built-in battery charger.
Sangean ATS-405 World-Band Portable Radio
  • Sangean’s ATS-909X World-Band Portable Radio features wide-band coverage from long wave, medium wave, and shortwave to AM/FM broadcast; 406 presets; five tuning methods; automatic searching for strongest signal station within SW station pages; ATS (Car Tuning System) auto scan and preset in priority of signal strength in FM/MW/LW bands; and Digital Signal Processing that significantly enhances reception through improved rejection of interference. Includes an ANT-60 roll-up antenna, protective carrying case, and earphones. Available in black or silver.
  • Sangean’s WR-2 Table-Top Radios let you enjoy the elegance of its classic design combined with a rich, full sound and advanced receiver circuitry that brings distant AM and FM stations into your living room. Features include Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) text messages from any RBDS-encoding FM station; 10 memory preset stations; large, easy-to-read LCD screen; and PLL synthesized tuning system. Available in white, black, walnut, and clear case.

Also useful for serious shortwave listeners is DX Engineering’s RF-Pro-1B Active Magnetic Loop AntennaPalstar’s SP30B Shortwave Radio Speaker, and COMPACtenna’s Shortwave Radio Antenna.

Internet Radios

  • Sangean’s DDR-63 is an all-in-one music system that lets you transform your tabletop listening experience. The unit combines Internet radio with a CD player, SD card slot, USB port, FM stereo radio, and iPod compatibility with an integrated docking station/charger. Sangean’s DDR-63 supports CDA and MP3 playback from disk and also supports MP3, WMA, and Real Audio Internet formats. You may also play and record MP3 and WMA formats from/to the USB and SD ports.
Sangean DDR-63
  • Sangean’s WFT-1 Wi-Fi Internet Radio lets you select from more than 15,000 radio stations from around the globe, plus all your local FM stations thanks to the radio’s built-in FM tuner with RBDS. Upload your favorites and any Internet station to your tuner’s “My Station” folder or “My Added Stations,” allowing for quick and easy access to play through your entertainment center. Or play your entire music collection from your computer.
  • With Sangean’s WFR-28 Wi-Fi Internet Radio, enjoy instant access to more than 13,000 stations (NPR, FOX News, CNN, BBC, et. al.), 35,000 podcasts, and your FM-band favorites. With Normal, Jazz, Rock, Movie, Classic, Pop, and News selectable EQ settings, the radio delivers impressive performance in a small, fully portable package.

For more shortwave and Internet radios, visit

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