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Second Date: Review of the Degen DE1123 DSP AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio with 1GB MP3 Player & Recorder

with 11 comments

Second Date:
Review of the Degen DE1123 DSP AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio with 1GB MP3 Player & Recorder

Read our related posting – Review of the DEGEN DE1123

DEGEN1123

Cheap Date

This a follow-up to my experience with the Degen DE1123 “do it all” AM/FM/SW radio, recorder, and MP3 player.

Now that I have had this “device” for a few weeks, here are some further thoughts and observations.

Overall, this is a very cheaply made device.  The slide switch on the left hand side is probably the weakest of the controls.  It is hard to move and position at the right setting.  The plastic case is thin and does not have a good feel.

The device packs a great deal of capability.  It can “do it all” for $79.  Here is what I use it for.

Findings

  1. I found that it is an excellent voice recorder.  It has a build in Microphone and records at the proper bit rate for voice recording quality balanced against recorded file size.  I use it extensively for recording conference calls which I attend daily for 3 to 5 hrs a day.  I did not expect to use it for this purpose – and that it works as well as does is a surprise.
  2. I use it to listen to recorded audio books.  I read or listen to a couple of books a week.  The DEG1123 is better than my undocked Apple iPod Touch since the DEGEN has a much better speaker than the internal speaker in the iPod Touch. 
  3. Of course, the prime use for which I purchased the DEGEN was to time shift radio programs which were not available as podcasts and for which I am not able to arrange “appointment listening”.
  4. The ability to record 70 hrs of audio either directly from the radio (AM/FM/SW) or from the built-in microphone is the real real value of this $79 device.
  5. Transferring files to/from a PC with the supplied USB cable is fast and easy
  6. The AM/FM/SW radio section is acceptable.  I live near Chicago with power-house radio stations.  So reception on this radio is not a problem.
  7. With the supplied 3 x 650 ma batteries the run time is about 18 hrs.
  8. My biggest gripe is the audio record volume.  When recording directly from the radio the actual recorded audio when played back is only 1/2 the volume level when recording.  The only way to get around this is to plug the headphones in when recording and crank it up.  Alternatively, post process the audio with a free open source program like Audacity and increase the volume.

When “Cheap” is better than “Insanely Great”

As odd as it might seem the real value of this radio is that it is cheap and almost “disposable”.  That is, I would never think of taking my $200+ Apple iPod Touch for a bike ride – but I will take the DEGEN.  The batteries in the DEGEN are 3xAAA – you can change them on the fly – not so with the Apple iPod Touch with its internal proprietary battery pack.  The playback on an undocked iPod Touch through its internal speaker – can’t compare with the DEGEN front mounted large speaker.

The face-down smash test.  I accidentally dropped the DEGEN 1123 from a height of 4 feet on to a hardwood floor.  The DEGEN landed perfectly face-down causing the battery compartment cover to fly off.  The 3 x AAA batteries were ejected and rolled across the floor.  I retrieved the batteries and put them back in the compartment.  It radio worked.

Bottom line, sometimes cheap and disposable with good capability is better than “Insanely Great”.

Go buy a DEGEN 1123 and enjoy a cheap date.

Here is the Manual for the DEGEN 1123 - http://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/degen1123_manual.pdf

DEGEN1123_Kaito

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Written by frrl

July 31, 2009 at 5:44 pm

11 Responses

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  1. onde encontro o manual desse radio em português

    jeferson

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 am

  2. I HAD MY DE1123 FOR ABOUT A WEEK, THE BATTERIES DONT LAST VERY LONG AT ALL AND THE PLAY BACK FROM RADIO RECORDINGS WAS VERY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT SOUNDED LIKE LIVE, IT SOUNDS VERY MUFFLED, THE RADIO IS VERY THIN AND FITS THE FRONT SHIRT POCKET VERY NICE BUT NOW MY SIDE SELECTOR SWITCH IS BROKEN, IT DOES NOTHING BUT SLIDE UP AND DOWN WITH NO NOTCHES FOR SETTINGS, AND I ONLY CARRIED THE RADIO A FEW TIMES, ITS SITTING IN MY DRAWER AT HOME AND IM THINKING ABOUT TAKING IT APART SOON, SINCE I ORDERED IT FROM HALFWAY ACROSS THE WORLD ON EBAY THERES NO SENSE IN TRYING TO SEND IT BACK, THE SPEAKER SOUNDS OK BUT NOT GOOD ON BATTERIES AND NOT VERY GOOD RECORDING FROM THE RADIO, SORRY BUT ILL GO WITH THE CC WITNESS LIKE I WAS GOING TO GET UNTIL I SAW THIS RADIO ON EBAY,

    MARK

    August 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

  3. Recently noticed that the charging was not ‘completing’ did a GOOGLE search and found some interesting information. Sorry lost the link but if you GOOGLE degen de1123 charging you will find a page which indicated that you should ‘start’ the charging cycle when the ‘seconds’ indicator is within a particular area. Totally wierd. I recently replaced the original batteries as I thought they were not working but I did save them.

    James Douglas

    July 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    • I know you can charge the batteries in the unit. But, I replaced the batteries with rechargable duracell batteries that came with a 1 hr charger.
      So, I charge them outside the unit.

      Degen now has a 2GB model. But at 70 hrs of recording works fine for me.
      It’s a great unit- I’d buy it again if mine broke.
      I like the digital signal strength meter – nice touch.

      frrl

      July 12, 2011 at 4:35 am

  4. My son misplaced his manual for the Degen DE1123 and despite the awful english, we need it to program it to use the american radio stations. Could you tel me how I could get a copy of the manual (or even better- send me a scanned version if you have one yourself). I tried to email the company and got no response at all. The website?-forget about it! So much for customer support
    JK

    Jeremy

    January 19, 2010 at 1:41 am

    • Give me to the weekend to see if I can find my manual. I will add images to this posting

      frrl

      January 19, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      • Uploaded images of the DEGEN 1123 manual to the posting. No I have a perm copy too.

        frrl

        January 25, 2010 at 4:38 am

      • Thank you VERY much. Now maybe I can figure out how to stop this thing’s alarm from going off at 1AM every night!
        JK

        Jeremy

        January 25, 2010 at 5:00 am

    • > Thank you VERY much. Now maybe I can figure out how to stop this thing’s alarm from going off at 1AM every night!

      I have the same problem. If you press the wrong buttons this is what you are going to get.

      This radio is not easy to use or intuitive. To charge it from the USB port you have to do more than just plug it in. There some key presses involved.

      Other than these obnoxious annoyances… This is a great radio. With 70 hrs of record time, I use it for recording radio programs, business telephone conferences, quick notes to myself, and listening to audio books. What a great cheap “do it all” AM/FM/SW radio. I am willing to put up with its annoyances to get the benefit out of it.

      frrl

      January 25, 2010 at 5:40 am

  5. Thanks very much for this review. Not sure I really need one of these, but being a gadget freak…I might not be able to help myself!

    Chris, Toronto

    Chris Edwards

    November 10, 2009 at 3:58 am

  6. There are reviews from actual users about the Zoom H4 Digital Recorder.If you are looking for a portable audio recorder the Zoom H4 is a choice for cheap price and good quality.Try to read articles from people who used it appropriate to use or just to your satisfaction as.Or you already have the Zoom H4 and what you want to tell,we invitation. Thank Blogger for space to write the articles. I think some words are always up for some people.(visit http://zoomh4handyrecorder.blogspot.com/)

    dear

    September 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm


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