Second Date: Review of the Degen DE1123 DSP AM/FM/SW Pocket Radio with 1GB MP3 Player & Recorder
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- Transferring files to/from a PC with the supplied USB cable is fast and easy
- 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.
- With the supplied 3 x 650 ma batteries the run time is about 18 hrs.
- 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