I wanted to evaluate a low-end shortwave radio like the Tecsun R-911 (aka Kaito WRX911). I purchased a Tecsun R-912 on eBay for $21.90 (plus $4.60 for shipping). It shipped from China in a little more than a week. This article will highlight the differences between the R-911 (which I haven't used) and the R-912, as well as some notable features.
* The R-912 produces FM stereo through headphones whereas the R-911 only offers mono.
* The R-912 offers a 75m band, displaying a frequency range from 3.55 to 4.00 mhz; the R-911 lacks this band.
* Frequency ranges of shortwave bands differ slightly between these two radios, but both cover the full range of the so-called broadcast bands.
* On my R-912, although the 31m band shows its upper frequency as 9.90 mhz, I'm able to receive WWV's 10 mhz broadcast.
* The R-911 includes AM and FM on the band switch, but the R-912 has a separate AM/FM button.
* The R-912 defaults to FM when turned on. To hear AM or any shortwave band, the AM/FM button must be pressed.
* As discussed in a previous article, if you want the upper end of the North American AM band (1620-1710 khz), get the Kaito WRX911 rather than one of the Tecsun radios. The Tecsun radios only go as high as 1610 khz in the AM band.
I'm really happy with the sound through headphones with my Tecsun R-912. I use iPod earbud headphones. Aside from the tiny and small-sounding speaker, the radio is a great size. The whip antenna and flip stand are sturdy. Tuning drift is a problem for shortwave with this radio.
The Tecsun R-9012 is a new offering that has an R-911 style band switch, a 75m band like the R-912, wide frequency ranges for each band, and a tuning knob rather than a dial. It doesn't support FM stereo though.
To learn more about these radios, search ebay.com for "tecsun radio", and check the reviews page at RadioIntel.com.