14 December 2006

thoughts on the kaito 1121

I'll be watching with interest as radio enthusiasts receive the new Kaito/Degen 1121. For those that don't know, the 1121 is a new product from a Chinese manufacturer and retailer that combines a digital radio receiver with a detachable 256MB mp3 player. Radiointel.com has been providing hints and images of this product for the past few months, and I hope they will be able to review it.

This is an oversimplification, but I view the 1121 as an Eton E5 plus a cheap mp3 player. The ability to easily record using a built-in device is intriguing, but 256MB is too small to get me interested in the product. If a built-in digital player could let me record multiple hours of archive-quality audio directly from the radio, I'd consider it. 256MB is too cramped, though. I ditched my 64kb Diamond Rio mp3 player when the first 5gb iPod was released over five years ago.

This isn't to say that I want the 1121 to be a failure in any way. I hope that this radio is built upon the excellent radio technology in the Degen 1103 and the Eton E5 (which was designed by Degen and sold to Eton). It's a powerful foundation for a dual-conversion digital receiver, and Degen could certainly keep building competitive products by enhancing and extending it.


Anonymous said...

This is just an updated version of the Sony and Sangean that had built in cassette players. However, when you throw in the term "MP3 Player" some people get all giddy with excitement. I'll pass on this one.

tadeyev said...

Bought one, and it's a keeper! Fantastic reception, and the mpeg player is good for 10 hours of recording my favorite channels for later listening. You can even choose from 3 conversion rates, if you are recording music for instance. I had not imagined how handy the player would be.
More importantly, the player is used with the USB cable to download updates, as well as station lists, which makes it a cinch to keep a great overview. This ability, combined with the great quality reception, is absolutely unique for a portable.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I'm thinking of getting the 1103 but may pay the extra 30 for the 1121. Do you know if it has a better volume control?

weatherall said...


The '1121 has volume up and volume down buttons on the front panel.

I have heard reports though that it is not in the same reception category as the '1103. Check around the web for reviews to get an idea of how well it performs.