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Review: Supersonic SC-1105 AM/FM Pocket Radio

I recently bought a small pocket radio from Sears.com. The cost was slightly lower than Amazon's price and far less after using some ShopYourWay points. This audio device offers decent sound and reception despite its compact size.

The radio only weighs about four ounces (5.4 oz with batteries). Some retail websites appear to list the wrong dimensions. It actually measures around 2.75" wide, 4.6" tall and just over 1" thick. This unit also has a 4.75" strap and 13" telescopic antenna.

The SC-1105 provides a few extra features, such as an earphone jack and tuning indicator light. Unlike most radios, it covers 76-108 MHz FM. The 76-88 MHz section facilitates FM reception in Japan and analog TV sound in some locations.

This receiver's antenna extends, retracts and swings from side to side. When I tested the earphone jack, it worked correctly and delivered audio to both sides of an inexpensive set of stereo headphones. The analog tuning scale seems acceptably accurate.

This radio's AM band covers 530 to 1600 kHz. It leaves out the extended AM section between 1600 and 1730, but this won't be a problem for most listeners. A relatively large built-in speaker enhances the audio quality on both bands.

The Supersonic sounds better at moderate volume levels. You may hear a mild hiss if you turn the volume low. The receiver doesn't have a tone control. It uses DSP; this technology changes the tuning experience and may reduce power consumption.

I've experienced better AM/FM reception and sound with some particularly good pocket radios, but the SC-1105 outperforms many models on both bands. It works well regardless of whether I use 1.5-volt alkaline batteries or 1.2-volt rechargeables.

One appealing aspect of the SC-1105 is that it only requires two "AA" (UM3) batteries. Many similar models demand more batteries or run on costly 9-volt units. This radio doesn't have a jack for connecting an adapter. It's not difficult to insert or remove the batteries.

So far, I recommend the Supersonic SC-1105 unless you want something heavy-duty or a unit that can pick up particularly weak stations. It's affordable, relatively simple and truly fits in a pocket. I'll post an update if there are any changes in the radio's performance.

UPDATE: While listening to distant stations at night, I noticed that this model has somewhat inaccurate AM tuning-scale markings. The front panel fell off, but I haven't had any further problems after pushing it firmly back into place.

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Updated April 2019 - (C) 2019