With Eton launching a range of new kit soon its a good time to take a look at some of the existing models which are dropping in price all the time. If your looking for a budget portable shortwave radio with good specs now might be a great time to snag yourself a bargain.
With plenty of radios to choose from it was difficult knowing where to start but after throwing the whole lot into a hat we came up with the Grundig G8 Traveler II Digital Shortwave Radio.
- Shortwave Frequency Coverage 3150 -21950 KHz
- Additional Reception of MW, LW, AM and FM (AM/FM Coverage Depends on Country Model)
- 500 Memories Total with 100 each for FM, AM and LW with the Remaining 200 for SW
- That all Important Key Lock Function
- Alarm Clock and Sleep Timer
- Digital Frequency Readout with Back Light
- Auto and Manual Tuning
In the Box
- Owner’s manual
- Carrying case
- Warranty card
The front panel of the G8 has a clean look to it at first glance because the main controls are made available on multifunction buttons with everything else hidden under a large flip down panel. Over a third of the radios front is taken up with a typical 2 inch sized speaker delivering an acceptable level of audio for such a small radio.
If your used to pocket sized portables shortwave radios the G8 has no surprises in store for you in its basic operations and after a quick play its easy to get to grips with. The more advanced controls like auto storage tuning are thankfully covered in the included owners manual.
A full headphone socket is provided that will accept any pair of 3.5mm headphones. Its good to see manufactures moving away from only fitting a mono output on portable radios as it saves a lot of time modifying headphones to get (almost) stereo audio.
A 6vdc socket is fitted to power the radio when at home to save on battery juice. Please note this is not meant for charging as the G8 has no option to charge batteries inside the radio.
There are two things we would change on the G8 with both of them being important depending how you use the radio.
1. There is a strange lack of any external antenna output socket on the G8 forcing those who want something more than the built in antenna to strip some wire and tape it to the telescopic. With the many cheap coil SW antennas available that terminate in a 3.5mm jack plug having a socket on a travel radio does give the user a big advantage.
2. The G8 doesn’t have any way to attenuator the incoming radio signals that make it easier to separate the weaker signals your trying to listen to from that megawatt transmission a few KHz away.
This radio is available for well under $50 at the time of writing and despite the difficulties of squeezing an effective shortwave receiver into a small package the G8 does a good job. The large amount of memory channels with 200 dedicated to the shortwave band alone make it easy to set the radio up with a mass of stored stations and eliminate all that tuning around.
Full Details, Customer Reviews and Current Pricing for the G8 Traveller II can be found at Amazon