N9EWO / Guest Portable Review(s) :
- TIVDIO V-115 / Audiomax - Kaimeda SRW-710S
- TIVDIO V-111
- Kaito KA29 / Degen DE29
  - DEGEN DE-1103 (DSP Version)
(N9EWO Review on TIVDIO V-115 - Bottom of Page)

Craig Menning checks out the TIVDIO V-111 , V-115 and Kaito KA29 portable receivers.
The V-115 and KA29 both have built in "Off Air" internal recording functions.
N9EWO's comments on the TIVDIO V-115 can be found below Craig's reviews and the internal photo's.

Guest Review : Craig Menning N7TQM with his look at the TIVDIO V-111 and V-115 (also known as the Audiomax and Kaimeda SRW-710S) as well as the Kaito KA29 and DEGEN DE-1103 (DSP Version). Many thanks Craig. PLEASE NOTE : I have edited parts of his text to adjust to the web page format. My side of the TIVDIO V-115 can be found at the bottom of this page. Dave N9EWO

A Tale of Two Radios
A while back, Dave brought the TIVDIO V-115 to my attention. This led me to take a look on eBay to see what this was about. I noticed other low priced DSP based radios and wondered how well they worked. By having a DSP chip, these radios could offer decent performance.
Disclaimer: All of what follows is based upon using a single copy of each radio. Production differences may lead to different results for others.
Tivdio V-111 and V-115
Characteristics: Here a features of the radios, but not a rehash of eBay listings.
- Radios are small.
- Are under $ 20. USD on eBay.
- Both are packaged by the vendor in a cardboard box, The radio is enclosed in plastic. There is no other packaging. (eBay vendors add their own outer packaging for shipping.)
- Have rather short whip antennas.
- Provide features for tilting them on a table, about 30 degrees of tilt.
- Both show good selectivity as would be expected by the DSP.
- Displays can read with the backlight is off, unlike Eton radios.
- Both receive stronger SW stations.

Differences: There are the obvious differences between the radios. 

- V-111 uses up/down buttons for tuning, V-115 adds ten buttons for direct frequency entry.
- V-111 uses two AA batteries, V115 uses a 1000 mAh lithium rechargeable battery.
- The display on the V-115 is more informative
- V-111 has a mechanical power switch on the side; the V-115 does not.
-  V-115 has a TF (micro SD) card slot as well as a USB port. They allow for playing audio files and charging the internal battery. Recordings can be made off the air. The V-111 has none of this.
- V-111 arrived dead on AM. This was because one of the wires for the AM antenna was not connected although the wire was still held by the glue covering the attachment to the PC board where it should have been soldered. The was fixable.
- V-115 speaker sounds much better.

The real question: how well do they work as radios. Most of the testing was done on AM and FM. On AM, the V-111 has an edge over the V-115. However, compared to other radios, the reception of these radios is only fair. In many cases, where the Tivdio could get nothing, another radio could get a very listenable signal.
Specific reception notes - V-111:

On AM, only10 kHz increments, there is no tuning off center to avoid an adjacent strong signal. Overall volume is good considering the size of the speaker and radio. FM selectivity was less than observed on other DSP radios, but still better than conventional analog IF systems. While this radio tunes LW, don’t expect to hear much (or anything).  AM audio is good on headphones, FM is a little bass heavy. Internal noise limits ultimate AM sensitivity. Fm sensitivity varies with how the radio is held. Output is muted while tuning. At large volumes, the backlight flickers with the audio.
Specific reception notes - V-115:

On AM, frequencies can be entered with 1 kHz resolution but the single kHz digit is ignored. Tuning to 1409 is the same as tuning to 1400. Tuning to 1399 is the same as tuning to 1390. So again, no tuning off slightly to avoid an adjacent station. AM internal noise limits AM sensitivity; this is significant. Overall volume is as good as can be expected for a small speaker and radio. The display is quite easy to read. The recording quality is poor, even at the better setting. (editor note : Poor when listening on the radio with headphones - too shrill, good on it's internal speaker or when playing back on a computer. Actually the record quality is quite good. See N9EWO review at the bottom on this page). Pressing up/down on the volume brings up a level bar to observe the setting (cool), however when done you have to wait for the bar to go away before some of the other buttons will do anything (not cool). Audio quality through the speaker is quite good due to the metal-looking diaphragm and rubber-looking surround. However part of this may be due to some equalization which muddies the headphone quality .

You Say You Only Get audio from one earphone or earbud on your V-115 ? :  Proper headphone / earbud operation depends on the diameter of the reduced portion of the tip on the phone plug. "Works fine with some phones, but not with others". So appears is the reason why some only get one channel, and it has to do with the headphone jack and headphone / earbud plug being used. The V-115 indeed receives FM Stereo and also records to the Micro SD card in stereo.
Pros and cons, a summary :

V-111 Pros:
    Decent sensitivity for a small radio.
    Uses easy to replace AA batteries.
    Power switch on the side means the radio is unlikely to turn on when packed in luggage.
    Small size.
V-111 Cons:
    Lack of direct entry tuning.
    FM sensitivity varies greatly with how the radio is held. Holding it with two fingers on the lower right yields different results than holding it on the lower left.
V-115 Pros:
    Much better than expected audio quality from the built in speaker
    Direct keyboard entry tuning.
    Small size.
    Rechargeable battery means no need to continually buy batteries.
V-115 Cons:
    Significant internal noise limits useful sensitivity on all bands.
    Bad recording quality. (editor note : See the N9EWO review at the bottom of this page.)
    Navigating through a number of recorded tracks is difficult.
    Slow response to tuning input.
What I would use these radios for :
V-111: This would be a radio to take traveling where I’d want something that would not have dead batteries at my destination. (On many other radios, the keypad is still live, even when off, and this means the display lights up when a button is pressed. When packed as luggage this will quickly result in a dead battery unless the batteries are removed from the radio.)  Of the radios discussed here, the best radio headphone for use with headphones.
V-115: This would be good for taking someplace where I’d listen through the speaker to local stations. I’d also be able to play recorded music.
A Different Tale : Kaito KA29 (Manufactured by Degen as the DE29)
When looking on eBay for radios I also noticed the Kaito KA29. This is similar to the V-115 in that it has the ability to record. There are noticeable differences.
- Kaito KA29 is much more expensive.
- When the backlight is off the Kaito display is much harder to read.
- Kaito is slightly larger.
- Uses the same rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery as the Tivido sets (BL-5C).
- Adds a tuning knob.
- Lacks the tilt stand feature.
- May be slightly less sensitive compare to the V-111, but they are close.
- Kaito adds a second USB port and can play files from that port.
- Recording quality on the Kaito is much better. Recordings match the radio quality of the source.
- On headphones, the FM sounds good, but a little heavy on the bass. On AM, audio is very band limited. I would not use this radio with headphones.
- Kaito has the same issue where the volume bar has to go away before other buttons become functional.
- Through the speaker, the Kaito gets much louder.
- Circuit Noise with the Kaito also limits useful AM sensitivity.
- The V-115 has the better volume buttons.
- I think the green backlight on the Kaito is better. Much more uniform.
When using the tuning knob, the frequency doesn’t change until you stop turning the knob. This makes scanning for a new station more difficult.  When quickly changing to a known frequency, this behavior can be useful as it avoids spurious noises.
If you inadvertently change the language setting, you’ll need the supplied manual. Even then, it can be a challenge to correct.
If I were going to do recordings, I would use the Kaito. If I were to be listening for a long time with headphones, I’d use the V-111.
Comparing the V-115 and the KA29, if the recording quality is important, or being able to receive weaker stations, go with the Kaito. If audio through the speaker is more important and you are only listening to local stations, the V-115 is the better choice.
One more radio…The Degen DE1103 (DSP Version)

editor note : Craig tested the later DSP version of the Degen DE-1103 . This is a TOTALLY different radio vs. the older original version as tested by me here. Outer case and all buttons look identical. Still has the same hostile ergonomics. 
The Degen DE1103 (DSP Version) was also used while evaluating these radios. It is a much more expensive radio and should not be considered in the same class as the above. It offers true 1 kHz tuning on AM and also finer tuning on FM.  It is more sensitive than the others.
It suffers from AM bleed through on some SW stations. It is way too loud on the headphones resulting in only two volume settings that are useful. Any lower setting is no output, any higher is too loud.
An annoying feature is that the radio has different behavior while tuning vs.sitting on station. While tuning the radios acts like expected audio is muted while turning the knob. When the knob is no longer being turned, if the station is weak, the audio is significantly muted and background processor noise gets louder. Even on a strong signal this can be annoying. This behavior while tuning is not really consistent; sometimes the output seems more muted while tuning. This also extends to major volume changes on weaker stations as the strength goes above or falls below some threshold.
However, it is more usable on SW, which is not something the above radios are really good for.

None of these radios would be useful for serious listening. Their use is really for portable applications where one would be concerned about the bulk of a larger, better radio. If damaged or lost, they do not represent a major investment.

Audio Measurements
Audio Bandwidth: The following table below indicates the "resulting"
audio bandwidth as tested observed on each radio. Actual testing at the headphone output and represents received signal as observed on a spectrum analyzer. FM IF bandwidth should be 150 kHz wide for conventional radios. For these DSP based ones it’s something different.

Radio AM Bandwidth FM Bandwidth
Tivdio V-111 6.5 kHz
14.2 kHz
Tivdio V-115 6.0 kHz
13.5 kHz
Kaito KA-29 3.7 kHz
15.5 kHz
Degen DE1103 8 kHz
17 kHz

The reduced 3.7 kHz AM bandwidth on the Kaito muffles the audio. On AM the other radios are more pleasant. While the Degen appears to have more high frequencies, the AM audio is very bass-heavy. On FM, the heavy bass is also seen on the Degen. The Kaito seems to be weak in the midrange. This leaves the Tivdio radios with the better-balanced audio. Of course, all this is very subjective (your ears my vary).

Craig Menning N7TQM

V-111 Internal Photo's. Not much to see.
The DSP IC is just left of the Red and Black wires (right picture).
The AM antenna is short. Uses "stick on" PC Board keys. (N7TQM Photo's  / N9EWO Photo Edit)

V-115 Internal Photo - PC Board Rear (Board Rev 2014-11-20). This and the V-111 both use the AKC6951/6955 DSP Receiver IC.
The speaker is in a sealed compartment, plus a rubber covered "Micro-Woofer" port on the rear cabinet.
This clearly helped the audio quality through it's internal speaker.
(N7TQM Photo's  / N9EWO Photo Edit)

V-115 Internal Photo - PC Board Front.
  Uses real individual "Tac" buttons.  (N7TQM Photo's  / N9EWO Photo Edit)

Kaito KA29 Internal Photo's.
Uses real individual "Tac" buttons again and at least has some shielding. 
(N7TQM Photo's  / N9EWO Photo Edit)

Dave N9EWO (edit)
Ver 3.0

N9EWO Review on TIVDIO V-115

N9EWO's findings on the "Low Cost " V-115 DSP Portable Receiver / MP3 player and "off air" recorder.
It does NOT use the Silicon Labs
Si473x receiver DSP receiver IC (here it's the AKC6951/6955/ M6951/M6955).
NOTE : PC Board Markings Were Different Between the 2 Test Samples (see below).

N9EWO's Review on the TIVDIO V-115. It is also sold as the Audiomax and Kaimeda SRW-710S.
(2 Samples were tested for this report)

Model : TIVDO V-115 Portable DSP Receiver and MP3 Player / Recorder
Country Of Manufacture : China
Firmware Version Tested (both samples) : V1.2
Serial Number (approx.) of Test Sample # 1 : 1707T1152014xx (Manufactured in July 2017 ?)
Serial Number (approx.) of Test Sample # 2 : None (missing)
PC Board Marking (First Sample)  : SWR-710 2014.11.20
PC Board Marking (Second Sample) : SWR-710S 2017-4-20


- Uses the DSP Receiver IC AKC6951/6955 Instead of the Silicon Labs Si473x
- Direct Keyboard Entry For Frequency and MP3 Files
- 9 SW Band Presets
- All Buttons Have Very Good Tactile Response (uses separate Tac Switches unlike the cheaper V111 model)
- Large Easy to See LCD that is readable even without backlight In use
- SW and FM Sensitivity OK Average Even With It's Limited 15 inch Telescopic Antenna (which swivels and rotates)
- SW Selectivity Wide Enough For Decent Audio (Unlike the narrow Degen DSP Pocket Sets)
- AGC Much Improved Over Most Si473X Based Receivers (Except the tested Tecsun PL-380)
- Audio Quality (with Internal Speaker) Excellent For Size with It's Powerful Additional Amplifier and Micro "Sub-Woofer" (see con)
- Audio Mute Function
- FM Stereo With Headphones (Records In FM Stereo As Well)
- Memory Channels Auto Sort in Frequency Order (Separate Memory Channels for MW / SW and FM) (see con)
- Electronic Volume Control Allows for Fine Very Low Adjustments for Decent Night Time Use
Up To a 90 Minute Sleep Timer (Adjusted in Menu's)
- Scan and Seek Function that includes Auto Memory Store Feature
- Excellent Built In "Off-Air" MP3 Recorder With 3 Quality Levels
- Tilt Stand Attached on Carrying Strap (remember the Sony ICF-SW1)
- Lock Button (does not lock power button)
- MP3 Player That Works Properly With No Skipping or Other Gremlins (see con)
- Uses Common BL-5C Lithium Ion Battery (most new samples include a 1000 mah capacity battery)
- Includes a Short 2.2 Foot Micro USB Cable and BC-5L Battery (our test samples came with a 1000 mah)
- Click "Locking Type" Micro SD card slot
- Extremely Low Cost "Bargain"


- Weak Signal Reception Hampered By Circuit Noise And Other Spurious Signals (All Bands Including FM)
- Local AM (MW) Break Through Into entire SW Band With Both Test Samples (using attached whip antenna)
- Reported To Have SW Bleed Through Issues In Area's With Local Strong FM Broadcast Stations (NOTE : We Did Not Experience This At Our Testing Location)
- Limited Dynamic Range (SW Signal Overloading with Too Long Of Clipped On External Antenna)
- MW Sensitivity Only Fair (Has Short Loopstick Antenna, See Internal Picture Above)
- No Tuning Knob
- No SSB Mode
- No Frequency Slewing Tuning Once a Memory Channel is Entered
- No Signal Strength Indicator
- No External Antenna Jack
- Somewhat Limited Short Wave Coverage. SW Starts at a Weird 4750 kHz and goes up to 21.850 kHz (no Gaps)
- Only Way to Store Memory Channels Are In Frequency Order (Auto Sorting)
- Headphone Jack Audio Output is "Shrill" and Hard On The Brain Afterwhile
- Indifferent Battery "Charger" Indication (see text)
- MP3 Player Has No Shuffle Mode
- No AA Battery use possible
- Uses the "Radio" Non-standard MICRO-USB Jack
- Microprocessor / Firmware "Bug-A-Boos" (see text)
- Odd 5v Charge Current Adapter Requirement (500 to 1000 ma current output rating ONLY)
- Whip Antenna at a Short 15 Inches and Is flimsy (sample # 2 arrived with broken whip antenna)
- No Carrying Case or USB Charger Included
- Poor "Chinglish" Owners Manual That is Also Printed on Very Thin paper in Tiny Fonts

FM / SW Receive Performance Decent / MW only Fair / MW Breakthrough on SW / Uses AKC DSP Radio Receiver IC

FM and SW sensitivity is most usable (decent). Not any worse than any other pocket set. With the improved AGC when compared to the Degen DE1126 or DE1128H its a royal treat (not that it perfect here either, but much less cutting in and out). However the whip antenna is only at a short 15 inches long. Connecting a short wire to the whip antenna can help greatly to improve reception. As it usually goes with low cost sets like this, one needs to keep the wire governed as it will launch into overload if too long and especially at night (mishmash of audio like being in busy court room).  But most owners will want to have a SHORT insulated thin wire with a gator clip to attach to the telescopic whip handy.

The V-115 uses the AKC DSP Radio Receiver IC (not the Si473x as seen in most Degen DSP receivers like this). The ONLY near pocket set where the Si473x has been properly interfaced in our testing over the years has been with the Tecsun PL-380 (my review can be found here).

MW band is OK for local and powerful regional stations, but here is where the Tecsun PL-380 kicked it's behind !! It has a very short loopstick antenna (see internal photo's above) and it shows.

We experienced local AM (MW) "Break Through" with received with SW Band signals on both test samples using the attached whip antenna (test sample # 2 was a bit worse). This bug did not appear all the time with the 1000 watt MW station at the test location (at 5 miles away), but when it did was just another annoyance in the pie. If you do not use the V-115 near ANY MW transmitters this should not be an issue. See the links section at the bottom of this review for a "You Tube" Video.

The downside to the V-115's weak signal sensitivity is it's noise floor is awash with Microprocessor and other spurious noises (all bands). Not that this is going to effect receiving the strong signals it was designed for too much (it doesn't). Plain and simple this low cost marvel is not meant for DX'ing weak stations. If one places a hand or finger near the LCD, this noise increases. Just as with the MW breakthrough issue, test sample # 2 was bit worse here.

LCD is large considering it's 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.9 inch cabinet size. It also has a light background so it can be seen fairly easy without it's backlight on (as far as you have some halfway decent ambient light available). With many LCD's these days you just can't do this.

Frequency Coverage / FM Is In Stereo

SW Coverage starts at 4750 kHz and goes up to 21.850 kHz (no Gaps). FM Broadcast is from 87.0 to 108.0 MHz . Medium Wave Broadcast is from 520 to 1710 kHz. There are 9 Short Wave band pre-sets that start at the low end of those bands and is most welcomed to start the scan function.

FM is in Stereo with headphones and also records to the Micro SD Card in Stereo. There is no "Stereo" indication on the LCD. 

Tuning / Memories / Scanning

Direct frequency keyboard entry is provided. It's super easy too as one just taps in the frequency with no other buttons before required and hit PLAY (enter). Tuning steps on SW are 5 kHz, sorry you are not able to even cheat using the keypad to achieve say 1 kHz steps. It will just round it off to the nearest 5 kHz frequency. MW step can be set at 9 or 10 kHz in the menu's. FM broadcast is in the usual 100 kHz steps. Alas the keypad is in a 2 row layout, but one gets the used to this in fast order.

Are 100 memory channels available (however this is a bit of mystery, we did not test this) ? Each band (FM / SW and MW) has it's own bank of memories.

The V-115 has a Auto Store feature for memory channels. It is activated by pressing and HOLDING the MP3 PLAY button. WARNING (BE CAREFUL) : It will rewrite all previous memory channels. Unlike the Tecsun's ETM function using a special bank of memory channels, there is no such feature on the V-115.

All memory channels stored are sorted in "frequency order" like it our not. There is no way to get around this. This can be an advantage or a drawback depending how you like it. There is no way to tune a memory channel either. You can start a band scan from that memory channel however.

There is actually frequency (up-down button tuning) "slewing" , but only until you enter a memory channel. Then those buttons turn into a memory channel up-down only. No encoder knob tuning is provided. Also missing is SSB mode and a external antenna jack (but at this price point that can be expected).

Battery "Charging" Indicator Indifferent / Very Strange Charger Requirements

The 4 step (actually it's 5, the fifth one being a "flashing" empty one) battery "consumption" metering seem to be fairly accurate and useful to see how much juice is left in the BL-5C battery. It does automatically shut off the device "after the last flashing indication" to protect the battery from over discharge.

Important Update :  When we used a PC 2.0 USB port to charge the depleted battery in the V-115, it’s 4 bar indicator showed a full charge in about 2 minutes (which of course is not accurate). The charging indicator became more accurate after we used a low cost standalone 1000 ma USB charger (uncertain how much more accurate however). These can be purchased in just about every drug / department store on the planet that carries cell phone accessories. Just be sure it’s rated at 1000 mah (1A) and nothing above that. One is still advised to leave the radio on the charger even after the full battery indication to be sure it receives a full charge (6 hours total ??).

We never came down to what is going on here with this very strange variability (sorry for the confusion in the first draft of this review, but it was and still is very strange !!)

Now a step back on what to use to charge it with ? No battery charger is included. It also uses the less "radio" standard "micro-USB" type jack (includes a very short 2.2 foot USB cable). The manual indicates to use a 5 V USB charger rated between 500 to 1000 ma (1A) of current. As covered above I would NOT recommend using a PC to charge it with. We feel this suggested current rating needs to be respected with the simple battery charge circuit in the V-115 (see internal pictures above). This is also warned about in the manual ! Using say a 2 Amp rating USB charger could very well damage the battery and or radio ?? Better safe then sorry as they say.

I will NOT be held responsible for any info that is listed here

Excellent Built In MP3 "Off Air" Recorder

As it is with some Degen manufactured models over the years (the DE1121, DE1126 and DE1128 to name 3 as we have tested) the V-115 has a nifty built in "off air" recorder. It of course writes the file to the micro SD card which is NOT included. Unlike the Degen DE1126/1127 and DE1128H models that record in a strange WAV format , the V-115 records in true MP3. It has 3 quality selections to boot. If you use the best "Super Record" setting, it's most decent and no artifacts were noticed (except on very weak signals), nor were any dropouts or other gremlins. Pause function is also available. The lesser 2 settings are usable, but why bother. As this report was complied, we have not tested with any 1 hour + length recordings as one file. There is built in microphone for voice recordings (and works well) and a "Line In" jack to record external audio from another source (not tested). Be sure and read the "Buggy Firmware" note next with important information on the record feature.

NOTE : We used a 16 GB micro SD card in testing. No card is included with the device. Unknown how large of card will work in the V-115 (32 GB> ?). The Micro SD Card Slot used is of the desirable "click" in type. "Off Air" Recorded files appear in the radio generated "FMRECORD" directory. Yes, a TF card and micro SD card are one in the same.

V-115 Undocumented MP3 Feature (To Delete Files)
One normally can’t delete MP3 files that are on the the TF (micro-sd) card, only internal recordings can be deleted with the DEL button.

But Adi Informed us of a way you can, here's how :
1)  When in MP3 listening mode , press/hold PLAY until menu shows, select ROOT
2)  Press PLAY and navigate to the file you want to delete with the |<< or >>|
3)  Press the VOLUME – DOWN, then a delete message pop will appear, confirm with PLAY.

The MP3 player has the typical EQ settings, but sadly it has no shuffle mode. One can access the file structure for direct access to a file by holding down the PLAY button when in MP3 player mode. The direct entry keypad can also be used to enter the file (track) number.

User Tip : When you are finished listening to the MP3 player, always a good idea and hit the Play / Pause button BEFORE you turn it off or switch to radio operation. This way it will be sure and continue at that point when you return to MP3 play operation, otherwise it will "sometimes"start back at file number 001 (this is indifferent).

Sorry there is no alarm, timer or clock function on the V-115.
What do you expect for a $ 25. all in one device like the V-115 ? It does have a "Sleep Timer" (up to 90 minutes). This is accessed in the menu's.

"Record Set" kbps
(as marked on a file)
 Sample Rate
 (as shown on external PC program)

 Simple Record 
64 kbps
22050 hz
Quality Record
96 kbps
44100 hz
Super Record
128 kbps
44100 hz
The V-115 gives for decent MP3 Record Quality
 in "Super Record" setting (128 kbps 44100 Sample Rate).

However these settings did not jive out of the box with either sample (see text)  (N9EWO Chart)

Buggy Firmware / Is there a Microprocessor Reset ?

In regards to the record feature (with both test samples), in testing we discovered it was required to toggle ALL "Record Set" settings, (use the recorder a few times in each setting), THEN reinsert the battery after, in order to get the quality setting to jive with the actual kbps. For example : Simple Record was 128 kbps at first. Once the "toggle use" of all 3 settings was done and battery pulled and reinserted after (just for second) it was OK after, so the “Super Record” was finally at 128 kbps as marked. It's a very strange bug, and if you leave the battery out for awhile it needs to be done again. This issue was experienced with BOTH test samples, so points to a firmware bug ??
Other "firmware" bugs experienced in testing included (NOTE : The issues below were only detected after an "auto store" function was completed) :
- Very intermittently we experienced erroneous Memory data (these normally disappear with a loop around).
- Also when it’s having this fit, we were also unable to see memory Channels over 09.
- Sometimes it would not accept ANY manual memory channel entries (after some fiddling it would suddenly work again).

So a few disconcerting "bug-a-boos" do lurk (were the 2 test samples semi-defective ?). Good news is it never totally locked up in testing. We are unaware of any microprocessor reset procedure with the receiver as this report was being compiled.

Audio Quality and Painful Headphone / EarBud Use

Audio quality from the V-115's internal speaker is just outstanding for it's size. Not only does it have a beefy 4 ohm / 3 watt speaker and separate loud audio amplifier IC just for the speaker output, it also has a rear mounted passive micro "sub-woofer" which greatly increases bass response.

However what emits from the headphone output (jack) is another story. Here it uses the raw audio output right from the DSP chip's audio amplifier. It's very "shrill" sounding and was painful to listen to for any length of time with most phones / earbuds with the test sample. It also cannot produce any bass response with headphones (breaks up with a file that contains any real bass in it.). With MP3 listening we were able to somewhat offset the shrill sound with it's EQ settings (try "classic"), but is still no great shakes even after that.

To top that off there have been an excessive amount of reports where an owner only has audio in one ear (see the green block below for details, Craig Menning discovered the reason why on this as also covered in his report above).
But lets face it, listening via a pair of phones was extremely disappointing with the V-115 (harsh) even when all is well.

WARNING : One more comment with headphone listening, be sure and turn DOWN the volume BEFORE you return back to speaker listening. Otherwise It will be excessively LOUD if you do not !!

You Say You Only Get audio from one earphone or earbud on your V-115 ? :  Proper headphone / earbud operation depends on the diameter of the reduced portion of the tip on the phone plug. "Works fine with some phones, but not with others". So appears is the reason why some only get one channel, and it has to do with the headphone jack and headphone / earbud plug being used. The V-115 indeed receives FM Stereo and also records to the Micro SD card in stereo.

Our Conclusion : Decent  "Low Cost" Pocket Set !! (but Buyer Beware)

For what it is, the lightweight 7.2 ounce near pocket TIVDIO V-115 receiver is a sheer bargain and is just plain fun. Always excellent to see a SW receiver that include a built in "off air" recorder for capturing signals for the archive. However don't expect to receive a $ 100. receiver for $ 25. either. But the receiver performance is improved over the Degen Si473x "Off Air" record pocket sets we have tested over the years (say the tested Degen DE1125 / DE1126 etc.). Wider SW Bandwidth and AGC are more usable as where with the Degen pocket sets it was a total disaster on Short Wave (but not that it's perfect here either). The Tecsun PL-380 is still the better performer, however it does not have a built in "Off Air" MP3 recorder / player either.

One needs to keep in mind the possible "local station" MW or FM breakthrough on SW, poor headphone audio, self-generated circuit noise and disconcerting firmware bugs that do lurk with the V-115. We need to stress again with the 2 test samples the battery charger indicator worked weirdly (again please see review text above as this is extremely important for proper operation).

Dave N9EWO
c N9EWO, all rights reserved
Ver 6.2

Links and other Information (all subject to change without notice) :

TRRS #1332 - TIVDIO Shortwave Radios - Reception Tests (shows the MW Bleed into the SW Band Issue)

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