Re: Review - TEAC PR130 Portable AM/FM Radio


Paul Blundell
 

 
Updated - October 2020
 
“Handheld AM/FM Radio TEAC PR130 Compact and Portable Entertainment" 

"Enjoy entertainment on the go with the PR130 AM/FM handheld radio. With an extendable telescopic antenna for clear reception, this radio makes a great travel companion for camping, sporting events, and other outdoor adventures."

• Audio Power: 200mW
• Speakers: 1
• Accessories: User manual
 • Battery: 2 x AAA (not included)
• Unit Dimensions (WxDxH): 60 x 22 x 100mm
• Gift Box (WxDxH): 153 x 75 x 210mm

I recently purchased a new TEAC PR130 Portable AM/FM Radio to add to my ultralight radio DXing kit, the fact it has a digital frequency display (no fiddly dials to try and read in limited light) and runs off two AAA batteries sold it to me, for under $35 I hoped it would tick some boxes for me.

Physical:
It has 8 buttons on the front and 2 on the side. The front buttons are from left to right:
Power / Sleep, Band / Alarm, Volume down, Volume up
Stereo / mono (for FM band) / key lock, Memory / clock set, memory down, memory up
The side buttons control the tuning up and down, the location on the side means that they can easily be controlled with your right thumb.

This radio is large and light, but don’t let that fool you. It easily fits in your hand and is the perfect size for out and about listening or use anywhere. The battery cover easily opens when needed, allowing the installation of the two AAA batteries required to make it work. The screen is well designed with only the most important information shown, it has a orange backlight which allows easy night time use.

Build quality seems good, while I won’t be throwing it around it should stand up to daily use with no issues. 

Sound:
From my testing so far, both with the internal speaker and earphones, I can report the audio is good. It is of a level which allows long term listening without any struggle and the quality is more than acceptable for a radio at this price point. What I really like is the steps of the audio level, unlike some radios you can easily find a suitable volume level.

Performance:
Clearly this radio is not in the same league as my 7.5” lookstick equipped PL-380, however for a barefoot radio it pulls in signals at a level that I was not expecting. I have undertaken some testing, during day time listening I have been able to log stations from the Eastern Australian states with ease. 
 
Mating this with my 3" FSL, it really comes alive and provides excellent signals across the band. Even "barefoot", I find it to be able to pull in signals very well. My main use for the TEAC PR130 is bed time listening and in this role, it performs very well.

Focusing on single station frequencies (that is frequencies with only one active station on them) has shown it to be able to pull in some signals at a level which is much above what I would expect from a $35 radio of this size. Sensitivity and selectivity are better than I was expecting, I have a 5KW station around 11 km from my home, except for the fainest traces above and below this does not cause any issues, a much better performance than what I can say about some other “low cost” radios I have used in the past.

FM Radio:
While my focus is not on the FM broadcast band, the times I have switched over to this has shown that the TEAC PR130 is more than capable on this band, audio is nice and clean. It pulls in the stations I would expect it to and works as I would expect.

Battery Life:

As I have only had this radio for a short period of time, I am unable to pass comment on battery life, so far it seems to be acceptable. As this uses AAA batteries, I have found this to be on the lower side of acceptable.

Overall:
Looking at what radios are available around this price point, the TEAC PR130 stands out both for its performance and also value for money. Getting an AM /FM radio for under $35 with a digital frequency display and this level of performance would be unthinkable even just a few years ago.

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