Video may have killed the radio star and MP3 players may have killed CD players, but streaming audio hasn’t killed radio yet. You can still buy a portable radio and get unlimited music and information for free. There is no expensive data plan and there is no monthly fee. Everyone takes radio for granted, However, there can be quite a bit of difference between radio receivers. The Memorex AM/FM pocket radio aims to provide good ergonomics and good performance at a reasonable price. Priced between $16 and $20, the Memorex is priced higher than the cheap $5 radios that you might find a Big Lots, but less than expensive models aimed at a small number of radio enthusiasts.
Dimensions. The Memorex AM/FM pocket radio is about the size of a small “dumb” cell phone or a large Zippo lighter. It measures 1 5/8 inches by 3 1/8 inches by 3/4 inches.
Ergonomics. The radio is manually tuned via a traditional tuning wheel on the side of the unit. Volume is controlled by another wheel on the top of the unit. A slider on the top of the dimunitive radio slides from off to AM to FM. Another slider on the side activates the DBS bass boost circuitry.
Power Source. One AAA battery powers the radio. There is no provision for an external power source.
Output. The Memorex AM/FM pocket radio comes with earbud style earphones and accepts earphones and speakers that use a standard 3.5mm jack.
Reception. Radio reception depends on a variety of factors including terrain, buildings, atmospheric conditions, power of the radio station, and distance from the radio transmitter. When moving around, it can be frustrating to manually tune this Memorex unit as radio stations can come and go based on your location and the position of the antenna (the wire in the headphones). On a long walk with our dog, I found myself constantly working the tuning dial. However, once I found a very strong pop station, I was able to keep it tuned with little adjustment to the wheel. Reception was much better when I was in an essentially sedentary position working on my computer in the office.
Sound Quality. Good. The Memorex AM/FM pocket radio has a DBS switch that significantly boosts the bass and enhances pop music. The performance was similar to that delivered by my Coby CX-7 AM/FM Personal Portable Radio, but the performance is delivered in a more attractive package.
Overall, a little radio like this is always handy to have. You can use it when walking or working. It’s also very useful to have a battery powered radio in your home or office worker’s disaster kit. I don’t think the performance was much better than any other small radio. However, the contemporary styling of this Memorex unit makes it look considerably less geeky than many other portable radios. It’s a nice little radio.