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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Degen DE1103 Help

Reviews Summary for Degen DE1103
Degen DE1103 Reviews: 81 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $54.90
Description: A world band radio: 100-29000 KHz AM + SSB + stereo FM. Two IF bandwidths.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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M3VPI Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2011 08:25 Send this review to a friend
Fabulous little radio.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hi There,
I bought my Degen de1103 about 7 or 8 months ago, and I have nothing but praise for this little radio.
My story is one of hard luck and disaster, and for a few different reasons I cannot partake in my chosen hobby for the forseeable future, this radio for me has been a total lifesaver, for even though I cannot paticipate actively in amateur radio, I can still find much enjoyment in being an swl.
Of course it doesn't have the selectivity of a top of the range hf set, but what it does have is the capability to pull amateur and broadcast stations in even using the telescopic, the tuning is great and it is packed with just enough features to give it more than adequate performance, if I had to be pinned down to say something negative here then it would be that the telescopic is useless on 160meter band, but in the box you are provided with a very effective wire dipole , some headphones and even rechargable batteries and charger. talk about value for money !!!
speaking of batteries,upon opening the box all those months ago, I was in such a rush to get listening again that I opted not to use the rechargable batteries I put in a fresh set of leading brand high quality alkaline cells, I use this radio every day and those same batteries are still as fresh as ever, what an economical little rx this really is.
To sum up, unbeatable for the price.

Thanks degen. I owe you one.

73's de m3vpi central united kingdom station.
G4IPZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2010 12:08 Send this review to a friend
Fabulous little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for a simple little shortwave receiver to replace my old bedside set which had just died. The wife had said no to the FRG7 moving into the bedroom so I started looking about on the web. The DE1103 kept cropping up with great reviews and so I took a chance and brought one on 'Buy it now' via Ebay.
It arrived in a week and I haven't stopped being amazed by it yet.
I shan't write a major review of it as it is simply the best value for money piece of ham radio type kit I have ever bought myself.
OK it has some peculiarities (The tuning knob is also the volume control) but this is no stranger than the Alinco DJ596 where its not just tuning and volume but squelch as well.
For just over £50 GB I got the receiver, nimh batteries, psu/charger, headphones, long wire antenna, carry bag, and an additional active antenna kit, along with a series of adaptors for the DE1103 and other receivers.
Overall this is a fantastic piece of kit and worth every penny.
BRUNOSW Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2010 07:15 Send this review to a friend
Very impressed with performance!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have the Degen 1103 now since 3 months. As a SWL-er since 30 years I had a lot of receivers before: Grundig Satellit 3400 and several Sony's (still have one SW77) The Degen is a neat radio that performs as well as the much more expensive Sony's. It has a stable reception of China Radio International here in Europe. Strange volume control: I got used from the first day.
For this price: Verry good performance and nice (display) design!
GI0HWO Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2010 01:17 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant  Time owned: more than 12 months
Best portable SW radio I have ever had.
It outperforms all my Sony radios in every aspect.
Superb value for money
MUNGOSOOTY Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2010 08:57 Send this review to a friend
Very good for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have used quite a few radios and communications receivers - Icom, Kenwood R5000, Yaesu FRG-7700, FRG-7, Sony SW77, 2001D, Vega Selena 215, RCA AR88D, RACAL RA17 etc. Got my Degen DE1103 on ebay from seller lipyn. Arrived in one week form Hong Kong to England. What a nice little Receiver, it looks beautiful , specially with the dial lights on. At twice the price I would still recommend it. FM stereo quality is very good particularly through the line output. But for me, Shortwave broadcast reception is the main reason for buying this radio. Using it on the supplied re-chargeable batteries, as a portable it is very sensitive and using the whip antenna and the sensitivity on high, most of the time all works really nicely. It does not seem to overload dramatically but very occasionally reception is better if the dx/local switch is set to local, or better still, use the supplied long wire antenna with sensitivity set to local. But using a Yaesu FRT-7700 receive antenna tuner connected to the DE1103 antenna input socket, this radio is pretty hard to fault. Audio quality is very pleasant, not tiring, unlike some other receivers . Most radios have good and bad points, For the price, the DE1103 has no serious faults that are going to spoil your enjoyment. It's not perfect - SSB reception is good for a portable but not as good as a Communications receiver but as an AM shortwave receiver it is all you really need. On Long and medium wave , you can hear a little noise from the LCD display between stations and on very weak signals, Controlling the volume by pressing a button and turning the tuning knob is easy to get used to. The DE1103 has preset bands covering all the broadcast bands, the rest of the shortwave spectrum can be accessed using direct entry, tuning knob and scan. The 268 memories are not difficult to use. On AM using an Aerial tuning unit , this radio will embarrass much more expensive communications receivers , as a portable its pretty decent. Yes its not as good as the Racal RA17 (definitely not a portable!) its not quite as good as the Sony 2001d , or even the old analogue tuned Vega Selena 215, itís a much nicer radio to use and listen to than the overpriced Sony SW77 which has poor audio. --- As others have said, buy one and you will not be disappointed. (If you want a very good analogue and still under-priced radio for MW,LW and SW, try the old Russian Vega Selena 215 and use it on batteries not mains as this eliminates a great deal of mains noise, this is something to bare in mind with any AM radio - disconnect form the mains supply - battery power is always better).
TAMASHIDA Rating: 4/5 Jul 5, 2010 09:56 Send this review to a friend
Good for the price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought a Degen DE 1103 after reading all the opinions on this page. It was useful (thanks to everyone), but my experience is a bit different. The sensibility is good (not too however). The selectivity is also good, but there are two problems. 1 - When the reception is very good all the strong stations can be heard, so the radio is "singing". 2 - If a strong station has powerful high sounds, it can be heard through the whole band, what is very disturbing.
Everybody says that it has so good sound while it's a small radio. It's true in that meaning that low sounds are strong, and high sounds are limited. But for listening to news medium high sounds would be more useful.
It also has good sides, of course. The first is its size. A so good radio with so small size is unic, I think. The high sound cutter/better selectivity button is very helpful when you are seperating two weak radio station 5 khz from each other. But for strong stations and on SSB it is not functioning very good. Yes, the radio can receive SSB, and for a radio like this it's functioning well enough. It's also good that this radio can tune from 100 - 29999 Khz. It's easy to use, nice looking receiver.
It's good for tarveling and for beginers. But for good DX-ing is not enough. So I give "4" as a note, because by this price it's worth the money.
AA1OQ Rating: 1/5 Jul 4, 2010 11:10 Send this review to a friend
Don`t buy it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a DE1103 new. It worked perfectly for about 6 months, then the rotary tuning encoder failed, and you could no longer tune it manually. Then the telescoping antenna broke at the base (plastic radio frame) then the 6 volt power adaptor failed (generated hash) At this point all you could do was enter the frequency from the keyboard. Since the keyboard, (if you could call it such), was a goofy Chinese design, and the volume control was operated by push button (and counter intuitive techniques), my final opinion of this Chinese piece of ---- was that I wasted my money. Trying to use it was almost now impossible. DON`T BUY IT !!!!!
5B8BA Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2010 04:18 Send this review to a friend
great value  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned for over a year now, asked on G-QRP for advice on broadcast receiver within price range - this was the one that was recommended by 75% of responders (and I could have bought 4 for my budget!).

Ordered over Ebay, arrived (China-Cyprus) within a week).

The 'strange' controls (e.g. push 'vol' button and use universal tune control to increase/decrease volume - or enter (e.g. 2 & 0, push vol button to set volume at 20) no big deal, I was aware before I bought so wasn't looking for problems. Took a day or so to get used to them, now natural.

Pros. PRICE. superb tone for such a small radio. Built-in battery charger.

Cons. None.
OE3SGU Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2010 22:49 Send this review to a friend
amazing for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It simply amazes me how it is possible to produce a good receiver like this for such a small price (I paid 65 Euro, including delivery from Hong Kong AND a Degen 31 active antenna). The radio comes complete with a wire antenna, a good english written manual, earphones, a carrying pouch, a charger and 4 rechargeable batteries (1300 mah, charging time 13 hours). Sensitivity is very good and even SSB and CW tuning is easy (easer than on the Tecsun PL-600 which is also an amazing radio but slightly larger). I was listening to CW stations during the ARRL contest this weekend, with the telescopic whip I had no problem to copy plenty of US stations - indoors. The only shortcomings I noticed is the weird volume control and the non standard layout of the keyboard, but one can get used to it. Other than that the radio offers almost the same performance and versatility than some much more expensive models I own. Due to the light weight and compactness the Degen always travels with me in my backpack now.
W1GFH Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2010 18:48 Send this review to a friend
HOT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The real pleasure of the Degen 1103 is its amazing sensitivity using just the 3 foot whip antenna. I've had Sony portables (with much longer antennas) that didn't do this good. And getting that kind of performance with a 36" telescopic whip is a real "wow" moment.
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