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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Kaito KA1103 Help

Reviews Summary for Kaito KA1103
Kaito KA1103 Reviews: 58 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $109.99
Description: This high quality world receiver is made in the best radio factory in Asia and it receives all the stations in shortwave spectrums , plus side bands, SSB. The special designed circuit is a high sensitivity one, but no noise. FMSTEREO/FML/MW/SW1/SW2/Single Side Band (SSB)

Product is in production.
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W9CPI Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2011 16:21 Send this review to a friend
Fine Radio, Great Value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Compared to my Sangean and earlier Sony, the 1103 is more sensitive and more stable. CW and SSB are much easier to tune in and are more pleasant to listen to. The 1103 is smaller to boot, and comes with nicads and a charger. It is a keeper, and you won't be disappointed in it!
SAILCAT Rating: 4/5 Mar 19, 2011 20:17 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio, Questionable QC  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I recently purchased a Kaito KA1103 from Amazon. It works well with good sensitivity and range on all bands, decent audio quality, and good looks. The radio is small and easily portable, too, making it an ideal radio to take along when traveling. Among the supplied accessories is a built-in battery charging feature that is very welcome, although I might suggest purchasing a set of Sony brand rechargeable batteries as the included batteries are of relatively poor quality: a small quibble, in my opinion. Some of the controls and displays are a bit complicated and require careful reading of the instructions to master, but once you get the hang of it they are manageable. Compared to my Sony ICF-SW7600GR it is nearly a match in most performance respects and the Kaito also has better audio, to boot. The Kaito is also a better radio in terms of sensitivity (especially in side band reception) as compared to my Grundig YB 400PE.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this little powerhouse with one caveat: the fit and finish of the Kaito leaves a bit to be desired as compared to Sony and Grundig. My KA1103 arrived very well packaged but when it was opened the radio had three dents on the grill. The plastic sleeve in which it arrived showed the same damage so I assume it was dropped when it was being packaged. Fortunately, it appears to work fine and because the return process is over-long and complicated I opted to keep it, but it is disappointing to receive such a nice radio from the manufacturer with cosmetic damage.

The bottom line is the Kaito KA1103 is a very nice radio and it comes at a good price. It is rather too bad that the QC at Kaito wasn't a bit better, however.
K7FD Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2010 13:42 Send this review to a friend
You'll smile BIG when you hear this radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have owned this SW portable for over a year now; use it every night, as it sits on my night stand. Super sensitive; I listen to SSB/CW on 80 and 40m with just the telescoping whip!

Like any radio, once you get used to its unique controls, it's a piece of cake to operate. I find everything I need to tune in and enjoy listening to stations, both weak and strong.

I bought mine from Amazon. It came VERY NICELY packaged with lots of accessories. The radio itself has some decent heft to it...doesn't feel like an inexpensive radio!

A friend a work expressed an interest in shortwave radio and I recommended this one. They got the radio and headed home with a few brief listening tips from the Old Man. The next day, they were excited to tell me what all they had heard!

It's a great little radio...

John K7FD

KA1SA Rating: 4/5 Jun 17, 2010 07:13 Send this review to a friend
Good but  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Performance is fine. However, for a portable short wave radio, it is odd that it comes with a wall wart having an unusual output (8v) and only 120 vac input. Has anyone tried this with another wall wart? Is there an international wall wart replacement?
KE4WKP Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2010 22:08 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio because my radio shack dx-390 was a piece of junk. The slightest bit of static blew the front end. It never was a good radio to begin with. So I got the kaito 1103. This radio is very sensitive even with the whip antenna. I cut a random wire about 40' soldered to a connector and was a bit disappointed until I grounded the shield on the connector. Wow this radio is amazing! I have had this radio about 2 years and it is still going strong. It is a real pleasure to use and blows away the old dx-390. My only complaint is the volume control. You have to push a button then use the knob to control the volume. I have gotten used to it but I would really like a knob dedicated to volume. I highly recommend this radio.
WA1UFO Rating: 0/5 Mar 6, 2010 01:40 Send this review to a friend
Neanderthal!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Mine has distorted audio on MW and SW. It is sensitive but this is not uncommon with modern circuitry. It reads 1 Khz off on SW and Mw and the bogus analog dial is a gross waste of space! A direct entry keyboaed would have been the ticket. The only reason I bought it was the cheap price at a flea market. Compared to my other portables, this radio is a dog! Poor ergonomics to boot.
WB9NFD Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2010 20:24 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Canít say much bad about the KA1103 except the clock has to be set every few weeks.
The radio hears almost as much with the whip antenna as my commutations radio I use on the HF bands. The size makes it very portable. I bought some 2500mh batteries and can go all week using radio 3 hours a day before charging.
I have had the Sony 2010, RS DX-394, Sangean 909, Sangean ATS 818, Sony SW55 but none work as well.
The price is right and easy to use. I had no problem getting used to the volume control.

Richard WB9NFD
NG0K Rating: 2/5 Jan 2, 2010 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Not too good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use this as a bedside radio and I'm a fool for using it that way. The audio is distorted and the ergonomics dumb. It's a sensitive little bugger and better on SSB than my YB400. I use an in-line volume control so I don't have to mess with the stupid volume control. I would not recommend it unless you want to DX with it.

Doug NG0K
DEANO Rating: 4/5 Dec 16, 2009 18:55 Send this review to a friend
BEST COMPACT PORTABLE FOR THE MONEY  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio to take on the road and for listening around the house. Sensitivity is excellent, as is the selectivity and audio for a radio this size. Use of the clarifier knob for SSB is fun and makes listening to hams on all meters easy and enjoyable. I like the fact that the light stays on for the display as well as the buttons. I'm not that crazy about the quirky method of adjusting the volume(pressing the "vol" button, then using the jog/tuning knob to adjust to desired listening level); and, I would have preferred a choice of tuning in steps other than 1 khz. However, for the money, this is only a minor annoyance. Like all Chinese imports, I hope that the parts hold out. With that said, overall, I am extremely pleased with this radio and would highly recommend it. For a portable radio under $100 bucks with good SSB, it really can't be beat. If not for the above mentioned issues with the volume and tuning steps, I would give it a 5 out of 5; but, perhaps I'm being a bit picky. Overall, though, it's a great portable radio.
W5WAA Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2009 08:44 Send this review to a friend
Surprise performance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had never heard of Kaito until I did a little research. I needed something to monitor my transmissions and to keep tabs on what was going on while at work, wow, much more than I had bargained for. Just before I received it I started making plans for an inside the building antenna of some kind. Surprise, the attached whip works great. In fact, the receiver works better on SSB than a lot of expensive non-portable shortwave receivers I have owned, and quite a few dedicated ham transceivers. This is a case where technology really shines. You got my vote as a top-notch product. Has all the controls you need, including a local/dx switch (which I leave in local position most of the time). If you use the reel type antenna included it raises the signal a little, but you really don't need it.
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