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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Sangean ATS 909X Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for Sangean ATS 909X Receiver
Sangean ATS 909X Receiver Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $449.00
Description: AM/FM/SW receiver
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Sangean ATS 909X Receiver.

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9V1JP Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2012 06:20 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I learned about the newest worldband receiver from Sangean about 2-3 months ago. I did not buy it until my trip to Taiwan. Finally bought it from BEST electronic store in Taipei. I happen to have my Eton E1-XM with me. Did a quick A-B comparison with the built in telescopic whip antenna. Sangean seems to perform better in the MW band. On the SW band, the Eton E1-XM seem to be better in terms of readability and sensitivity. I have not had opportunity to compare SSB reception at the moment. The Synchronous Detection on the E1 helps in eliminating fading and increases readability/intelligability of the signals.

For the price and the size of the Sangean, I think it is much more portable for travelling. But for tabletop applications, I prefer the E1.
VK2GJF Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2012 19:19 Send this review to a friend
A nice portable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently had the opportunity to purchase a used version of this radio date stamped 01/11 with an early version of the firmware. I like the look of the radio very much and the backlit display is superb. I found the audio good for such a small speaker and the functionality good. I compared it side by side with the original 909 as well as the Sangean PR-D5 and Tecsun S2000. Lets face it, this is a portable radio for casual listening and NOT a communications receiver by any stretch of the imagination. So with that in mind, it does a very good job. Audio was better than the original 909, much crisper, sensitivity on AM was on par but FM was much better. Side by side on MW, the PR-D5 outclassed all the radios tested but on SW (PR-D5 excluded), the radios performed closely with the Tecsun (Grundig Satellit 750), performing slightly better. Yes, it would have been great with a Synch detector, Tecsun have shown that this can be included in cheaper portables with good results, so for the new price of the Sangean, I feel it was an oversight. I found the buttons needed sometimes pushing more than once and what I find the biggest let down is the thumbwheel tuning, quite frankly, its a pain to use! What a shame that Sangean did away with the tuning control placed on the side like the original version for the sake of what maybe aesthetics. Overall, it is an improvement on the original 909, albeit just but as stated, I like the look of the radio overall and it will be a keeper. One to add to your collection if you want a nice portable radio to play with. I would have rated it higher except for the thumbwheel tuning.
PA0RCL Rating: 4/5 Mar 19, 2012 02:35 Send this review to a friend
Primarily a BC receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Letís face it, this is radio intended for broadcast listeners and not primarily for hams. For the latter group, it just lacks some selectivity on SSB, let alone on CW. Tuning across the amateur bands is not very comfortable with the dented steps of the tuning knob and fine tuning on an SSB station is not that easy. I find the AGCís response too fast with strong amateur stations (the "pumping" soon becomes irritating) although this can be overcome somewhat by reducing the RF gain. A minor isssue is that the S-meter merely indicates a number of bars, not S-units and that the frequency display has no decimal digit. These issues, except the ones relating to the display, apparently have been solved in the Radio Labs version of the ATS-909X. I would have given that one a five (had I bought it) and consequently I give the original ATS-909X a four.
For the broadcast listener, this portable radio is an excellent choice. It has good sensitivity and sound quality and plenty of memories to store favourite stations. It has good looks, too.
All in all, this is a radio that cannot be beaten for the invested money.
KD5HLB Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2012 13:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent receiver!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For the money it is by far the best communications receiver on the market today. The step button for fine tuning SSB signals is better than what you will find on other receivers in that price bracket. I use mine for emergency management with my amateur radio station. I highly recommend it for city or county EOC, or for your personal use.
KB3IUL Rating: 4/5 Dec 11, 2011 23:17 Send this review to a friend
Down and dirty review  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Yes it is a pretty radio and if you are not a DX'er this radio qualifies for: occasional users...MW Band seems to be attenuated (may be a suitable reason for that. Shortwave Bands seem Ok....agree radio should have a Synchronus Detector as a matter of fact I thought it did and the reason is that would be insane not to have must say to yourself trick or stupidity...(me) not a smart thing. Good quality on the FM and the RDS works well...she is purty. Then you say what the F do you expect of a portable radio....many limitations should have not very high is not like a Sony 2010 but in rating it as a casual listener. aesthetics. Great Ergonomics: works for me This radio meets my expectations is what it is.
CAPTCHUCK Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2011 06:35 Send this review to a friend
Radio Labs Modifications  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just ordered my ATS 909x and wanted to update you all that does do a ClearMod Filter upgrade, as well as the detent removal for this device. I will report more as soon as I have more time with the unit.
AD5VM Rating: 4/5 Apr 17, 2011 10:04 Send this review to a friend
I'll keep it.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
-Great audio (not as good as say a Boston Receptor but way better than an Eton E3)
-Great looks (iPod-ish)
-Great size (larger than an E3 but way smaller than an E1 size)
-Nice backlight
-Very long (Stainless steel) whip antenna
-Great sensitivity and selectivity
-Great built in antenna for AM BCB
-Battery charger
-Comes well packaged with lots of extra goodies.
-RDS works well

-No button backlight
-I don't like the poor attempt at a "magic wheel" for tuning, see Theo's review. I agree with him 100000% on this issue. I prefer the smooth detent-less encoder knob on the side like the E3 and DE1106.
-No sync detector.. For this price it should have come with one. I've got a $120 Degen DE1106 with a sync detector and it's amazing what a difference it can make on some fading stations.
-The wide/narrow switch doesn't seem to do much, it's less effective than the one on my E3 or my DE1106.
-A bit overpriced.

If the tuning knob was better and it had backlit buttons and a sync detector I'd give it 26 out of five stars. I'm keeping it because I like the looks, the sound and the size. But can only give it four stars...

KF5LWX Rating: 4/5 Apr 7, 2011 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Almost there  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So I've had my ATS-909X for a little over a day and thought I'd give some brief feedback from an early first impression. Let me preface this by saying I'm not a radio expert nor am I a novice. I've own several desktop receivers: JRC NRD-535, Icom R-75, and Yaesu FRG-7 but this is my first experience with any type of portable radio. I no longer have a desktop unit to do any direct comparisons, but I understand of course that would be comparing apples to oranges anyway.

Within 5 minutes I was receiving good signals from various amateur operators here in my home office. I went directly to 20 meters using only the whip antenna at about 3:30pm MT. Signals on this band ranged crisply from Washington State, California, to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even a good signal from Spain (I'm located in NM). Nothing much going on in the other ham bands at that time, but I was pleasantly surprised to pick up what I did that early. Of course the advantage of the whip indoors is the ability to move it around and find the "sweet spot". Sometimes moving it 2 feet to the right lost the signal all together (more of an indication of my static-laden environment). I even picked up some type of aviation transmission by accident at 10Mhz that I never noticed before on any of my desktop units. Audio quality through the speaker was quite good for a portable and likely better than some desktops.

Later that evening & night, I easily scanned a few broadcast stations ranging from the US to France, to Cuba, to Beijing. Using the whip will bring these stations in ok but a little on the weak side. Connecting the included ANT-60 portable coiled antenna boosted all of those station by about 3 SW Meter bars, but also boosted the background static in some cases, no doubt because of my environment. SW broadcast stations definitely benefitted (as expected) from the extra length though I found on some ham signals the background noise increase outweighed the foreground. I have not tried my good outdoor Par End Fedz but I expect it to be far better across the board and with significantly less noise. I have not yet detected any noticeable drift and the signals seemed to lock on nicely.

Regarding sensitivity and selectivity, this little portable impresses me though I don't have any pre-conceived expectations other than I know what is possible with a good desktop unit and proper outdoor antenna. Right off the bat it appears to be a very capable portable rig with very good sensitivity. As others have said already, the fine step tuning on the SW bands is a little more coarse than I would prefer, but it never prevented me from getting to the spot I was looking for. I haven't gone through the entire manual yet but so far all the functions seem relatively comprehensive (the English translation is pretty poor in spots). I'm not sure how helpful it is to have the presets for various countries installed at the factory because of the constantly changing SW schedules and the inability to automate those changes. It seems fairly tedious to keep editing the presets manually, but the radio does of course allow you to edit all presets and/or add your own if you need to keep up with it. I do like how the bands are bracketed for quick auto-tuning.

Now let me pick on the one thing that bothers me most about this radio and really is the only main thing. No radio is perfect and I expect that. For the most part this radio is a winner and at the end of the day, I can enjoy it as it is. The build quality is acceptable, with the stand out exception of the tuning dial. I'm all for a tuning dial on a radio over up/down buttons any day, but the dial on this radio is surprisingly cheap, loose, and inaccurate. There is significant play under my thumb and this play will sometimes nudge the frequency up or down a step without actually snapping over the detent and can be annoying when in fast dial mode getting close to your destination. The dial feels paper thin and fragile. I'm not a fan of detents ether, but as long as a dial at least functions in lock-step with each detent I would be fine with it. This dial doesn't seem to be synched with any detent and is readily obvious moving back and forth, though it doesn't happen every time you touch the dial. This really surprises me for a radio at this price point and on what is probably the most used control on it. You could argue that the volume knob on the side would have made a much better tuning dial if it were loosened up a little. That knob feels tight and a lot higher quality.

There are other minor things that have been pointed out before me like having to press the [F]requency button to first dial in a number, but that those things I can make peace with. The tuning dial in my mind is less forgivable because you have to deal with it every time you pick up the radio and it should have been an easy thing to build in this day and age without adding more expense. Of course you can use the Tuning < and > buttons, but it's more cumbersome and why have to compromise to make it right. The built-in charging feature for the batteries is a nice addition; I so far have been using rechargeable NiMH. The LCD display is large and easy to read though I noticed it has a relatively narrow viewing angle. The backlight is bright (but not too bright) and evenly lit. It's nice to have a printed reference of all the bands under the display.

Overall I'm pleased with the radio's excellent sensitivity, comprehensive functionality, and features. In an all encompassing judgement, is it a good radio? Yes it is. I think it might be a little over priced in my opinion compared to the competing units. If some company like Radio Labs decides to offer a tuning dial upgrade I'd send mine in faster than you could lick a stamp. For me, the only thing that prevents me from calling this radio a great one instead of a good one is solely down to the dial issue. To those that already have an ATS-909 and are wondering if they should switch to the "X", I'd say unless your radio has some type of issue or you're a radio hound the answer is probably no.

Again, this is my first (albeit early) experience with this or any portable SW radio. Like all reviews, consider that and take with a grain of salt and recognize I am one voice. I'm looking forward to seeing what this portable can do.
F6GYY Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2011 00:07 Send this review to a friend
Very very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As a owner of the Techsun PL-600 I must say that the new Sangean ATS-909X is a major improvement on ergonomy, copy, clarity and syntheziser noise.

All the SSB adjustments are on the front, no lateral BFO ... LSB or USB is chosen then precisely adjusted with the slow step tuning of the main I do on my Palstar R30A receiver...Of course this needs a bit of practice.

Long wave section is very sensitive... also the SW ranges ...even with the whip antenna, which is longer than the one on the PL-600.

SBB copy is crystal clear, tried 160 m SSB stations at night with an external wire of 8 meters in my room on the first floor. No whistles, very clear reception.The DSP helps a lot.

AM Broadcasting is nice. Versatile receiver
with the different frequency entries.. The RF gain on the side is very near of the 9V power in and difficult to adjust, with my big fingers...

Ergonomy is better than on my PL-600. The big main tuning wheel is a big plus. The tuning steps are well placed on the wheel..

S-meter, charging batteries, memory banks and accessories..All what the listener needs. A bit bigger than the PL-600 but far much pleasant to use...
NR3G Rating: 4/5 Mar 26, 2011 05:31 Send this review to a friend
Pros and Cons  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wish that I could give this receiver a 5, but I have one problem with it so far.

Pros: Excellent AM/FM/SW sensitivity.
Excellent sound quality.

Con: I only wish that Sangaen would have separated the BFO circuitry from the "SLOW" STEP tune circuitry as I am a big fan of listening to Aeronautical HF radio which uses SSB. When I finally tune the SSB signal in properly I find that the frequency ends up being off by at least 1 khz in nearly all bands. This is not a problem with my Tecsun PL-600 receiver as the BFO is separate from the tuning circuit.

This is my only complaint about the radio so far.
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