The Kaito KA108: a shortwave portable with built-in record function

Kaito-KA108

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Ante, who writes:

Looks like Kaito has a new radio in the works. Portable shortwave receiver with record function. It looks very much like some of the Eton portables.

Here’s Universal Radio’s description:

The Kaito KA108 is a great AM, FM shortwave receiver with a very special feature. It has a record function that allows you to record off the air automatically! It can save the audio to a Micro SD Card or USB Thumb Drive (not included) inserted via the top panel. It also features a large backlit display with battery indicator, signal meter and conventional alarm function with two programmable wake up times.

There is a Line Input Jack and stereo earphone output jack. Power input is via a USB port. The KA108 comes with: Li-ion battery and USB charging cable. One year limited mfg. warranty.

Thank you for the tip, Ante! Universal has pricing and availability listed as TBA at time of posting.

I noticed that Amazon has the same radio via Kaito for $67.20 (shipped). Interestingly, the Amazon description reads:

“Kaito KA108 Super Sound quality AM FM Shortwave Radio with MP3 Player and Radio Recorder, Radio Time Schedule Recorder,Alarm Clock+ More”

I hope the “Super Sound” part means that the internal speaker is like that of the Melson S8, with an acoustic chamber. Those speakers have amazing fidelity for such a compact size. Checking this morning, the Amazon listing only has one review–a 5 star–but it wasn’t a verified purchase, had few details on performance and, frankly, smacked of shill a little too much for my taste.

I certainly hope this isn’t simply a Melson S8 with a re-designed body. As I mention in this review, the S8 suffered from terrible internal noise, rendering it useless on shortwave.

Kaito-Ka108-side

The Line In, Phone and DC IN 5V jacks are in the same placement and order as the S8–but the S8 also has the power button and MicroSD card on the side panel, the KA108 has the MicroSD card slot on top, along with a USB thumb drive slot.

Kaito-KA108-Top

I have hope that this is not a re-badged Meson S8 because the KA108 has features the Melson S8 did not, including the ability to record and even schedule recordings!

There are so few portables on the market that can record on the shortwave bands. There are no portables currently on the market that have a sensitive/selective receiver and do a good job of recording.  Even if the KA108’s receiver is only average, if it has a clean recording function, it will be a keeper for me.

My fingers are crossed!

Of course, I will certainly review the Kaito KA108 here on the SWLing Post.  I will most likely wait until Universal Radio has the units in stock, which I imagine will be soon.

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