CDNSE Newstar DR111 First Review

The DR111 DRM Radio (Photo: Chengdu NewStar Electronics)

Based on this initial review, it appears that the CDNSE Newstar DR111 is an improvement over the company’s last portable DRM radio, the DiWave.


[T]he unit is quite sensitive. RNZI evenings at 17675kHz and 13730kHz can be received various places within my house with only the internal whip. REE at 9630kHz using an external ham vertical antenna was similar copy on Pappradio (with a slight edge given to the Pappradio.)

DRM Audio while adequate, seems narrow and compressed in comparison to DReaM on my PC. I verified this by switching A to B between the Newstar and the Pappradio with DReaM using my JBL headphones. I’m beginning to wonder if the DRM audio is being processed by the DSP, just like the analogue audio. The DSP in analogue is a tad too aggressive. A real bonus in analogue is the adjustable bandwidth (1-6kHz) however. That and the DSP make analogue quite enjoyable even in the crowded 49M (6MHz) band. I have been listening to BBC on 5875kHz in the early AM with armchair copy and great audio using only the whip (throughout the house).

Read full post here.

Spread the radio love

18 thoughts on “CDNSE Newstar DR111 First Review

  1. Angel

    BY KEITH PERRON AS ALWAYS—-DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) was suppose to be a major breakthrough in international broadcasting. While it’s true that DRM as a platform truly sounds amazing when it works. The problem is for the most part it doesn’t.

    Recently a company in China called Newstar Electronics came out with the DR111 stand alone DRM receiver. This radio is a good example why DRM never has taken off. All the major receiver manufactures: Sangean, Tecsun, SONY, Panasonic, have all said there was no future in DRM in terms of sales. So either they stopped R&D on DRM like Sangean did, or they decided not to even consider it.

    This is where Newstar Electronics has stepped in. I’m wondering what happened for them to believe all the lies the DRM Consortium told Newstar to sucker them into making the DR111. But in all honestly the DR111 has got to be the worst shortwave or even non-shortwave radio I have ever used……..How can this bloke say he loves or likes the drm technology but say it does not work most of the time. How can you like a technology that you put down so much? It would be nice for a changed to see him put down HD radio ,because that system really does suck for many more reasons.. he still uses the old video reviews before the firmware updates,i´m sure there must be some improvements that he must like!.Also he knows that the DR111 is a pre production unit and of course the price is going to be still very expensive for what the radio would be expected to have.i have read the reviews of other DR111 owners and from experience ham radio operators and they do not put this receiver so down as this man does. most of them are able to pick up radio New zealand transmitting on only 25 KW in DRM and been receive in europe or the U.S.A using a simple wire antenna thrown out the window! When this units starts to became mass produce in the Indian market the prices will fall quickly maybe bellow the 50 us dollar sum,and maybe keith beloved tucson radio will also start to mass produce high quality RF high gain receivers so MR keith in his fringe area of non directed DRM to Taiwan mite be able to received a decent signal in his area. This may not the most sensitive receiver but according to most of its owners it´s not that bad!, and these are people who have high end shortwave radio units, and it would be a perfect unit to be used in a country like India for local MW and National shortwave coverage in that country to cover the needs of this great nation.,and the only way to start something is by introducing lower cost receivers,and pre production units cannot be lower in price until demand starts,after that im sure Mr Perron will by then be able to find high end receivers may tucson grundig sony ect!…PS.. GIVE THIS RADIO A CHANCE

    1. Keith Perron

      I love the technology. DRM could be amazing. The problem is the poor quality of this receiver. The DRM group should only allow these radios to be made if companies follow certain standards. The DR111 has none. My Tecsun, Sangean and old tube radios can pull in a signal from RNZI, AIR and other DRM broadcast. A very strong signal. The DR111 can’t even do that. Even in analogue mode this receiver under performs. I have a Tecsun DR911, which sells for less than 15USD and it pulls in a stronger signal.
      If seems your not reading carefully what I wrote. DRM as a technology is excellent. But the companies that are making the receivers are the problems. The DRM group in over 15 years has done nothing to make sure receivers get on the market and when they do they make a big song and dance, but almost all the receivers are rubbish. Except for a few.

      1. Mark Fahey

        Yes I agree with Keith. I love DRM and enjoyed an hour of All India Radio on 31MB in excellent DRM this morning before I ventured into the office. DRM technology is amazing, I listen on my WinRadio running on an iMac 27″ in BootCamp mode. However these cheap plastic DRM receivers don’t help promote the mode, they seem just to be really poor quality. India is investing heavily in DRM for external and domestic broadcasting, hopefully that demand will see some more robust, inexpensive portables available in the future.

  2. Angel

    Also this carefully done interview on his radio show,you can tell it´s well prepared to put down DRM as a system. ————–[email protected]/3101-1-Media_Network_Plus_PRG079_July_21_2012_30min_edition.mp3

  3. Thomas Post author

    You’re right–The DR111 has certainly been a bit of a disappointment. Keith mentioned on Facebook that he had an engineer evaluate it and they said that part of the problem was a very noisy power supply. It was overwhelming the receiver. It would be interesting to see how it would perform from a proper power supply.

    I’m waiting for the day that SiLabs makes a DRM chip and Tecsun or Grundig implement it in a portable. Unfortunately, it could be a long, long wait (as in “never”).

    1. Angel

      thats the same problem Morphy Richards has on its power supply! and that was years ago! dont they ever learn anything.

  4. Thomas Post author

    Very good. I was at the NASB conference last week where I had a chance to play with the Newstar a bit. Nice radio–controls are simple. I did not, however, have a chance to listen to a DRM broadcast on it. Looking forward to your full review!

  5. Keith Perron

    Love the radio. Radio New Zealand for example never sounded better. I’m looking forward to Radio Australia to start in DRM this summer. Let me send you more later.

  6. Terry

    Another lamentable demise in the HF world is the apparent end of the Shortwavelog freeware and its website (which now redirects to DXtreme payware.) Too many shoes are dropping these days.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.