XHDATA D-808: A Shortwave Comparison Against Four Other Portables

When the clouds part and the sun shines during the winter in the Seattle, Washington area, it’s time for a celebration! I decided to take advantage of the mild weather and compare the XDATA D-808 (a real upstart in the marketplace, and a value leader in portables) against a few other radios on a nice daytime signal from Radio New Zealand International, 15720 kHz.

Besides the D-808, receivers compared to each other were: the C. Crane Skywave SSB (complete with stray cat’s whisker on the LCD :^) , the Eton Executive Satellit, the Grundig G3, and a beautiful example of the rare Sony ICF-SW1000T (sometimes called the Sony Shortwave Walkman due to the built-in cassette recorder). My apologies for the lower audio setting on the G3.

The antenna used with each radio was a PK Loops “Ham Loop” antenna, which is advertised as covering 3.5 – 14.5 MHz, but my loop actually tunes approximately 3.2 MHz to 15.8 MHz. I also briefly received RNZI on each radio’s own whip antenna.

I used the 3.0 kHz bandwidth on all the SiLabs DSP radios, and the narrow filter on the G3. The ICF-SW1000T has a single filter, so it cannot be adjusted.

Since the G3 and the ICF-SW1000T have the option of synchronous-AM detection, in the video I cycle through those modes on these receivers.

RNZI on their 15720 kHz frequency is often at a good, program listening level in my local afternoons. Next week I plan to seek out and share videos of the D-808 with weak DX signals from an RF-quiet location on the Oregon coast.

Which receiver sounds the best to you with the external antenna, and which one shines with its own whip aerial? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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13 thoughts on “XHDATA D-808: A Shortwave Comparison Against Four Other Portables

  1. Bill Coleman

    Good radio for all bands.Mw reception is excellent.Telescopic antenna works well.SW receive is very sensitive.RNZI in Sydney sounds like a local am station but the occasional fading does happen.For $90 it is a bargain and a good choice for the beginner in this hobby.With a connection to my longwire the world is easy to receive on sw.No lw stations in OZ except for a beacon and a sports station for horse racing???.

  2. Guy Atkins

    Hi Mike, I have not used a ICF-2010 side-by-side with an ICF-SW1000T (perhaps Dan Robinson has), but I’d guess that except for the extra bandwidth on the 2010 they would be very comparable. This would be using the same external antenna. The longer whip on the 2010 would almost certainly make it more sensitive compared to the SW1000T with its much smaller whip antenna.

  3. Thomas

    Excellent comparison, Guy! To my ears, the D-808 did best as a stand alone receiver and the SW1000T was the best with the PK Loop. In fact, the SW1000T was amazingly clear with the PK Loop attached!

    The D-808 is certainly an impressive radio for the price. I need to check prop today and see about comparing the Digitech AR-1780 with the D-808. The steep, winding road from my house is frozen over this morning and my day-long event was cancelled. Perhaps I can play radio? 🙂

    Might need to catch up on a few “honey do” items first and let it warm up outside–it’s forecast to be above freezing today! Yesterday our high was 16F. (Right now my Canadian readers who wear shorts above 32F/0C are probably laughing at my whimpiness!


  4. adi

    I made an order now on ali, all went fine so far.
    I will be away for few days so hopefully when I return no strange e-mail in my inbox.

  5. Vince

    An update on my AliExpress issues ordering this radio. It now shows ‘Can not ship to Canada’.

    I also note that some eBay vendors are excluding Canada as well. I wanted to place an order from a vendor that I had purchase from in the past, but won’t ship to Canada now. I wonder what’s going on.

    There seems to be another place to purchase the XHDATA D-808. This from the first eHam review on this model:


    If anybody goes for it, let us know.

    Lastly, I contacted ANON-CO. Anna is in negotiations with the supplier to add this radio to her store.

    1. Guy Atkins

      You have really been getting a run-around from AliExpress, Vince! Do you plan to order from radiwow.com? I’ve read of some others receiving their D808s successfully from them.

      That’s good news about Anna at Anon-Co looking into selling the XHDATA receiver. I think this will be a popular model as word spreads about its performance vs. price.

      1. Vince

        Hi Guy,

        I did not get a good feeling when looking at radiwow’s page. Very limited info about the company, old copyright notices. It looks like they used a web commerce template that was never customized properly. Good to know people are ordering and receiving their orders ok. They accept PayPal, so there is some protection if things go wrong.

        I think I’ll wait for ANON-CO. I just ordered a Tecsun ICR-100 from her. So ANON-CO still ships to Canada, and my credit card is fine. :^))

  6. Dan Robinson

    I left a comment on the You Tube version noting that the SONY 1000T seems to
    exceed all of them, quite something for a radio of that age. But it is remarkable
    that the XHDATA (I have purchased one and am awaiting its delivery) does so well
    in this test.

  7. DanH

    The Sony 1000T did best with the external loop antenna. The XHDATA had either the best performance on the whip antenna or the worst performance on the loop. Nice comparison. I have the Eton Grundig Edition Satellit (same as Eton Executive Satellit). Mine is also a good performer with somewhat extra-crispy audio.

    I also listen to RNZI in Northern California during the current 2300 hour window. It’s 0023 UTC right now and RNZI is getting some deep fades.


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