Tag Archives: Tivdio V-115

Guest Post: Radios I Have Known #2

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Neil Goldstein, who shares the following guest post which originally appeared on his blog, Fofio:

Radios I Have Known #2 The old, the new, and the Select-A-Tenna

by Neil Goldstein

L-R: Select-A-Tenna, Tivdio V-115, Sony ICF-5500W

After promising this series a year and a half ago, I finally have started digging through the collection, and will start posting about once a week.  The radios, and accessories may not have anything in common (as seen in this post), but were all acquired because they were in some way interesting, or sentimental to me.  Here’s the first three:

One of the original air-core tunable AM antennas.  You just put this near the radio and peak it for reception.  I was watching for one of these in good shape, and not overpriced, and they have been in and out of production over the years.  This one is from a later production run as can be seen by the extended AM range (1700).  Jay Allen reviewed the S.A.T by comparing the the TERK Air Core antenna not long ago here:  https://radiojayallen.com/select-a-tenna-vs-terk-am-advantage/  The TERK reviewed well, and looks more modern, but I wanted the classic cheesy art-deco looking S.A.T.

Tivdio V-115
I won’t post a long, boring review here.  Many have already reviewed this radio.  All I can say is that if you like small, decent-sounding transistor radios, you will not be disappointed.  If you are expecting top-shelf performance, and perfect ergonomics, then you you may not be happy, but for around $19 you really should be happy with this little gem.  A great little radio at a great price and the most impressive thing here is the sound.  The radio has a small passive radiator like the Meloson M8, and M7, and really surprises me.  It can also be used as an amplified speaker, and has a micro SD slot for using it as a standalone MP3 player.  Grab one!

Sony ICF-5500W
Most transistor radio collectors know this radio.  It’s a classic for sure, but I have to give a little background on why I wanted one.  When I was about 12 years old, I had a few analog SW portables, but nothing with direct frequency readout.  Panasonic had introduced it’s series of direct-readout radios, the RF-2200, 2800, and 4800, and Sony was competing with the ICF-5900W.  Dad acknowledged the quality and technology of these radios, and told me that if I saved most of the money by working for him, he may help me get one.  The 2800, and 4800 were way out of reach, but one Sunday in the local paper, a department store in Kingston (Britt’s, which was Newberry’s answer to Macy’s) had the 2200 advertised for $138.88.  I had been flip-flopping between the Sony and the Panasonic for weeks, but that was the clincher.

The radio is still in use.  My sister in law has it.  I had given it to my late brother Paul at some point and she still uses it as her main radio.

Why this Sony though?  I still want a 5900W.  When I saw this one come up at an auction, I recognized the shape it was in.  The ICF-5500W was the companion radio to the 5900W.  AM/FM and VHF Hi (with a basic, but functional squelch control).  The 5500 and 5900 are a monument to Sony design at the time.  The pop-up antenna (which still works flawlessly), The separate Bass, Treble, and Loudness controls, The overall quality of sound and function, all of this is an example of what Sony was producing at the time.  I think their modern small electronics are a shadow of what they were capable of years ago.  This thing still sounds great and performs well next to my modern DSP radios.  I still would love to get a pristine 5900W but they usually fetch premium dollars.  Maybe someday.

Bravo Sony, but where did you go?

More to come!!

Thanks for sharing, Neil!  I, too, have the Tivdio V-115 and the Sony ICF-5900W.

The ‘5900W is a gem of a solid state receiver. It has brilliant AM broadcast band reception and rich audio. I need to open my ‘5900W and clean all of the contacts since some of the sliders are scratchy. It’ll make for a nice rainy day project!

We look forward to your next installment! Post Readers: be sure to check out Neil’s blog, Fofio!

Radio Deal: TIVDIO V-115 $18.99 US shipped

I just noticed that the price for the TIVDIO V-115 has been lowered to $18.99 US shipped on Amazon.com.

Click here to read our previous reviews of this radio. This is the lowest price for the V-115 I’ve seen on Amazon.  As I mention with any Amazon sale–a now standard disclaimer–the price could change at any moment.

Click here to view on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

Radio Deal: TIVDIO V-115 $19.99 US shipped

I just noticed that the price for the TIVDIO V-115 has been lowered to $19.99 US shipped on Amazon.com.

Click here to read our previous reviews of this radio. At this price, it would make a great stocking stuffer!

Click here to view on Amazon.com (affiliate link)

Dave reviews the Tivdio V-115

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who notes that he has published a review of the Tivdio V-115 on his website.

Dave’s conclusion? This little receiver is a “Decent Low Cost Pocket Set.” I would whole-heartedly agree. I mean, this little radio is widely available on Amazon and eBay for around $19.00 – 25.00 US including shipping!  About as inexpensive as a radio gets.

Though you pay for what you get, with the Tivdio V-115 (a.k.a. Audiomax SRW-710S), you get a lot more radio than you would expect for the price.

Listening to the BBC Midwinter Broadcast on June 21, 2017 in Québec.

In terms of performance, the V-115 isn’t on par with even the venerable ($40-50) Tecsun PL-310ET (in my opinion).

However, the V-115 has decent off-air recording capabilities and is more sensitive than anything else in its price range that I’ve reviewed (despite internally-generated noise). I receive numerous inquiries from SWLs in India who seek a $20-30 receiver–the V-115 may be a good choice for those on a very tight budget.

But Dave’s review goes into great detail about the V-115’s quirks, performance and overall usability. I encourage you to read it before making a purchase decision.

Click here to read Dave’s review.

The Tivdio V-115 is available via Amazon and eBay. It is also badged as the Audiomax SRW-710S. Click here to read other reviews we’ve posted.

More positive reviews of the Tivdio V-115 & Audiomax SRW-710S

This morning, I received yet another positive comment about the Tivdio V-115 (a.k.a. Audiomax SRW-710S).

This little radio is widely available on Amazon and eBay for around $19.00 – 25.00 US including shipping.  About as inexpensive as a radio gets. Both Troy Riedel and Tom Stiles gave it an overall positive review.

Check out some of these recent comments from Post readers:

Andrew H:

“I purchased the V-115 about a week ago, and was surprised at how much radio I received for $15 plus free shipping. The FM band is quite sensitive. AM is good for locals, but not exactly a DX machine. Shortwave was iffy, but improved once I tightened the antenna mount screw (I’m used to loose screws!). Depending on location, shortwave is better, but does get some bleed from strong AM’s in the area. The audio is amazing for something of this price. I have yet to try the recording, but, this has become my go-everywhere radio as of late.”

Egil – LA2PJ:

“The TVDIO V-115 is an amazing receiver. It was bought because I needed a small recording device for my portable SWL activities. I put a 32 GB into the slot, and found that the recordings all were of excellent quality. It also doubles as an external speaker for my FDM-DUO qrp transceiver.

I’ve only tried the radio part on 25m shortwave, and to my surprice the first station heard was from Brazil.

Not bad for a device costing less than USD 20 including p&p from China to Norway!”


“I recently purchased this TIVDIO radio. I am in Australia and it is a little beast of a machine.
I live in rural country area and seem to have no luck with the short wave radio. Everything else is great!

I have a 64gb micro SD card in it and can fit thousands of songs in it.

The screen is awesome, seems to detail everything going on even has a little spectrum analyzer at the bottom of screen.

The speaker along with the bass is outstanding considering the size and price of the unit.”

J D Bulow-Osborne:

“I bought two of the TIVDIO version radios several months ago. A 16GB TF card completed each one. They are, of course, re-chargeable, the sound, for the size, is excellent, the case finish is worthy of a more expensive item. Button lock, mp3 recording, auxiliary input, delete function, (including unwanted channels that the auto-tune has found), makes them a real bargain. They impress everyone who sees – and hears – them. OK, so there’s no clock or DAB, but for just over £12, including shipping from China(?), it would be really churlish to complain. One battery charge seems to last a very long time.”

Roger Waters:

“I own the Audiomax version of this radio. I have recorded classical music from an FM station using the Audiomax. When playing the recording on an iphone with $100 Audio Technica headpbones, the recording sounded quite good. Using the Audiomax to play recorded music off its storage card also sounds pretty good if the equalizer setting is Jazz and the headphones are expensive. While the Audiomax does not have a timer, its Auto On or Sleep function will save any recording when it turns off the radio automatically. When playing music off the storage card, the music can be listed according to artist. But the artist listing is not completely alphabetical. Radio reception for AM, FM, and SW is solid but not DX quality. When entering a frequency you have to wait about 4 seconds before the frequency changes. Also you cannot scroll to any desired frequency. The scrolling keys will skip over any frequency which does not have a significant signal. Where the Audiomax shines is that with a press of a button you can go from a boring commercial on the radio to some nice prerecorded music or podcast. For the radio alone, the Audiomax is worth its selling price.”

I agree with these assessments of the Tivdio/Audiomax. I’ve had this little radio for about a year now, but only really started using it around May of this year (this is the same radio I had forgotten that I’d purchased last year).  Of course, the best feature is the function that allows you to make off-air recordings and save them to a MicroSD card–it actually works quite well.  While in Canada this summer, I recorded a number of FM, MW and SW broadcasts on the Tivdio–so much easier than carrying an external recorder.

Listening to the BBC Midwinter Broadcast on June 21, 2017 in Québec.

Now if I put on my radio reviewer cap for a moment, I would have to note two issues, in particular:

  • Though receiver sensitivity is quite good, the AGC circuit is a little too over-active when receiving a weak signal. Last summer, for example, while listening to the BBC Midwinter broadcast in Québec (see photo above), the AGC was so unstable I simply didn’t bother making a recording. Admittedly, I was very impressed a $20 radio could even detect this signal. I found that nighttime mediumwave reception is also problematic, save for the strongest of stations.
  • The V-115 also seems to be quite prone to RFI indoors–more so than, say, a Tecsun PL-310ET. I suspect this is because it’s not shielded very well internally. Not an issue, if you’re listening outdoors, of course.

In truth, it’s hard to be critical of this little radio. As so many of you have echoed, for $19.00-25.00 US–? You simply can’t beat it. A great value indeed.

Click here to search for the Tivdio V-115 on eBay and click here to search Amazon.