I have been looking for a good small radio for my go bag for a while. I have a very small emergency weather radio but I wanted something with AM/FM capabilities. Well I think I have stumbled across what is the perfect blend of performance and size – the Kaito KA200 Pocket AM/FM Radio. Great name, right?
I’m not going to go into detail about all the others tested. In my opinion they were too big for the mission. They were all great radios but at the end of the day the Kaito KA200 was the winner far and away.
The testing criteria was actually pretty straight forward:
- Battery life
- Sound quality
The Battery life on the KA200 was outstanding. The KA200 uses 2 AAA batteries (not included). Testing was done by leaving the radio on, on a strong FM station, at about half volume till the radio was unusable. With alkaline batteries installed (I would only recommend lithium if going in a go bag) I got about 55 hours give or take a few. I would anticipate that that number would be better with lithiums. That’s fairly awesome
On size, the KA200 is extremely small, measuring in at 3.5 X 2.25 X .75 inches. It’s about a half inch smaller than a deck of cards and about the same thickness and height. Easily pocketable and on our scale, came in at 3.1oz with batteries installed. Size and weight were the big winner here.
Signal on the KA200 was great. There were some stations that didn’t make the cut from larger radios but those were not ones I would be concerned with in my region, you mileage may very here. The KA200 has a small LED signal light that tells you when the signal is locked in. I found this to be helpful while scrolling through stations. The scroll wheel is a little firm so you won’t accidentally change stations if its in your pocket. It is directional on the AM band, meaning that you have to rotate it for the best signal. This is true for most pocket size radios.
Sound quality is pretty good, especially for the KA200 size. The sound was a little tinny but that was to be expected. As I said, I will just be using this for bad situations, so I’m not as concerned if I was going to be using it every day for sports or news. The KA200 comes with a 3.5 headphone jack that is not stereo but allows the monaural sound to be heard through both sides of stereo earbuds (not included). This could be a nice option if you were trying to be stealth or if you wanted to walk and listen to music.
The Kaito KA200 Pocket AM/FM Radio is the winner for my go bag. Super small and lightweight along with a long batter life makes it a no brainer. For $13 on Amazon I think it’s a no brainer to have around for your preps.
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