Retekess/TIVDIO V-111 AM/LW/SW/FM Stereo Radio

TIVDIO V-1115

Retekess V-111

The Retekess V-111 (and the similar TIVDIO V-111) are DSP designs featuring multi-band reception including Stereo FM, with most of the usual digital features such as 100 Memories, Clock, Alarm and a Sleep Timer. You even get a pair of stereo earbuds…all for only $11.99 (from Amazon US . I also found the same radio as “Used But Like New” under the TIVDIO brand for $9.49 from a third party seller also at Amazon, and the radio did appear as a new one…the paperwork looked untouched and the radio still had the plastic protector sheet covering the display for example. However a later search showed the TIVDIO version as Currently Unavailable.

TIVDIO

Retekess

There do appear to be a few versions of this model so be sure you are getting the right one for your area. My TVIDIO’s box denoted that it was the 10K AM Step version for North America vs the 9K Step AM version for most other countries…it cannot be changed as on many radios. Interestingly, the back panel of my sample gives the AM band as 522 KHz – 1620 KHz which is incorrect for my 10 K Step version which runs from 520 KHz – 1710 KHz as it should. Also of note that although this is not advertised as covering Longwave the back panel reveals that it indeed does cover LW from 153 KHz – 279 KHz. There is no mention of LW on the box or in the advertising and there is no LW Band button. The manual however reveals that MW is divided into two bands – press MW once and you are in normal MW (AM) but press twice and you’re in LW.

The above all pertains to the TIVDIO version I bought – I notice that in pictures of the Retekess version the back panel of the radio does not give the LW frequency range as it does on the TIVDIO so I don’t know if the Retekess has LW or not or if it is available in both 9K or 10K AM Step versions. [If any owners of the Retekess V-111can let me know about their radios I will pass the info along here.]

Specifications:

AM/LW/SW/FM Stereo DSP RadioAM: (Two Versions): 9K Tuning Steps – 522 KHz – 1620 KHz, or 10K Tuning Steps 520 KHz -1710 KHz – see text above)

LW: 153 KHz – 279KHz (see text above)

SW: 3.2 MHz – 21.9 MHz (In 7 Bands)

FM: 64 MHz – 108 MHz

Memories: 101 – 10 per band (AM/LW/FM and 7 SW bands) Plus 1 for your Favorite FM Station

Earphone jack: 3.5 mm/1/8” Stereo

Sleep timer 90 Mins Max (non-defeatable)

Power Source: 2 AA Batteries

USB Power Input Jack

Time and alarm with “ascending sound”

Backlit LED Display

Power/Lock Button

Retekess (Note No LW)

TIVDIO

Checking It Out: The TIVDIO V-111 is an admittedly dirt-cheap radio selling for between $10-$13 as of this writing (February 2020). That it should arrive with a multi-lingual Owner’s Manual in 5 languages and stereo earbuds was a surprise. Those earbuds are not the worst I’ve heard. (OK…I’ve heard some pretty bad ones. I once needed a pair to do some unexpected audio work on my laptop PC while travelling and bought a cheap pair at a gift shop…they probably cost $5 or so. They were so muffled I preferred the sound of my laptop’s speakers…I couldn’t believe how terrible they were). The buds that come with the V-111 aren’t expected to be super Hi-Fi but they sounded totally reasonable…they sounded better than the radio’s built-in speaker for example.

 

The radio has one unusual design quirk and it concerns the Power On/Off functions. There is a Power/Lock switch on the right side which is actually a main power switch as opposed to the more common Lock switch (which would freeze all control operations whether the radio was on or off). When this switch is off all power is cut to the radio, including the display (to conserve battery power). Once you switch this on the display appears and the backlight comes on for several seconds but you have to press the front panel On/Off button to turn the radio on. But a third button just to the left of the On/Off button is labelled Mute and this is really confusing. When the radio is playing, hitting the Mute button mutes the audio, (theoretically leaving the radio on)??? But oddly that Mute button functions just as the On/Off button…hitting either switch will turn the radio off or on. But there appears to be no difference in the operation of the On/Off button and the Mute button.

The default on setting invokes a 90 Minute Sleep Timer which you can toggle down in 10-minute increments all the way to “Off” but the Sleep Timer will always be active…there is no constant “On” position. The radio also sports a USB jack for external power but unlike most USB-equipped devices the V-111 does not charge batteries internally…it runs on standard AA’s. You can still use rechargeable AA’s but you will have to charge them externally.

Performance: 

After extended testing I learned that the TIVDIO/Retekess V-111 is not a bad radio for the price, which also means that if you decide to spend a bit more you can get more radio. It performed best on FM where it was very fairly close to the Four-Star FM radios, which is to say it was reasonably sensitive and selective, owing to its DSP design. On AM it didn’t quite match the One-Star radios but it was better than many cheapo radios out there…your typical stations will come in just fine on it, but I will say that the One-Star AM radios maintained volume on weaker stations that just were too quiet to hear on the V-111 and most offered more balanced audio as well.  On SW the V-111 was perhaps a tad better…again it was fine for casual band-scanning.

Sound was really utilitarian on the V-111, being somewhat thin and a bit hissy when signals were less than perfect…a mellower audio tone would have improved its listenability quite a bit. On the other hand, it sounded as good as a typical smartphone which is what many people consider “normal” these days. It certainly won’t become a daily player around here but for emergency use, backpacking or just traveling light and not having to worry about loss or damage the V-111 just might suit you.

Jay Allen

See The TIVDIO V-111 at Amazon:

See The Retekess V-111 at Amazon:

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