HanRongDa HRD-701 — Many Features, tiny package

HanRongDa HRD-701

As one can see from the photograph, the HRD-701 is one of the smallest shortwave radios on the market, but its designers packed in a world of features underneath that small exterior sporting just 7 buttons, a switch and two knobs. It comes with a battery, wrist strap, manual, 10 ft. clip-on external antenna, and waterproof carrying pouch.

Here are some of the features:

  • MW/FM/SW/Weather radio
  • Weather alerts
  • Alarm clock / Sleep timer
  • Automatic station scanning
  • Tuning indicator light
  • Station Memories
  • Music player from TF/Micro SD card (256 GB)
  • Key lock
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Rechargeable battery (BL-5C) with USB-C charging
  • Region settings for FM range and MW channel width
  • Graphic equalization display and settings playing music files
  • SW: 4.75 – 21.85 MHz, one continuous band

Of course, a small size introduces some problems, one being that the display electronics can generate radio noise noticeable on some frequencies. It also means that the whip antenna is relatively short, about 11″ (28 cm). The one feature that I do miss is an earphone jack. The one feature I can do without is the Soldier/Army insignias on the sides of the unit. The case labeling states: “PLL WORLD BAND RADIO BLUETOOH MUSIC_PLAYER,” but I sincerely doubt that this radio is PLL; it’s DSP.

This video shows an example of the internal noise on one particular channel (the video opens with the HanRongDa, not the Kaito).

I did a scan of the MW band in daytime here in a very weak signal area. I got 4 stations clearly. This is average performance. The poorest performers only get 1 station, and the best get 20. Shortwave is average also, certainly no DX machine. I get my local NOAA weather station perfectly, but it is not that far away. FM is always good on these DSP radios.

The speaker is a 3W according to the manual, and it proved remarkably loud and of good quality, surprisingly good for something this small.

One unusual feature is the ability to tune the radio by display digit. When you turn the tuning knob, you will see a tiny caret symbol appear inside and near the top of the right-most digit. The tuning wheel increments on that digit. If you press the MOD button, the caret will shift one digit to the left and then the tuning wheel controls that digit. It’s a clever way to do near direct entry of a station frequency. This allows relatively fast tuning despite the lack a frequency entry keypad.

Overall this a fun little radio. It’s feature rich and well-designed.

It costs $38.99 USD currently on Amazon, and around $28 at AliExpress (including shipping to the US).

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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