This is one of my top radios. It covers LW, MW, SW, FM and Air band. It has SSB and sync tuning; it has 700 station presets and is a solid performer. I think it’s an attractive product if you get it at the right price
The Eton Elite Executive (AKA Executive Satellit — see notes at end), is one of my top three radios (the other two being my Tecsun PL-660 and PL-330). Radios of this caliber all get basically the same stations (the PL-330 doesn’t have Air band) and the differences have to be found in features, secondary functions, documentation and usability.
I’ve kept track of how various of my radios perform on MW and FM, and share that following
I wish I had a simplistic measure like this for shortwave, but day to day and hour to hour conditions vary too much for me to give a rating for a shortwave radio, so what follows focuses on features and usability.
The Eton Elite Executive auto tune storage (ATS) and memory system is already covered in depth in my article, Radio Memory Systems and won’t be repeated that here. It concludes that the Eton’s memory system is not very good and notes that ATS only works on FM.
My Favorite Shortwave Radio compares the Eton Elite Executive to other radios, a point in time opinion.
Here it is in action:
Following are my likes and dislikes. The fact that it uses 4 AA batteries might be a plus or a minus for some people.
- The radio is solidly built and it looks good.
- The buttons are well marked and have solid action.
- The display is very easy to read in any light (illuminated in the dark).
- I like that the display shows the frequency and the time together, as well as signal strength.
- It has a convenient Line Out feature so that you can connect the radio to a recorder while continuing to listen to it on its speaker.
- It has an antenna input jack
- It has the ability to give 8-character alphanumeric labels to the 100 memory pages.
- The user manual is well written.
- It has a scan for the next station and stop feature.
- I like the ability to control tuning speed by pressing in the tuning knob. This very convenient and intuitive.
- The clock is visible when the radio is off.
- It has a good selection of bandwidths.
- The whip antenna is long and sturdy.
- There is a DX/Local switch.
- The radio tips over more easily than any other radio I have owned.
- The antenna placement prevents the radio from being put flat on its back.
- Settings are not at all intuitive. You can’t operate this radio without the user manual.
- The memory system is awkward and complex. There are only 7 station presets per page.
- Auto tune storage (ATS) only works on FM.
- The user manual has no table of contents. (I made my own.)
- The volume can’t be turned up very loud.
- It lacks a wrist strap
- The case is awkward to remove and the radio cannot be played with the case folded on the radio. They should have drilled holes in the case for the speaker.
- The scanning feature only works within the 14 international shortwave bands.
- No USB charging without purchasing a separate accessory.
- No weather band.
- No MP3 music play function.
- No internal recording capability.
- The radio receives some spurious images from strong stations.
- No mute button.
- Music is not high quality, even with headphones
- I still haven’t quite figured out its time zone setting, specifically what it actually does and how it relates to the clock, if at all.
- The display shows when the radio is set for “LINE IN” but shows nothing when it’s set for “LINE OUT.” It’s weird. With the radio off, a quick press on the Line button displays “Line In.” A second press blanks the indicator and displays the clock. It appears to have exited the mode, but it’s not clear.
- The external antenna jack does not support LW/MW.
At the beginning I used the phrase, “at the right price.” The selling price varies wildly from the suggested retail price of $249.99 down to a blowout sale price of $79.99 at Woot (an Amazon company where I got mine). Unless this is going to be your only good radio, I wouldn’t suggest buying it today at the Amazon list price of $177.99, but maybe $139 would make sense. Get a Tecsun instead. This is just my subjective opinion.
Despite all the negatives, I like this radio and use it a fair amount.
At least one review put the introduction date of the Eton Elite Executive at November of 2019. There is a “2017” string in my serial number, a date when the radio was called the “Satellit Executive.” It appears that the circuit boards in both are the same, and some Elite Executive PCBs are dated 2015, so it is at least conceivable that the radio was made in 2017 and put in a newer case. I bought mine in February of 2022.