Qodosen DX-286 vs Sihuadon R-108

I want to compare these radios for a couple of reasons: they are the same size (with the same length antenna), and they got about the same number of MW stations in my daytime band scan. Inside they are powered by different DSP chips.

Sihuadon R-108 — Qodosen DX-286

I reviewed the R-108 in February of 2024: Sihuadon R-108: an overlooked radio and have published many articles about the SR-286/DX-286. This will be just a short comparison to point out some significant differences.


Do you want one of those world-famous Blog or Die! feature comparison tables? Come on! Sure you do!

MW step
MW step North Am.
1/9 kHz
1/10 kHz
1/9 kHz
1/10 kHz
MW bandwidths1, 2, 3, 4, 6 kHz3, 4, 6, 8 kHz
FM bands64-108
FM step10/100 kHz10/30/50/100/200/250 kHz
FM BandwidthNot statedAUTO, 56, 64, 72, 84, 97, 114, 133, 151, 168, 184, 200, 217, 236, 254, 287, 311 kHz
SW frequencies1711-29999 kHz1711-27000 kHz
SW step1/5 kHz1/5/100 kHz
LW frequencies150-450 kHz144-519 kHz
LW step1/3 kHz1/3/100 kHz
AIR band118-137 MHzn/a
ATS memories5001000
ATS organization100 per band100 pages, 10 per page
Page labelsN8-character
ClockYLocal and UTC
Temperature displayYN
Mute buttonNY
Light always on optionNY
BatteryBL-5C (included)18650 (not included)
Feature Comparisons

MW Performance

My initial tests of the two radios yielded the about same number of MW stations received around midday in rural central Virginia. There are no strong stations around, and my poorest radios get one, maybe two stations. These two received around 20, equal to the best performance I’ve found.

I went out today just to make a quick comparison on the same day and found the equivalence held. I ran an ATS scan. The R-108 stored exactly one station. The DX-286 clocked about a dozen (this on the default sensitivity setting, one of three options). ATS on the R-108 is just not very useful.

But then I pulled out the telescopic antenna on the DX-286, set the radio for the external antenna and got 30 additional stations for a total of 50 (manual scan). With a 20-foot long wire antenna, the number jumps to 86!

LW Performance

The DX-286 covers LW from 144 – 519 kHz, and the R-108 has a more limited 150-450. The raison d’etre for the DX-286 is longwave. No radio I own picks up LW with its internal ferrite rod antenna and that includes the DX-286; however, the DX-286 does pick up LW stations with the telescopic antenna and none of the others do.

The Tecsun PL-330 and PL-990 will receive some nearby airport nondirectional beacons on LW with an external long wire antenna, but the DX-286 receives many more and also gets a LW broadcast signal from Chaine One in Algeria.

Shortwave Performance

I did a quick test with WWV on 20 MHz at midday. It was a medium-level statin. Both radios gave similar results with a slight edge going to the DX-286.

I tried a very weak signal from KTWR, Guam, on 11590 with an external antenna, and the DX-286 was better than the R-108, the XHDATA D-808 and the Tecsun PL-990. Because of the issue of noise, detailed comparisons between radios on shortwave is beyond my capability.


FM is markedly better on the DX-286, with my daytime reception station count reaching 71, compared to 58 for the R-108. Also the DX-286 has RDS/RBDS.


I rarely use the R-108, and when I got it out for the MW test, I thought it was broken. I pressed the “BAND” button to get to MW and none of the number keys worked. When I pressed the number key, the only thing that happened was a raspy background sound (different sound for each key). I used the RESET button. No better. I was going to see what the warranty was and whether it was worth sending it back, but then I noticed the FREQ button. This is one of those accursed radios that requires pressing a prefix button before every frequency entry. No matter that I set the radio to VF mode and picked the band already. No matter that one can’t access memory locations with the number keys. I still have to hit that button every freaking time. This is one of the reasons I also avoid my XHDATA D-808.

Both radios have a memory system and auto tune storage (ATS), although the DX-286 has twice as many storage locations, and they are better allocated across the bands. SW memories are inadequate on the R-108. For details, see my Radio Memory Systems article. Band scans on SW take 1:38 minutes on the Qodosen and 2:46 on the Sihuadon.

The two radios sound about the same to me on an FM music station, and they can be turned up equally loud.

Why my Sihuadon R-108 sits on the shelf and the DX-286 gets used all the time

The R-108 brings nothing special to the table except the AIR band that I never listen to. Frequency entry is awkward. ATS searches don’t find much. Button labels are hard to read. It’s a good radio, but it’s nothing special. It’s sort of an XHDATA D-808 without SSB, another radio that sits 0n the shelf.

The DX-286 is exciting for what it can do on MW/LW with a simple antenna (even the telescopic!). ATS and scans are superior. Button labels are easy to read. It has a mute button that makes comparisons more convenient. Operation is intuitive. Buttons feel good. It’s a user-friendly radio.


Prices vary. The list price for the R-108 today on Amazon is  $72.90 but with a $12 coupon. The DX-286 is $79.99. They’re both good radios for the price, but I prefer the DX-286.

About Kevin

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