A Review of the Kaito KA-210 Pocket-Portable AM FM Weatherband Radio

Just so we’re all clear and understand each other, I am not the owner of the featured image on this page. It is the property of Kaito Electronics.

So, for a while now, I have been trying to reduce the weight I carry in my EDC backpack. My physician advised me to do so, because of my lower back injury.

And because of this, I realize that my AM/FM radio and my Weather Radio should be consolidated.

For the past few years, I would carry a Sony ICF-P26 and a Midland HH50B for those purposes.

So, I stopped carrying the Sony radio among other items to lighten my load.

I still sometimes carry the Midland radio if feel the need to do so.

From December of 2020 to June of 2021, I had tried to EDC several radios that were pocket portables and could support AM/FM as well as Weather.

None of them satisfied me. They all had issues.

The one I tried to use most was a RETEKESS PR-15, but I find it wasn’t loud enough for noisy environments and it was very finicky about what position I could stand in to receive the Weather Broadcasts. This was an issue, especially when commuting to church on foot and needing Weather Information. Although it was very compact and easy to transport.

So, in the earlier parts of June 2021, I ordered a Kaito KA-210 and it came in today, June 11, 2021, a day earlier than expected. I hope the Postal Service is getting back to delivering the mail promptly as they previously had done so before this Covid nightmare. That radio is what this piece will be a review thereof.

For those who were forwarded from my YouTube video, first of all, thank you for checking out this piece (please consider looking at other pieces on this blog.) And secondly, I was highly impressed when I recorded that video because of the superb circuitry on this radio. I mean, it pulled in a Weather Radio station over 30 miles away and did so almost completely clearly without having to stand in a finicky position and being next to a WiFi computer and a television, both of which do cause a great deal of electrical noise. I know I said that I would wait to write a review, but I tried some FM listening with this radio and was even more impressed.

As I have mentioned multiple times, I live near an FM transmitter tower, just a block or two away. Therefore on just about every one of my lower-end FM receivers, this station’s broadcast signal bleeds all over the dials.

But when I tried some FM listening earlier today, I find that this Kaito KA-210 was pulling in FM stations better than other radios of mine in a similar configuration. It either features a Digital Signal Processor Circuit or an Automatic Frequency Control Circuit, maybe even both and the FM stations I wanted were coming in quite decently.

I’ll admit I even listened to NPR for a minute or two, but then got irritated by what was being discussed on the broadcast.

NPR’s fall from grace is another topic I’ve written about to some degree.

But the fact that this radio pulled in the NPR station which is considerably difficult for most of my other radios to pull in is what impressed me and compelled me to write this review today instead of a few days or weeks in the future.

I will say that it isn’t the most solidly built radio, but I think it would be good enough for light EDC and getting weather information while commuting on foot. I know that I have a smartphone, but in a way, I can sometimes be old school and desire to listen to a Weather Radio instead. I think that is the ham radio operator in me coming out, but I digress.

I will also say that the weather in South Louisiana is constantly changing and quite unpredictable except for a well-seasoned meteorologist. So access to accurate and up-to-date weather data is a must for anyone who works in, resides in, or otherwise frequents South Louisiana.

The best way I can describe this device is that it is very sensitive but still excellent at filtering out unwanted interference. It is compact and reasonably built but seems to be loud enough for a noisy environment, at least for personal use.

I can owe its better audio quality to the fact that it has a more powerful speaker and therefore is run on AA instead of AAA batteries. Therefore, it has more current to power the components much better than a model that runs on AAA batteries.

Throughout this spring season, I have commuted to church a handful of times and it began to rain just as I found cover under the metal awning. I would sit and wait for my Pastor to arrive, and then would monitor the NOAA Weather Radio broadcast, in case of something more severe occurring. This was difficult to do with similar radios, I guess because of the metal but also the electronics from the church security system and surveillance cameras. But, I shall see how well this radio performs. I have a hunch that it shall do better than the other and I will update you, the reader, of my findings.

I’ll admit I have yet to use it for AM reception but I have other radios that I would rather use for that band.

I’ll try to take it with me on a walk later today and see how it performs.

Here are some details about this product as provided by the company website. I’ll add my commentary:

Features:
AM/FM NOAA weather tuner-Quite sensitive too, especially for the price!
Ultra compact for convenience & portability-Perfect size for EDC
Built-in speaker-Loud enough for personal use almost anywhere.
Headphone jack (earphones not included)-I’ve been told it even does stereo!
LED tuning indicator-Bright green light confirms that you’re locked onto a signal.
Telescopic antenna-Long enough to properly pull in signals, but short enough to be easily carried.
Requires 2 AA batteries (not included)-Thank God it’s not AAA batteries!

Physical Dimensions English: 4.5 x 0.8 x 2.8 inches.
Physical Dimensions Metric: 11.43 x 2.032 x 7.112 centimeters.
Weight English: 0.5 pounds (8 ounces.)
Mass Metric: 0.226796185 kilograms (226.796185 grams.)

I’ve been trying for some time now to figure out what is the perfect portable pocket radio for traveling and I think this comes rather close. I do wish the weather channels were either crystal controlled or phase lock loop synthesized to allow an automatic scan for the strongest weather station signal, but then that would drive up the cost. I also wish these antennas could be much more sturdy but still retractable and replaceable. I don’t have the credentials but I think I could be an excellent electronics designer at least where the appearance, form factor, build quality, and user interface are concerned.

The MSRP is $19.99+tax and/or shipping which I find to be generous since it performs so well. Look $20 actually goes a decent way, even with all this wretched inflation!

Try one out for yourself. Maybe give one as a gift.

It’s perfect for the backpacker, boater, car/truck driver, or any other commuter/traveler. Maybe even the freight train hopper, something which I must not condone but still do find highly interesting, could appreciate this device. I don’t like sports at all, but even a baseball fan could take this to a game. When I go to sporting events with family, I notice that fans don’t bring radios to games like they once did. Of course, I would advise only AM listening at such an event because an unruly spectator or even a foul ball could destroy the external rod antenna.

That brings up another point: If incarcerated convicts have radios with short stubby, but rugged antennas encased in rubber or plastic, why can’t these also be made for radios sold to the general public?

If any executives of radio manufacturing companies are reading this piece, just consider that last statement I made!

As for a rating, I give this product a 4.93 out of 5 stars because I wish the cabinet material was a little more durable and wouldn’t mind the extra weight. I also wish the battery door was secured better as to not get lost. Finally, I wish the writing on the radio was much more permanent. These are all small potatoes though.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Kaito KA-210.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

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