Portable FM recorders

Here is an incomplete list of portable receivers and media players that record FM radio. The list is in order of FM tuner sensitivity.

Degen De1121

Featured in the video captured by a Japanese enthusiast, this receiver is ‘rebadged’ as the Kaito Ka1121 in the Americas. Notably, it is the only radio listed with a telescoping monopole antenna.

128 Kbps MP3 44kHz




Sandisk Sansa Fuze

768 kbps WAV 22kHz

Creative Zen Neeon

192 Kbps MP3 44kHz

Samsung Yepp YP-T7

192 Kbps MP3 44kHz

An alternative method is to couple an existing portable FM receiver (e.g. the Dabbler’s Dream) to an external recorder (e.g. Creative Zen V Plus) via a 3.5 mm stereo cable. Big problem! The microprocessors in the external recorders (i.e. Samsung Yepp & Creative Zen series) cause significant interference to a weak or moderate strength FM signal being received on the radio. For this blogger, this means that this method is unsuitable for recording long distance FM signals in the field, hence the compilation of the above list. A number of round cable ferrite suppression sleeves (priced from $9.20 at Jaycar Electronics) attached to the 3.5 mm stereo cable may reduce the interference.

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