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Grundig S350DL: Best Portable Shortwave Radio

Updated on February 15, 2011

The Grundig S350 Series

Prototype to the Grundig S350DL, the S350
Prototype to the Grundig S350DL, the S350 | Source

Introduction

Whether you are a seasoned DXer or new to shortwave listening this is the best portable shortwave out there, bar none. It is easy to use, light enough for a camping trip (though a bit bulky for backpackers), powerful enough to pick up your favorite station, and priced low enough for the average individual to afford.

I have owned a Grundig S350DL for 4 years now, and I couldn't be happier. Whether I am lounging around the house, sitting on the porch, cleaning up the garage, working on the car, or sitting by a campfire far from the nearest cell phone tower, this portable shortwave is sure to be by my side. I find myself using the S350DL nearly every day. I actually think I might be a bit obsessed with this beautiful radio receiver.

 

Features of the Grundig S350DL

  • AM 530-1710 KHz
  • FM 88-108 MHz

  • SW (shortwave) 3-28 MHz continuous coverage with 13 international broadcast bands: 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 22, 25, 31, 41, 49, 60, 75 and 90 meters.

  • LCD digital frequency and time display

  • Digital clock with selectable 12/24 hour civilian/military time

  • Built in radio alarm clock feature with snooze button

  • Sleep timer

  • Bright backlight with both temporary and continuous lighting

  • Power failure backup

  • Power and signal strength indicator

  • Powerful and highly sensitive analog tuner circuitry

  • Sturdy main tuning control knob with independent fine tuning (fast/slow)

  • Variable AM/SW RF Gain

  • Rotary and independent volume, bass, and treble controls

  • Low-pass filter for shortwave and AM reception

  • RCA Left/Right line level outputs (for stereo FM or audio recording)

  • Stereo/Mono switch

  • Stereo earphone socket

  • Built-in telescopic antenna for FM/SW

  • Built-in ferrite bar antenna for AM (very powerful)

  • Jacks for supplementary AM/FM/SW antennas

  • Durable construction

  • Comfortable and extremely durable fabric carrying handle/convertible shoulder strap

  • Capable of both AC and DC power supply (AC adapter included)

  • Supports both AA and D batteries for powering (battery compartment converts)

  • Reset button

Product Dimensions and Other Information

  • 12.5 x 7 x 3.5 inches (31.75 x 17.78 x 8.89 centimeters)
  • 44 inches (111.76 centimeters) approximate extended FM/SW antenna length

  • 11 inches (27.94 centimeters) approximate collapsed FM/SW antenna length

  • Weight: 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg)

  • 4" dia. speaker

  • Includes detailed multi-language operation manual with instructions on using a shortwave receiver

  • Limited 1 year manufacturer parts and labor warranty

  • 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C) operating temperature

 

Product Review

If the end of the world were nigh this is the radio I would want with me, and I do not make such a statement lightly; the Grundig S350DL is simply that good of a product! Next to my air conditioner and home computer, the S350DL is one of the best and most intelligent purchases I ever made, and with a price at around $100 (about €75 and Au$100) it is very affordable for the prudent consumer.

Radio reception is very good with this unit. You should be capable of picking up all of your favorite FM stations, and with the powerful ferrite bar AM antenna you are sure to receive AM stations that you have never been able to pick-up on your basic home or car stereo system. You can enhance the Grundig S350DL with supplementary antennas if you are a serious DXer, but there really is no need to do so unless you are a very serious hobbyist. The telescopic FM/SW antenna will pull in dozens of shortwave stations from around the world with ease. I've personally picked-up stations from North America, Cuba, South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan and Australia from my home in Pennsylvania with the antenna that is supplied with this unit.

The main unit will take a whole lot of abuse. It is really to be commended for its construction and durability. I have whipped through the channels on many occasions and the dial sensitivity has still not worn out. I've even forgotten and left this radio out all night in the rain while camping and it still works great! I wouldn't recommend abusing this great little portable shortwave radio the way I have (especially leaving it out in the rain), but if you do mishandle it you can rest assured that there is a good chance it will survive your abuse.

The only problem I had with this radio was a broken FM/SW antenna after extensive use and abuse, but I simply placed a call to Eton Corp for a replacement antenna and I promptly received a shiny new antenna (I am not quite as careless with the antenna now). The antenna was very easy to replace and I was still able to pick-up my favorite stations with the broken antenna as well as the convenient and handy supplementary antenna jacks (for stations that were tougher to pull in) while I waited for my replacement part.

There are a variety of ways in which to power this unit. The Grundig S350DL supports AC (adapter included) and DC (adapter not included) power as well as both AA and D cell batteries. This unit requires either 4-AA batteries or 4-D cell batteries. Battery life is impressive with this portable radio. If using Duracell D batteries my radio will give me 6-8 hours of AM/SW listening per day for nearly a month and a half, and if I choose to use AA batteries I will typically get about two weeks out of them with the same amount and type of listening. You will use more juice to power the FM receiver, so you should expect a slightly less impressive battery life when using FM frequently.

Campers will find the Grundig S350DL especially appealing as as it is relatively light-weight, includes a shoulder strap for easy transportation, has a bright LCD screen display and backlight, and even includes an alarm clock and automatic shut-off (sleep) timer! I personally like to take this radio into the tent with me and listen to the radio as I fall asleep, and with the automatic shut-off set I know that my batteries will be just fine by morning when it once again turns on and wakes me up, thanks to the alarm clock function.

I'd certainly recommend purchasing the Grundig S350DL if you want a reliable, durable, powerful and affordable AM/FM/SW. I've used many portable shortwave receivers, but this is probably the best one out there to date when it comes to cost and quality. You will really get every penny you spend back out of this unit and then some which is a rare thing to find these days. When it comes to great shortwave radios Grundig is the name that people trust, and the S350DL is one of their best models ever.

 

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      Mark 4 years ago

      I love your passion. This is a beautiful radio with excellent performance. I'm also very excited about this radio.

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