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Tag Archives: Radio

Hear The Ocean? Pff, This Seashell Lets You Hear The Radio


In an effort to celebrate 90 years of radio in Japan, and presumably to promote their own existence, Japanese radio station BayFM collected 100 Sazae Shells (also known as Turban shells) and outfitted them with radio equipment. So when you hold one of these up to your ear, as people seem to always do with seashells, you won’t hear the soothing sounds of the ocean but rather the soothing sounds of Justin Bieber or freaking Selena Gomez or some other equally not-irritating melody. They only made 100 of them, which they’re distributing through a raffle system where each winner gets to buy them for 3,980 yen (about $36). They appear to be fully functional, can be recharged through USB, and well, that’s it.


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[CES 2012] Eton Crank Radio Could Keep You In The Loop While In The Dark

By David Ponce

Emergency radios aren’t the most exciting products, but when you end up needing them, you wish you’d paid attention. The more sensible of you will appreciate Eton’s FRX series of safety radios. Pictured is the FRX3, the top of the line model which comes with a couple neat features, like an LED flashlight and a USB out for recharging your cell phone. Its internal battery itself is recharged either via the top solar panel (the outline of which also glows in the dark to help you find the unit) or with some elbow grease via the crank. I played with it and it feels very rugged. Aside from AM/FM tuning, it also receives NOAA warnings, so you can know when it’s safe to stick your head out the shelter again.

Again, this is not the sort of thing you’re going to try to impress your friends with, but at $60 iin black or red, it might just be the one item you were glad you bought next time a Katrina comes around.

[ Product Page ]

Sony Announces Their New ICZ-R50… Radio Recorder?

Sony ICZ-R50 (Image courtesy CrunchGear)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sometimes it’s hard to understand what a large corporation like Sony is thinking when they release certain products, but at the same time I guess I’m not completely up to speed on what’s popular in the markets they serve outside North America. So while radio has lost some of its popularity to MP3 players and podcasts here, I’m assuming it’s still popular enough in Japan to not only warrant a fancy new unit, but one with PRR (personal radio recorder?) functionality.

Available in Japan on February 21 for ~$217 (¥18,000) the ICZ-R50 is at its core an AM/FM radio with advanced tuning functions like the ability to easily specify one of 54 locations in Japan to automatically load up a list of local presets. But instead of just listening the to the radio, its also got 4GB of built-in memory (expandable via SD cards or Memory Stick Duos) for recording your favorite shows. And while not as robust as the PVR in your living room, it does let you setup 20 pre-scheduled recordings for catching your favorite shock jock every morning, or whatever it is people listen to on the radio these days.

[ Sony ICZ-R50 ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Toy Story Alien CD Player + Radio

Toy Story Alien CD Player + Radio (Images courtesy RUN'A)
By Andrew Liszewski

I can’t seem to glean too much information about this Toy Story themed CD player/radio from the RUN’A website, but since the squishy green alien characters became an instant hit after the first film, I doubt anyone will be buying this thing because of its tech specs. The alien’s head opens up to reveal the CD tray, while his collar and neck feature all of the necessary playback and control buttons. His ears also double as speakers, and while it’s not mentioned anywhere, it looks like his three eyes might actually open and close, though when and why I’m not sure. The only dealbreaker here? The $98 (¥8,800) price tag for something that only plays CDs.

[ Toy Story Alien CD Player + Radio ] VIA [ Digital Drops ]

Sneezing Electronics Are Not A Bad Idea


By Evan Ackerman

This is a radio that sneezes. Once every six months, it take a deep breath, and expels all of its frustration with your horrible taste in music along with the pent-up dust that’s been accumulating on its microprocessors. This prolongs the life of the radio, and for other types of electronics, will also keep them running cooler.

Your laptop computer has fans inside of it already, and as you may have noticed (for your computer’s sake, I hope you’ve noticed) while pumping hot air around they also tend to suck up dust. You can artificially sneeze it out with some canned air, but wouldn’t it be so much better if your computer would just have a good sneeze all by itself once in a while?

Plus, it’s cute.

[ James Chambers ] VIA [ Slashgear ]

Thanko Raremono USB Shortwave Radio


By Evan Ackerman

I don’t know how they do it, but somehow, Thanko manages to keep coming up with gadgets that are silly and borderline useless for most people and yet are potentially just perfect for just enough people that I don’t quite feel comfortable making fun of them. And even then, this USB radio is a more useful than most, considering that it receives AM, FM, and shortwave.

There’s an external antenna jack, and the actual tuning is done via software. You can record anything you’re listening to directly to MP3, and you can even schedule different recordings on different frequencies, sort of like a really cumbersome and old-school Podcast. But I guess if you don’t have internet, then it could be a great solution for you.

‘Course, if you don’t have internet, then you’re not reading this, so what do I care?

$45 at Thanko.

[ Thanko (Translated) ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Logitec USB Radio Tuner

USB Radio Tuner (Image courtesy Logitec)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’d like to make a comment about how in this day and age of modern technology and electronics it’s sometimes nice to just sit back and listen to an old-fashioned radio, but this USB stick AM/FM tuner is pretty much useless without a laptop, so forget that idea. It does however allow you to record radio broadcasts with its included software to be later enjoyed on your MP3 player, and since the flash drive doesn’t even include any storage space, I guess that’s pretty much it… Price TBD.

[ Logitec USB Radio Tuner ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

R1 Radio Is Controlled By Rolling


By Evan Ackerman

On Monday we posted about the Q2 radio, which you control by rocking it back and forth. And today, we’ve got the R1 radio, which you control by rolling it back and forth. So, they’re radios. And they rock and roll. How could we possibly justify not posting about them? I mean, the potential for terrible puns or something is just enormous! Or it would be, if these were somehow combined into one incredibly awesome radio. But sadly, the R1 isn’t even a real product yet, although you’ll be interested to know that it’s actually been designed for blind people, who’d have a much easier time using a radio with simple and intuitive tactile controls. Designed by South Korean Il-Gu Cha, the R1 is currently at the working prototype stage.

[ Il-Gu Cha ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Livio Debuts The NPR Radio

Livio NPR

By Chris Scott Barr

Last month I showed you guys the Livio Radio, and gave you an in-depth review of the device. If you’re into listening to music all day long, then it really is one of the coolest radios out there. However, what if music isn’t really your thing? If you like talk radio, then Livio has something just for you.

I’ve never listened to NPR, but if that’s your thing then you might want to check out the NPR Radio by Livio. This device is very similar to is Pandora-playing brother, however you’ll be tuning into more than 1,000 NPR station streams. You’ll also have access to over 800 podcasts and audio archives of NPR programs. If you do feel like a little music, then you can tune into one of the 16,000 various internet radio stations through Reciva. You’re not going to find more talk radio without a PC or some sort of HD radio. You can pick the NPR Radio now for $199.

[ Livio ]