Tivdio V115 mini radio

.....which immediately was given to  the recipient
and a new unsuccessful order (update in the end )

In April this year (17) I had a query from a very good pal to  find a  small  radio and mp3 player recorder  .She  has a problem of dyslexia and possibly  this  radio could be a good solution  to bypass her problem.

Though I originally proposed her to order  for Q3 I thought then that  tivdio V115 model could be more suitable  for her for the reason that it shows the filename  instead of the serial  name Q3  shows .Hence this requires you to have a full  listing in print of all audio files are  included in the  memory to know exactly what you are listening. This was the main   to order it for her. For family reasons I preferred to order via express way advising  her otherwise i sold for her after one plus month later   She would pay the expenses once we meet her .More on this subject after. Its price is just15 GBP plus 10 for shipping.Tha time the selelr from Amazon was not affiliated with Tivdio nor Retevis.  

The radio had a funny  delivery curve. It was ordered  on Friday but dispatched the next ...Tuesday delivered  in Wednesday !  I cant understand why  delays happen for no reason. 

Immediately receiving it I made several tests and opened the very small box that included :

-OTG midi D cable for charging and connecting computer , the radio, Nokia compatible BL5C battery and 4GB  miroSD  inside the radio and earphones.

The radio is simply as  a old fashioned menu driven 'archaic' MP3 players of mid 2000   with all-band radio version SDR included and the "Chinglish font" used on the LCD display  proves it    .

 Her are some nice pictures of the radio :

A nice LCd display though seems nowadays very primitive


The  connections of the right [side of radio .
Headphones, line in with provided cable , microSD card
and micro-USB connection for charging and more

Most of the important mp3 information ,
Number and name of file , spectrum curve , equalization (jazz),
 playing point, song total time battery and file location on external Sd card

The radio set is little  smaller than the Tecsun PL380  and its features are as follows as  checked from its usage:

-FM - MW - SW radio . Its span is   68-108  MHz for FM 531-1620 for MW and  4.7-23 MHz for SW

-Micro USB socket for charging and computer  speaker as the product sheet  notices The speaker is less than1 Watt power (personal estimation)

-SD card  socket that can support up to 32 GB as per company’s information

-MP3 player with separate  'old fashioned' mp3 playback menu

-Separate general menu with ability  to change recording rates and folder  play.

-Voice and  line in recording or playback

-Operation while charging


Below  you will find the results of my tests after experimenting with this GBP15 radio with BL5C 1Ah  battery included  (shipping excluded of  10GBP).  They are written in just headlines in order to conserve space and writing time  due to other writing and family tasks currently in charge. There are comparisons between  Tecsun  models PL380  pocket radio ($44 price my main DSP pocket radio ) and Q3 voice and line-in recorder ($24 price both bought  from  anon.co previous years  )


Operation  on radio:

  • FM :Fair to good reception nearby  PL380 ,  Needs full detached  antenna to have the best reception  results  Some signals are shown as 'dead' in case they are below the threshold level. Earphone cable greatly affects  reception even the antenna is fully detached! I think cable wire needs  receiver's isolation. Please  read below about stereo reception.
  • -MW reception is rather poor to fair . I tested having much levels of internal noise that  greatly lower signal reception unless  signals are more than 26 db  as tested with PL380 that  translates into a fair to good signal   . High frequencies  with  nearly same sensitivity while lower frequencies lack both   . A  mini MW loop such as Tecsun AN200 can greatly  enhance  reception.
  • -SW needs  for sure external antenna for better reception Radio's internal noise is introduced in all bands. Sensitivity seems close to PL380  .Some signals have lower audio than nominal possibly due to QRM .Bad detection ?. Does not overload with long wires inductively wound over the antenna as happens  with my PL380 .I m referring to my shack's  inverted V of 2x16 and a  nearly horizontal wire of 16 m. Still no overload  found if a lengthy  wire is connected to the radio's antenna. 5 KHz steps and abt 5 scan steps per sec. It scans  all the frequency  range .

 Pass band /selectivity/stereo  reception

  • AM pass band  filter is quite wide close to 10kHz .That introduces QRM 'whistles' of 10kHz especially on shortwave and  can be heard (only?) using  the headphones
  • FM pass band is also very wide. QRM can be caused  by strong stations as far as 200kHz Stereo sound reception for signals above 45 db with more than 20 dbS/N as shown the Tecsun radio. This translates  into  strong to local signals


Memories   : Once you add memories you can't  tune them unless  you enter the frequency or press  for bad scanning !Adding a memory is a bit weird . You have to press [5-memo] to activate  memory then press >|| for storing it! Separate memories  for each band to a total of ?? memories.

There  is also ATS fro automatic bands can  memorizing even the poor  signals as PL380 , starting  from 1 deleting any previous memories.


MP3 playback:

It plays MP3 and WMA formats for  nearly all  kbit rates .MY music collection has been  down sampled to 44 kHz WMA that is enough for my ears.  Let's  see if the company enhances the chip to be able  for mp4/aac  recording  or playback   as today's smartphones  do.


Operation menu

Music  menu is made by pressing >|| key for at least 3 seconds to adjust : folder  /play mode (repetition ) / equalizer (among 10  eq curves)

File name is shown. Very good for someone to know which mp3 file he listens. Q3 does not show  anything  except file's serial  number

It s very sad that  you have to press the key  as many times as requested until you find the requested song. I could prefer that   the company  corrects also this problem so that FF or REW  buttons can scroll the  mp3 files as happen  with other mp3 players.


Recording and playback:

  • Separate  recording folders  per operation : fmrecord/lrecord/mrecord with format radxxxx/linexxxx and micxxxx named files.Here is a photo

  • three  mp3 recording bitrates: 64  96 and 128 kbit referred as superfine.
  • plugging the line in cable immediately  enters the line in mode.

Some 64 kb radio recordings in shortwave shown to have 'moving  panning'  . 'Sound point' can wander between  mid-left to mid-right channel instead of being always in middle as you hear it with head- or earphones  .

All recording rates and mods have good audio response identical to Q3  recordings, as tested later in my computer. That means the sound problem comes from radio's  internal amplifier as noticed below.


Audio :

Digital Volume change is smooth with 32 steps

The internal amplifier has a very bad design response adding trebles  and  totally lacking bass.   This reminds me the problem with the Tecsun  Q110 used for short time one month before . You need a bassy headphone to cope this lack. I also hope tat soon they adjust this problem.

Using the built in speaker audio seems nice  and sharp


Charging :

After complete  first time battery drain the battery seemed to be charged 'in full'  in less than 1 hour using a 2 Ah mains adaptor .The battery however was not fully charged and after removing and putting it back to the radio it charged  again for less than 30 minutes and still no fully charged . 
It thus bvecomes sure that lower power chargers are required, not above 1000mA
I finally used an external Nokia battery charger to charge it faster and better.

Playback time

I used for abt 3 hours in  low volume (5-11). it has also recorded around 6 hours with  zero volume four and half from shortwave and around two hours  on FM  before it shut down, saving the  file .


Verdict : For 15 GBP  including battery  the radio is real value for money with lots of features, aimed mainly  for entry or casual  listeners /users  . It needs only to have a redesign in the audio stages to correct  the lack of bass for headphones and by a way the AM recording problem though it is less important. Downsampling it with a computer program is recommended.


Any way it is intended to a very good but dyslexic friend , part time employee ,who needs it for listening to  voice clips  on selling techniques and translate Greek texts using the built in microphone. Her parents 'stolen' her Q3 for listening to traditional music leaving her without the player. This is the reason I bought the second player for her. I  prepared the memory for the Q3 with a very big audio collection with selling techniques from various free internet sources including   podcasts. I subscribed to several sales coaches especially for her.

Her audio and radio requirements are very low. She uses an extremely  bassy headphone from Degen. It adds of at least 9db awful spatial   bass and  very poor audio  fidelity that sounds perfect  for her but not me! I have used it once before and immediately removed from my heads   .She now uses it as  external speaker.

New model on 2018:

Tested a second item one year later , on June tht  was bought via the eBay for around 13Eu . The item has been sent in less than one month delivered to the  post office  and immediately tested with the  following problems

1. all bands  are full from internal noise . the noise overweights the reception even in the Fm band .On SW and MW it is so string that only ‘local’ signals can be heard . That means it has to be connected to antenna  so that the noise can tapped by the strong signals

2.Sound  fildelity is the same if not even poorer . Bass is totally missing comparing to the ‘linear’ Q3 . It s from the bad amplifier design. Some of the recordings made and heard later in the Q3 have shown   quite good audio but with unstable 'panning'.

3. The battery has been changed  from Nokia 5C to 5B   . Tthe only good idea as this offers  higher capacity.

Verdict: the  new version (?) I even worse than its relatively poor predecessor if not admitting for a total garbage. Item that "passed  QC" (???) and instead them  littering into the dustbin,is   promoted under low prices.
After having contacted the seller for returning it , they prefered to refund me with nearly the total amount.The radio however has not been littered into dustbin.Instead i use it in random  as a backup radio used only with the AN200 antenna for MW and the magnetic SW antenna for shortwaves. It is good for making mini recption clips  or for time shifted listening to the news.