Smallish Recepter radio delivers big on sound, reception

In an age of digital music players and multimedia entertainment centers, the notion of buying a table radio sounds a bit quaint - it's the kind of gadget your grandparents might have left over from the 1950s.

But listen to the tiny Boston Acoustics Recepter fill a room with sound and you might change your mind. At 4 inches by 7.5 inches by 6 inches, this $159 AM-FM set isn't much bigger than the average clock radio, but it produces a warm, rich output with a remarkably sonorous bass.

Boston Acoustics says the Recepter's digital tuner will pull in fringe stations that others can't, so I tested it against our kitchen radio, which has good reception. The Recepter did a slightly better job on stations with spotty signals and pulled in a few that our radio missed.

The Recepter has the usual clock features, including dual alarms. Unlike many of today's clock radios, whose designers take perverse pleasure in complexity, the Recepter is easy to operate. It has 20 preset channels accessible from the tuner knob.

I do have two complaints. While the Recepter isn't one of those $400, status symbol radios in yuppie catalogs, at this price point it should have a tone control; not everyone wants to wake up to booming bass. A weather band would be nice, too.

Still, if you're looking for beautiful sound from an attractive, compact set with a powerful tuner, the Recepter is worth hearing.

Information: 978-538-5000 or www.bostonacoustics.com.

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