By Jay Allen Review Source
The Pruus J-160 is almost irresistibly cute. It offers a DSP tuner with AM/FM/SW reception, Bluetooth as well as an Aux input and the ability to play audio files from either a Tiff card or USB stick. It is powered by a rechargeable 18650 Li-ion 1800 mAh battery and also features a nicely-lighted dial. It is small, measuring approximately 130 x 70 x 90mm (5.1 x .2.8 x 3.5 inches).
The best feature of the J-160 is its pleasing sound quality. It uses a ported speaker to achieve a nicely balanced full sound for its size and I found the audio it produced very pleasing and better than most of the retro-stye radios I have.
Reception: Of course, no one should expect such a radio to offer cutting edge reception but, in its class, it was not bad. There are false peaks on either side of most stronger signals which reduced selectivity somewhat, but I will say that tuning up and down the AM/FM dial my usual local and regional stations came in just fine, but more distant targets were, as expected, either not there or covered by the stronger locals. And any radio like this which offers SW in one continuous band will a bit touchy to tune, although I did pick up some weak daytime signals. At night there were many more and with careful tuning I could pick up the stronger broadcasts. This is not a serious SW radio by any means but for casual band scanning there were things to be heard, which is all I had expected.
Bluetooth and Aux Input:
Both worked as expected and again, the J-160’s sound quality made it a pleasure to listen to. Bluetooth pairing was quick and simple.
Here the J-160 was a bit of a mixed bag. Sound quality was fine but navigation was a problem – in fact, I wondered how I would ever be able to navigate the folders and files on the card without some sort of display/readout to show me where I was. I inserted a Tiff card which had many audio files organized within folders and indeed there were issues. I found the the navigation buttons behaved unpredictably. At one point they seemed to skip from one folder to the next, while at other times they skipped from file to file within a folder. I never was able to skip through folders to get where I wanted, so I tried another card with similar results. It occurred to me that I may have been expecting too much of a device with no display to show folders or tracks so I loaded another Tiff card with just one folder filled with songs and with that one it worked fine. I also appreciated the ability to fast scan within tracks. I suggest that if you are going to use the J-160 for media file playback you don’t ty to organize things within folders. Just load up a selection of files and it will work fine that way.
The Prunus J-160 is definitely a cool little device. It won’t win any awards for long distance reception and since it has no digital readout its audio player is best used with Tiff or USB cards without multiple folders. The selector knob feels a little flimsy but worked as it should. But for casual listening it is a good sounding, fun little retro-styled radio and it is sure to garner comments when people visit.