Tivoli Audio Portable Audio Laboratory (PAL) review: Tivoli Audio Portable Audio Laboratory (PAL)

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The Good High-end portable radio; rich sound; excellent AM and FM reception; powered by AC or a rechargeable battery; connectivity options.

The Bad Mono-only speaker.

The Bottom Line While not stereo, this rugged portable radio's sound is full and rich.

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7.2 Overall

Review summary

Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.

The Tivoli PAL (portable audio laboratory) was the last project of Henry Kloss, a great old-school U.S. inventor. He designed a slew of legendary speakers for AR, KLH, and Advent, and in 1972, he developed the world's first consumer video projector, the Advent Video Beam 1000. Kloss's PAL is an audiophile-grade portable table radio. The little guy, which is available in eight attractive colors, retails for $130.

As soon as you pick up a PAL, you know it isn't a flyweight plastic radio. Though it measures just 6.25 inches high, 3.75 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, it feels solidly built. The rubberized cabinet is weather-resistant so that your PAL can keep you company by the pool or on the patio.

The radio comes with two power sources: an AC wall wart and a built-in rechargeable nickel-metal-hydride battery. The environmentally friendly, high-tech cell fully charges in 3 hours and provides up to 16 hours of cordless music. It also includes a life-prolonging feature. A battery recharged whenever it reaches 50 percent capacity, for example, will often eventually stop running below that halfway point. The PAL's rechargeable doesn't suffer from this memory effect. Replacements cost $25 each.

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