RTL-SDR + Upconverter vs. Portable Shortwave Receiver
Akos from the SDR for Mariners blog has put together an article doing a comparison between the RTL-SDR + ham-it-up upconverter and a Grunding G8 Traveler II Digital conventional portable hardware shortwave radio.
His results show that the RTL-SDR and portable receiver are comparable in terms of performance, with a slight edge to the RTL-SDR. He adds that software tweaks available in SDR# can improve the voice quality for the RTL-SDR. However his final recommendation for general shortwave listening is that the portable is still the better option due to it’s ease of use.