User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Great radio signal sensitivity and selectivity for easy tuning and no signal drift.
Cons:All time and alarm sets very non-intuitive and quirky.
The Bottom Line: Keep the owner's manual handy, you're going to need to refer to it frequently.
I'm sure there are many of you who are unfamiliar with the Sangean brand. You've probably seen their products before under other brand names such as Radio-Shack, Panasonic, Braun, Siemens, JVC and Grundig.
Recommend this product?
I own a pocket portable Sangean as well as the current model who's review follows. They both share an unparalled ability to pick up weak radio signals and send them to my ears with a remarkable lack of static or drifting.
I live in rural Wyoming and at certain times of day as well as overnight, lesser radios let me listen to two or three stations at a time especially n the AM band. Not so with my Sangean's. The FM band puts out some suberb sounds as well.
To repeat for a certain reviewer's benefit, Both bands produce some superb sound in spite of the absence of a tone control.
I thought about throwing it up against the wall as a test of durability but thought better of it. It does a poor job of mowing the lawn.
There are 14 station presets, 7 AM, 7 FM If that's important to you.
You can search up and down thru the bands using the large snooze bar who's ends are marked with + and - and which also does triple duty for time and alarm settings, or you can hold the bar down for about 1/2 second and the radio will scan the bands for you, finding all stations on the way, probably far more of them than you knew existed.
I've established that this is a wonderful radio. Now let's take a walk thru the mud and discuss the clock features and downfalls.
This is an atomic clock and receives a time/date signal from the only transmitter in Boulder Colorado. Amazingly this signal can be received from Maine to Florida to California. Since I live about 300 miles from Boulder I can't really comment on how good your reception will be. There's a separate antenna conected by a cord for the time signal so chances are good you'll get a good signal. Mine was barely out of the box before it got the time signal. All you need to do is set a sliding switch on the bottom for your time zone.
The time is displayed in 3/4 inch high numerals on an orange backlit display. The backlit display is set either on or off there's no dimmer adjustment. When it's on it's pretty bright, doesn't bother me but that's subjective.
The display also shows day/month and day-of-week, alarm status and seconds count down.
Here's the procedure for setting the dual alarms.
edit: first set the radio volume.
1. Press the button for alarm 1 or 2 (it's on the front)
2. Press the set button (on the top of the radio)
3. Press the mode clock/buzzer button (also on top)
4. Press the multi function snooze bar to set hours.
5. Press set again to flash minutes display.
6. Press snooze bar to set minutes.
7. Press day of week you want alarm to sound by using the radio preset buttons which are also marked with day of week.
8. Press alarm button 1 or 2 to confirm, radio beeps.
If you want to set the second alarm start with step 1. I told you it was quirky.
If you use the buzzer alarm it has a nice feature called HWS or "Humane wake system" It starts off low and slow and get's louder and faster gradually, nice huh! Doesn't work with the radio alarm tho!
The snooze is preset at 5 minutes and when you hit the stiff snooze bar it also turns the display backlight off.
I confirmed this quirk by calling Sangean customer service.
Worse, If you turn the light back on it doesn't allow any more presses of the snooze bar for that alarm sequence.
There a "NAP" timer that's independent of the alarms. Each push of the nap button adds 10 minutes from 10 to 120 minutes of nap time. You can use the snooze button after it ends but see the previous paragraph. Nice feature again with obvious reservations.
Yes, there's a go to sleep to music setting, no quirks.
Yes, there's a headphone jack, no quirks.
Power failures. I tested this by unplugging the radio. After 60 SECONDS of the display blinking the wrong time I plugged it back in and it came back with the right time.
THIS FEATURE IS UNDOCUMENTED IN THE OWNER'S MANUAL, I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG IT WILL LAST, THERE'S NO BATTERY, PROBABLY A CAPACITOR CIRCUIT.
The radio's modern design makes it look big in photo's but it measures only 7" across, 3" high and 5" deep.
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Amount Paid (US$): $59.95