The Sangean WR-2 Digital AM/FM Radio hits the sweet spot among table radios, offering superb sound quality, a stylish aesthetic and a respectable range of features for a reasonable price. Experts and users praise its FM reception, but say AM reception is only adequate. Critics like the on-set tone controls, compact design and Radio Data System (RDS) support.
Great sound; questionable AM reception. The Sangean WR-2 Digital AM/FM Radio gets good reviews for sound quality as well as accolades for clear FM reception even on hard-to-tune stations. However, experts and users say AM reception is less impressive; one blogger on Herculodge.com describes it as "good, but not great." While most owners posting at Amazon.com say the radio is adequate on this mark, many recommend buying an external antenna if AM reception is a top concern. The WR-2 produces crisp, clear monaural sound overall, and reviewers laud its independent bass and treble controls, something not typically found at this price range. Some owners say the alarm clock controls are convoluted, and setting or disabling the alarm can be particularly frustrating.
Stylish, solid design. The Sangean WR-2 table radio has a wooden cabinet that's available in walnut, black or white, and includes a single front-firing 3-inch speaker. Reviewers like its classic design and compact size. A large LCD screen graces the front. Owners posting at Amazon.com say the display can be too bright for a dark room, and complain that it can't be dimmed. Most say the WR-2 offers solid build quality, although it's a bit heavier than you may expect. A card-sized remote is included, and you can plug in headphones or play audio from external devices like MP3 players through an auxiliary input.
Above-average feature set for the money. Although the Sangean WR-2's digital tuner offers a scant 10 presets -- five each for AM and FM channels -- it boasts some enhanced features. One is support for RDS (radio data system), which displays station call letters and information about the song and artist being played when tuned to stations broadcasting RDS data. The radio can also sync the clock using an RDS broadcast, so there's no need to fiddle with the time settings. Too bad there's also no way to automatically set the alarm features, since convoluted alarm controls are one thing that owners regularly complain about. Although there's no battery backup, the radio will retain its setting for up to six minutes so a quick power outage in the middle of the night won't deactivate your alarm. There's also no Internet radio or HD radio capabilities, but the aforementioned auxiliary port lets you play audio from an MP3 player.
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A blogger at Herculodge gives a short but fairly detailed review of the Sangean WR-2. He likes its bass and treble controls, something he says many higher-priced radios don't have. While he notes some inconsistency with AM reception, "Gary" says reception is adequate overall on most stations.
Review: Gary's Review of Sangean WR-2, "Gary", March 27, 2010
This blog-style review gives the Sangean WR-2 an overall rating of "very good," and praises the radio for its excellent sound and retro design. Analysis here is reasonably informative, but it's not clear whether any hands-on testing was done and the write-up is not especially critical.
Review: Sangean WR-2 High-end Radio, Editors of Softpedia.com, As of November 2013
The Sangean WR-2 earns an overall score of 4.2 stars out of 5 at Amazon.com, where it generates more than 520 reviews from owners. Feedback is generally positive, with most users saying they like the radio's sound quality and design. One common caveat, however, is the spotty AM reception.
Review: Sangean WR-2 Digital AM/FM Tabletop Radio, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013
The Sangean WR-2 amasses only a very small number of reviews at this site, but some are quite detailed and a few compare the radio to other makes and models, including radios from Bose and Tivoli. Reviewers are very satisfied with the radio's sound quality and design.
Review: Sangean WR-2 Clock Radio, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of November 2013