Though it lacks some of the features of more expensive weather radios, the Midland WR-120 is a solid performer and a good value. Positives include reliable performance and Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) technology, which keeps false alarms to a minimum. One weakness of the radio is that it can't filter out the alerts you don't want to receive.
Works well for most users. Most users say that the weather alerts they receive through the Midland WR-120 weather radio are very accurate, and the sound quality is clear. However, a few reviewers report problems with reception. Some had to place the unit right next to a window to get a signal, while others say plugging anything else into the same outlet causes the signal to vanish. We also found mixed reports on battery life. One owner posting at Amazon.com says the batteries have only been replaced once in over a year, while another at Walmart.com says the batteries run down "very quickly" even when the radio is not in use.
Just the basics. The Midland WR-120 is a basic weather radio with no AM/FM reception. However, it does include such basic features as an alarm clock and battery power backup. It's also Public Alert-certified, which means it meets all the requirements of the National Weather Service. This includes SAME technology, which allows users to program the radio to receive only the warnings for their particular area. You can elect to receive alerts as text only, voice or "tone" (a loud warning signal). One nice extra is a one-touch button that provides the day's weather report.
Easy to set up, easy to use. To make sure you hear alerts for your area -- and your area only -- the Midland WR-120 needs to be programmed. Most say the process is straightforward and easy to follow, though if an error is made, you need to restart the process from the beginning. One major source of complaints is that there's no way to filter out any alerts you are not interested in -- flash flood warnings to those who live on high ground or frost warnings for those who live in the city, for example.
An inexpensive, no-frills weather radio. Compared to other leading weather radios, the Midland WR-120 is missing some important bells and whistles, such as AM/FM reception and selectable alerts. However, if those features aren't crucial for you, the WR-120 is a bargain at $30. We found a few complaints about durability, but there are far fewer for this radio than for the more sophisticated Midland WR-300 (Est. $45). We found two different versions of this radio online, the WR-120B and the WR-120C, but the only difference between them is their packaging (B for box, C for clamshell).
The Midland WR-120 gets more than 600 user reviews at Amazon.com, with the vast majority awarding it four or five stars. Owners say it's reliable and easy to use, but many wish that it had the ability to disable certain alerts.
Review: Midland WR-120B NOAA Weather Alert All Hazard Public Alert Certified Radio With SAME, Trilingual Display and Alarm Clock – Box Packaging, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
About 90 owners have posted reviews or ratings for the Midland WR-120 at Walmart.com. Users give it 4.5 stars out of 5 overall, and 95 percent of them say they'd recommend the weather radio to a friend. Owners describe the radio as a good value and easy to use.
Review: Midland WR120 Weather Alert Radio, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of April 2014
Survivalist blogger Ken Jorgustin includes the Midland WR-120 on his list of the top three weather radios of 2013. His picks appear to be based solely on an analysis of reviews at Amazon.com, but his review provides a useful summary of the WR-120's features.
Review: Weather Radio Reviews 2013, Ken Jorgustin, June 3, 2013