Sangean HDR-16 Review (Best AM FM Stereo HD portable radio)

Here’s what it’s like to test out. Sangean’s $100 radio gives you what you paid for…

Sangean is making a huge push in order to sell more of these HDR-16 radios across the world. There are plenty of other radios that cost less than this one, but, we have to say that the Sangean HDR-16 is pretty different from the rest. It is available on Amazon, and on many other online selling websites.

The Sangean HDR-16 radio is an AM/FM HD Portable radio. It is only slightly larger than a regular coca-cola bottle, but, this multifunctional radio enables you to listen to many different radio stations and it has pretty amazing features too.

The sound is clear and very detailed with all of the necessary sound effects. The radio also contains a very loud bass that adds the soul to any tune.

You will be reading more about that in this Sangean HDR-16 Review.

What we liked71WDz12I6XL. AC SL1500

  • This radio has 10 Memory presets ( 5 AM and 5 FM)
  • The radio is very lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • It has a built-in clock that automatically turns off when you use the battery radio power.
  • This is a superb and versatile portable radio
  • For Great sound and solid performer
  • Great reception, Provides more channel choices on a portable radio device
  • Easy to use

The main reason why we liked all of these things is that it is for sure helpful when the radio is simply easy to handle. Heavy radios may have a stronger sound quality, but, the practicality of these kinds of radios is just a huge plus.


In-depth Sangean HDR-16 Review

This radio is an impressive portable radio. High-quality construction and advanced HD engineering. signal selectivity, sensitivity, and Excellent tuning. So, let’s begin with the actual in-depth Sangean HDR 16 Review.

Build and features of this Sangean HDR-16, the review

This radio pretty much looks like a regular, traditional jukebox, it for sure reminds us of the radios that were trendy back in the 80s; we’d have to say that one-third of this radio’s size is occupied by the two 1/2 inches speakers. The middle of this radio is occupied by the buttons and the LCD display.

The radio is available only in black color and it looks pretty attractive because of that. We’d have to say that you probably cannot find a radio that has better dimensions and weight than this one. The radio is 10.2 inches wide, and it weighs around 15.2oz, that’s why it is so easy to carry around.

In-depth Sangean HDR-16 Review


The very first thing that we have noticed about this radio when the testing started is the quality of the sound, and how the tuning is PLL synthesized. As we have already mentioned, the sound has all of the necessary sound effects and incredible bass control. This for sure helps with the experience of listening to music.

This radio’s frequency can vary, it is usually somewhere between 87.5 and 108.0MHz. This radio also has the ability to catch MW signals as well, if they have a frequency between 520-1710kHz.

This radio can be plugged into a wall using the AC adapter. But, it does have 4 1.5 V main batteries that are just it’s another source of power. When fully charged, this radio can work for days

Unfortunately, this radio does not support Bluetooth technology, and that is the only thing that bothers us. For this amount of money, it would be really helpful if this kind of radio has had Bluetooth technology so it could connect to smartphones and tablets. And, you will also get notified if the batteries are about to drain so that you can change them on time, a little LED light will start flashing and that is how you will know.

Related: Best Sangean Portable Radio

Other features

Besides all of those features that we have already mentioned, we have found it very helpful that this radio has HWS- Human Wake System that includes a Buzzer, Alarm, and a Sleep timer. You do not have to worry about sleeping in, your radio will always wake you up on time.

What we also found super important is that the radio supports emergency alert channels. In other words, if there is some kind of weather emergency near you, your radio will automatically switch to an emergency station so that you can listen to the emergency broadcast news.


Specification Chart:

TUNER FM Frequency (MHz) 87.5 – 108.0 MHz
MW Frequency (kHz) 520 – 1710
TUNING Type PLL synthesized
Memory Presets 10 (5 FM+5 AM)
Rotary Tuning V
CLOCK Real time Time V
Alarm Tuner / iRadio / Buzzer Radio & Buzzer
Sleep V
Snooze V
View Area (mm / inch) 82 x 21 / 3.23 x 0.83
Graphic / Character Type 16 characters x 2 Lines
Back Light V
AUDIO Sound Effect Treble / Bass Control V
OUTPUT POWER (TYPICAL) Earphones Output Power 1W*2
AMPLIFIER Earphones Output Power 5mW*2
SPEAKER Size 2 1/2 inches
Impedance 8 ohms
Magnetically Shield V
I/O SOCKET Power DC- in
Aux – in V
Line – out V
Earphones V
POWER SUPPLY Mains Power Supply DC 7.5V / 0.8A
Batteries (Main Power) 4 x 1.5V (UM-2)
ACCESSORIES Power Adapter 7.5V / 0.8A
DIMENSIONS Width 260 / 10.24 (mm/inch)
Height 136 / 5.35 (mm/inch)
Depth 63 / 2.48 (mm/inch)
Weight 884 / 1lb. 15.2oz (g & lb. oz)

How to use the Sangean HDR16 Radio

This radio is really easy to handle. All that you have to do is to turn on its switch and to find the radio station that you want to listen to Pretty simple, don’t you think so? Besides, if you cannot figure out how to use the radio at first, you do not have to worry about it at all, you should be able to find a small manual book in the box in which the radio came to you. The manual will contain all of the necessary information.


If you decide to buy this Sangean HDR-16 radio, you should know that you will be receiving a three(03) year warranty for it. That way, you do not have to worry about it breaking, you can always be safe.

And lastly, you should have figured it out by now why we picked this radio; because it has amazing specifications, great performance, and most importantly, the sound it produces is really clear.

Our take and thoughts on the Sangean HDR 16

In the following section of the article, we will be diving a bit more deeply into the core of the radio and advising you whether or not to buy it.

If you are wondering if this radio is any good, well, based on its specifications, performance, and looks, you can see that this radio is really good. There are many radios with a worse performance that cost a lot more money, but this one is just perfect for that amount.

Why is this radio important and for who?

This radio is pretty important for people that are in a hurry and that do not have the time to tune the radio by hand. Since this radio has an automatic tuning, all that you have to do is turn it on and listen to music. It is also perfect if you are an owner of an older car that does not have a radio built-in, you can just place this Sangean HD HDR-16 radio next to you and listen to your favorite radio stations whenever you are going for a ride.

Why do you need this radio?

There is no doubt that music makes everything better. If you are one of those people that just cannot function or work without a little bit of music playing in the background, then this radio should suit you well.

Besides that, if you are an adventurous person that likes to take trips and hikes, it for sure is practical to have one of these radios by your site just in case if some kind of weather emergency is about to happen. This radio will notify you before that happens so that you can remain safe.

Why should you buy this radio?

This is a simple question; you should buy it because it is affordable, yet it has pretty great features and performance. Besides that, it is not that big so that you can carry it around with you anywhere you go.

Sample buyer review… “Great sounding HD portable. Please note that I had to buy my HDR-16 from another seller because Amazon was out of stock when I ordered.
I had been interested in this radio since it was announced. Received it two days ago. Because it’s new I want to run through each area of it separately and also make a few general comments about HD radio for those who might be thinking of making the first step into this technology.
Sound quality. The speakers in this radio seem to be of very high quality and there are separate bass and treble controls accessed electronically by pushing in on the volume control. As a result, you can tailor the sound anywhere from brassy to deep, with both bass and treble responses having a realistic, satisfying tonal quality. (I am not a fan of muddy sound, and I get very good bass mixed with a “sparkling” treble out of this radio by setting the bass at +3 and the treble at +6.) Honestly, the sound reminds me of a bookshelf stereo system or Bose Wave Radio, not a portable radio.
AM reception. This radio is a beast on AM. I have lots of radios – Grundig Satellit 700, Panasonic RF-2200, GE Superadio – and this one runs with the leaders of the pack. I’m not yet prepared to say it’s “better” or “as good as” any specific radio because when you get to the higher levels of performance there are some nuances, but the reception at this point appears to be on par with the very best. HD on AM is nice because the difference in sound quality is so striking. (Going from regular AM to HD AM is like comparing a regular, low-fi phone call to Skype.) The HDR-16 was even able to pick up HD signals from several distant AM stations at night; in one case the station (WCBS/880 New York) was close to 1,000 miles away.
Appearance/Design. Sharp-looking gloss black finished outer cabinet, nicely-integrated handle that folds flush for when you’re using it as a table radio and not a portable. The display is large, bright, and easy to read.
Operation/Controls. The controls feel high-quality. There are two alarms, an internal clock, and a menu/setup system. All are pretty easy to access and operate. An Aux-In jack allows you to use the HDR-16 as a speaker system for your phone or tablet with a 3.5 mm cord, and you might want to do that given the superb quality audio this radio is capable of generating. There’s also a Record Out jack that will supply a fixed audio level to an external recorder or amplifier – a nice touch.
FM reception. I have two other HD radios (the Best Buy/Insignia portable, and the original Sangean tabletop HD, the Sangean HDR-1. HD reception appears to be a bit better than either of these, but the differences in FM HD sensitivity from radio to radio are not large. I think the primary limitation you run up against with FM HD is the FCC’s limitation on the power level of HD signals, which is significantly less than the main analog channel. Now, on analog FM, this radio is among the best I’ve seen.
What you need to keep in mind if you want to listen to HD FM is that the reception is more limited than analog. If you are farther than about 30-35 miles from the tower of the station, you’re probably going to have to experiment with different radio positions and (possibly) an external antenna to get the station(s) you want. My location is approximately 45 miles from the transmitter sites of most HD stations, and reception is pretty reliable on some of them, fair on others, and difficult on a few. You will have the best results on a second/upstairs floor if you have one, near an exterior wall or (even better) a window, or outdoors. If you’re in or near a big city, you don’t have to worry about any of this.
If you’re not familiar with HD radio, the nice thing about HD FM is the existence of additional HD subchannels, which will show up on your radio as HD2 or HD3. I don’t have any nearby stations that have an HD4 but I think it’s technically possible. (HD1 will be the digital version of the main analog channel.) To tune these channels, first, let the radio lock in on the HD1 signal, then just move the tuning knob clockwise one click to scroll through each subchannel. (Not every FM HD station has subchannels, and they aren’t possible on AM. In these cases, the radio will simply show the HD designation with no number after it.)
One quirk of all HD radios I’ve seen, including this one, is that if you have an HD station but aren’t getting a strong enough signal to switch the radio into HD mode, the main analog channel will sound as if it’s not properly tuned in. To remedy this you have to change the antenna orientation (most likely so the signal gets slightly worse). Then, when it no longer senses the HD signal the radio will quit trying to switch into HD, allowing reception to return to normal. This can be somewhat annoying if you spend much time listening to a station that falls into this category.
Other than sharing this oddity of all HD radios, which probably comes from some characteristic of the chipset used to decode HD, the FM performance as an analog FM unit is outstanding. For example, I am able to get an analog-only FM station whose transmitter is 90 miles away – and the frequency of this distant FM station is adjacent to that of a station with a transmitter and tower exactly three miles from my house. The vast majority of radios I own are completely unable to get to this station owing to the nearby strong signal completely overrunning this weak, distant one. This radio picks it up, placing it among only a small handful of radios that I own that can do that.
So far no opportunity to check battery life – the original ones I put in are still working, of course. But thanks to Sangean for using longer-lasting “C” batteries rather than the now-nearly-ubiquitous “AA” size. AC adapter is provided, too.
I am a longtime owner of many Sangean products and based on their quality I had high hopes for this radio. It does not disappoint. Sound quality is probably the biggest standout area, followed closely by AM and analog FM sensitivity/selectivity. This is an excellent addition to the small but growing field of HD portables”

Conclusion of Sangean HDR 16 Review

Finally, we’d have to say that this radio definitely won our hearts. It has everything, all of the good features, understandable price and etc… So, if you are searching for a new, yet smooth radio with many good features, you should for sure consider buying this radio.


FAQs about Sangean HDR 16

1. Where is the Sangean HDR-16 radio being made?

This radio is being produced in Taiwan; although, the Sangean company has many headquarters and warehouses all across the world.

2. Where can I buy this radio?

You can easily buy this radio on Amazon or at Walmart. Visit your local Walmart store to see if they currently have it in the sale. You can also check your local tech stores because Sangean company has many verified dealers and sellers across the world.



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