Today we will review the Sangean PR-D15 and break down all of the features and specifications it offers as well as analyze the quality of its sound output. The PR-D15 is an upgraded version of an earlier Sangean model, the PR-D5. Sangean did an excellent job of maintaining all of the aspects of the PR-D5 that consumers loved while addressing some of its shortcomings to make it an overall better and more modernized radio. We will go more in-depth about these upgrades throughout the article.
At first glance, the Sangean PR-D15 FM-Stereo RDS (RBDS)/AM Digital Tuning Portable Receiver is reminiscent of the vintage boombox that became popular during the 1970s. However, it has been equipped with a modern speaker and antenna technology to give it great sound quality and excellent reception. We were pleasantly surprised at how much this model has evolved from its predecessor to deliver an enjoyable listening experience.
In-depth Sangean PR-D15 Review
Why We Like
The Sangean PR-D15 has some truly impressive aspects that we should highlight before moving into the heart of the review:
- Appearance: We absolutely love the throwback look of the PR-D15. It has a large handle that folds from the top and makes it easy to carry with you. The dual speakers on the front face give it that cool boombox aesthetic and the volume and tuning knobs along the side are a really nice touch.
- Reception: The 200mm Ferrite AM antenna bar gives this radio excellent reception, particularly on AM bands. Users from all over the map have reported being thoroughly impressed with how clearly it picks up distant stations, even those who live in more remote areas. This aspect also lends itself to great portability, which leads us to our next advantage.
- Portability: Though the PR-D15 is on the large side for a portable radio (16.70” x 7.60” x 4.00” and 2.3lbs.), the large handle makes it extremely easy to take with you almost anywhere. This is a great radio for an outdoor gathering or a camping trip because it also pumps out the tunes at a pretty high volume.
Rechargeable: The ability to recharge instead of having to periodically replace the batteries is an awesome feature in a portable radio. The PR-D15 gives you the option to either power it using the AC Power cord, 6 C size NiMH rechargeable batteries (please note that the AC Adaptor is included but the batteries are not), or standard C size Alkaline batteries. The LCD display also has a battery icon in the corner so you always know exactly when your batteries need to be charged or replaced.
Our Opinion, design, feature, and performance
The Sangean PR-D15 really knows how to make a great first impression! Other than the fact it does not have a cassette player, you could easily mistake it for a 1980’s boombox that you’d see at a ball game or picnic decades ago, but with a slightly modern twist. It is available in dark grey with black accents which gives it a sleek look while also hiding dirt and wear.
The large carry handle is also consistent with the retro boombox design, making it easily portable at just 2.3 pounds. The PR-D5 lacked any form of handle and customers often reported dropping it, so Sangean remedied this problem in this upgraded version. It may not be as light as other portable radios, but the intention seems to have been to create a device that was solidly constructed and gives the satisfaction of that somewhat weighted feeling when you carry it.
The PR-D15 features a large LCD display (3.15” x 0.83”) and a straightforward, intuitive interface that makes it accessible for all users. The screen displays the station you are tuned to as well as icons for the volume level, battery life, alarm, and sleep mode. On the right side, there is a charging port, headphone jack, AUX-In jack, and a “Stereo/Mono” Switch so you can choose according to which sounds better with what you are listening to.
The buttons are large and well-spaced so that they are easy to use for people with large fingers. The volume and tuning knobs on the left side are both aesthetically pleasing and functional, making it quick to change the volume or station in seconds. You can also use these knobs to adjust the bass and treble through the menu.
The PR-D15 has a frequency range of 87.5-108FM and 520-1710AM with 5 memory presets for each band, prominently displayed on the bottom row of buttons. The radio has fine-tuning control which allows you to tune by 1 kHz steps in AM and 10 kHz steps in FM. This way you can really make sure you find the exact number to make your favorite stations come in as clearly as possible.
The 200mm Ferrite AM antenna bar gives you surprisingly good reception and you may even find new stations available to you that weren’t before. The AM reception is particularly impressive, which is a huge bonus for frequent AM listeners. It also supports Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS/RDS) with a text function on the LCD display.
The PR-D15 also doubles as an alarm clock that allows you to wake up to a preset radio station or the Humane Wake-Up System (HWS), which slowly increases the buzzer in volume so as not to jar you awake abruptly. You can snooze the alarm by pushing any button other than Power.
The radio also has an Auto Seek feature for quickly finding all the stations available in your particular location. There is a loudness boost button as well so that you can give a little extra volume outdoors or in otherwise noisy environments.
The dual 2.5” stereo speakers offer powerful, clear audio that doesn’t sacrifice its quality too much as you get into the higher volumes. They provide 8ohms of resistance and have 1.5W of output power when plugged in with the AC adaptor. The output level drops to 800mW when powering it with batteries alone as a means to conserve your battery life.
As mentioned above, there is also an earphone jack that provides 3W of output, making for an even louder and more powerful sound. And if you are someone who likes to enjoy other music outside of just radio, you have the option to plug your phone or iPod into the standard 3.5mm AUX-In jack as well.
Our Final Thoughts of the Sangean PR D15
Though the Sangean PR-D15 does not have the greatest sound quality that you can possibly find out there on the market, for around $100 dollars, it delivers on its value and is quite powerful for a portable radio. It’s a huge bonus that you have the further option of connecting an external speaker or earphones to improve the sound quality, which is really this model’s only slight shortcoming.
Perhaps the only modern feature that the PR-D15 lacks and would surely be welcomed by consumers is the addition of Bluetooth. Though you do have the AUX In option, wireless is the way of the future and not many people wish to carry a 3.5mm AUX cord with them anymore. Maybe this is an upgrade that Sangean will introduce in their next-generation model (the PR-D25 perhaps?).
Other than these small gripes, the PR-D15 is quite an amazing little radio. It has nearly all the features you could want from a modern portable AM/FM radio without overwhelming the user with tons of buttons or complicated menu and adjustment options. Sangean chose to keep this model simple and user-friendly while offering an array of useful features, and we appreciate that.
We hope that this review has provided you with a more holistic understanding of what the Sangean PR-D15 has to offer and addressed any questions or concerns you may have had when you started reading. If you are someone looking for a radio that is powerful enough to provide the musical background for a camping trip or a Jobsite but wants to keep it simple and sustainable, you should definitely consider the PR-D15 is a potential option for you!
Any Further Questions?
Q-1. How do you adjust the treble and bass on the PR D15?
The first thing you need to do is set it to your desired volume level, which will be displayed on the screen (0-30). Then press the volume control knob once to adjust the treble and twice for bass. You simply turn the knob until you reach the desired level for each one.
Q-2. How is the battery life?
The answer will depend on how often you listen to it and at what volume, but it has pretty exceptional battery life. The large majority of users have been satisfied with how long the rechargeable batteries last, and with the battery icon on the LCD display, you should be able to maintain a charge so that you’re never caught off guard when they run out.