If you are in the market to purchase a new AM/FM radio for your home, you have more than likely seen the name Sangean pop up throughout your search. Sangean is a Taiwanese company that has been in the business of producing quality tuner radios for almost half a century.
This article will take an extensive look at the PR-D9W, Sangean’s AM/FM Weather Alert Rechargeable Portable radio, and review its sound quality, features, and specifications to give you a better idea of exactly what you will receive when you purchase this radio. Without further ado, let’s dive into the review and see how well the PR-D9W performs as well as how well it stacks up against its competitors in the portable tuner radio market today.
The detailed Sangean PR-D9W Review
Why We Like
Though the Sangean PR-D9W may not look like anything extraordinary at first glance, let’s start with some of the aspects of this radio that really impressed us:
- Weather Alert System: At the core of its design, the PR-D9W is a weather radio. The automatic alert system will warn you of extreme or hazardous weather conditions that may be headed your way without you having to actually tune into weather reports.
- Portability: Though this model is slightly larger (6.34 x 4.17 x 1.55 inches, 12.5 ounces) than many other portable radios, it’s perfect for taking with you in the car or on a camping trip. Its battery options also lend themselves to listening on the go as well as in the case of an emergency, which leads us to our next highlight.
- Battery Selector: In addition to standard AC power, the PR-D9W can also be powered using regular alkaline batteries or an internal, rechargeable NiMH. This is ideal for on-the-go use and can be a big selling point for someone looking for a radio that is ideal in weather emergency scenarios.
- Built-In Headphone Amplifier: Most users will probably listen to the radio through the embedded speaker, but another great bonus is the sound quality this radio offers when using headphones. When you plug in your headphones, a 5+5mW stereo amp and 16ohm flat response give you enhanced clarity for private listening sessions.
Related: Best Sangean Portable Radio
The Design and Performance
Before we take a closer look at the features and sound quality of the PR-D9W, let’s go over some first impressions based solely on appearance. At first glance, you can tell the manufacturers prioritized functionality and durability over a flashy design. The PR-D9W is mostly white with grey accents on the buttons and around the LCD display screen. This is not a radio you choose specifically for prominent display on your bookshelf or mantle.
The buttons are large and easy to distinguish, making for a straightforward user experience. The large (1.92” x 0.5”) LCD screen is very easy to read, even for those with limited vision. It also offers a button to adjust the brightness so you can change the backlight to suit whatever kind of lighting it needs to operate in.
The PR-D9W provides access to AM and FM stations as well as NOAA weather bands, which are easy to navigate using the tuning arrows and Band button. It has 19 memory presets to save your favorite stations as well as an Auto Scan feature to help search for them initially. The Frequency range is 87.5-108 for FM and 520-1710 for AM, with 7 NOAA weather channels.
On the back, there is a telescoping antenna, and users from all over have reported receiving excellent reception, even in compromising weather conditions. As mentioned above, there is a siren function distinct from the sound of the alarm buzzer that alerts you of potential incoming weather emergencies.
The Dual Alarm system also makes this radio perfect for your bedside and you can choose to either wake up to the HWS (Human Wake-Up System) buzzer or your favorite morning station. Two alarms can be programmed at once and the volume of those alarms can be preset according to preference. And when the alarm goes off, you don’t have to worry about scrambling for the snooze button while you are still foggy because Snooze can be activated by pushing any button except for Power.
When you want to take your radio on-the-go, you can choose between powering it with alkaline batteries or the internal NiMH. There is a battery icon on the upper right-hand corner of the display so that you will never be surprised by your radio suddenly running out of battery.
To charge the battery, simply engage the NiMH switch when it is plugged in and you will see the LED light indicator turn on. The PR-D9W was specifically designed for low power consumption and can last over 25 hours on 4 AA Alkaline batteries.
Another great feature is the internal super capacitor that stores your clock and preset information in the case of a power outage or your battery dying. Though this feature only lasts for 5 minutes, it at least gives you the opportunity to reach a power source before having to reset all of this information manually.
No radio review would be complete without assessing the sound quality it offers. The PR-D9W comes equipped with a 2.25” embedded speaker that is featured prominently on the front face that has 8ohms of impedance. It gives 0.5W of output power when plugged in which drops to 0.25W when operating by battery only, a measure designed for power saving during portable use.
It is admittedly not the highest quality speaker and can sound muddy at times. However, if you are looking for higher quality output, it also has an AUX jack through which you can connect with headphones or your own external speaker. The AUX option offers better sound quality because it has a built-in amplifier that features 5+5mW of output.
Our Final Thoughts
For an AM/FM weather radio in the $50-65 price range, the Sangean PR-D9W provides pretty solid value for your dollar. It is crafted for a specific niche and function, so if you are someone who is looking for a radio with lots of extra features or impeccable sound quality, this is probably not the radio for you. Sangean catered the PR-D9W to suit customers who live in potentially extreme weather pockets and are in the market for a user-friendly, functional AM/FM radio with solid longevity.
If you are someone who drives professionally, this model could make for an excellent choice because of its weather-specific functions and portability. The alert system can warn you of potential upcoming storms, which will allow you to prepare or even seek an alternate route.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the PR-D9W is its mediocre sound quality. For a radio of its size, it gets decently loud, but the sound quality can become muddy and unclear, particularly at higher volumes.
Though the audio output through the earphone jack is significantly improved, we wish that this improvement extended to the embedded speaker so that users could enjoy high-quality sound without the addition of earphones or an external speaker. You should definitely take this into account and be aware of the manner in which you will use your radio before buying it.
Ultimately, the Sangean PR-D9W is a great radio option for those who prioritize longevity, durability, and access to weather information above all else. By purchasing this radio, you can rest assured that it will fulfill these needs and provide you with a straightforward, functional radio experience for years to come. If you were unsure about whether the PR-D9W was the radio for you, we hope that this review has given you some clarity and answered any questions or concerns you may have before purchasing it.
Any Further Questions?
Q-1. Does the Sangean PR-D9W come in any other colors than white/grey?
Unfortunately, the white and grey color scheme is the only option currently available in this model. Users have made consistent complaints that their shiny black models show fingerprints and the white makes it more suitable for outdoor use because it does not absorb as much heat from the sun.
Q-2. Does the PR-D9W have an antenna jack to attach an external antenna for greater signal range?
There is no outlet for an external antenna on this model, though few users have reported a need for it. However, if you are someone who lives in a very remote area that has difficulty picking up radio reception, this may be something you want to consider before making your purchase.
Q-3. Do you have the ability to turn the volume to zero if necessary?
Yes, the volume settings are displayed on the LCD display and range from 0-20. So in the case that you need complete silence at a moment’s notice, you can mute it with a few clicks of a button (though it does not specifically offer a mute button).
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