AM/FM Tabletop Radio

Sangean's Home Page


I recently had the opportunity to review the Sangean WR-1 analog AM/FM radio. This handsome radio is an AC powered tabletop set measuring approximately 9.5" W x 4.5" H x 6.75" D and weighing in at 5.25 lbs. (Metric = 240 W x 114 H x 170 D mm. / 2.35 KG)

Operation of the good looking wooden WR-1 radio is as easy as it gets. Simply put the power/band switch either on AM or FM, tune in the desired station on the slide rule dial and adjust the volume control. FM or AM lights up on the dial scale depending on which band is selected. The power/band switch, volume and tuning controls are located under the slide rule dial scale. A small tuning LED indicator is next to the tuning knob. The front firing speaker (7 watts, 3 inches) is located on the front left of the WR-1.

Additional features/controls are found on the back of the WR-1. External antenna jacks are provided for FM (F-type) and AM (terminal lugs) along with an internal-external antenna switch. An AC power cord socket is located on the upper right rear of the radio for supplied removable power cord. Additionally, there is a 12 volt DC input socket available. Finally, there are jacks for Auxiliary Input, Record Out and Headphones. There is no switch for Aux In. Simply plug the input source into the Aux In jack and you're ready to go.

The WR-1 comes with a removable AC power cord and FM antenna wire with connector.

FM Performance
FM reception was quite good and the sound coming through the 7 watt speaker was exceptional. The WR-1 can really fill a room with classic monaural sound. I was pleasantly surprised by the "big sound" coming out of such a compact radio. It was not difficult to separate the major FM stations in our area. The radio performed well on FM with just the built in antenna. No external FM antenna was used in this review.

AM/MW Performance
Performance on AM/MW was poor. The WR-1 suffers from internally generated noise across the band and is vulnerable to common sources of household interference. Two portables I tested, the CCRadio (also from Sangean) and the GE Superadio II both fared much better in this regard (on AC and DC power). I did try an external antenna and found that reception was worse. A local 5 kw station badly overloaded the WR-1.

Other Pros
This is very attractive radio that will look well in any setting. Its good looks make it an ideal choice as kitchen countertop radio. Operation is as simple as it can get. I found that the tuning control is "silky smooth", as they say.

Sangean gets bonus points from me for including Aux In, Record Out and external antenna capability. The WR-1 owner can enjoy the audio of the radio by running a portable CD or mp3 player through the Aux In. While I did not use it in this manner, the WR-1 could easily pull some "double duty" and become an excellent external speaker for other devices.

Other Cons
Logistically, the headphone jack is in a bad place. It should be more conveniently located on the front of the radio. Curiously, stereo reception is not provided through headphones. On the WR-1 a lot of FM spectrum is crammed to the left (low end of band) while most of the AM band is jammed to the right (high end of band). This can make tuning a tricky operation.

The Sangean WR-1 is a very nice FM monaural radio for the program listening homeowner that wants a good looking radio to compliment their home décor. It will do a nice job of pulling FM stations in the area and close by AM stations. The audio and fidelity on FM and from input sources is very enjoyable. The WR-1 also offers flexibility to the user by way of the Auxiliary Input feature.

Best DX
Russ K3PI


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