Midland WR300 Weather Radio Review

The biggest issue for some people who are heading out to start their day is “today’s weather”. People carry their umbrellas everywhere in many parts of the world. Furthermore, they do that regardless of what the weather forecast is that day. Because they don’t let their guard down and stay prepared. If you are severely affected by how the weather is in your profession, get a weather radio. The Midland WR300 weather radio is a perfectly good option, which is affordable and easily available.

The weather is a strange occurrence at times. Because weather conditions can accelerate much faster than predicted. So always take the forecast with a grain of salt. Especially if you live in places where there are various factors that can affect the weather. One example is being near an ocean just as Florida is. Which contributes immensely to the hurricanes that hit the state. The geographical location also matters in this aspect too.

Even though there are things like phone apps and television, a weather radio can still be a useful amenity. The reason why, because during a power outage due to bad weather conditions both cable TV and internet won’t work. A statewide blackout will also affect your phone reception too. That means mobile internet will not work either. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transmits warnings and advisories via weather radios.

Having a weather radio, like the Midland WR300, can save your life, literally. When everything else will fail to warn you of impending danger from weather, a weather radio won’t. It receives transmissions straight from the National Weather Service, which operates throughout the counties.

Pros

  • Sleek external design
  • 10 levels of backlight settings
  • Greater control on excluding unnecessary alerts
  • Fantastic reception
  • Easier to operate than previous versions
  • Smooth volume control and crisp sound quality

Cons

  • Lacks AM reception
  • Large antenna might be problematic to manage
  • Position sensitive reception

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What Is a Weather Radio?

Now we all know what a radio is, but in case you don’t here is a brief explanation. It is, basically, a device that converts radio wave signals into electrical ones. It then converts those electrical signals into audible audio waves. The transmission of radio waves is also through a similar process. Using a tower, the audio input is converted into electrical waves at first and then into radio signals. Radio waves are used for several purposes, one of which is for getting phone reception.

But phone reception requires strong radio waves to operate with efficiency. Meanwhile, a normal AM/FM radio can still operate with weak radio signals. Since it does not transmit and receive in real-time as a phone does, an AM/FM radio can still be audible with weaker radio waves. So when you are traveling throughout the countryside you can tune into the car radio and listen to songs. But you might not be able to make a properly audible phone call on your mobile phone.

Now when it comes to a weather radio, it is specifically designed to receive transmissions from NOAA. The National Weather Service, a department of the NOAA transmits advisories throughout the states. They have impeccable radio signals throughout to ensure that each and every corner of the country receives forecasts and updates. Because a weather-related disaster can occur at any location. Being able to transmit warnings and alerts is important.

A weather radio picks up alerts and informs you immediately of any problematic weather conditions. It does so through audio and visual queues. Like flashing lights and playing loud beep noises to grab people’s attention.

The Midland WR300 Weather Radio Review

Being an expert at radio technology, the Midland brand has been a trusted name in the industry. They started off back in the 1960s and have been developing radio-related devices since. Having been in the field for so long gives them credibility. And it is not just that, their radio devices are really durable and have a long-lasting life. That is one of the reasons why the Midland brand is still preferred to this day and age.

The Midland WR300 is an amazing weather radio which improves upon the lower-end models like the WR120. Let us look at what this model of weather radio has to offer:

Design

The Midland WR300 is a compact and lightweight weather radio, which has a somewhat similar design to the WR120. There are some notable key differences though like the LCD screen is at the bottom instead of the top. The speaker takes the place of the LCD screen and the buttons on the top this time. It has more of a rectangular shape rather than the square in the WR120. It also sports a silver color instead of white. And the black buttons are replaced with a gray for contrast with the silver body of the weather radio.

The antenna is at the top with a hook holding it in its place. The ports are also at the top again, which includes the AC adapter socket. The volume buttons are replaced with a dial instead and moved to the side of the Midland WR300. The power button is right beside the volume dial and can be used to turn the radio on or off.

Features

1) Alarm Clock

The Midland WR300 weather radio also serves as an alarm clock making it a perfect companion at the bedside. In addition to receiving warnings and queues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, you can use it as a regular alarm clock too. The speaker is pretty big so the alarm noise is going to be big enough to wake you up. You also have a snooze button to snooze your alarm clock.

This is a recurring feature that was also present in the Midland WR120. Since this is smaller and much more compact than the low-end model, you can take it anywhere you travel. It will provide you with the weather advisories while acting as an alarm clock for you.

2) AM/FM Radio

Now, this feature was absent in the low-end model WR120. But since it is cheaper it was bound to miss a feature or two compared to the premium ones. The WR300 has an AM/FM radio that can be used to tune in to FM and AM channel frequencies. Most FM and AM channels are used for entertainment purposes. You can also find channels that give you traffic alerts.

You can listen to music while you are traveling or out on a trip if you want to listen to the local music preference. It can act as your travel companion for music through your travels anywhere you go.

3) S.A.M.E. Localized Programming

You can program your Midland WR300 to give you weather updates from a specific county or multiple ones using S.A.M.E localized programming. S.A.M.E. or Specific Area Message Encoding codes are assigned to each county. By inputting the S.A.M.E. codes of the counties you wish to know the weather, you get advisories of those counties in specific. It will lock on to the NOAA and NWS frequencies in that county and give you advisories.

So if a storm is going to hit a county near Michigan, you will get alerts and warnings from that particular county.

4) Color Coded Indicators

The color-coded indicators make a come back in the Midland WR300. These LED light indicators flash in 3 different colors to inform you of an alert for either a warning, a watch, or an advisory. The red color is self-explanatory as an alert for warning. The orange, which is usually a color indicator for caution, here shows an alert for advisory. The green indicator is a different one from the Midland WR120, as it replaces the yellow one, and shows a watch alert.

5) Detailed LCD Screen

In the Midland WR120, the one complaint we had was that the LCD screen did not display a lot of details. The Midland WR300 addresses that issue and displays all of the details on the LCD. It shows the weather condition related to the county you are in. If there is a tornado warning in the countryside, TORNADO ALERT will be written on the screen to alert you of it. Under it, you can see the county code indicator, if a single county is selected it will show that to you.

Right beside the county code indicator is the alert indicator to tell you as to what kind of alert have you selected in the options, whether it is a voice alert or visual alert. We also have a battery indicator that will show you what is the status of the battery. The weather channel indicator is right above it and above it is the alarm and time. Overall it is a much more detailed screen that shows you everything you need to know on the screen.

6) Standby Power and External Antenna

One thing that a weather radio needs to have is backup power. The WR300 from Midland can run without its AC adapter power with the help of 4x AA batteries. The WR120 used 3x AA batteries and could run for a week before you needed to replace the batteries. The WR300 can run for a whole lot longer compared to that.

Also, there is a port for attaching an external antenna to the weather radio. This is specifically useful when you live in the countryside and the reception isn’t that great. By attaching an external antenna you can greatly increase the range of the reception. Farmers can benefit from this a whole lot.

Affordability and Durability

One of the best things about this weather radio is its affordability and durability. It is nowhere as expensive as a premium weather radio. But at the same time, it feels and even has features of one. It is aptly priced since it is worth that cost. When it comes to durability, we are yet to find something that lasts as long as Midland’s weather radios.

People have had these radios for such a long time, and they are still working without any problems whatsoever. Knowing that it becomes a very good investment since it will almost last you a lifetime if you treat it right.

Who Needs a Weather Radio?

The weather radio is a very useful device to have. It is a handy tool that will give you weather updates every now and then. There is no specific case in which you would need a weather radio. But some cases benefit more from it compared to others.

1) Travelers

If you are traveling, you need to stay wary of the weather conditions ahead. If you get stuck in bad weather while traveling you will end up ruining your whole trip. Not only that, you might even risk getting into danger if the weather conditions are severely bad. So travelers could greatly benefit from having a weather radio. The WR300 will not only act as a weather alert radio for them but also an alarm clock and an AM/FM radio for entertainment. This proves it to be a useful utility specifically in this case and scenario.

2) People Who Live in Regions with Dangerous Weather Conditions

Let’s be honest, some regions are more prone to storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes than others. Florida is very famous for being a hotspot during hurricanes. It has been affected a lot of times due to that and people have had to abandon their homes and face tremendous financial losses. But nothing can beat the loss of life, because you can build finances again if you are alive to work another day. If you have frequent storms or tornadoes in your vicinity, getting a weather radio can help you survive these catastrophes.

With the Midland WR300, you would be receiving time-to-time alerts of such major destructive weather conditions. You could always prepare for the worst if you know about what is going to happen, ahead of time.

3) Farmers

Farmers make their living from crops and cattle. They sell fresh produce and dairy to the local farmer’s markets. They reside on farmlands that are very far from cities. So farmers do not have a lot of resources, for instance, they might not have cable TV or internet. Knowing the weather forecast can be tricky with the limited resources available. But a weather radio can surely make up for that since it can be connected with an external antenna to receive faraway signals from the NOAA and NWS.

Buyer’s Guide

The Midland WR300 is one of the best weather radios acclaimed by the people. But in case the weather radio is not available and you want to know what to look out for in one, here is a short and detailed buyer’s guide.

Features

One thing to always look out for is the features of a weather radio. These days weather radios are jam-packed with features, they have things like alarm clocks and FM/AM radios, just like the Midland WR300 does. Some go as far as to offer a flashlight to help you navigate in the darkness in case of a power outage.

Options

There should be various options in the menu of a weather station for you to choose from. Whether it is to change the language or to select multiple counties, having more options helps you out. Also, navigation in the menu should not be very difficult and complex. It should be easy so that everyone can figure it out without having to go through the manual.

Power

Modern weather stations give you multiple power options. The Midland WR300 weather radio offers 2 ways to power it up. One is using the AC power adapter that is included in the package. The other one is by using 4x AA batteries that you insert in the battery compartment below.

Similarly, other weather radios have even more power options, like solar and even USB to power it through your phone. We have also seen some weather radio models that can be powered using a hand-crank from some brands as well. So when power outages occur, you can keep your weather radio running.

Durability

Durability is one of the important aspects of buying any product out there. Having said that, when you are spending money on something, you would definitely want it to last long. So whenever you are buying a weather radio, make sure that it is durable. The Midland WR300 and other products from Midland have a reputation for being highly durable. People who have bought their radio technology products have had them for years without a complaint of them breaking down.

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Verdict

The WR300 is an extremely useful weather gadget that everyone needs to have in their homes. It has multiple utilities other than being an average weather radio. People will not only use the Midland WR300 for getting the forecast and alerts regarding weather hazards but also as an alarm clock and to listen to FM/AM radio. It would be a great companion for travel as well as for those who live in weather-affected regions and farmlands. It is an affordable and inexpensive weather radio that can save your life. Also, it is easily available in department stores and Amazon.com as well.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Number of NOAA Channels the Midland WR300 Catches?

The Midland WR300 catches all 7 channels of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All of these are out of the FM/AM ranges and are specifically designated to alert people with weather forecast warnings. 162.400 megahertz (MHz), 162.425 MHz, 162.450 MHz, 162.475 MHz, 162.500 MHz, 162.525 MHz, and 162.550 MHz are the bands respectively.

Can You Listen to Alerts From All Counties on Your Midland WR300?

Yes, you can hear the alerts from all the counties on your Midland WR300 weather radio. You just have to select the option to do so. You can also select multiple counties at the same time by inputting the S.A.M.E. code for those specific counties. Similarly, you can program a single county too, and it will only provide you with weather-based alerts of that particular county.

Can You See Visual Indicators Along With Audio Ones on Your Midland WR300?

Yes, you can, you can select either of the indicators or both of them to alert you when the NOAA and NWS issue an advisory, warning, or watch. The audio indicator is a perfect addition for those who have a visual impairment and can’t read the LCD screen.

Can You Attach an External Antenna to Your Midland WR300?

There is a port on the top of the radio to which you can plug in a wire for the external antenna. This is included while the weather radio already has a primary antenna because in far-out countryside chances are that the reception is not strong enough. Having that external antenna connection can really help you out with receiving signals from the NOAA and NWS.

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