Have you come to your decision about what type of weather radio you will buy? Our guide for the Midland WR-400 may help you make an informed decision.
What is a weather radio, anyway?
The weather radio is a type of radio that specializes in receiving radio signals broadcast by public broadcasters. In the United States, we have several public broadcast services that signal from all over the country. NOAA weather radio, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has more than a thousand radio stations. NOAA automates signals of upcoming thunderstorms, hurricanes or other adverse weather conditions.
If you are reading this and have yet to make up your mind, you might be thinking of camping, hiking, fishing adventure or just simply going into the wild. You are not alone! Many people take a weather radio with them when going on an adventure. As most of the time phone signals do not transmit out in the wild, these radios can be the only way to connect to the outer world and even a life-saver.
There are so many brands that manufacture weather radios. Midland is a top-level brand that is why we decided to review one of their products. So, check our Midland WR-400 Weather Radio review.
Midland is a very well-known brand that produces the best quality weather radios and weather radio components in the US. The Midland WR-400 can be the “creme de la crème” of all the weather radio devices.
With its NOAA Weather Scan, the WR-400 will automatically scan through 7 NOAA channels and alert you when there is a weather hazard risk such as a tornado, flood or thunderstorm. It automatically connects to the strongest NOAA radio station but you can diversify it with presetting.
The design of the WR-400
This weather radio’s first impression is as if the radio was produced back in the 90’s. The unattractive design becomes less important when you start to discover its highly characteristic features. Before we continue, let’s start digging its design.
The WR-400 model has a simplistic design that does not feel as if you are controlling a space ship. It is small and lightweight. There are buttons for Weather Hazard and AM/FM transition button. The buttons numbered are for the preset locations. Then, we have a colored scale which displays the level of danger grouped as “warning, watch and advisory”
The digital screen looks quite modern as converse to the general design of the product.
- The design is very simplistic, small and light.
- The LED screen is the star of the design
- The overall design looks ancient but it still does what it has to do.
One of the things that Midland boasts about this model is its easy programming. The WR-400 model allows you to preset the counties that you want to follow without knowing to program or having expertise in radios. They simply call this technology S.A.M.E. This is an acronym for the Specific Area Message Encoding. Thus, the system ensures that your radio automatically locks up to the nearest NOAA station. Under the menu, you can pick CUSTOM in order to program your radio to different counties than yours. The limit of counties that you can preset is 25 and basically, you can turn on and off the alerts for specific counties.
For my personal use, I preset my weather radio when I go out of my town. In this case, I simply ensure that my family is safe and sound.
It has many warning options. The one I use is its siren. However, you can use the utilize the voice alert or visual LED flasher. All of them are quite distinctive so, you can pick any of them. Talking about the alerts, the radio has an alarm clock that you can snooze, as well. When NOAA stations broadcast a weather hazard signal, even if it is on AM/FM radio. I would have liked to adjust the volume of the signal, though.
Apart from that, it has an embedded USB outlet so that you can charge your devices. However, you should note that this USB outlet should be only used for emergencies.
- Easy programming facilitates a better user experience with an option to program your own preferences.
- It has diverse alternatives when it comes to warning options.
- The volume level should have been adjusted, in my opinion.
The Weather Hazards that WR-400 warns
The Midland WR-400 signals you with more than 80 emergency alerts. These alerts include natural hazards like tornados, fires, volcano eruptions, snowstorms, floods, and thunderstorms. The radio also alerts some man-made incidents such as law enforcement warnings, industrial fires, child abduction, and civil emergency messages.
So, all in all, you can feel safe against every type of potential hazard.
How to Care and Handle WR-400
WR-400 is water-resistant so you should not immerse it in water but just clean it with a damp cloth.
In its package, you will receive the AC power adapter. Yet, if you are taking it with you outside, you will need 4 AA batteries. You can keep the batteries in all the time, it will work as a back-up power source in the times of power outage.
When it comes to its customer service, I think they are at an exceptional level. When I bought this, I had a small issue regarding the buttons. One of them did not seem fitted to its nest so, I called them. I did not even care much after my first call and a moment later, they called back and offered a solution.
- Batteries last for a long time.
- Great customer service feels like you are a privileged person.
The Midland WR-400 model is a popular choice by the clients on Amazon that ranks in the top 100 in electronics with an average of 4.2 stars. People like the idea of sirens being very loud as sometimes tornado warnings come at night. Well, I would definitely agree with that as I am a deep sleeper. I mean it is absolutely impossible to ignore the siren.
Easy customization is another extra for clients. They boasted how easy it is even for a tech-dumb on Amazon. I sometimes let my kid customize the locations and even a 9-year-old does not have any issues with that.
Of course, not every comment praises the product as it does not go without a hitch. People have complained about the non-adjustable volume level on sirens. Also, not having a range of sirens is an issue for clients, it seems. There is one type of siren and you can read what the warning is on its screen.
I think the Midland WR-400 is one of the best products in the market. Even though it does not have many functions, it does what it has to do and it does its job pretty well. I mean I do not expect teleportation using my weather radio so, showing the warnings, featuring regular AM/FM radios is more than enough for me. So, if there was one thing you can infer from our review, it would be that we surely recommend it.