When we say a weather radio, you should understand a type of radio which is specifically used for the signal reception of weather alerts broadcast by public or private companies. For instance, there are more than a thousand NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) stations. The weather radios usually automatically connect the closest station and pick up signals.
If you think what they are used for, they have plenty of benefits and some of them are so vital. When you are going for a camp, hike or fish trip, you had better take one with you as NOAA transmits alerts for upcoming tornados, hurricanes or current landslides and forest fires. So, it is safe to say a weather radio is your best friend in the wild.
Another area of usage is, of course, at homes. When there is a flash flood or a tornado alert at night, the radio buzzes so highly pitched that it is impossible to ignore and sleep. If you are living in a place that tornados are part of the daily life, you need to equip yourself with a weather radio.
If you decided to buy a weather radio, you should read our Sangean PR-D4W review as it can be a game-changer.
About the Sangean PR-D4W Weather Station
Sangean is a Taiwanese brand that mainly produces radios so, we can easily say that weather radios are their specialties. Their PR-D4W model is a top of the line product that even its box looks much different than the radios of its class.
When unboxed, the stylish design shows that the brand attaches importance to the looks as much as its technical abilities.
The previous radio I had had unfortunately too close and too small buttons for me. The first thing I liked is the placement of the buttons here.
I used Sangean’s other models, as well but this one is a nice step forward. Let’s dig deeper.
To begin with, it has a clock which you can set an alarm or a timer. On its screen, the battery life is also visible as well as how good the signal is. It also has headphone and auxiliary input jacks.
In order to set the AM/FM bandwidths, you need to hold the Display button for a few seconds until the settings menu appears. Then, press Up and Down Tuning buttons to select the bandwidth you want to. The manual recommends 2.5 KHz to receive the stronger AM stations. This sounded weird to me since normally we set 6 KHz but I did what they suggested. It turned out to be all right.
Looks-wise, I like the large LCD display as it is easy to read.
- It has an easy-to-use and easy-to-adjust design.
- The setting is a can of corn; you do not need to be a tech buff.
- I would have liked a knob instead of just Up/Down buttons.
AM exceeded my expectations, to be honest. As Sangean PR-D4W is an affordable weather radio, I was expecting low sound quality or below average reception. I went through all AM bands for different frequencies and Sangean functions greatly.
To have a clearer mind, I compared it with another radio I have at home which was a higher-priced one. There was not much difference between the two. Only three stations had some hissing background sounds in the Sangean PR-D4W.
Sangean states in the manual that it employs the Auto Tracking technology to increase the quality of AM reception. I tried that with my headphone and it works quite well. You can see the signal gets better and better after tuning in to a station.
FM, on the other hand, is even better. I, again, compared it with the more expensive radio however, they were on equal foot. The only negative that I can mention is the sound quality on FM. If you have only Sangean PR-D4W, you will probably not even notice the quality is lower. Yet, comparing to a different radio showed me that Sangean’s sound quality is worse.
- As an affordable weather radio, AM/FM performance is equal to the high-end radios.
- I personally like how Auto Tracking works.
- As mentioned, FM sound quality is not top-notch. It could be improved.
Sangean receives signals from all 7 NOAA radio stations with no problem. You can set the alerts, which ones you want to hear or which ones you want to ignore. When there is an emergency alert, there is a flashing red light with a loud emergency siren. As for now, I had zero problems regarding the NOAA weather channels.
The Sangean PR-D4W has the “Public Alert” certification.
Technical Details and How to Care
The PR-D4W model comes with an A/C adapter. If you are going to take it with you when you are going out, or if there is a power outage in your region, there is a battery department, too. You need 4 D-size batteries and it lasts for a very long time.
Other than that, if you are going to keep it in your emergency kit and not use it on a daily basis, you should remove the batteries. In order to clean your device, you need to use a damp cloth as the radio is only water-resistant not water-proof. So, handle with care and do not immerse it in water.
The only thing I did not like is it is not very lightweight. It is 1.13 pounds while another radio I have that has similar features is nearly half of it (about 0.65 pounds)
- I like the fact that it is eco-friendly.
- The device is quite durable.
- There are lighter options in the market
The Sangean PR-D4W is a price / performance monster. Upon buying, I was just expecting something average. However, the product they handed made me jubilant. Definitely recommended!