- Media: Electronics
- Item Quantity: 1
Sangean WR-3 AM/FM Digital Table Top Radio
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Radio Data System with radio text, program type, station name, and automatic clock time (where available)
- Compact disc drive supports MP3/WMA playback on CD-ROM/CD-R/CD-RW formats
- Dynamic bass compensation for high-quality rich bass
- Full-function IR remote control
- Alarm and sleep timer
CD-RW, Secure Digital (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC) - MP3, WMA Playback
From the Manufacturer
This is the table-top stereo that the market has been waiting for. This visually stunning piano-black wooden cabinet isn't just redefining the table-top category--it is paving a new path. Its features start with the ability to play MP3s and Windows Media Audio (WMA) formats from a slot load CD player, plus offering SD/MMC and USB flash connections that provide the flexibility no other table-top offers.
AM/FM Tuning with Added Features
For those of you who still listen to radio, it provides the AM and FM reception and sensitivity that Sangean is famous for, 20 memory presets, and the RDS text services that displays artist, song title, and other text information provided by your favorite FM stations. Using the RDS-CT settings will detect clock time broadcast and automatically update the radio.
Full Menu Display
The LCD full menu display lets you search stations or manually tune, as well as navigate your digital music on connected sources.
More Than Just a Radio
Even though the WR-3 is advertised as an AM/FM radio, it offers much more than a standard digital tuner, including a Radio Data System (RDS) that displays short text messages on applicable FM stations.
Additional features include a clock with an alarm (radio or buzzer), plus the ability to play your digital music collection from many different sources, including CD MP3, USB, and SD flash cards. A 3D audio effect immerses you in your music, with dynamic bass compensation for incredibly rich sound from a tabletop radio. A full-function IR remote control is also included.
Top Customer Reviews
Notwithstanding the fact there is no 24/7 classical radio station north of the 49th and internet radio is for large home stereo units (until now, Sangean has a unit with internet radio!) I was looking for something that had a USB port to play music. I have a stereo or a radio in every room... I don't need a pod device so having a clock radio with a docking station didn't fit my lifestyle but I was ready for something with more features than the usual 'Dream machine'. I am impressed; this little unit gives fabulous sound and I can load up a memory stick with all my favourite classical music and set it to play for an hour or all night! The remote control offer more features than I can use. I can play my favorite CD once, repeatedly or all night. I can wake up to music, the radio or the usual electronic buzz. My choice. It only has one alarm setting but then again... it's my radio and I don't have to share it.
I do have a couple of recommendations. One drawback is the bright display... its too bright for someone who likes a darkened room to sleep. I draped the display cleaning cloth over it to shade the light, but then, I can't see the time should I wake up in the night. Second, I would have recessed the input for the USB so that it doesn't stick out so much... enough for a maladroit human to bump over and damage the USB and the input receptable. However, I can load an SD card with music instead and that would solve the sticking out issue since the unit accepts SD cards as well as USB.
I would love to test out the Sangean clock radio with internet capability.... but I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?
TAKE NOTE! If warranties are important to you this one appears to be valid only in the USA (according to the documentation in the box).
UPDATE: Just adding a "heads up" here --- I was dropping my mail, etc. on top of this unit until I noticed: this unit scratches very easily!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Anyway, I got the product yesterday and test drove it in depth last night. Its first impression is an excellent one. The substantial heft and gorgeous "piano" finish would probably sell a ton of these radios if they were more readily available in stores. Set up was expectedly simple, and the user's manual wasn't needed until later on. Personally, I liked the metal, telescoping antenna mounted on the rear of the unit (where, by the way, you'll find a clean array of additional I/O plugs and the "3-D" sound selector. From every angle, this is a beautiful radio.
The first thing I did after plugging it in, was check a few local FM stations. They all came in very well, which was no surprise given Sangean's radio heritage. Be certain of one thing about this unit: it is a radio first, and then a CD player, audio file player, etc. The RDS feature was a novelty, but not as intuitive or lavish as I was hoping for. I'm not entirely familiar with what RDS normally provides on most equipment, though, and I don't fault this unit for anything in that respect.
It wasn't until I put in the first CD (a standard "red book" audio CD) that I experienced that all-too-familiar consumer electronics letdown. It didn't play. The unit acknowledged that it read the CD and recognized how many tracks were on it, etc. But I could not get it to play any of it. The CD was not suspect; in fact, I deliberately started with a CD that was playable on every piece of CD equipment I've owned. Subsequent discs, however, did work, and apparently with no further problems.
It was while I was waiting for the first CD to play that I removed a promotional sticker the factory had stuck on the front of the unit (advertising what types of media it can play). Where every other manufacturer I've seen has used a static-cling or no-residue adhesive to make sure the sticker comes off cleanly, such was not the case on this radio. The sticker came off with much effort and left behind quite a bit of very stubborn adhesive. This might've been negligible had this radio not been so beautifully finished, and the sticker not been put in so prominent a spot on the front. While this had no bearing on the player's performance, this was pretty disappointing to me.
In playing with the sound options--the part of this unit I had the most interest in and curiosity about--I ultimately realized that even the fine design and speaker capabilities of this radio/CD player are limited by the direction of the speakers and bass firing. In a very specific listening zone, this sounds pretty good. And by specific I mean, I found that directly facing the speakers from a distance of about 6 feet, with some peripheral area to either side, was ideal. Step much further outside this cone of sound, and the overall listening experience is compromised significantly (though the 3-D sound effect lessens the degradation a bit). This is more a limitation imposed by the direction of the speakers, and not by the design or components. But it's reason enough in my opinion to consider a radio/CD player with detachable speakers, unless you're using this on a nightstand or a very small room.
The USB and SD card input options are really fun novelties, and I wish more manufacturers would get hip to this simple technology. But in the end, when you have a unit that already plays MP3 CDs, these additional formats aren't as needed.
In the end, after only a day, I'm sending it back for a refund because of the fickle CD player issue. I'd rather not take my chances on this one. In a nutshell:
-product feel and look
-simple set-up and easily moved
-excellent radio capability
-clean inputs and outputs on the back
-telescoping FM antenna
-full function remote
-SD card and USB drive options
-Small "ideal listening zone"
-Unnecessarily bright display
Too bad these aren't in your local store where you can play around with them in advance. Hope this helps.
After reading the reviews and specs, and finding a refurbished unit, I took the risk and made the purchased. What a pleasant surprise. The radio has a nice gloss black finish and is heavy, actually nicer than the pictures. Sound quality was better than expected even to my audiophile ears. I download favorite Internet radio MP3 interviews and load them to a USB thumb drive which plugs into the front of the Sangean. Control is mostly made from a thin card-like remote control. I highly recommend the item.
Improvements- Some notes on what I thought could be changed or didn't like but is true with most table top radios these days: blue lit display will dim but is still too bright, wish it had the option to turn off altogether. I think the USB slot should be in the rear of the radio so the cable or drive isn't hanging out front. I don't particularly like being dependant on the remote control, just in case it gets lost. It would be nice to have controls all on the unit. No battery back-up for presets and clock. If you lose power, guess what? You lose clock time, radio presets, and the clock alarm. So, if you set the alarm, lose power in the middle of the night, you might be late for work. Not too smart. Needs a battery backup. One other comment - Sangean makes an interesting wireless Internet radio. I would have been tempted to purchase that if it had all the other features of the WR-3. Why not combine Internet radio with AM/FM CD USB?
Now for the downside. All the functionality is on the remote. All you can do from the radio is power and volume. I would have liked a little more functionality available on the radio. Also, there does not seem to be a way to make it so the RDS display is the default. I have to hit the mode button when I switch to a station that supplies RDS. This radio is a little pricey but well worth it and much less expensive than the Bose Wave radio that has nowhere near the features.
The other thing that struck me is the obvious look and feel of a quality product. It's quite an attractive piece with it's highly polished black plastic case and fabric-covered speakers. The display is bright and automatically dims itself after a short time after the last button is pressed. Still, the blue illuminated ring around the volume control and the display backlight remain on even when the radio is off. "Off" therefore may be more accurately described as "standby". For those intending to use the WR-3 as an alarm clock/radio, the constant display illumination may be an issue. Another quirk is that the RDS function of FM reception must be manually enabled by a button press on the remote before it displays artist/song, etc. The included telescopic FM whip antenna works well in my suburban home and I found the tuner to be quite sensitive and selective. AM reception sounds great as well. This model is one of the few that features a real internal ferrite loop antenna for the AM (MW) band. The ferrite MW antenna design performs far better than the plastic-frame wire loop external antenna supplied with nearly all competitor's radios. In fact, the provided antennas became one of the key features that prompted my choice of the WR-3 over the competition. The downside of a built-in ferrite AM antenna is that they are quite directional and may require that the entire radio be rotated for best reception of weaker AM stations depending on the direction from which the signal arrives relative to the radio. For me, this was only a problem with very weak AM stations located well beyond a reasonable listening distance. It's simply much cleaner to have the antennas built into the case than to have unsightly external antennas and their connecting wires. The telescopic FM antenna provided with the WR-3 may be extended just enough to offer good reception in metro areas and may be rotated to hide it if desired. Fully extended, the telescopic whip enabled good reception of normally weak stations well beyond their intended listening area. The FM telescopic antenna provided simply screws onto the 75-ohm type-F connector on the back panel, so a much more substantial external antenna may be used for rural area users in tough reception areas. The tuner itself is most certainly well designed and capable of good performance of weak signals with a suitable antenna. CD performance is excellent with a motorized disc transport mechanism that operates just like an automobile CD player. The WR-3 features an auxiliary audio input jack mounted where it belongs - on the rear panel. I connected the auxiliary input to my Sangean WFT-1 wifi internet radio with excellent performance. The combined package is still compact and quite an entertainment package! The 1/8" (3.5mm) auxiliary jack may be driven by audio from a myriad of sources such as a multi-CD changer, portable audio player, etc. A press of a button on the included remote control selects the auxiliary input and the volume is adjusted normally with the large front-panel volume control or by the remote. Incidentally, nearly all functions and features of the WR-3 are controlled by the remote control. The radio itself has controls only for power on/off, volume and CD eject. This may be an issue with some users but appears most of the competing models are designed similarly. The thin-profile remote control included with the WR-3 is comprehensive with all control buttons intuitively layed out.
Overall, the WR-3 is a well-made, visually attractive product that features outstanding sound. It's a great option for those like me who prefer a simple self-contained audio system that compares favorably with the average component system yet doesn't take over the room. There are some very nice competing products from the likes of Bose, Polk Audio, Cambridge Soundworks, Tivoli, Yamaha, etc - but the Sangean WR-3 compares very favorably yet is among the lowest priced. It includes some design elements of the best competing models - the provided antennas being one most noteworthy. It will be interesting to see if Sangean offers a future version that integrates wifi internet radio reception with AM/FM & CD audio into a single unit. In my opinion, the WR-3 leads the pack where value is a fundamental criterion.