Sangean PR-D12 AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio
The new PR-D12 from Sangean continues their tradition of quality in the world of portable and tabletop radios. Rather unassuming in appearance, the PR-D12 receives AM/FM and NOAA Weather Band frequencies and offers the Weather Alert feature which can be a lifesaver if you are in an area threatened by dangerous weather conditions. As of this writing it is selling for $63.55 at Amazon.
Specifications and Features:
FM: 87.5 – 108 MHz
AM (MW): 522 -1710 (9k Steps)/520 – 1710 (10k Steps)
Weather Channels 1 – 7 with Alert Feature
Tuning via Knob, Memory Presets or Seek/Scan/ATS Tuning
Memories 45 (20 FM, 20 AM, 5 WX)
Clock (12/24 Hour Mode)/Alarm/Sleep Timer/Snooze
FM Stereo at Earphone Jack
Power Supply: 4 AA Batteries (not Included) or DC 9V 700 mA Power Supply (Included)
Dimensions: Width 224.5 mm / 8.84”
Height: 134 mm/5.28”
Depth: 50.2 mm/1.98”
Weight: 803 g/1lb 12.3 oz
In Use/Ergonomics: The PR-D12 is a straight-forward, easy to use radio but there are a few initial setup hidden features outlined in the owner’s manual; 12/24 Clock Mode, 10/9 KHz AM Tuning Steps, 200, 100, 50 Mhz FM Tuning Steps and Reset. (Interestingly the 12/24 mode setting is not mentioned in the Time Setting portion of the manual…it is noted near the end along with the other hidden settings).
PR-D12 Hidden Features: (from the owner’s manual)
With Radio Off
Press and hold the Band button until the radio beeps. Software version will be displayed.
Keep long pressing the band button until the time format is displayed. Rotate Tuning Knob to select 12H or 24H.
Press Select button to confirm and enter the AM Tuning Step setting.
Rotate Tuning knob to select 10 or 9.
Press the Select button to confirm.
Rotate the Tuning knob to select 100, 200 or 50KHz FM Tuning Step.
Press Select button to confirm.
To reset the radio:
With Radio Off
Press and hold Preset 3 button and Band button at the same time. dEF will appear and flash on the display. Continue holding down these two buttons until the normal icons appear.
I installed 4 AA batteries and the radio entered the Time Set mode…. setting the time and presets was easy and intuitive. For the AM and FM bands the Page button steps you through 4 pages with 5 presets each. Press and hold a button to preset it, then a quick press will recall that frequency. There is one page with 5 presets for the NOAA Weather band. The radio can be tuned via the knob, presets or auto scan – volume is controlled by Up/Down buttons. Press the Weather Alert button to enter alert mode…press it again to cancel. I always recommend reading the owner’s manual and in this case I discovered those two hidden features – 12/24 Hour Clock mode and the reset function. To select 12/24 Hour ode To reset the radio to factory defaults, with the radio off, press the Preset 3 button and the Band Button until def appears in the display…continue to hold the buttons until the normal icons re-appear.
Once again Sangean has provided a well-engineered switching AC power supply which is quiet enough to allow even reception of weaker AM signals with little added noise…just keep the radio a few feet away from the wall wart.
Reception on AM ranked *** in the AM Mega Shootout Article which is respectable while FM and NOAA Weather reception rated ***** which is as good as it gets in a portable radio. Comparing the PR-D12 with several reference radios I found that although the AM reception was reasonably good, the FM and Weather bands were both excellent and on a par with my very best portables. Several tricky FM frequencies revealed two and in one case 3 signals on one frequency. The Sangean performed similarly to the reference radios, rendering each of those three difficult signals similarly to the references. I found as usual that I had to not only re-orient the rod antennas carefully for each signal but often it also helped to swap the positions of the radios themselves, as some spots favored one signal over another. This illustrates the fact that if you are trying to receive an FM (or Weather band) signal that is hard to pull in, try moving the radio to different locations in addition to carefully aiming the rod antenna…this can make a huge difference on FM and Weather Band.
*Note: As I always caution when using any battery-powered radio in Weather Alert mode, be aware that when the radio is in Alert mode it is consuming battery power, “listening” for a trigger to activate an Alert. Therefore, you should consider AC power or backup battery options if you will often require extended hours of using Alert mode. If you just need it for a few hours this won’t be a problem.
Sound quality is typical for this class of radio. There’s no pretense of heavy bass through ghe speaker but the audio is fairly natural and clear. There is some bass boost designed into the amplifier and you can hear this with some earbuds. This bass boost may augment the sound of cheaper ear buds…with fairly good earbuds the sound is a little on the bassy side but still pleasant.
Overall, I rate the Sangean PR-D12 as a solid value and with Sangean’s legendary quality control it should provide years of reliable service.