Sangean PR-D9W AM/FM Weather Radio
The good folks at Sangean USA just sent me their new PR-D9W to evaluate and I’ve been having lots of fun with it. After years of testing all kinds of radios one thing I’ve learned about Sangean is that their products are well made and feel solid in use. They vary in size, features, performance and price but none ever feels cheap and their quality control is excellent with superb unit- to-unit consistency. I will also compare the PR-D9W with the well-known and very popular PR-D7 as we go through the use tests…these two radios are priced almost identically so it will be interesting to see how you might choose between one radio or the other based on performance and features.
The PR-D9W is the size of a paperback book, and features standard AM, FM and NOAA Weather band reception with Alerts. It is currently selling for about $56 on Amazon.
Here are the PR-D9W Specifications and Features:
Tuning: PLL Synthesized
AM (MW) 520 – 1710 with10K Spacing or 522 – 1629 with 9K Spacing
FM 87.5 – 108 MHz (Stereo at Headphone jack)
Auto Scan Tuning
Weather Channels 1-7 with Alert Mode (with Flashing LED & Siren)
19 Memories plus “My Favorite” Station
Super Capacitor Backup
Clock with Humane Wake Alarm to Buzzer or Radio, Snooze & Sleep Modes
Backlit LCD Display with 3 Brightness Settings
Speaker: 2 ¼” 8 Ohms
Output Power 0.25 W
Power: 4 AA Batteries/DC Input with supplied 110 – 240 Volt AC Adapter (9 V 500 ma)
Can rapid recharge batteries internally and has a Charge Indicator
Dimensions 6.34”/161 mm Wide
1.55”/39,4 mm Deep
Weight: 12.5oz/354 grams
Setting up and using the PR-D9W was typical with no surprises or issues and the well-written Owner’s Manual will answer any questions you may have. I quickly set the clock and populated the presets on all three bands with my usual stations. I found the radio pleasant to listen to and easy to operate and overall operation and performance seemed very good.
AM Reception is excellent for this class of radio, earning *** (out of 5 Stars) in my AM Mega Shootout. Although there is no keypad for direct frequency input, once I had set up my presets navigation around the bands was quick and easy. The PR-D9W has a medium AM bandwidth which strikes a reasonable balance between audio quality and selectivity…adjacent channel selectivity was very good and the radio easily separated my typical crowded stations with ease although I could have asked for a bit more high frequency crispness. AGC characteristics seemed good as well with the radio doing a reasonably good job at smoothing out those fluttering AM signals you might receive very early or late in the day or at night.
FM Reception was also very good, earning ***** In the FM Mega Shootout. The FM dial is completely full here with many strong and weak signals and few vacant frequencies, so a radio must be both sensitive and selective in order to receive many of the signals clearly. The PR-D9W is an excellent performer on FM.
Weather Band reception was also very sensitive. I can receive several NOAA Weather stations but none are strong here so it is very obvious when a radio is good on the Weather Band and I have to say that the PR-D9W is very good in this regard. The Alert Function can be a life-saver but I always advise that with any portable radio try to use AC Power when using the Alert Mode for extended periods so you don’t wear down your batteries quickly. (In Alert Mode the radio must monitor your local NOAA channel for alerts even though the radio is silent until an Alert is activated so plug in power is a must except for short-term use of this mode with any portable radio).
Comparisons with the Sangean PR-D7: Sangean offers many models in different price ranges and with different performance and features. I mentioned that the PR-D9W sells for just about the same price as the very popular PR-D7 so I thought that many readers who know the PR-D7 would be interested in some comparisons between the two models.
First, the PR-D7 is a bit larger (see picture). It also offers five direct access memory buttons as opposed to the PR-D9W’s scrollable memories. I also noticed that the PR-D7 had crisper audio on AM, but on the other hand, PR-D9W’s more laid-back audio made noisy signals sound a bit less noisy. Neither is right or wrong…they are just different choices of the variables. Which you might prefer is largely a matter of taste.
Also, not to be overlooked – the PR-D9W offers NOAA Weather Band with alerts whereas the PR-D7 is strictly AM/FM. Finally, they both offer almost identical AM/FM reception.