Sangean WFR-32 Internet Table Radio
The new (as of April 2022) Sangean WFR-32 Internet Table Radio is the latest offering from Sangean, a company with a long, proud tradition of top-quality products. Externally it resembles their RCR-40 Stereo Table radio (which I enjoy daily), but internally it is a completely different design with an almost entirely different feature set, and in fact it does not even contain an AM or FM tuner at all. It is a dedicated Internet/WiFi device and in that realm, it offers a wealth of capabilities for those who want easy access to everything other than regular AM and FM stations. (Of course, you can access many of your regular AM or FM stations via streaming).
Features: – The list is long and I’ll explain more as we go along:
Find local radio stations searching by city, state or zip code with Smart Local Radio Preference Management
Access to more than 40,000 internet radio stations and podcasts from around the globe
ATS Auto Tuning System
250 Station Presets
Alpha Numeric Labelling
Local Weather Info
Media Center Supporting UPnP
Auto Time-Date Set
Aux Audio Input
Two USB B Ports allow Media Playback and external charging of other devices
Accesses Spotify – Amazon Music – Deezer – Napster – Qobuz – Tidal platforms.
Air Music App allows control from your Android or iOS Smart Phone
https://www.mediayou.net/web/ website allows additional features
Clock with Dual Alarms/Wake to Music or Buzzer/Sleep Timer/NAP Alarm
Adjustable Dimmer with 5 Levels
9 EQ Modes plus defeatable Loudness & separate Bass/Treble Controls
Wooden Cabinet with stereo speakers for rich sound quality
Getting To Know The WFR-32:
As with most such devices, the WFR-32 is loaded with features and capabilities which require a one-time setup procedure, but it is outlined well in the detailed owner’s manual. Additionally, many items are optional and can be skipped, then as you become more familiar with how things work you can choose to add some later if you wish. Yes, there is a learning curve to it but if you take some time with the radio and manual in front of you, you can get through the required items with little difficulty so you should definitely read the manual. Initially you will want to set up the Menu Language, configure your WiFi connection and your Location. This was all very intuitive along with help from the manual. I next set up the optional Air Music App on my phone which gives you control of the radio from your phone and makes some things items easier…I recommend it. The WFR-32 uses the Magic-Systech M6 operating system partnered with MediaU…you can (also optionally) log your PC onto https://www.mediayou.net/web/ and add stations from your PC. That setup requires more user input but again the instructions walk you through it. One of the exciting things I like about this is that you can add the URL of stations and streams which do not appear on the aggregator’s original list, and you can recommend it to be added to the list for all to see in the future. I did that for two stations I wanted to add and although it was initially a bit tricky to do, I finally succeeded and it worked…this is a great capability and for me it was well worth the effort. The hardest part is finding the URL’s you need to do this.
I don’t subscribe to most of the music services this unit is designed to link to…I use it mainly for internet radio station streaming so I can listen to out of town stations but I did set up my Amazon Music account with no problem. I also set up audio playback via the upnp server mode which allows me to access all the music on my desktop PC…this a wonderful feature. The ability to sort radio stations and other internet streams by name, location or genre and to access remote folders on a PC allows incredible flexibility.
Sound: Again, it took some learning to get the most out of the WFR-32. Initially I felt the audio was too bassy and this bass was augmented by the fact that I had the radio sitting on a shelf with a wall behind it and a cabinet above it…all of these intersecting surfaces increase bass. If the radio is placed in a more open setting the bass is less intense. There are all the usual presets but for me the best choice was to turn off the Loudness Compensation, then use MY EQ which allowed me to adjust the bass and treble individually. After that I felt the WFR-32 sounded…the stereo speakers and wooden cabinet undoubtedly are big factors here. I also noted that the sound quality of various streams varies markedly such that some stations sound much better than others, partly due to the fact that the stations sometimes reduce the bit rate in order to add more streams within a given bandwidth. This is beyond the radio’s ability to control but I will say that general streaming quality seems to be improving over time as the technology matures.
Conclusion: The Sangean WFR-32 is a great addition to their lineup…few of today’s portable or table radios can match Sangean’s overall quality. There is no doubt that this radio has many capabilities which require a bit of learning to master, but take it from an old-school guy that if you take just a bit of initial setup time with the manual and radio you will be rewarded with a marvelously capable device which will literally bring the world to your fingertips. If you’ve read my website for any length of time you know I am an admitted AM/FM/SW radio junkie and my passion has always been for the ability to pull signals from the air, but an internet radio like the WFR-32 will let you hear things you just won’t be able to hear otherwise. In my case, since my relocation from Connecticut to Kentucky I have missed some of my hometown radio stations which cannot be received here under any conditions. Now I can tune to them as easily as any local station and hear them on a nice sounding radio more easily than on my phone. As a retired broadcaster I also like to listen to stations from various parts of the country to see what they are up to. Of course, the same applies to SW broadcasts from around the world…all there in perfect reception 24/7. Finally, I love the ability to use my remote or phone to select songs from my desktop PC, and if you subscribe to any of the (optional) supported music services you will love hearing them on the WFR-32. Internet radio has come of age.
Expected Availability April 2022