Very solid radio with great sound and reception
Excellent reception on AM and FM; warm, rich sound; useful remote; elegant look.
Alarm setting more complicated than necessary; rather expensive; fewer presets than some will require.
The Bottom Line:
I'm very satisfied with the Sangean WR-2. It meets most of my needs, and I'm glad I made the upgrade to a high-end bedside radio.
I recently acquired the Sangean WR-2 from Amazon after an unhappy experience with the Boston Acoustics Horizon Solo.
After many years of having a basic Sony clock radio, I decided I needed a bedside radio with a lighted digital tuner that could pull in local Chicago stations clearly, and pull in the distant signals of the legendary clear-channel giants in this half of the U.S. I listen to very little FM, but wanted a tuner sensitive enough to pick up a weak college station that specializes in jazz.
Ideally, I also wanted a reasonably intuitive alarm-setting procedure, and a reliable clock.
Upon opening the WR-2, which I purchased in its black version, I was immediately impressed with its glossy piano-like finish. The radio doesn't take up a huge amount of space on my nightstand, and looks truly elegant.
Once tuned to a station that utilizes the Radio Data System, the WR-2 displays the callsign of the station and, in some cases, the song that is being played. The instruction manual says the RDS signal is able to set the clock, but that didn't happen when I tuned to such a signal, and I ended up having to set the clock manually. That procedure was relatively simple.
The radio has five AM and five FM presets. This was fine for FM, as I only listen to two FM stations on a regular basis. On AM, I would have liked as many as 10 presets, but as limitations go, it's one I can live with.
On AM, where I do most of my listening, the WR-2 has been very good. Local signals come in strong and clear, and at night, several distant stations could be heard effectively from my Chicago location, including WSB, Atlanta; WTAM, Cleveland; KDKA, Pittsburgh; WLW, Cincinnati, and WRVA, Richmond, among others. Two much closer out-of-market outlets, WTMJ in Milwaukee and WCCO in Minneapolis, could be heard during the day, especially WTMJ.
On FM, I couldn't have asked for more. WDCB 90.9, a college station, was as clear as a bell. The WR-2 has a wire FM antenna that I stretched to its length and taped against my wall.
The clock has been keeping perfect time.
The alarm-setting procedure on the WR-2 has been criticized in certain quarters, and I can see why. It will be a little while before I'm able to confidently set the alarm without using the manual, which was clearly written by someone for whom English was not a first language.
My best approximation here of the alarm instructions is that you have to press one button, and then when the display flashes, you have to hit a second button almost immediately or you'll be taken back to square one. This can become frustrating when you're trying to look at the manual to get your bearings before moving ahead.
At that point, you have to choose between whether you want to wake up to a buzzer or to the radio. Setting the hour and minute you want to wake up is pretty straightforward, and then you have to press another button to confirm your settings. You may find all of this more intuitive than I did, but the manual begs to be rewritten.
The WR-2 has a very nice remote that I've found much more useful than I had anticipated. It's nice to be able to be on the other side of the bed from the nightstand and toggle between bands and presets, and turn the radio on or off.
I find that I tend to use the remote to operate the sleep timer. You just hold down the power button, and the display cycles from 60 minutes to 45, to 30, etc., and when you decide how long you'd like the radio to stay on, you just let go of the button, and it's set.
I paid $137.40 for the Sangean WR-2. Shipping and handling were free, as I've joined Amazon's Amazon Prime program.