Sangean AM/FM Portable Digital Radio
Last updated date: October 31, 2019
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We looked at the top AM Radios and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best AM Radio you should buy.
For ultimate portability, you’ll want the Sangean AM/FM Portable Digital Radio. This product comes packed with all the essentials you want in a radio. It features an alarm clock, digital display, 10 programmable buttons and a variety of colors. In our analysis of 102 expert reviews, the Sangean Sangean AM/FM Portable Digital Radio placed 4th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note November 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best AM Radio for a detailed review of all the top am radios.
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From The Manufacturer
Sangean's new PR-D18 AM/FM Portable Digital Radio with fully functioning alarm clock capability and a colorful protective bumper brings a new meaning to the word 'versatile.' While it is a perfect companion at a picnic, a ball game, or on a camping trip, it can take all the bangs and scrapes those fun adventures can bring--and it looks great while doing it. The PR-D18 comes in four different color combinations to suit everybody's taste and personality, and is a truly portable AM/FM digital radio--being ultra-compact in size, at only a mere 6.54' long, standing 4.26' tall, and weighing a feather-light 12.5 ounces. You can power it with a standard AC adapter (not included), or for total portability, use 4 AA batteries (not included) to give you the ability to utilize your radio at all your outdoor activities or where AC power is not an option. With a handy Battery Power Status indicator icon telling you what power you have left in your batteries, you will never be caught with your radio not ready to perform when you need it.Available in four different color combinations to suit everybody's taste and personality. View larger personalized and portable Sangeans new PR-D18 AM/FM portable digital Radio with fully functioning alarm clock capability and a colorful protective Bumper brings a new meaning to the word "versatile. " while it is a perfect companion at a picnic, a ball game, or on a camping trip, It can take all the bangs and scrapes those fun adventures can bringing it looks great while doing it. The PR-D18 comes in four different color combinations to suit everybody's taste and personality, and is a truly portable AM/FM digital radio-being ultra-compact in size, at only a mere 6. 54" Long, standing 4. 26" Tall, and weighing a feather-light 12. 5 ounces. You can power It with a standard AC adapter (not included), or for total portability, Use 4 AA batteries (not included) to give you the ability to utilize your radio at all your outdoor activities or where AC power is not an option. With a handy battery power status indicator Icon telling you what Power you have left in your batteries, you will never be caught with your radio not ready to perform when you need it. Best-in-class clock radio features: true digital Radio tuning auto seek functionality seeks all active stations in your area runs on AA batteries for portability dual alarm settings with humane wake-up system (HWS) four different color combinations easy-to-read, backlit LCD display. View larger ease of use All controls are conveniently located and you can see the frequency and time on the easy-to-read LCD display, which is backlit for added convenience. The PR-D18 has excellent sensitivity and selectivity and will surprise you with its ability to pull in those distant stations. Ten station presets are available with five presets each for AM and FM bands, and the auto seek function will automatically seek the active stations across the entire band, rather than to the next frequency. With the adjustable tuning step, you can fine-tune to your exact location no matter where your adventures and radio take you. Another great feature is the headphone jack, which turns off the external speaker when headphones are plugged in, so you can enjoy your listening experience without disturbing those around you. Great for nighttime listening, tuning into the ballgame, or in your tent on a camping trip. Use as a bedside alarm clock and set Dual alarm times. View larger clock radio functionality also as a bonus, the PR-D18 can be used as a bedside alarm clock and you can set Dual alarm times, giving you the flexibility to set two different wake times on the same day. You can also choose to wake to AM/FM radio or with the Humane wake-up system (HWS) buzzer alarms. The HWS buzzer is a gradual alarm feature that gently raises the alarm volume, so it's not too jarring or abrupt. There's also a snooze button for those that like to grab a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning before facing the day. In addition, the PR-D18 can be set as a sleep timer from 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, to 120 minutes, so you can fall asleep to the radio listening to your favorite talk or music stations. The PR-D18 is a feature-laden yet extremely affordable radio that not only looks good, but packs a powerful sounding punch for its size. Like all Sangean products, tone is well balanced and excellent for both talk and music, making the PR-D18 a leader in its class.
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An Overview On AM Radios
Although they are often though of as a thing of the past, AM radios are still a valuable asset to have around the house. When the radio was invented, they were a popular luxury to have in your house. They have had a long life and continue to serve a purpose for many people. Perhaps one of the best reasons to keep an AM radio in the house is for live alerts of current happenings. However, before we look at the reasons to have one, let’s talk about how they work.
AM or Amplitude Modulation is a type of radio that utilizes radio waves that are transmitted through the air. Radio waves are a specified length or frequency of electromagnetic waves that are all around us. Each electromagnetic wave has attributed characteristics that are different from each other. Radio waves can reflect, polarize, diffract and refract. They are close to light waves, but our eyes just can’t see them.
Alternating Current (AC) generates electromagnetic waves. This current is used to make all our electronics function. It works at different levels in each country, which is why you may need to travel with a special connector for outlets to use American electronics overseas. In the United States, the AC works with 120 volts at 60 hertz. This basically translates to the current being able to change direction in the wire roughly 60 times per second. Most other countries use 50 hertz. These are considered low-frequency, but still emit a small amount of electromagnetic radiation through the wires into the air. It is often explained as electricity in the air.
As this electricity is given off, it makes unorganized sound. For it to be transmitted as a coherent message, it has to undergo “modulation.” This is where the AM and FM get their names. So, what is modulation? Think of it simply as a change. In order to hear music or voices through the radio, the waves must be changed from their random patterns. The best way to think of it is simply a way of communicating. A quiet mouth tells us nothing, but once it starts to talk, it creates a change that is understandable to the listener. It’s the same with AM radio. The electricity has to be changed into a format that can be understood.
The way this is accomplished is called amplitude modulation. The radio takes the amplitude or height of the signal and transforms it into a single sound. So, for each level of amplitude, a different sound is heard by the listener. The combination of amplitude transformations creates a noticeable pattern either in words or music.
The frequency range that AM transforms is from 520kHz to 1710 kHz in the U.S. Each country has other frequency that their AM and FM radios transmit, so if you travel often, you may be surprised to see music and talk shows coming through at different channel settings.
The reason that AM radio has stayed around for so long is because it can transmit signals over very long distances. The only con to this function is that it allows for more static and noise, particularly when there is inclement weather. It is so sensitive that when lightning gives off electricity, the AM radio will pick up that change in electric activity. In addition to that sensitivity, it only picks up strong signals from 200Hz to 5kHz, making it ideal for talk shows more than music.
Now that you know all about how an AM radio works, let’s look at the different types. If you like to travel with your radio, even if it’s just from room to room in your house, you’ll want to opt for a portable AM radio. The Sangean Am/FM Portable Digital Radio is an excellent option. With an aesthetically pleasing design, rubber bumper around the edges and preset options, this AM radio is great for hauling around the house. It is battery-operated, and the digital display features a battery power level indicator. If you prefer to keep the adapter on hand, you can purchase that separately through Sangean.
The Kaito Solar AM Radio is great for a day at the beach or out on the boat. This radio features not only a solar panel, but also a hand crank generator that will keep it going in case of a cloudy situation. There is a place for batteries as an additional backup, and if all else fails, you can purchase an adapter separately for listening while in the house.
When AM radios first came out, they required an analog tuner and antenna for getting the best reception. The Panasonic RF-2400D AM/FM Radio works similarly, making it as retro as you can get. With an extension antenna and a manual knob for selecting your station, this AM radio will take you back in time. It can be powered by batteries or an adaptor, depending on where you’d like to use it.
When you want an AM radio specifically for severe weather alerts or emergency protocols, the Midland WR400, Deluxe NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio is the one to have. This AM radio has both audible and visual hazard alerts. The digital display is big and bright, and the buttons are very well-marked so you won’t be confused about how to operate this AM radio. In addition, it features a large, extension antenna for the best reception.
DYWM Fun Fact
In 1896, Guglielmo Marconi was named the father of radio after he sent the first radio transmission. The first transmission was only a mile and a half. But by 1899, he was able to send signals over the English Channel between France and England. In 1901, he sent transmissions between Cornwall and Newfoundland across the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 2100 miles. He had numerous patents for all his work and was a true pioneer in the world of radios.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was home to the very first commercial radio station, KDKA. The letters in the call names of radio stations were established by location. The stations that are located west of the Mississippi River start with “W” and the stations east of the Mississippi River start with “K.”
The Eiffel Tower was left standing because it was turned into a radio tower to intercept transmissions in WWI. The country of Colombia found another military use for the radio. The Armed Forces of Colombia commissioned a pop song that included a morse code message to kidnapped military personnel. It read, “19 people rescued, you’re next. Don’t lose hope.”
Broadcasting at 500kW, WLW or 700KHz AM, was the strongest commercial radio station that, during the clearest of times, could be heard halfway around the world. It is said that people living close to the transmitter could hear the station in their pots and pans.
The AM Radio Buying Guide
- If you will be using your AM radio for specific talk shows, it might be best to purchase an analog radio. With an analog radio, you can manually adjust the tuning to get a better reception than with a digital that doesn’t always find the frequencies clear enough.
- A few tips for getting a radio program to come in clear are to turn your treble to the lowest setting and your bass to the highest setting. The tone can also be turned all the way down, and in combination, this can bring in a much clearer talk show.
- Your AM radio will usually get the best reception when placed near a window. One exception: If it is placed in a window that is near a power line, then you may pick up interference.
- Using a small type of marker to track where the best reception is on the dial can help you the next time you want to find that station.
- The orientation of your antenna is another way to get your AM radio to function at its best. The AM radio antenna is a rod with a small wire that should work best when aligned with the signal from the broadcast tower. It is not the telescoping rod, which is for FM Radio.
- The worst interference occurs when your radio is within a foot or two of the source of interference. For example, if your AM radio is near a florescent light, television or even a cell phone charger, it will have more interference than normal.
- Some sources of interference cannot be avoided or shut off, such as hard-wired smoke detectors, aquarium heaters, motion sensor lights and even a faulty electrical switch within your home.
- Remember that AM radios dated before 1991 will not have the extended range of frequencies that an AM radio has post-1991, when the FCC added an extension of frequencies from 1605 to 1705 on the dial.
- A digital AM radio is ideal if you need to be doing other things while the talk show is broadcast. So if you are across the room from the radio, you can just use the remote to scan through the other stations.