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Showing 1-10 of 48 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on March 30, 2013
***Buyer beware- Make sure you check your item if buying thru this link! We were looking for the WR120EZ model and Amazon sent the WR120 model. There is a key difference between the two that we needed (ability to choose which alerts we want). Now we have to go thru the return process to try and get the right one: From the Mfgr- The WR120 acts like a monitor, much like a smoke detector. It sits silently until an alert signal is sent out by the National Weather Service. When received, the radio will automatically "wake-up" and sound a loud alert tone to let you know that a serious weather event is heading your way. The button you are pressing is an extra function that allows you to listen to the NWS broadcast anytime you want to and not necessary to the actual alert function of the radio.
The WR120EZ has a special feature that allows you to set which alerts you want the radio to respond to, with many of the "Advisory" and "Watch" alert tones turned off as not to unduly alarm you. The radio will still respond to these alerts, providing the text in the display, but not the loud tone. You can view the entire list of alerts thru the radios menu and set which ones you want the alert tone on or off, but please note that some tones such as for "Tornado Warning" can not be turned off to insure you get this very important alert.
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on June 2, 2011
This model is quite similar to the older WR-100, with a few exceptions. The new model has a shorter antenna and it automatically starts the setup when it's first plugged in. All of these are nice minor improvements, but Midland also made one change that's a HUGE step backwards: You cannot disable certain alarm types. ALL alerts will sound and there is no way to disable, for instance, winter weather advisories. I REALLY don't want the damn thing going off at 2 in the morning to alert me to something I don't really need to know about until I get up.

The only alerts I care about are for tornadoes or severe thunderstorms. Flood warnings don't affect me, I'm in a 500+ year flood plain and 150 feet above the nearest river. Warnings about snow or high winds don't really affect me until I head out, and I can check the internet for that. And I live far enough out in the country that Amber alerts are totally useless. I want to disable all of these, which I could with the WR-100, but this new model lacks that capability.
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on May 25, 2011
UPDATE 12/14/13: I've now had the unit for a couple of years. With the unit plugged into an outlet free of interference from other electrical/electronic devices it has (to the best of my knowledge) never failed to issue an alert during severe weather. I like this unit. Again, I'm only trying to make everyone aware of the reception issues that can occur with improper placement. Thanks.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: The purpose behind purchasing this type of radio is to provide a reliable early warning in the event of severe weather.

The city of Joplin, MO - which is about thirty minutes to our southwest - was destroyed this last Sunday by an EF-5 tornado with 200+ mph winds. 122 people have died and 1500 are still listed as missing. I've narrowly avoided being in several tornadoes merely by dumb luck. I don't intend to be unprepared again, particularly in the event that my family is sound asleep when one of these monsters comes rolling through.

All that said, the key word here is 'Reliable'.

Despite the glowing reviews, the Midland WR-120 DOES HAVE SOME LIMITATIONS. Maybe all weather radios have these same limitations, but I'm somewhat disappointed and wanted to share my concerns with anyone who may be considering a purchase.

It took me AN HOUR - even with the unit next to a window - to find a spot where I did not experience from moderate to severe radio interference - severe meaning that it completely lost the channel the WR-120 was set on. I tried different extension cords, no extension cords, etc.

Why? Was it due to a weak signal or poor antenna placement? No. I live five miles from the NOAA broadcast station and even closer to the National Weather Service's local office.

The problem is the effect that certain other devices plugged in to the same electrical outlet have on the unit's reception. Three seconds after plugging my laptop into the same outlet, the reception went from CRYSTAL CLEAR to LOST!. Initially, I plugged the WR-120 in to the surge strip that powers my Mac and experienced an even more disturbing issue. Upon plugged the unit in the reception was fine, but upon silencing the unit with the weather/snooze button and then activating it again the unit had completely lost reception - COMPLETELY!

While running the unit strictly on battery power - with the exact same physical placement of both the unit and the antenna - I experienced NONE of these issues. Running the unit off of batteries alone is not an option. As stated by the manufacturer:

"Batteries provide approximately 5 hours of emergency power or 75 hours of standby power for the radio in case of a power outage".

I have my WR120 installed in my office. Needless to say, all three available outlets have other items plugged in to them. If I had left my unit plugged in to the outlet I had used initially, I would have NEVER received ANY WARNING of an impending weather event as the item completely lost reception after the original setup. I'm pretty sure that NO RECEPTION = NO WARNING. I discovered this by accident. Given our recent history in this part of the country I'm very glad that I did.

My recommendation is this: Wherever you decide to plug in your unit, make certain to test it under all of the different electrical usage conditions of the outlet in question.

Additionally, one minor gripe for those considering mounting the item to a wall: This unit is designed with the input for the AC cord on the top (or back for those laying the unit flat). This means that if you mount the WR-120 to a wall the cord obtrusively juts up into the air out of the top of the unit and then loops back down to the ground. It looks bad. This could have very easily been remedied. The manufacturer should have moved this input onto the left side of the unit (opposite the on/off switch) and provided an AC adapter with an 'L' shaped prong rather than the 'sticks-straight-up-in-the-air' prong that results in the obtrusive two inch piece of black cord jutting out the top.

On the positive side, when the unit finds a good outlet it seems to function well. It's easy to use and set up. It's a nice looking piece of equipment. Unfortunately, my only option is to mount mine to a wall with it's appearance marred by the poor cord placement.
3030 comments|288 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Here are the four reasons I'm getting rid of my new Midland WR120 Weather Radio:

1. I started reading the Owner's Manual and a yellow sheet of paper fluttered out, which said "Important Low Reception Safety Feature." Basically, if this radio does not receive an alert for 10 days (which sometimes happens in Michigan), I am instructed to reset the Low Reception Safety feature by unplugging the radio AND removing the batteries for 10 seconds. So every 10 days during good weather, I have to remember to unplug this radio and take the batteries out...I don't think so. Folks, this is a bug not a feature.

2. Even though I set my WR120 weather radio to light up and NOT make loud noises during a weather alert or warning, it still beeps every five minutes. I got rid of my last weather radio because it's loud alarm went off whenever there was a thunderstorm warning in Saginaw Bay, 100 miles away. I did NOT want my new radio to make any kind of noise, but it does, even though I set it to visually alarm us.

3. When I set this radio to the correct county, it broadcast the weather reports from Saginaw, an hour away from our house. At least my old radio picked up the broadcast from West Branch, which is only 20 miles from our house. I couldn't figure out how to change stations once I entered the correct county.

4. Reception is lousy. It was lousy on the old radio, too, but at least I was able to listen to the right emergency weather station on the old one.
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on August 24, 2015
I purchased this as an advanced warning device for our home in Colorado. We wanted a system that would alert us in the event of Tornado warnings in our area. While the radio seems to work pretty well, I was pretty disappointed with how warnings are reported. I'm not sure if it is a problem with NOAA or with this radio, but it seems like we can't quite get the thing to let us know when there is really something to be worried about and to leave us alone when there really isn't any danger at all. It seems like the only settings are "Super obnoxious and annoying over a 20% chance of rain", and "no warning until two days after a tornado has completely obliterated your home."

While setting the unit up, it was right in the middle of a storm system that was generating a lot of tornado warnings. It seemed like I would get notices on my smartphone app (completely unrelated to this product) that were pretty up to date and accurate and then I would see this thing not updating at all. For example, we got Tornado and Flash flooding alerts at 4 PM on my smartphone and nothing at all came through from the radio. Then at 9PM we got the all clear from the same smartphone apps. Then at 2AM that night, this radio started screaming about the warnings we had received 10 hours earlier. I checked online to see if there was another storm coming through and it was nothing. It appeared as if my radio was reporting alerts 10 hours behind what was actually going on.

This unit doesn't always report things late and sometimes it seems to work as intended, but the inconsistency of reporting and alerting combined with the difficulty in getting this unit configured has made it pretty much worthless for us. The only reason I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 is because I have purchased 3 other units that are supposed to do the same thing and this one is definitely better than the others.
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on May 18, 2015
I'm not really sure yet how to rate this, and will have to update this once I get a response back from Midland. However, here are my initial impressions and issues that will likely lead to me returning this product.
1. A tornado warning is NOT a listed event on this product. A tornado watch is, but a warning is not. Since that is the sole reason why I purchased this, I will likely be returning it. FYI -- an iceberg and avelanche are listed events, but a tornado warning is not. Strange. Update: Per Midland who responded today, "The tornado warning is not listed under set events because it is preset into the radio and it cannot be turned off. The radio will receive audible alerts for the tornado warnings." And that said, my alarm DID go off during a tornado warning in my very large county the other night....about 80 miles from where I live.
2. The alert is screaming loud -- heck my neighbors can probably here it and I live in a house with a good sized yard. So you will find yourself disabling all of the events except for those of imminent danger, like a hurricane or tornado warning. That was disappointing too. You cannot set the alert type by event. It's all or nothing. Update: I can't take it anymore. This alarm just about gives me a heart attack when it does go off. It is SOOOOO loud. Panic is not what I want as my first response.
3. The voice alert requires the deafening tone sound to come on first, then the voice alert will follow up after this. I just wanted the voice alert, since the tone is horribly loud.

Overall (update) I am returning this. I need something where I can set the alert sound and volume level for the event that I need. Plus, I need to see and know all of the events that a weather alarm can provide, not just trust that it is there (point in case: tornado warning).
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on June 21, 2015
It works. But you're better off buying a portable version. When a tornado hit within a mile of our house, and the sirens went off - we headed to the basement. This can't travel with you, so we lost situational awareness. I ended up buying a portable, plugable weather radio instead.
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on October 23, 2014
Works great and sets up fast. Only complaint is that it will warn you of a storm that has no possibility of hitting you. IMO, this radio can actually harm your natural sense of survival in that it's constant warnings cause you to ignore them after awhile. I probably wouldn't buy one of these radios again. Buy a parakeet or some other animal more in tune with nature to warn you of actual impending danger.
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on October 5, 2015
The radio periodically goes into a strange mode where all the light illuminate and it makes an intermittent buzzing noise every few minutes. It doesn't seem to be related to any alert. Pressing buttons has no affect. The radio appears to be stuck. The only way I can get it to stop is to unplug from the wall and remove the battery. It's very annoying. I'm not sure if the instructions were inadequate or the radio is defective. Either way, I'm not happy.
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on September 3, 2014
This radio alert has the features, but the antenna is pathetic. Had to move it around to a specific spot in the hose for it to pick up the NOAA broadcast, ad it is weak at best. Have better reception with my old battery operated transistor radio. Now going to have to look for another mfg or an auxillary antenna. Would not recommend this product.
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