Top positive review
767 people found this helpful
on April 28, 2011
I have been dreading purchasing a weather radio for some time because they all seem too expensive for just a radio that receives the weather band. But, I figured out that it is time to take this out of the "family" budget. I literally looked at every single weather radio on Amazon. I found out that I want a radio with SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) so it will alert for inclement weather. (tornadoes at night are an issue where I live) Most other radios seem to have issues with reliability, reception, or construction--issues I want to avoid. So, I narrowed it down to the Midland radios: WR-100, WR-120, and WR-300.
I was leery of purchasing this at first because of the limited review at the time. I found at that this is just the updated model of the WR-100, which seems to be one of the more popular weather radios. I went to Midland's website(to lookup the WR-120) and saw that the item was just released, hence the limited info.
I would consider this a great standard/staple alert weather radio. The SAME technology lets you setup your county, or multiple counties. You can find your county codes online at NOAA (search: national weather service radio codes to be taken there directly).
I really like the backlight on the display--a nice cool blue with easy to read lettering. The interface itself is great, it lets me flip through all current alerts with the up/down buttons, so I don't even have to listen to the radio to get the most up to date status. It is simple enough that my 4 year old could easily figure it out.
The alarm has 3 settings-tone, voice, and display.
-The tone alarm is loud! -- Which is great, not an annoying sound, just loud. It will wake you up. We can hear it all through our house.
-The voice alarm plays the loud tone for about 5 seconds and then goes into the radio broadcast(at the volume you set). I wish that the voice setting played just the radio, as I am used to a clock-radio alarm clock. The loud alert startles me out of sleep! I want the alarm to wake me, not scare me.
-The display just illuminates the backlight. Not useful for me at night, as I would not wake up to a soft blue, glowing light. I am sure this is plenty useful for some, and I will probably change the radio to this once we are out of tornado season.
Personally, I have not seen the multiple alert lights (5 for each-alert, watch and warning) to be all that useful because every message that my local weather service puts out does not code to the varying degree levels. I am sure this is useful for some, but I live right next to the NOAA station and they do not take advantage of this feature.(more a complaint against my local NOAA than the radio) -- ps the reception is great....because I live right next to the NOAA station, so my review of that is biased. :)
The radio runs on three AA batteries for backup. Not sure how long they last. There was no difference in reception, backlight, and radio functions when I unplugged it. This seems like this might be a great radio to do some light traveling.
I could not justify spending the extra on the WR-300 to get any additional features. (Maybe Midland can include a tone volume option in the next release model that lets you choose between several volume levels for any alert? Then the radio would be perfect.) I would have rated this 4.5 stars because the voice alert is not pure voice, but half stars are not an option, so I rounded up. Midland's Research and Product Development team seems to listen to customer reviews, so maybe the voice alarm can be fixed.
Definitely a must have family radio for safety, and the best value out there--I am glad I purchased it.
Phew! What a lengthy review! :)