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Works Well as Both a Kitchen and Bedside Clock Radio
on June 10, 2011
The operation of the Sangean K-200 is so easy, I didn't consult the manual for my initial test. I set the time, the presets, and connected the wire antenna and was good to go. I haven't yet read up on the "mood light" or what could be described as a night light.
What strikes me about the marketing and design of the K-200 is that it wants to be two things in one: a kitchen radio and a bedside clock radio. Does this hybrid compromise one function over the other? Largely, I'd say no. The functions don't conflict in any significant ways with the exception possibly of one: The presets at the top might not make for easy bedside toggling in the dark unless your bed is a few inches higher than the bedside radio. The manual explains how to press the light bulb icon to adjust light level of the display, which stays on at various shades, and the "scenario LED" or mood light for "your better listening experience."
Sangeans don't have bright sound. At best their speaker sound is warm. At worst, they are too bassy, to the point of being muddy, like on the Sangean PR-D5 and the LB-100 and the U3. I think they hit a nice balance with the K-200. It's not as bright as I'd like but it's warm and not as muffled as the LB-100 or the PR-D5.
Very sensitive so far. KPCC 89.3 comes in loud and clear, even without raising the wire antenna. The weakest station, 88.9, needed the wire antenna extended to get rid of static. All my other stations come in clearly: KCRW, KJAZZ, and KROQ.
Good news: No background noise on 640, 570, 710, and 790. Sadly, 830 is a basket case. Honestly, though, ALL of my radios have trouble with 830. The wide filter on the PR-D5 actually makes it noisier than the K-200. And my PR-D7, which I sold, was way too noisy on AM. Finally, my Sangean WR-2 makes too much background noise on AM. So for AM, the K-200 is the most pleasing.
Design and Functionality
Like I said, I opened out of the box (did an unboxing video but haven't been able to download the Sony Bloggie to my computer; may need software upload) and set it up without the manual.
The top is smooth like like those modern stove tops that don't have heating coils on the outside for easy cleaning.
There are some bells and whistles that I can't imagine using: egg timer, voice recorder. I just wanted a decent radio with a small footprint and no long telescopic antenna since my toddlers will gleefully snap such antennas in two.
So far the $79 Sangean K-200 seems like a keeper and appears worthy of recommendation. Of course, updates will be forthcoming.
After 6 weeks, I'm noticing distortion on the AM dial at any volume louder than low levels. I think this is a result of too much bass in the speaker. So I'd have to take away at least one star.