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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."

Sound

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.

FM Reception

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.

AM Reception

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.

Update:

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.
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33 comments|110 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 12, 2011
Bought this radio to replace a small shelf system we had in the kitchen and I didn't feel like mounting a radio under my cabinets. The Sangean has a small footprint and produces sounds that is definitely loud enough to fill any room in your house. Reception is not lacking, although I cannot say how strong it is as the stations here are all pretty strong. Yes it is a little bass heavy as others have commented, but talk radio and music sound fine. The auxiliary input can be used to connect anything with an 3.5mm port which is nice if you don't want to listen to the radio. Some other products only support the iPod, while this is more universal. Another plus is that is can run off batteries, which makes it an option in a power outage.

My only complaint is I wish it had a few more presets.
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on March 22, 2011
We were trying to find a new digital AM/FM radio for our master bath and had no idea how hard it would be. The first one we got was digital, but had awful reception anyway. The second one would show the radio call numbers on the digital display whenever you had the radio on -- it would cover up the time. So if you were getting ready for work while in the bathroom, the only way to see what time it was while listening to the radio was to push a button on the back to see the time for 5 seconds. It also didn't have A/M channels for some reason. So we ordered this Sangean as our third attempt and we couldn't be happier. The reception is great, the displays are clear, the presets work well, etc. It has a lot of other features, like a timer, that we didn't expect, but comes in handy when telling the kids how long their showers should be. The quality of the audio is "bassy" according to my husband, but I don't have a problem with it. Good price with great results.
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on June 15, 2012
This radio has almost all the functions that one would want in a high-end radio. As others have mentioned, the display is very readable, and the brightness control is a welcome feature. Tuning is straightforward. Reception is very good. We appreciate the dual alarm.

It has two other features that I haven't seen mentioned in other reviews: RDS (Radio Data System) which displays information from the radio station (e.g. its call letters, the name of a song that's playing); and RDS CT (clock time) which automatically sets the clock using a time signal broadcast by many radio stations (usually public broadcasting stations) and changes the clock setting automatically for daylight saving time.

The one feature that I wish it has is a tone control. This radio is set to emphasize bass, which is fine for beat music, etc., but definitely a disadvantage if you are listening to talk radio or other genres (e.g. classical) music. This missing feature is the reason I rated it 4-star instead of 5-star. I consider it such a drawback that I'm seriously considering returning this radio, in spite of its other great features.
33 comments|34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 27, 2012
This radio has an excellent, sensitive tuner on both AM and FM. I live in a fringe area (50 miles through mountains to most strong stations), and even without an external antenna, it is more sensitive than all my other radios, including a stereo receiver with external antennas.

Its tower shape with most controls on top is perfect for a kitchen radio (which is my use). The top controls are protected from spills by a flexible membrane.

I think it would be less suitable for a bedside radio because unlike mechanical switches, the touch-sensitive alarm controls cannot easily be operated by feel in the dark. (Of course, you can press the touch-sensitive areas, but without a lot of practice, you can't be sure what you are pressing.)

My only caveat (and it is a big one) is that the bass is annoyingly boomy, and there are no tone controls. For solely that reason, I rated it "4" instead of "5".

Incidentally, among the top controls are a kitchen timer and buttons which allow one to record two short messages. I have to wonder about the engineering decisions which may have omitted tone controls in favor of these marginal and probably expensive (e.g., messages require a built-in microphone and recorder) features.
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on March 22, 2013
This radio is okay, worth keeping. Good for kitchen as its footprint is small. Not so good for bedside alarm clock radio. Here is why:

1) When setting the alarm to wake on radio, the volume is not programmable. It uses the volume setting of the volume knob.This is problematic if you use the sleep timer and have the radio volume low while falling asleep. In the morning, when the radio alarms to music, the volume is not enough to wake you. After all, you fell asleep to that volume setting. This is almost a deal breaker.

2) When waking to the alarm, you cannot see the buttons on the top front your sleeping position. It takes some fumbling to find the off button. The top panel is flat so you cannot feel where the buttons are, let alone the on/off button. The on/off button should be keyed; like having a divot or something so you can feel it is different from the other buttons.
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VINE VOICEon January 10, 2012
I bought this radio to replace a big, clunky undercounter kitchen radio. This is a really nice, compact radio with great sound, excellent tuning and reception. The set up was easy and the controls are very intuitive and easy to use. Some of the things that I particularly appreciate are:
- an auxiliary in port so I can also listen to my smartphone (or am MP3 player). You will need the aux cable
- a kitchen timer -- don't you always just need one more timer in the kitchen?
- easy toggle between AM/FM/AUX bands
-timed auto off setting (increments between 15 and 90 minutes)
-the adjustable glow light is kind of nice night light touch in the kitchen

A couple of nits to pick
-the very big center knob is the tuner -- it seems to me like it ought to be the volume but maybe that's just me
-it could use just a few more station presets
-it's a little pricey. However, it works really well so I got over that one fairly quickly

This would also work well as a bathroom clock but I don't think it would make a good beside clock as it's primary function isn't as an alarm and all the controls are flush on the top -- I want my bedside clock to have buttons I can "feel" in my near sleep state.
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on August 3, 2012
I am not a professional audiophile but I do appreciate good sound and I want to say a sincere THANK YOU to all the previous reviewers of this item! I was completely unfamiliar with Sangean but, while shopping for a new radio/clock for my newly remodeled (and awesome looking bathroom) came across this little gem.

The reviewing community is 100% to credit for this purchase. While I did spend a little more than I intended, the K-200 is worth every penny.

This is my morning routine radio in my bathroom which, I should say, is "compact". This unit takes up a mere 20.25 square inches where as my "vintage" Sony Dream Machine (which served me very well) was about 56.25 square inches. That's a big deal on a small vanity top. More room now for HAIRSPRAY!!

This device came with even more than I expected like RDS, where the name of the Artist and Song is displayed when tuned to a station that broadcasts the data. This was an unexpected bonus.

The sound is "bass-ey" as described in many of the reviews I read. It would be nice if there was a balance control but, I will take bass-ey over tin-ey or brassy or screach-ey any day.

The power of the sound is IMPRESSIVE from such a small unit and if it's fairly quiet it my house I can enjoy music in other rooms as well.

The packaging was fantastic. After the "egg carton" was removed, the radio itself was in a fabric type bag, very nice. Very chic. LOL

I barely needed instructions to get it going as it's very intuitive in its design. The power cord and antennae: done, presets: done, clock???: a little more tricky but: done.

Two relatively minor negatives; the "top" - where most of the controls are, was a little "loose" in its fit. Just a teeny-tiny bit sloppy looking. I would expect a nice tight user interface where the seams are even and very slight <-- completely aesthetic. The other, again aesthetic, is the SIZE of the AC/AC adapter (A.K.A. power-cord). This thing is HUGE!! At nearly 12 cubic inches, it's an eyesore. Since this is in my aforementioned awesome looking bathroom where the plugs are at chest height and practically in your face, it's kind of a bummer. I am such a geek that I am seriously thinking of trying to find an alternative plug that will look awesome and work and not blow this little thing up :) Sangean needs to take a tip from Breville who makes cool looking ergonomic sorta cool looking plugs.

To end on a positive note: I live nearly exactly 40 miles due south of Chicago and the reception is FANTABULOUS! When I bought this house, one of the deciding factors was whether I could still receive my favorite stations. It did. And with this unit, better than before.

5 stars.

Cheers!
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on January 12, 2011
Wanted something with a small footprint. This worked out fine and the sound/reception is very good which is why I gave it 5 stars I was worried about AM reception, but no issues.

Only wish there was a remote control since I have it placed on top of a shelf.
Reaching the controls, which are on top of the unit, is a little cumbersome.
The AC adapter is big (wall wart). But other than that, very very satisifed with product.

If you're searching for radios with small footprint and good sound quality.. this is it!
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on December 27, 2014
I own both this model and the Sangean RCR-5 (and this review is cross-posted). The K-200 has superior sound quality and a smaller footprint on a bedside table, but the RCR-5 is better in nearly every other way that's important to me; it's so much better that the K-200 got demoted to our office/sewing room and I now use the RCR-5 as my daily alarm clock and go-to radio. Here's my take on why the RCR-5 is much easier to use than the K-200...
(1) Physical raised buttons for on & off and preset-changes. The RCR-5's buttons are easy to feel in the dark and work great. The K-200 has those flush under-the-skin membrane buttons and they do NOT work well; to the point that I have to press the on & off button several times to get it to work. So frustrating, especially when trying to turn off an alarm quickly -- and I just gave up entirely on snoozing it at all.
(2) Blue backlit display. This is SO critical for a good night's sleep if this alarm clock is going in your bedroom. Blue light triggers the "awake time" chemicals in our brains and amber light triggers the "sleepytime" ones; I found the K-200's blue glow to be difficult to fall asleep next to, so I had to either turn off the backlight entirely before going to sleep (which means I can't see what time it is if I wake up in the middle of the night) or put something over my eyes to keep the blue glow from keeping me awake. I have a much easier time falling asleep with the RCR-5's amber light by my bed instead.
(3) Weekday alarm. Both Sangean models offer this awesome feature (set an alarm to ring at the same time only on weekdays), but the RCR-5 is much easier to set. The K-200 makes you use the tuning dial to set the alarms (turn, then push to set), and it's hard to advance to the next thing without throwing your current setting off with an accidental twist of the dial as you push.
(4) Volume set for alarms. One of the things you can set per alarm on the RCR-5 is the volume it will turn on to -- this is FABULOUS!! With the K-200, you have to physically turn the volume knob to the level you want the radio to turn on to in the morning; this is a pain if you also listen to the radio at a louder volume during the day. (Or if you have a toddler...see below...) This means that each night, I would have to turn on the radio, turn the volume dial back down to where I wanted the alarm volume to be, then turn the unit off again. I eventually just used a sharpie to mark where I like the alarm volume to be, so I didn't have to turn it on to check the volume after my husband was asleep.
(5) Volume control is a big glowy dial on the front (it is a subtle wheel on the side of the RCR-5). This is particularly important if you have a toddler in the house! With the K-200, my daughter would wander by and randomly crank the volume all the way up while the unit was off, just to play with the big fun dial...so the next time I turned it on to listen to the radio, GIANT BLASTING SOUND! Ouch. I finally learned to turn down the volume before turning the K-200 on, but it was a hard-won lesson. The much more subtlety-placed wheel on the RCR-5 doesn't look like a shiny toy, so she hasn't messed with it yet.

All in all, the RCR-5 has the best functions & features of any clock radio I've ever had. I wish the K-200 had all these features, because it really does sound MUCH nicer, particularly for talk radio (I'm an NPR junkie). But the RCR-5 just totally wins for functionality, so I highly recommend it if you're in the market for a bedside clock radio.
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