Customer Reviews: Sangean PR-D5 Portable Radio with Digital Tuning and RDS (White)
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Half the price of my Tivoli Songbook, the PR-D5 has superior AM/FM reception, dual stereo speakers, and easy-to-use ergonomics, making it even better than the Sangean single-speaker Sonido. As a bedside radio, it has even better FM reception than my Sangean WR-2 but it lacks the WR-2's depth and heaviness, qualities I like in a bedside radio. For a lighter, portable radio with no remote, go for the PR-D5. If you want more luxury in your radio (remote, numerical volume indicator, heavier feel) and don't mind a slight compromise in FM reception, you might want to check out the Sangean WR-2, which is compatible with an upgraded FM antenna attachment.

One question many will have is why the PR-D5 goes for about 15 dollars less than the Sonido. The answer most likely is that the 2.5-inch stereo speakers on the PR-D5 don't have the richness nor the depth of the Sonido's 3-inch monoaural speaker.

Update: Ironically, I don't like listening to talk radio on dual speakers. This is not a technological issue, but psychological. The voices don't seem as focused as they do on the Sangean WR-2's monoaural speaker. So if you're a heavy AM talk radio listener, you might want to opt for the WR-2.

Second Update: To really test the FM on the PR-D5, I tried to pull in the weak college station 88.9. The PR-D5 pulled in the station with clarity, even better than my Eton S350. The verdict: My PR-D5 is my best performing AM/FM radio, even better than the Eton/Grundig S350. That says quite a lot. Even more astounding, the PR-D5 is 15 dollars cheaper.

Third Update: I brought my PR-D5 to my work office and like all the digital radios I've tried it suffered compromised reception. I succeeded more with my Tivoli Model Three (same as the Model One with the additional clock). So for your office, if it's full of computer interference, you might want to go with an upscale analog radio like the aforementioned Tivoli Model One or Three.

Fourth Update:

Power supply stopped working and Sangean replaced my entire radio two or three years ago. Since that time, my speakers have gradually suffered distortion to the point that I no longer use my PR-D5. Mind you, this distortion took place with normal use.

These speakers were a bit muffled to begin with, as most people agree is a problem with the PR-D5. But distortion made this unusable.

I now recommend a more superior Sangean, the CL-100: Better FM, better crisp speaker sound. And it's cheaper than the PR-D5.
1717 comments| 655 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 17, 2007
The PR-D5 upgrades Sangean's well-reviewed Sonido radio with a second speaker, the 200mm internal AM antenna from their CCRadio, a well designed side-mounted tuning knob, and a few other touches.

The iPod-generation look of the new radio doesn't appeal to me, but that's a matter of taste, so you can judge that one for yourself. The pushbuttons unfortunately seem to be the same pressure-sensitive foil type used on the Sonido and CCradio, which tend to stand up poorly to prolonged use, but at least the addition of the new tuning knob means you'll use the pushbuttons less, so perhaps that's not a major issue.

I find the dual speakers odd, but the audio is loud and clear, especially in FM stereo mode. Mono FM mode really cleans up the weaker signals. I have not found the dual speakers to be a problem on AM voice, as Jeff McMahon writes. The AUX input is a nice feature given how many MP3 players and other such gadgets people use now. The backlight goes on for a few seconds if you touch any non-analog control - very practical. There's no real handle, just a slender ridge along the top back of the radio for your fingertips to precariously claw at, so don't try picking this thing up with wet hands.

What really distinguishes this unit, however, is it's performance as a receiver. This degree of FM sensitivity and selectivity would be outstanding on any portable, but at this price I suspect it may be a first. Really strong AM receivers are rarer still, despite all the hype that gets thrown around, but the PR-D5 is up there with the best of them. When I ordered it I hoped that it might at best match my aging CCRadio on AM reception, and have indeed found them too close to call - with the newer radio at half the price of the older.

I am giving the PR-D5 fours stars because I find the design quirky, and am concerned mostly with AM voice programming. If you are primarily interested in FM stereo, this design makes more sense. On a strictly value-for-dollar basis, it's a strong five stars either way.

Hope that helps you decide.
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on December 29, 2011
I bought this radio because
1. This is from Sangean
2. Digital Tuning with frequency display
3. Stereo Speakers
4. RDS Info Display
5. Can be used as a mobile phone/laptop speakers
6. Looks sophisticated and modern
7. Alarm
8. Black version available against the white one

The overall built quality is excellent and has a metal body. You can feel
the richness. It has an ergonomic tuning and volume knob both has a soft
rubber feel. Nice to hold. The tuning jogs up/down .1MHz steps and can feel
the click. Interesting feature is the frequency scan. You can push the
tuning knob and it lands to the next audible station! This makes the frequency
exactly to the .1MHz frequency. Then you can easily long press the memory button
and store the station into the memory! Cool.

One of the greatest features of this radio I liked is its Aux connection. ie. you can
connect your mobile phone/mp3 player and Laptop using a 3.5mm male to male connector
(need to buy separately). I bought an 8ft cord.
I ordered it when I ordered the radio.

It plays the MP3 songs from my mobile phone nicely. Another interesting thing I do is
I put Internet radio on my Android phone and play it through the Aux speakers.
This opens a huge world of Internet radio!

The biggest drawback I would like to notify the Sangean company is that the Bass tone
is hardwired into the circuitry. There is no Bass/Tone knob. At least the Sangean
company can hard wire a bass+treble audio so that it's neither bassy nor trebly :)

My Suggestions for Improvement to Sangean. (Hope they read these feedbacks)
1. Add a Bass/Tone knob.
2. Toggle switch to keep the display lights always on.
3. RDS to display below the frequency which is done nicely on Android phone FM
radio application. ie. RDS/frequency and time need to be displayed together.
Right now RDS info comes after seconds you tune the station.
4. Battery Re-charge feature.
5. Five more buttons to store the memory. ie. at least 10 FM stations are okay.
Five is very less these days.
6. The frequency scan by pushing the tuning knob is very hard. Make it soft.

To Summarize, this is a very good radio with just one drawback.
The audio is bassy. If you like bass audio, then its okay. It is good
for speech. It makes the speech soft. For music, it requires treble response, so that
the instruments will be more clear. The stereo capability is not
easily noticeable on speakers.

Compared to other FM radios in this price range, this is the best available in the
market today.

I think the black version is new. Black is beautiful and looks sophisticated. My laptop
and mobile phone are all black. White looks odd, and everyone notice it.
Black is cool and you can take it anywhere.

I give only 4 stars because of the bassy audio quality and make Sangean to
add a bass/treble knob. Once this is done, I am sure, this radio will be
the best in the world in this price range.

Hope you find this review useful.

The memory is not stored permanently. When the unit is switched off today and then switched on tomorrow, all the memories goes EMPTY.
This is very disappointing. Not sure, whether this is a defect. If you know about this, do let me know.
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on June 29, 2012
Beware! This manufacturer has major quality control problems! The first radio I received was totally dead right out of the box. I received a replacement in two days and the second radio worked fine on the AC power supply but the display flashed PWR FAIL when I tried to play it on batteries. I tried two sets of batteries and checked them all with a voltmeter. Nothing! I decided against a third radio and requested a refund from I have had a Sangean (CCRadio) portable radio on my nightstand for over 15 years and it has proven to be a quality product. AMAZON deserves a five star rating for their handling of this transaction, but it is likely that Sangean is not long for this world if they continue to produce defective radios like the two PR-D5 models that I received.
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on November 25, 2007
This is amazing. At night I can get AM radio stations that I never knew existed. It has great features as well, like the "humane alarm" (it's wonderful), station seek, AUX input, and others. Oh, and the FM sounds better than one might expect due to the twin speakers. It's a really good looking radio too. I know it's geeky, but I use this to pick up very distant AM talk shows at night; it does that very, very well.

I use this every night and I am SO very please I choose this model. I honestly give this radio five stars! I am VERY pleased with this. Actually, it's one of my favorite possessions.....

It's also fair to note that I've never owned the CC Radio or the Superradio. I hope this helps and I wish you fun with whichever you purchase.


EDIT: It's now September 2011 and this radio is still performing wonderfully! Honestly, one my my favorite things I own. It's had daily use and moved around a lot; it even was my only source of news/weather during Hurricane Ike for 10 days (no AC power). This has been a wonderful radio and I'm more pleased everyday that I own it.
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on July 22, 2008
I purchased this radio on Amazon and received it today. I am sorely disappointed. Many of the reviews I read online noted the radio's great AM/FM reception quality, which is the main reason I sprung for this model. However, to my surprise, even in the broadcast-rich region I live in, I received only 5 FM stations clearly. For fun I even checked a map to see where they came from, and they're all within 10-15 miles of my home. I cannot receive the NPR news station that has a transmitter 6 miles away. By comparison, I receive about 20 FM stations very very clearly on my car radio even when it's parked right outside my house where I've been trying the Sangean. To add insult to injury, the little radio that came inside of my Microsoft Zune MP3 player gets the same stations as the Sangean clearly, and without any antenna! Perhaps mine is faulty, but either way it's getting returned.
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on March 29, 2011
Let me say up front that I ordered the Sangean PR-D5 AM/FM radio with the expectation that it would provide excellent (not just good) AM reception. I based my expectations on the overwhelmingly positive reviews it has garnered on many internet sites. Since I live in a rural area, radio reception is an iffy proposition sometimes, particularly for AM stations. I was, therefore, eager to see if this radio lived up to its reputation and I am gratified to report I was not disappointed. Thanks to its benchmark 200mm ferrite antenna, the PR-D5 brings in distant AM stations with ease...including the station that broadcasts my favorite baseball team's games. I have detected no drift and that means once I have tuned in a station it remains locked in for as long as I choose to listen to it. Selectivity has proved to be very good, too, and it is capable of picking out faint stations without the interference of other nearby signals. FM reception is outstanding, as well, and all of the stations to which I enjoy listening come in clearly. Compared to my Sony ICF-SW7600GR, the Sangean has very nearly the FM sensitivity as the Sony and significantly better AM reception, which is high praise, indeed. The controls are blessedly simple and easy to operate, a distinct advantage, in my opinion. The display is large, easy to read, and thankfully clear of much of the unnecessary clutter that afflicts many radios these days. Sound quality is remarkably good for a radio this small, making the listening experience a happy one. Construction quality is quite respectable: there are no loose pieces, no mysterious rattles, and no hiccups in its operation to annoy me: Sangean's QC department was on its toes when they produced this radio!

To sum up my opinions of the Sangean PR-D5 radio, it provides exactly the performance you would want from a small portable radio, with no bad habits, and at a very fair price. I recommend it very highly.
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on August 25, 2007
As it is with many products these days, a bit more time taken in design and more attention to detail in the execution would have made this a 5-star product. First, just how portable is a unit this large (and heavy, with the 6 C batteries installed) without a shoulder strap? They do give you a grip rail on the back so you won't drop it carrying it from room to room, but it's not satisfactory for say, a camping or hiking trip. And speaking of batteries, Sangean did not put a foam pad on the inside of the battery hatch lid to help prevent the batteries from shifting around. That lack is not hard to rectify, but it did detract from my score for this unit. This just in: I wondered if there was any protection for the memory, etc. when it is time to change the batteries, so today (8/26/07) I ran some tests to find out. I pulled a battery for various periods up to one minute - the presets and other memories remained intact and the clock held too. A REAL MANUAL would tell you exactly how much time you have to putz around and get the new batteries in. It would also tell you that you MUST install batteries for the memories to be maintained for lengthy periods.
. As with the RCR-22 which I also reviewed today, the "manual" leaves much to be desired. For the units shipped to North America, Sangean could leave out all the languages except for English, Spanish and French, and use the freed-up pages for more thorough information. Simple things for the non-technical folks like whether you plug the AC adapter into the radio and then into the AC outlet or vice-versa would be useful (the first method is correct for nearly all AC adapters). And for the more technically literate buyer, what happens when you plug in the AC adapter? Does it disconnect the batteries entirely or just protect them with a diode? Apparently the batteries are protected by a diode as nothing happens (the radio keeps on playing and the clock tells the time) when you plug the AC adapter into the radio while the adapter is not plugged into an AC outlet. At least make complete info available from the web site, but noooo... My first Sangean, the ATS-803, AM/FM/Shortwave receiver came with a REAL MANUAL, but then it cost more than twice as much too. Unfortunately some sleazy barstid [sic] stole it from me.
. The controls are very easy to use and the reception is excellent (as noted by Universal Radio on their web site). As with many other Sangean models, the AM tuner and antenna system is not simply an afterthought. The speakers give a very good sound for their size and there is a headphone jack for those who want even better sound quality. I tried a pair of self-powered speakers (such as used with computers, etc.) with it to great effect. As Letterman is fond of saying: You can "blow the roof off the joint!"
. I listen to AM radio a lot, so I've looked more closely at that aspect of the PR-D5. This past evening I listened to WSB in Atlanta very clearly (I'm in a deep valley in the Finger Lakes of NY). I recall picking up Charlotte, N.C. and New Orleans too. The length of this unit (10-3/4") means you will need a good sized, free area on your night stand or table to rotate it for best reception and perhaps a way to elevate it too. Though a couple of my nearby AM stations are working on their transmitters/towers, I am still able to receive them at their current low power outputs.
. The other functions of clock, alarm, timers, etc. work as described, and since this unit lacks a direct-entry number pad, the presets are a necessity. I set them to my regulars and fortunately their frequencies are scattered pretty well across the band (from 570 to 1390) so they can serve as starting points for tuning other frequencies. I'd prefer that the available 10 presets could be used for either AM or FM band stations, but the five I have for AM are just adequate for my needs.
. A thorough manual would have gotten the PR-D5 a 9 point or 4.5 star rating from me. One can't ask for more pure radio performance from a unit in this price range. I don't think that anyone would be really disappointed with this radio. .bh.
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on December 28, 2007
I fully agree with nearly all the comments offered on this radio, having received one as an (expected) gift at Christmas. First a couple of neutral or negative comments. The radio is just like the picture shows it - not everyone's idea of a 'portable radio' a la the (worn out but more conventionally packaged) Grundig Yachtboy 400 that this radio replaced. But as indicated below I think the positives way outweigh any negatives and in person I find it a very nice package. Also the user's manual leaves something to be desired. Without going into details about all such minutia, the way that the clock can be set while the radio is on requires you enter the clock set mode first (not explained in manual) and the capturing of the correct time from the RDS signal took some experimenting to get to work correctly (can't absolutely state this with assurance but some RDS signals don't seem to have the clock setting signal and I have one station that seems to set the internal radio clock inaccurately - but I have located one local RDS station that reliably can set the clock). Now for the positives. The sound is excellent for a radio this size. The speakers, though small, seem to be of excellent quality and can, if required, fill a large room with pleasant sound. At close range (say 2 feet away) the stereo effect on FM is very natural and pleasant. On the AM side, I find the selectivity and particularly sensitivity to be the best of any small radio I've ever seen. Last night (from Falls Church, VA) I received KOA in Denver, the first time in a long time that I have been able to pull it from the loads of co-channel interference. All the original clear channels (WSM,WMAQ,WLW,WOR,WGN,Canada,WJR,WABC,WBBM,WGY,WCCO,WHAS,and on up the dial) were received in excellent fashion, some of the nearer ones sounding like locals. I will use this radio mostly while travelling and am looking to a long and pleasant assoication.
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on December 18, 2011
I didn't get this for the radio or clock.
Just the aux mode that takes a normal audio cable.
I listen to music on my phone during my showers by plugging
in an audio cable to this thing. Best set of portable speakers
I've bought. Very powerful.

Also, the fact that it has a slot for C-cell batteries is pretty bad-ass.
As I can use this as a portable boom box if I feel so inclined.
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