We've been eager for a first review. Matt steps up to the plate:
I picked one up my Sangean PR-D8 from Amazon. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but I'm keeping mine. Sound quality is just a bit better than average (nothing to write home about), it only supports ONE timer, and at times feels like two completely separate devices shoved in the same case.
All the radio controls and display are on the right, and the recorder/player controls and display are on the left, and there really isn't any crossover other than 'Sd' displayed when the recorder is active where the frequency is usually displayed. The tone switch (normal, talk, music) is best on normal.
Music is thin, and talk is too boomy. FM reception seems pretty good, much better than average. I don't usually do AM, but I'll record some Coast to Coast just to see how it does for you AM nuts.
It does have line-in/line-out and headphone ports, so you can easily use it as a recorder/receiver/mp3 player hooked to a better set of speakers, like a nice set of JBL Creatures. Input/output is stereo.
The 192kbps is sufficient for FM. With good headphones, the limitations of FM (hiss, loss of higher frequencies) are far, far more obvious than any digital compression artifacts, of which I heard none. Sangean says it will use big-boy SD cards: up to 32gb, I believe. I've got a 1gb in mine. It does have stereo mics, if that's your thing. And you can record from line-in, too. The record timer will work for all inputs, too: radio, mics, and line-in. But for me, being limited to ONE timer is the biggest drawback. I had intended to set up a schedule, and just grab the SD card Monday morning and listen to weekend NPR programming at work, but that's not possible. You set a start and stop time (not date!), and flip the TIMER switch on the side. It's a bit aggravating because the radio knows what date it is, but you can't set record date, too.
Recordings are broken up into one hour chunks. One hour at 192 kbps is 80-something megabytes. It seems to be firmware-upgradable. It lists the firmware at power-on, and since it has an SD slot, I'm hoping we'll see an update that allows date setting for the timer as well. It's a nice _appliance_, but for a Zen-like listening experience, it doesn't match the Sangean WR-11.