Hello all. This is Bob from Sangean America, and I want to thank you for your interest in the WR-15. I want to apologize for the problem our customer found with this model. The WR-15 is powered by an included AC adapter which is a "switching" or "switch-mode" type. The DOE (Department Of Energy) has a Federal mandate, requiring manufactures must now use this type of power supply. This newer, power saving technology, has the unfortunate side effect of causing interference to the AM radio band. Therefore, we recommend customers keep at least 1 foot distance between the AC adapter power supply, and the radio. Bob at Sangean.com
"Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality. Digitisation will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development," she said.
I received my WR-15 two days ago. Unfortunately, I can't recommend the radio and will likely return it. AM reception is just plain bad. My Sangean WR-1, set up right next to it for comparison, clearly outperformed the WR-15 in sensitivity and selectivity across the dial. I had planned on putting it up against my Panasonic RF-2200 and GE Superadio 1 to compare against those radios but quickly realized there was little point of doing so given that it failed my first relatively low-bar comparison. I live in a pretty dense urban environment with a lot of radio noise, so perhaps that's affecting performance and it would fare better in another setting. But I have a lot of other radios that can pull in AM stations better than the WR-15 can.
FM performance was better but still inferior to my WR-1 (again, not a very high bar). My quick test of a radio's FM capabilities is seeing how it pulls in those low-wattage college, indy and NPR stations that tend to reside in the very low end of the dial, and here the WR-15 didn't fare so well. I was able to pull in several hard-to-grab college stations on my WR-1 that eluded the WR-15. For the big blowtorch FM stations though, the WR-15 pulled them in without difficulty and sounded great doing so. The speaker is great for a unit this size. This radio therefore might suit your needs if that's where you live on the dial. It's doesn't for me (I like the hard-to-grab community college jazz station -- a tough target for most of my radios, unfortunately).
One other characteristic of the WR-15 worth mentioning is its apparent channel-locking tuning, which I find very jarring and unpleasant. The radio tunes relatively quietly across the dial and doesn't engage full volume until it has detected a channel and is tuned (i.e.the green LED light is lit). This results in some unpleasant (to me) dial surfing, as tuning is very quiet when not "tuned" but then jumping in volume when the radio is locked on a station. This apparent channel-locking function also results in having to tune well past a locked station for the radio to relinquish its hold on it. I'm not technically savvy enough to identify what exactly this is, but tuning in and out of stations is abrupt and jarring on this radio. I immediately missed the quiet analog hiss of being out of tune that we're familiar with from most radios.
In sum, this strikes me as a radio where concerns about its aesthetics and speaker quality (both good, in my opinion) took priority over the radio's fundamental performance. This is definitely not an AM DX'er, and FM listeners can do better elsewhere.