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July 19, 2011


Carlos Edwards

Bidding above $700 for a Sony Discman...


I don't get it.


Art - I stuck 1/2" thick foam tape everywhere I could fit it inside the back of my PR-D5. This made the bass deeper and the sound less "hollow," but didn't fix the excessive bass on voices to any useful degree. I think Sangean has equalized the bass electronically; even the headphone jack output has very bloated bass (not close to "flat" response). I still think the PR-D7 sounds better on vocals, especially on AM.


I agree. This radio has very poor sound quality on the AM band. The FM sounds fairly good, but certainly not excellent.


It's interesting that many reviewers on Amazon say the PR-D5 has excellent sound quality, even on AM talk radio. I just can't agree with this assessment.

Also, many reviewers on Amazon say the LB-100 has great sound quality and great AM reception. I simply don't agree.

Reviews can be useful, but the only one that really counts is your own.


I suggested once before that the audio quality of the PR-D5 is much improved if the radio is placed on a shelf above ear level and far enough from a back wall that you don't get bass reinforcement.

This is not a console radio (room-filling sound), but the sound is still much better than the portables on the market.

Doug T.

Artificially boosted upper-bass is a common problem reported across a wide variety of Sangean radios (presumably to counteract the effects of lousy speakers). I would not advise anyone to purchase a Sangean radio without tone control because of their tendency to boost upper bass (presumably to make up for deficiencies with speakers.)

My main problem with the PR-D5 isn't the bass, it is the lousy combination of two speakers. I would rather have one really good speaker or even better a bass/treble combination (a la Superadio) than two lousy stereo speakers. I agree that the D5 has somewhat better reception than the Eton S350, for example, but in terms of audio quality, I would give the nod to the S350.

Fortunately, my favorite Sangean, the RCR-3, has a a dial tone control (and I can heartily recommend this model -- it is my favorite bedside table alarm clock ever. My second favorite Sangean, the CL-100, has nice, optimized-for-voice non-bloated sound (although it probably will not satisfy music listeners.)

Besides the S350, RCR-3, and CL-100, some other currently-available notable radios under $with tone control (sometimes just a bass switch) include the Tecsun PL660, Sony ICF-EX5MK2*, Sony ICF-7600GR, and CCRadio-SW (= Redsun RP2100). (All the radios I have listed in this review except the Sangeans have shortwave capability as well, which is awfully nice sometimes.) While these radios all have different personalities and different degrees of sensitivity, I can recommend all of these radios.

(*Note that you have to look a while to find a cheap Sony ICF-EX5MK2 -- although it is certainly available in Japan for less than $150 and I've found it online for about that price.)

Doug T.

Sorry, I posted my previous comment too quickly. The Sony ICF-EX5MK2 also does not have shortwave capability (except for six fixed shortwave frequencies corresponding to a domestic Japanese shortwave broadcaster.)


JD - My PR-D5 sounds better when placed in the middle of a large room, away from the walls, floor and ceiling. Of course, this isn't always practical.

Doug T. - My CCRadio-SW has the best bass response of any of my portable radios, and its bass control is very effective, with an appropriate turnover frequency. The WR-2 also has a useful bass control, as do the two Sangean models that you mentioned, so we know Sangean can include suitable tone controls. I just wish they had done so on the PR-D5, LB-100 and some of their other models.

Doug T.

Gary -- lots of excellent points. I'm not sure that various Sangean radios are all designed by the same group -- I suspect Sangean outsources the design of many of these radios. (I know that other manufacturers such as Sony routinely do this.)

How else to account for the tremendous variance in quality across their product line.

I just wish that someone would still produce a radio as good as the venerable Sony 2010 (or even the Eton E1.)


Boston Acoustics Solo AM/FM Radio Refurbished $69.99 shipped free.

Other radios available too:


I agree about the muffled audio from the PR-D5. This isn't such an issue on FM with the wider bandwidth but on MW it is very noticeable. This is such a shame as the PR-D5 has the potential to be a MW dxers delight with an 8 inch ferrite antenna, unusual in this day and age.

So while my PR-D5 is great for DX on MW, the muffled audio actually makes it very difficult to make out speech. I see Sangean tried to address this on the latest model by adding tone controls but from what I've read it hardly makes a difference.

Clearly Sangean aimed this radio at the dxer by fitting such a large antenna so I don't know why they messed up by giving us such poor audio.

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