A few weeks ago, SWLing Post reader, David Lang, asked for a radio recommendation–one to replace the shortwave receiver that once lived on his bathroom countertop. Since he primarily wanted to listen to a local AM broadcaster, I recommended he go a different route with his next rig to save money and extend the radio’s longevity.
I suggested the ($61 US) Sangean H201 which is specifically designed for humid environments. I had considered this receiver as a gift in the past, but had never actually used one myself. I felt like it was a pretty safe bet, though. David purchased the H201 and recently shared his review:
Well, I’m so glad that I was patient and waited for a reply before I bought a radio to replace the old one that I had in my bathroom. I think the Sangean H201 is going to be the perfect replacement. I don’t know if anyone has provided a review for this radio but here are my thoughts at the moment:
The H201 is compact. Not quite as small as my 909 but just the right size to sit on my bathroom countertop and not take up near as much room as the radio it replaced.
Its appearance is clean, simple and intuitive. It’s also waterproof, a feature that is comforting since it will spend most of its life in the humid environment of a bathroom. The display is large and easily read. The display includes battery strength indicator, band, memory preset, weather alert and frequency in the display. The buttons are just the right size and have a distinct but smooth action.
It might have been better for me if the power button had been on the top instead of the bottom right hand face of the cabinet but that is in no way a deal killer.
The H201’s reception is fine for what I need it to do which is receive the primary AM radio stations for our metroplex area (Dallas/Fort Worth) which brings me to my next section of commentary; sound quality. The sound quality of the H201 is exceptional. It’s crystal clear and leans toward the warm side. I’m talking about timbre. My sangean 909 also has great sound but is brighter in timbre. Think about the difference between a French horn and a trumpet. The 909 is a trumpet, the H201 is a French Horn or perhaps a Euphonium. I like the amber display and the half circle carry handle that turns in or out of the cavity in the back of the radio is really convenient.
At times I have to adjust the position of the radio to eliminate a bit of static on AM but I think that’s pretty typical for AM. My comments here are not near as technical as some reviews I’ve read on other radios, particularly short wave models.
While I use and appreciate many of those types of features on my other radios, for my purposes I’m not sure the ‘technical’ is necessary to promote the positive aspects of this radio.
Bottom line: I like it because it fits perfectly for the purpose I needed. Even in a non-humid room, this little rig is a great, simple portable radio for AM/FM local station listening. Thanks so much for the suggestion!!
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, David! I’ve been very pleased with Sangean radios that employ this particular chassis style (like the Sangean PR-D5BK, Sangean PR-D9W, Sangean PR-D7, and even the Sangean WFR-28). These models tend to have a durable feel, robust hard plastic body and the audio is pleasant from the built-in speaker(s).
The Sangean H201 can be purchased from a number of retailers including Amazon, NewEgg, WalMart and, of course, eBay.
Thanks again, David!