Sangean HDR-14: a new AM/FM HD pocket radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steve Lekuecher, who writes:

A technology forum friend recently noticed Universal Radio listed a new Sangean HD portable (HDR-14) on their website which is very similar in form to the Sangean DPR-65 and I was curious if you are considering reviewing it.

Thanks for the tip, Steve! Yes, I’ll certainly review the HDR-14!

I was unaware the HDR-14 was in the works, so I reached out to Sangean who supplied a little more detail.

The Sangean HDR-16 sports stereo speakers, but it limited to five presets per band.

It sounds, of course, like the HDR-14 will retail at a lower price than the larger HDR-16 (which is currently down to $99.99 shipped on Amazon).

I’ve been evaluating the HDR-16 this fall and have been favorably impressed overall.

I expect to post my review of the HDR-16 within the next two weeks.

Sangean plans to start shipping the HDR-14 mid to late January 2018. I’ll order it as soon as it’s on the market. I’m intrigued by the HDR-14 because of its size–very compact. I’m very curious, though, if it can match its larger brother (the HDR-16) in terms of sensitivity and overall performance. We’ll soon see.

Thanks again, Steve, for the tip!

I’ve posted an image of the sales flyer below. Click on the image to enlarge:

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24 thoughts on “Sangean HDR-14: a new AM/FM HD pocket radio

  1. Pingback: A review of the Sangean HDR-14 portable AM/FM HD radio | The SWLing Post

  2. Richard Kaplan

    I have the 16. I was wondering when a smaller version would be released. I ordered it right away. This seems to be about the same size as the CCrane Skywave. Looks like AM HD is included. Looking forward to this.

  3. Tom Reitzel

    The confirmed shipping date is May 25, 2018. I’m not sure about the potential market, though, as it competes in some ways with the HDR-16, i.e. portability.

    I’d expect the HDR-14 to sell reasonably well at a retail price of ~ $60 or less if it performs well.

    1. Mike S

      The HDR-14 has shipped. One glowing review on Amazon so far. I almost certainly will spring for one, but want to be sure there are no “gotchas” in the first production run. List price is US$99, mostly discounted to $78 or so.

  4. Mike S

    Originally slated for January; last month Universal Radio added to their product listing a projected availability of May 2018.

    This week Sangean posted the user manual on their US web site. In some ways it looks to be a miniaturized version of the HDR-16; pay no attention to instructions on rotating the (non-existent) tuning knob on the HDR-14.

    Interestingly while HD-Radio is a distinctly North American product, the set is otherwise “world-ready” for analog reception as the band plans can be switched as with many travel portables. I would love to see a similar treatment of the DPR-65 including AM reception, but that ship has already sailed.

  5. Mike S

    The HDR-14 is now listed in the “HD Radios” section of the Sangean USA web site, complete with specs and a PDF of the flyer posted here late last year. No sighting of the user manual yet. Like most HD radios (and the DAB+ model it is presumably based upon) it requires three AA cells, not two. Those digital radios are still power-hungry compared to analog DSP-based sets – which is one reason why 90% of the DAB+ portables sold outside North America are equipped with dedicated lithium-ion packs.

  6. Mike S

    I believe that the SPARC SHD-T750 (a large, 2-speaker tabletop radio) can do this.

    FWIW my wife’s car has a recent HD tuner with display that can display this information.

    It’s over-rated (if I am seeing the full implementation). The only extra information is a postage stamp sized image of the album cover or artist portrait. Some stations don’t even bother to add this, or will just display some generic artwork or station logo in place of artist-specific information.

  7. ¾ Blind

    I hope the HDR-14 has a line level auxiliary output. The portability is much better than the HDR-16 but it looks like the speaker in the ’14 is smaller then in the ’16, and of course the ’14 is mono. I would like to patch the audio from the line out or earphone jack to a larger table radio for better fidelity.

  8. ¾ Blind

    What HD radio models can display “Artist Experience?” And to echo SDLdxer’s sentiment how many HD stations broadcast Artist Experience and does it convey useful and/or interesting information? Even if not useful I am a radio geek who wishes to have a radio that can decode all the information transmitted and sent out through the ether.

  9. Mike from Toronto

    …the Sangean hdr-16 is NOT as sensitive as the Pr-d5, pr-d15 or the CCrane 2e!….they should make a bedroom clock radio, with AM/FM (twin-coil antenna!), with digital clock and NOT with the seconds, as this is not for insomniacs! I wish to purchase the CCrane 2E, but I don’t like the “weather alert” (if you are not at home, and the weather alert comes “ON”, you will have a lot of ticked off neighbors and howling dogs!), and the seconds on the time display! In the Canadian/American mid-west, you don’t need the “weather alert” features, but if you live in Florida panhandle, Texas gulf coast, Kansas hurricane alley, etc., that maybe different!…………..what to do and some advice, please!

    1. Steve Lebkuecher

      You can turn the weather alert function off and on at will so for you the weather alert function on the 2E would not be a issue.

    2. Golan Klinger

      My $0.02 worth is that if you’re considering getting a CCRadio 2E Enhanced, do it. What a fantastic radio. The sound quality is phenomenal and the reception makes me wonder if my other radios are broken. What I wouldn’t give for C. Crane to release a version of that radio with full shortwave with SSB rather than just the 2 meter band. They couldn’t take my money fast enough.

    3. Mike S

      The recent stay-at-home-or-freeze weather blast in northeast NJ has given me an opportunity to compare the HDR-16 and top-rated PR-D4W in more detail. Performing a channel-by-channel AM bandscan with both sets, during daytime and again at night, the HDR-16 hears about 90% of what the PR-D4W does. On weak signals there is perhaps a 1 S-unit difference which might make the difference between “down in the mud” and “just barely audible” on the real weak ones.

      As an example of the pleasant surprises with the HDR-16 I have been able, at night, to receive Philadelphia’s WPHT-AM 1210 (about 100 miles away) in HD perhaps 75% of the time.

  10. Curt Schwarzwalder

    Will this actually have AM ‘HD’ reception in a pocket radio? If so, I believe it would be the first time that’s ever been attempted.

    1. Mike S

      While it is spec’ed to include AM HD, I’m not sure this qualifies as a “pocket radio”; in fact when shopping for DAB+ sets to bring in the carry-on for European trips, I looked at the DAB+ version of this model (DPR-65) and rejected it as too large.

      It is about an inch smaller overall compared to the other small AM/FM set (SPARC SHD-TX2) which, while much smaller than the product photo would have you believe, is too big for most pockets.

  11. DanH

    Congratulations to Sangean for packing HD radio into the small HDR-14 package. I look forward to reading the HDR-16 review, too. I live within the HD radio range of a metro area and listened to it several years ago. FM HD isn’t bad if you enjoy the niche programming that usually populates the HD sidebands. The more FM HD channels a station runs the less the audio quality. I was using a first generation FM HD tuner at the time so things may have changed.

    1. Joe

      I tried a Sangean HDR-18 table radio earlier this year, and was very disappointed. I ended up returning it. Apart from a lack of interesting content on the HD side channels in my area, my main complaint was that HD1 stations would often flip back and forth between HD and standard FM reception if the HD signal was weak, creating a warbling sound. If the HDR-18 offered a way to defeat the HD signal manually, that might have made the radio usable for me, but unfortunately it doesn’t.

      1. Joe

        I’d add that for me, a standard radio with an aux in jack pretty much eliminates any need for HD radio, since I can plug in an external audio source.

  12. DanH

    Even better Sangean news for SWLing Post readers. The excellent Sangean ATS-909X multi-band portable (including shortwave) is very well priced right now on Amazon. For the first time that I can remember the black version of the radio 909X-BK is priced lower than the white version. Current Amazon price for the black version is $203.98 US with free shipping. I love the quality audio from this radio on all bands and the SW selectivity provided by ceramic filters. They put DSP filters in this price range to shame. Rest assured, the Amazon prices will change soon.

    1. Golan Klinger

      Everything I’ve read indicates that this is a great radio IF you have an external antenna but if you’re using the built-in whip, you have a better chance of picking up a signal by holding your hand behind your ear. What has been your experience?

      1. DanH

        Those stories are either greatly exaggerated or based on early productions runs of the 909X. I have a 909X purchased new in mid-2015 and an Eton Grundig Edition Satellit (same radio as the cosmetically made-over Eton Grundig Executive Satellit) purchased new two months ago. 909X was introduced in 2011 and the Satellit in 2014. I have compared the two for SW performance and both do well on the built-in telescopic whip antennas. Side-by-side on the whip antennas neither radio will detect a weak station that the other will not. The S-meter on the Satellit seems to run hotter than the 909X on some bands but I don’t think this has anything to do with sensitivity. On weak stations the 909X is more likely to provide intelligible voice copy required to actually understand a news story, feature, etc. Music is much easier to hear on weak stations than voice but here again the 909X excels with superior audio. Different radios are different radios. Sometimes one radio will provide better reception of a station than the other but the 909X usually wins in my experience. Take reviews with a grain of salt. I usually use both radios at home with a 83m horizontal loop because I can. When traveling with either radio I use the Sangean ANT-60 reel-up antenna when possible.

        1. Golan Klinger

          Thanks. I’ve long been curious about the 909X but the negative reports about reception on the built-in whip, accurate or not, combined with its slightly above average price have scared me off. I finally purchased my first proper antenna from Wellbrook so it may be time to give the 909X a try.

          1. Tim

            I would agree with Dan’s comments. Reviews are more trouble than they’re worth and can make you fearful of buying everything. Over the years, I’ve read countless criticisms of the Sangean 909 radio. I’ve owned the 909 and 909X for years, and they’ve remained my favorite radios. The 909X is sharp as a tack in appearance and a pleasure to listen to and use. Its AM and FM reception are comparable to that of the CCRadio 2E – my other favorite radio. The reel antenna admittedly improves the shortwave reception, but shortwave is still decent without it. A fabulous radio. Don’t pay too much attention to the whiners.

  13. SDLdxer

    Interesting. The HDR-16 is a good radio (I have one), but the one problem is whether there is anything worth listening to on the HD channels. Many areas have few, if any, HD channels. Other, like NYC, have many, but they are almost all “throw away” channels.


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