Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ivan (NO2CW), who writes:
Hello, I posted on YouTube my review of the Sangean WFR-28 FM and Wifi Internet radio receiver.
In particular I was able to sideload my directory of English Language broadcast stations from over 100 countries using their “Favorites” menu. It now sounds like the good old days of shortwave …almost. I can listen to the morning traffic report in Singapore, local news from Guam, afternoon talk show from Gibraltar and a nighttime DJ from Uganda – all in English.
Click here to view on YouTube.
Thank you for sharing this in-depth review, Ivan!
I’m still very pleased with the WFR-28 which I reviewed many months ago. For now, I believe the WFR-28 is the best value in WiFi radios (currently $115 on Amazon–affiliate link).
Of course, a number of personal assistant device like the Amazon Echo also stream radio via the TuneIn Radio aggregator, but since these devices rely on voice commands, some stations can be difficult to call up. I still prefer a proper WiFi radio/Internet appliance like the Sangean WFR-28 or Como Audio Solo.
Thanks again, Ivan!
So I recently got an wrf-28 in July 2022. Bad timing. Unsurprisingly (to me) the company discontinued the product in June of 2022 but their website still lists it as a current product (I got this information from a Sangean support staff member). Too bad as I love the radio. Two features that could have been added in software (Sangean has indicated no software updates will happen) would be the ability to parse RSS feeds for Podcasts and support for Apple’s HLS protocol that is increasingly popular.
The use of this device is erratic, unstable and awkward. It is a totally unpleasant experience. Instructions do not supply anything helpful. It is junk, in my opinion.
Bought one of these in 2014 along with the rechargeable batteries. This was my second WiFi, the Crane was my first. No downside to the radio, took it all over the house and back yard, had many stations programmed in from around the country and world.
It was great for listening to WSM from Nashville during the day, not possible here with a regular AM radio due to the distance. Also programmed stations from my hometown back in NY to see how the old neighborhood was doing. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks for the post Ivan and Thomas
I have zero experience with WiFi radios. Thus I hope this isn’t a dumb statement followed-up with an even dumber question:
The Sangean WRF-28 has 10 Presets (5 iRadio, 5 FM). Why wouldn’t I want something like the “Ocean Digital WR-210CB” that has “250 Presets” … for $85 versus $115? On the surface, both have very similar ratings.
It all has to do with the aggregator (stream database) it’s based on. The Sangean uses Frontier Silicon–a solid, well-curated system that’s been around for quite a while–Reciva and TuneIn are two other good options other radios use.
You would need to investigate what aggregator this radio uses and how actively it’s curated. Check the aggregator’s reviews. If the aggregator goes out of business (with few exceptions) the radio becomes a pricey brick.
Troy, I think it’s a marketing gimmick: the Sangean has 5 presets that are represented by an actual physical button – a true one slick preset. If I had 50, then inevitably to call a preset I would have to punch in several numbers or scroll through a menu. That will no longer be a true one click preset.
In this case the Sangean has “My favorites” You can add as many stations there as you want and build a folder structure for them like I did with the English speaking stations from 100 counties.
I typically use my phone app/remote to recall stations in memory and only use the 5 presets for the most frequently used ones.
This may be of interest:
I have this “radio” and I really like it. And for me, being able to dig out the URLs of stations that don’t provide them to Frontier or anyone else directly (i.e. iHeart radio stations and others) adds to the the value of this set. As Ivan said, it’s a convenience device that allows for the radio experience while listening to streams and podcasts free from computers and smartphones. And it sounds good too. I’ve had mine for a few years and I recommend it.
How about an article with your recommendations for WiFi radio stations? You could even expand it out to get reader suggestions as well. As someone who is just dipping their toes into WiFi radios, the vast number of stations available makes it hard to find stuff worth listening to.
I do need to do this again. At some point I did note some of my favorite stations and readers chimed in with theirs.
This is a convenience device that makes listening to internet and fm radio much more fun than via a traditional computer or phone. A sidenote – the Rayovac D rechargeabls I first tried did not fit. I then got energizers which fit with no problem.
Thanks for noting this, Ivan. A reader recently discovered the same ting–seems the battery compartment tolerance is too tight for cells that are even marginally larger than the standard alkaline battery.
I’m going to look into this radio further. I’ve tried using Amazon Echo for radio listening but am getting frustrated at it not making out what I say.
No kidding! For fun, try to get the Echo to tune to “The UK 1940s Radio Station.” Sometimes it does it on the first go and sometimes you’ll try 30 times! 🙂
Their 1950’s station; “The UK 1950s Radio Station.” is great too.