The new Sangean MMR-99 series emergency radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mangosman, who writes:


I saw the Radio World review of the Sangean MMR-99 (page 16).

As I usually do I go to the source which in this case is the Sangean website to find

    • Sangean MMR-99 FCC AM/FM and in the USA version Weather radio band.
    • Sangean MMR-99 which is the UK version which is AM in the MF band for 9/10 kHz channel spacing No Low Frequency (LW) band.
    • Sangean MMR-99 DAB which is interesting because it is typically DAB+/FM no AM or Weather Band.

Your posters around the world may wish to review this radio which is available on line and in retailers.

Thank you for the tip! Impressive that MMR-99 is IP55 rated and ruggedized. I like the fact they’ve also made regional variants of this radio even including DAB.

The US version of the Sangean MMR-99 is available on (affiliate link) for $89.76 shipped

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25 thoughts on “The new Sangean MMR-99 series emergency radio

  1. El

    What kind of connector type is there on the battery?I like to order a spare battery,but don’t know the type from the cnnector ..?

  2. jack dully

    I thought that replacing Li-ion battery on a Norelco electric razor was tedious,without breaking any retaining clips,till I saw this video.Norelco solders in their batteries.Why would a radio manufacturer design a radio with a non-replaceable battery.No problem till the battery will not accept a charge,it is a portable after all and unless you are fond of cranking cranks,it probably will become backfill,somewhere,unless you have surgery.That doesn’t make much sense to me.I guess we really live in a disposable world

  3. Neil J

    I’ve had the MMR-99 since early May. I keep it on the front porch, and listen in the evenings. The reception, and sound are great. However, the battery goes quickly. I have reviewed a YouTube video that shows how to replace it, and I find it a long procedure. I like the Bluetooth and have it paired with my iPhone. It can be improved, but I’m not sorry for the purchase. I’m a radio guy, so ………

  4. Brian

    I recommend the C.Crane Radio Solar. Its functionality is similar to the Sangean and its batteries are easily replaced.

    1. Don Elliot

      Faulty analysis attempt. Your lack of logic or a marketing degree is showing.
      Really a loaded question in the category of, “When did you stop beating your wife?“

  5. Paul Capewell

    Very strange choices for regionalisation – the ‘UK’ model having AM/FM but not DAB/DAB+? Also I wonder how efficient DAB/DAB+ is on a radio with those sorts of power inputs.

    And as mentioned, it seems a wasted opportunity not to add shortwave and amateur bands to a device that’s surely meant for more rugged/remote/survival use.

    1. mangosman

      The UK has been closing AM transmitters both BBC and commercial so they should just supply the EU model.
      When will they convert the DAB transmissions to DAB+ so they can transmit those programs in stereo.

      I don/t know which country Paul is in, but there are useful high frequency broadcasts such as All India Radio and Radio New Zealand Pacific who transmit emergency information when required.

      The advantage of HF broadcasting is that the transmitter is that it can be located a long way from the disaster so electricity blackouts and physical damage is unlikely.

  6. John KB5AG

    I’ve had one for a while, and it’s become my favorite for evening listening of baseball games. The sound is great, and AM sounds really good with multiple bandwidths. It is very sensitive and is about as hi-fi as it gets for the size. SW with SSB? This radio does what most people want in superb fashion, for a very reasonable price. I have the Kaito radio that was mentioned too, and although it sounds decent with its two speakers, everything else about it is second rate compared to the Sangean.

  7. Kenny C

    no 1.8 to 30 continuous shortwave coverage with SSB ? no thanks, if a radio is the only thing i have to lean on for emergency communications i want to listen to what the amateur radio operators are talking about too, can not always rely and trust mainstream commercial broadcast to be honest anymore

  8. Carl Perez

    Unforgiveable cons:
    -Non-replaceable 18650 battery.
    -No option for use of “common” batteries (e.g. AA, AAA, CR-123, etc…)

    1. Peter L

      The destruction manual hints that the cell is replaceable but only hints.

      What is the general consensus on number of charge cycles that can be expected from a single 18650? And then how many hours will the 18650 keep the radio running?

      I mean, if the cell will keep it powered for (say) 3 days and you can get (say) 500 cycles out of it … that’s 1500 days of use … Nevermind the crank and the PV cell.

      1. mangosman

        18650 Battery specifications and

        Just remember that you can buy a 12 V car lighter plug/USB output to charge the radio from a car battery, where the battery capacity is much larger.
        I agree that not only radio manufacturers but all mobile phone manufacturers glue their rechargeable batteries inside the device. Very wasteful and polluting, It is all designed for more profits!

        1. Peter L

          Energy storage capacity isn’t what I was getting at it was more “cell life until I have to tear it apart and do surgery to swap in a new one”. It could be that it won’t need cell replacement (because it’s usable capacity has diminished) for 5 years of daily use, in which case the fact that spudgers and soldering irons are needed for the job is less annoying. But if that cell only last a year … then I’d be annoyed. But I’d say no one knows at this point.

          Other than that (and the fact that the NA version has no HDRadio), it looks kind of cool. Hope someone gets one, tests the performance, and does a teardown so we can all see how much pain swapping the 18650 will be when it’s done.

  9. Peter L

    None of you mentioned the 18650 lithium cell, the USB charging, the hand crank, or the solar cell …

    *My* beef is the lack of HDRadio capability – you know it’s the same chipset in all of them with different pins tied to ground depending on market. 😀

    1. mangosman

      You lament the lack of HDRadio capability. This would only apply to the FCC model because North America is the only location where HDRadio is broadcast. In addition the only way you can hear the stereo is through headphones because it only has one speaker.
      Xperi charges receiver manufacturers a royalty for every radio made, no other broadcasting technology charges a royalty for system standards. eg DAB+ or DRM. All manufacturers must however pay for patents like every other industry, but not for the transmission system design.
      Since these are emergency radios, in DAB+ and DRM there is an Emergency Warning system which wakes the radio from standby, sounds a siren, makes a loud announcement along with images of maps and indexed text so that multiple disaster sites can have detailed text instructions. Their DAB model specifications make no mention of this.

      1. Peter L

        Aware of how HDRadio works and why it isn’t everywhere (HDRadio, too, has “emergency features”).

        What I didn’t realize is that (the NA version) doesn’t have any bands other than MW and VHF (FM broadcast and NOAA Weather Radio). I assumed it had some SW bands …

        It *does* have switchable bandwidth on both AM and FM broadcast bands.

        1. mangosman

          The only images that HDRadio can transmit is station logos and there is no capacity for indexed high volume texts, only a scrolling line of text. This is because of the low data carrying capacity. This is why Xperi who owns HDRadio wants hybrid radio which transmits the sound program, station logos and the station’s web address. Any additional data is sent by wireless broadband. This requires reliable cell phone coverage which is not guaranteed in the area of an emergency particularly because electricity blackouts are common and battery backup doesn’t last long enough.

          In the Americas, the MF AM stations are allocated on a 10 kHz step grid. The highest pitched audio for transmission is 10 kHz which requires half of the bandwidth of 2 adjacent channels. At night this interference will cause you to reduce the bandwidth and loose the high frequency audio. This interference is a lot worse when HDRadio is transmitted and it has made many broadcasters switch HDRadio off.
          In the FM band the analog there is no overlapping, but in HDRadio the data is in the adjacent channel’s allocation.

    2. mangosman

      Troy and Peter,
      The video is interesting because the disassembly of the radio is the DAB+ model. Note there is no ferrite rod antenna inside for the medium frequency band!

  10. Kris Partridge

    Oh dear, only three models..!
    Can we not get Sangean to make a fourth model, a MMR-99WW . WW ? “WorldWide” ie a radio which will have all the bands of the three plus the missing LF Long Wave band.
    People travel and emerencies happen WorldWide.


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