Weather Radio Reviews

June 3, 2013, by Ken Jorgustin

weather-radio-reviews-2013

NOAA Weather Radio reviews have clearly identified three top (best) radios for weather, ‘all-hazards’, public-alert, and early-warning. Each manufacturer has dominated the market for several years and they are well established as excellent choices to trust with your safety…

UPDATED: The Best Weather Alert Radio 2016 and the reasons why it is…

 
There are a large number of weather radios on the market today, and they are designed to be either a tabletop model, portable, or a multipurpose functional design (combination of crank, solar, cell phone charger, flashlight, etc..)

The weather radio choices shown here are based on reviews of tabletop models, which are purposely designed to function primarily as a weather radio. One would assume that the quality of such a radio will be better than that of a multipurpose model, given a similar price point.

Each also includes AM/FM functionality, which is important while obtaining local information during severe weather.

Midland builds two of the three top weather radios. Sangean builds the weather radio which many consider to the best. In my opinion, any of these may be considered the best weather radio for you.

 

MIDLAND WR300 Weather Radio with SAME

With more than 1,000 online reviews, the Midland WR300 is the most popular weather radio.

77% of reviews are rated 4 or 5 stars.

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S.A.M.E. Digital Technology
Allows you to receive alerts/warnings for your area
User-Selectable Warning System
90 dB siren alarm, voice alert, or visual LED flasher
23 Programmable Locations
Memory system allows for user setting of up to 23 different counties/provinces
Event Expiration Indicator
Display shows “EXP” when an alert has expired
Ability to Add and Remove Alerts
Allows custom programming for the alerts in your area
Instant Weather
Information direct from the National Weather Service and Environment Canada
External antenna input

 

Most Helpful Reviews

After having tried just about every SAME technology weather radio out there, I found the WR-300 to be one of the better ones, and definitely the best of the Midland weather radios to date.

One of the best features it has is that it allows you to disable the audible alerts for every watch/warning except life threatening ones like tornado warning, or biological hazard warning, etc. Other brands and models will only allow you to disable the most harmless events.

The alarm is clearly heard by everyone throughout the house and the display gives a read out of the alert while the alarm is sounding. You can hear the local weather service with the touch of a button or press the AM/FM button and listen to local radio stations of your choice. The use of this radio is very simple. My kids know how to turn off the siren and how to press the weather radio button to listen to the verbal warning from the National Weather Service. The alarm is a great asset to have during night time hours.

I like the idea of programing the Midland WR300 to the counties in my area, it cuts down on unwanted false alarms. Great Item

 

 

Midland WR120C Weather Radio with SAME

With nearly 400 reviews, the Midland WR120C is gaining ground on its big brother.

84% of reviews are rated 4 or 5 stars.

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SAME Localized Reception
Continuous Backlighting Option–keeps the LCD on
25 Programmable Counties
Color coded Alert Indicators
Alert Override automatically switches over to warn you of impending danger
Silent programming
Single, Multiple, or Any S.A.M.E program settings
User Selectable Warning System–Voice, Display, or Tone alert types
7 preset weather channels
Public alert certified
Receives over 60 Alerts
All Hazards Alert
External antenna input

 

Most Helpful Review

I would consider this a great standard/staple alert weather radio. The SAME technology lets you setup your county, or multiple counties. You can find your county codes online at NOAA (search: national weather service radio codes to be taken there directly).

I really like the back-light on the display–a nice cool blue with easy to read lettering. The interface itself is great, it lets me flip through all current alerts with the up/down buttons, so I don’t even have to listen to the radio to get the most up to date status. It is simple enough that my 4 year old could easily figure it out.

The tone alarm is loud! — Which is great, not an annoying sound, just loud. It will wake you up. We can hear it all through our house. The voice alarm plays the loud tone for about 5 seconds and then goes into the radio broadcast (at the volume you set).

This is a new version of the WR-100.

New features:
-Button Beeps On/Off Menu Option
-Weekly Test Siren On/Off Menu Option
-3 Languages (English, Spanish, French)
-Larger Screen
-5 alert lights per alert
-New Warning Siren (Same as WR-100 and WR-300 except louder and slower)

Main drawback to this alarm is how heart-attack-inducing, jump-out-of-your-skin LOUD the alarm is. You have 3 options for how the weather alert works: “Display” only. Nothing audible. Worst case scenario is I’m asleep, and never wake up for a tornado warning. This is not acceptable, so the next one is “Voice”. The non-adjustable blaring alarm goes off for five seconds, and then the broadcast starts for 3 minutes. If I could adjust WHAT sets this off, I’d be happy. I’d love to know about severe thunderstorm and tornado WARNINGS, and nothing else. I wish I could select from a list of warnings and watches that I am actually alerted to.

Good weather radio for the money.

 

 

Sangean CL-100 Weather Radio with SAME

More than 200 reviews hold the Sangean CL-100 in high regard. It is the most expensive of the three and perhaps the most stylish. The audio quality is superb for its size.

82% of reviews are rated 4 or 5 stars.

weather-radio-reviews-2013-sangean-cl-100

All Hazards SAME Weather Radio
Receives all NOAA Weather Channels & Reports
Certified Public Alert Radio
LCD Dimmer & Contrast Control
LCD Scrolling Display
Store up to 25 County Codes (S.A.M.E.)
External antenna input

 

Most Helpful Review

So I’ve been trying to find a decent weather radio. One that you can disable certain alerts, one that pays attention to EOM (end of message) and one that doesn’t look like junk sitting on the kitchen counter.

So far I’ve been blown away with the quality of this radio. Everything from the button feel to the LCD display is excellent. Surprisingly the quality of the internal speaker is good as well, the sound is nice.

Feature wise…

The radio does allow you to disable alerts! And it’s easy to disable them as well. This is very useful when you don’t care to be woken up for a thunderstorm *watch*.

The radio pays attention to EOM! At then end of each voice alert broadcast they play a tone to signify EOM (end of message). When the radio hears this tone it mutes itself. This is great if your in bed, laying down, in the other room or just don’t want to go over to the radio. The radio will play the alert message then mute itself once the message is over. Some units like the Midland (nearly every model they make) doesn’t pay attention to this, and you get to keep hearing the same alert message repeating over and over until the 5 minute timer runs out.

The time and date will automatically set itself if you point it to a FM radio station that broadcasts the time/date via RDS. (I had to try a few different stations that broadcast RDS until I found one that did this; seems not all of them do in my area)

FM radio reception is excellent. To boot you get to see song name/Artist and radio station information scrolling on the screen.

I did find some of the instructions to be a bit not well translated. Like you have to have the weather radio set to “ON” or the “weather” button doesn’t work. But really this is minor stuff, and you’ll forget about it once you use it.

This radio is really a home run: great features, high quality and good aesthetics.