Pros: Great sound, and super quality and features in a handsome table radio. A great value.
Cons: Almost none. Could use a little more powerful amp, more station presets.
The WR-2 is a great table radio that met all my requirements: good AM/FM reception, good sound, digital tuning with memory, good quality, something that looked good and not look like a gaudy boombox, and a reasonable price. The Bose Wave radio is tops, but $350 is too steep. Paying for all those weekly ads for all those years in Parade Magazine did nothing but make the Bose overpriced.
The WR-2 is good looking with a very nice wood case. I have the walnut finished model. The finish and fit of the wood and face panel are tops. The controls have a quality feel and work very well. They are easy to use, especially for those who have larger hands/fingers. The display is large and very easy to see with adjustable backlight. It has one of the best digital displays I have seen.
Sound is very good and balanced over wide range and is comparable with the Bose or Boston Acoustics (Receptor??) similar size models. It has a single front-facing speaker with a rear sound port. The amp is rated at 7 watts. It could use a little more power as it seems the speaker and heavy cabinet (5.7 pounds) could easily handle more. I have not noticed any amp distortion, and no hiss. This radio is not high-powered, but just right for low to moderate level listening in any household room or office. I think the Bose Wave Radio sound is better, but not by much. My only experience with the BA radio is hearing it in poor store shelf conditions at Best Buy. Bass and treble are adjustable with the volume control by pressing it to select either (pretty slick). The display clearly shows the levels.
A digital alarm clock is incorporated into the display and works well.
Reception is very good to excellent. For evaluation, I use the "1998 Mercury Sable" standard. One of my most important criteria was reception as least as good as my car in the driveway. I live in Richmond, Virginia. At 8:00 p.m., my Mercury car radio will pick up WBZ 1030 AM from Boston and KDKA 1020 AM from Pittsburgh. The WR-2 will do the same, in our kitchen, and sound rich and clear. Before finding this radio, I thought I would have to put a Ford car radio in a box on the kitchen shelf to have a radio with decent reception. The WR-2 also picks up the same FM stations that the car radio will, up to 80 miles away. I think AM reception is better than FM. It has a built-in FM and AM antenna, but I use the single long wire FM antennae included with radio (be sure to change the antennae switch to "external") I use the built-in AM antennae with no problem. There are terminals for an external AM antennae. The digital tuner works in scan and manual mode and is very easy to use. There are only five AM and five FM station pre-sets. There should be twice that many. The RDS (Radio Data System) feature displays messages from stations with RDS broadcasts and automatically sets the clock. There is a TA (Traffic Announcement) feature, but I have never used it.
A credit card size remote is included, with battery. It works very well and is easy to use. The buttons are large and well laid out.
Other features: input jack for CD player, output jack, stereo headphone jack, and 12 VDC input to power from car or other power supply.
I can only guess at durability since I have only been using it every morning and evening for about four weeks. I believe it will hold up since the overall quality seems very good.
Sangean did a first-class job designing, engineering, and building this radio. There are many telltale signs: gradual volume increase with power up and station changes, logical configuration of controls, fit, finish, heavy weight, reception, and sound. The only downside items are the slightly weak amp and it could use more station presets. The WR-2 was a pre-specified 2005 Christmas gift(Thanks, Mom and Dad). It came from J&R Music World in New York City for about $135. I think it usually sells for about $165. I think the WR-2 will become harder to find once people find out about it. I highly recommend this radio at either price.