There’s something special about a radio with a vintage look and feel. From the rotating, precise analog knobs to the single large speaker in a wooden cabinet, it’s a winning combination. Sangean has captured this vintage radio aesthetic with their WR11-SE 40th Anniversary Edition Table Top Radio.
Let’s take a close look at the WR11-SE radio and see if it’s a fit for your home or office.
Size, Look, and Feel of the Sangean WR11-SE Tabletop Radio
The WR11-SE radio is compact, yet full-featured. It measures 11.5 x 10.5 x 6.5 inches, making it a perfect compliment to your kitchen counter or office desk. Weighing in at over 6 pounds, the WR11-SE is certainly heavier than typical radios of its size. Since the unit is not designed to be moved around often, its weight is a benefit. The acoustically-tuned wooden cabinet is crafted from solid MDF and Walnut. The cabinet is important not only for appearance, but also to improve the sound quality over a typical plastic radio.
Overall, we are impressed by the look and feel of the WR11-SE. Sangean knows how to make radios, and this unit is ready to make a statement. It’s a radio you will be proud to show and display to family and friends.
Operation of the WR11-SE is as simple as some of the original tabletop radios of yesteryear. Plug it in, choose FM or AM, and rotate the large tuning knob to find your station. The tuning dial has a special feel to it, allowing the listener to precisely select the desired frequency with ease. The knobs are all easy to turn, and show an attention to detail in craftsmanship.
This WR11-SE model features standard AM and FM radio, plus an auxiliary-in jack that will allow you to enjoy your own audio source with the radio. Choose from the internal FM antenna, or you can connect your own external FM antenna for added reach. A headphone jack and record-out jack round out the offerings on the rear of the unit.
Considering the operation of the radio, you may find that there are some potential downsides of the WR-11SE. First, this radio does not accept batteries of any type. The radio must be plugged in to power up. Also, many of the niceties that come with a digital-tuning radio are not present here. You can’t save your favorite stations, and there is no LCD clock or frequency display. It’s back-to-basics with the WR11-SE, but if you want a vintage tabletop radio, then the lack of these features may not present an issue for you.
Sound and Reception of the Sangean WR11-SE Tabletop Radio
Just one speaker powers the sound experience on the WR11-SE, but that’s all the speaker you’ll need. The 3-inch, 65 watt full-range speaker features an enlarged magnet, all carefully arranged in the acoustically-minded wood radio cabinet. We found the deep bass response surprisingly powerful on the WR-11SE, balancing well with high and medium tones for all types of music.
Many will compare the WR11-SE with similar offerings from Tivoli (their Model One) and Crosley, and we find the sound of the WR11-SE to be on par with these radios. The Tivoli models generally feature a much brighter sound, ideal for Top 40/Pop music or talk radio, while the Sangean model is ideal for bass-driven rock music and warmer classical sounds.
We’ve also found the AM-band reception on the WR11-SE to be surprisingly effective. We have been able to easily listen to AM stations that are not receivable with any other indoor radio.
Sangean offers several similar models to the WR-11SE. The WR-11BK is identical to the WR-11SE, but features a black fascia and darker wood cabinet. You may choose to step up to the WR-16 model, which offers the same features as the WR-11SE but adds built-in Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port for charging smartphones.
The WR11-SE fits into a solid niche of mid-priced radios, averaging about half the cost of the Tivoli Model One. Some tabletop radios from other manufacturers are available for less, but cannot match the quality/value proposition of this radio. We feel that the Sangean WR11-SE Tabletop Radio is a terrific value for those looking for a quality tabletop or desk radio.
The Ideal Tabletop Radio
We fully recommend the WR-11SE as an ideal tabletop radio with a vintage feel. Perfect in a variety of settings in your home and office, the Sangean WR11-SE offers a rich sound experience and a beautiful appearance that will compliment any decor.