I recently purchased a Reecom R-1650 Weather Radio.
I do like the product, but I bought it mostly based on the company's website info and the online programming guide.
weather radio R-1650 , Reecom Electronics, Inc.
The actual product and the owners manual (which is accurate, but not available online - if possible, I'll try to attach later) are quite different - apparently Reecom modified the software - but since they didn't change the model number, there is no good way to know what you will get.
For reference - I am fairly new to weather radios. I previously picked up a Midland WR-120C, but returned it. The Midland alarm was like a smoke detector going off, and would make you jump out of your skin and set our dogs barking, etc.
Key differences between my unit and the online info:
The programming guide says clearly that you can set the alarm and voice volume separately. On my unit you can't. I set the overall volume to 1 (range is either 0-16 or 0-15), and put one layer of scotch tape over the speaker opening. At 1 - it is about like a standard alarm clock and with the tape, it is fairly quiet, but still loud enough to wake me up. (The alarm does get progressively louder at any volume setting.)
The online info says that if you set the alarm volume to zero, it will play at the volume that the radio was last set at. Obviously, this is incorrect - if you set the radio volume to zero (which is silent) and run an alarm test, it sets the volume to 1.
The online info says the unit has End Of Message cutoff - The owner's manual says the voice alarm plays for 5 minutes - I haven't had an alert on it to verify it.
The online info implies there are different alarms for statements, watches, and warnings. My unit just has beeps for test signals and sirens for everything else.
There are a LOT less alarms you can defeat with my unit - the online info says you can defeat 48 of the 76 possible warnings, including Winter Storm Warning and Severe Thunderstorm Warning. In fact, I can only defeat 20 alarms: Flood Statement & Watch, Hurricane Statement and Watch, Tsunami Watch, Avalanche Watch, Volcano Watch, Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Flash Flood Statement and Watch, Winter Storm Watch. High Wind Watch, Coastal Flood Watch, Civil Danger Watch, Radiological Hazard Watch, Hazardous Materials Watch, Severe Weather Statement, Special Weather Statement, Required Weekly Test, and Required Monthly Test. The two I mentioned initially are significant to me. If it storms overnight, the thunder will wake me up, and if it snows, I'll see it in the morning. I don't need an alarm going off at 3:00 A.M. in either case. And I don't see an easy workaround - The Midland has an On/Off switch that I didn't see the use for but would be handy for this (I'm mainly concerned about tornados and you don't see those in winter.) I could unplug it and remove the batteries, but they I'd have to reprogram it again (or I could take it apart and solder a switch inline with the speaker). I found a partial workaround: If I plug a 3.5 M/M mini-jack cable into the Audio Out jack, the alarm is muted. (I could also probably disable all alarms in the menu - but this solution keeps me from having to remember settings.)
The online info says it has 8 AM and 8 FM presets - my unit has 10 numbered 0-9. The radio works well - it won't replace a home stereo, but I wanted it for sports and news broadcasts, and it does fine for those. UPDATE: Really, the radio is marginal unless you are in a really strong signal area. I have an old analog CD player/Cassette radio that gets better reception, but the R-1650 digital tuner allows me to find the correct station on the analog radio and there is a news station that it picks up that would be handy for power outages, which is what I wanted it for.
Online info says pressing the Memory key will display "NO EVENT MESSAGE" if no alerts have been received. My unit doesn't change the display - but I haven't received any event messages.
Programming is quite a bit different - the online info says you can access eleven settings by pressing the PROG key. On my unit, the PROG key accesses ALERT MODE, CHANNEL SELECT, ENTER COUNTY, DEFEAT SIREN, ALARM SOCKET, and SIREN TEST. Pressing the ENTER key accesses SET CLOCK, SET DATE, ALARM 1 SET TIME, ALARM 2 SET TIME, and SLEEP TIMER. There are soft menus on the LCD, though, so it would be fairly easy to program without the owner's manual.
I didn't realize it, but it makes sense - the STOP button won't put it in standby mode if you are listening to the FM radio - you have to switch the band back to WX and then press STOP.
The bezel on my unit was loose (purchased on E-bay) - that seems to be a common complaint, but doesn't affect functionality.
Some reviews said the battery backup on the units didn't work, but mine works fine.
Some reviews said the alert time remaining was inaccurate - I haven't tested it yet, but it's a handy feature that most units lack anyway.
Another unit I considered was the Capello CR2W Safe & Sound Weather Alert Clock Radio sold for $30 at Target. It lacks the time remaining display and I mainly didn't get it b/c it doesn't support End Of Message shutoff like my R-1650 was SUPPOSED to.
While it has two alarm volume settings (High and Low) and lets you disable severe thunderstorm warnings and Winterstorm warnings - the alarms that are mandatory are all set to high volume. So to have a comfortable alert level, you probably want to set the alarm to high and use tape to muffle the speaker - and it has a larger speaker grille than the R-1650.
Both of the two reviews on Target said the unit failed to produce alarms - even when they were already being broadcast on TV.