Finding the Best Portable Radios for 2019 – Top 10 Reviews

Radios are working as a most favorite source of entertainment for decades! And still, it’s popularity is the same as before.

In modern days, it has become more convenient to listen to your favorite radio programme as they have become portable.

Yes!

Now you can listen to your favorite programme from anywhere if you have a portable radio.

These radios are lightweight, compact, attractive and moreover, easy to carry wherever you want.

But you need to be careful while buying a portable radio. Because there are so many variations that will puzzle you.

If you know the features of the best quality radio, it would be easy for you to choose.

That’s why I’ve tried to list some popular item of the market along with the features. With which anyone will be able to pick the right one easily and quickly.

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Sangean PR-D18BB Table Top Digital AM/FM/Clock Portable True Digital Radio with Protective Bumper...
Sony ICF-F10 Two 2 Band FM/AM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Travel Radio with Clock and Alarm
Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Solar,Dynamo...
Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver
Product
Sangean PR-D18BB Table Top Digital AM/FM/Clock Portable True Digital Radio with Protective Bumper...
Sony ICF-F10 Two 2 Band FM/AM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Travel Radio with Clock and Alarm
Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Solar,Dynamo...
Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver
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Preview
Sangean PR-D18BB Table Top Digital AM/FM/Clock Portable True Digital Radio with Protective Bumper...
Product
Sangean PR-D18BB Table Top Digital AM/FM/Clock Portable True Digital Radio with Protective Bumper...
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Sony ICF-F10 Two 2 Band FM/AM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
Product
Sony ICF-F10 Two 2 Band FM/AM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
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Preview
C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Travel Radio with Clock and Alarm
Product
C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Travel Radio with Clock and Alarm
Star Rating
Prime Status
Preview
Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Solar,Dynamo...
Product
Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Solar,Dynamo...
Star Rating
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Preview
Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver
Product
Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver
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Top 10 Portable (AM/ FM) Radios Reviews

1. Table Top Digital Radio with Protective Bumper (Model no PR-D18B, Black Series)

Sangean Table Top Digital AM/FM/Clock Portable Radio

Features

  • Type: Table Top;
  • Size: 6.5 x 1.4 x 4.2 inches;
  • Weight: 12 ounces;
  • Power: 4 AA batteries, AC adapter ADP-PR-D18 model;
  • Inputs: AUX inputs, Headphone Jacks inputs;
  • Speaker: single;
  • Advantages: LCD Display and  2 Alarm Timer.
  • Color: black, black/grey, white/grey, white/blue and white/red. 

Review

Every radio enthusiasts look for one durable radio that can be used indoor as well as outdoor atmosphere. This model from Sangean in not only portable, but also a long lasting one that can withstand years of abuse. Because of the protective rubber padding all around, this radio can eliminate possible damage caused by bumps and it looks stylish as well.

There is one large speaker to deliver a crystal clear sound. Comes with headphone input also so that you can respect others comfort in crowded places. For picnic, barbecue parties and camping or swimming pool to your kitchen or living room, it fits everywhere and blends in easily.

To reduce the fuss of shuffling through channels, you can set 5 AM and 5 FM channels in this radio. A LCD display lets you tune perfectly even in the dark. A perfect feature that you need in camping or night outs. I can’t claim the price to be cheap, but it is reasonable enough to enjoy its advantages. 2 pairs of AA batteries are required to run it, or you can choose to buy an AC adapter to save on battery.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight;
  • Comes with bumper to eliminate possible damage;
  • Suitable for indoor/outdoor use. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.
Sony ICF-F10 Two 2 Band FM/AM Portable Battery Transistor Radio

Features

  • Type: Table Top;
  • Size: 5-¼ '' H x 8'' W x 2-½ '' D  inches;
  • Weight: 1 pound;
  • Power: 2 D batteries;
  • Inputs: Headphone/speaker Jacks inputs;
  • Speaker: single;
  • Advantages: LCD Display and  2 Alarm Timer.
  • Color: black/silver. 

Review

Even if we are living in an ultra modern world, the need for an old fashioned media like radio can not be denied in times of emergencies like disaster or power cuts. Meet this ICF-F10 radio from Sony, that will well known to pick signals from the longest distance. It is turdy, large in size and heavier. The reason one should pick an heavy and large radio is, it lasts long and easier to tune.

It is a battery powered radio, that needs a pair of 2 D batteries to run. The radio is surprisingly power saving, because with one pair it can go 200 hours non stop. There is a strap on the back to clutch the radio properly and a separate strap is included, which may not be very useful.

The only drawback of this radio is, it is overpriced. Considering the basic and classic features, the price may seem too high, but if you really consider its durability, then paying for that extra bucks will seem alright.

Things We Liked

  • Good for emergency situations;
  • Duable;
  • Longer range;
  • Long battery life. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey.
Grace Digital Mondo+ GDI-WHA6008 Wireless Smart Speaker and Internet Radio with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and...

Features

  • Type: Table Top;
  • Size: 10.5 x 5.8 x 5.4 inches;
  • Weight: 3 pounds;
  • Power: rechargeable batteries/ electricity;
  • Inputs: Headphone/speaker Jacks inputs;
  • Speaker: single;
  • Advantages: wi-fi and bluetooth compatibility, remote control, numerous apps and digital display.
  • Color: white/black, black/black, black/grey and black/red.  

Review

We always try to incorporate one or two products in our list specially for techno freaks. This Mondo+ from Grace is just like that one, which is the most high tech radio cum speaker. With this, you will have the maximum freedom to control the radio manually or remotely using a remote control or just your phone. The best thing is, you don’t have to carry this all around the house, if you have google home installed. Just synchronise the radio with the system and using the bluetooth and wi-fi, it will amaze you with its performance.

As it can be operated through internet, there is no limitation of the range or number of channels or frequencies. You can tune any channel you want with this radio. Moreover, when not in use as a radio, use it as  high quality speaker. To match with the expensive interior of your house, it is made sleek, shiney and elegant just to enhance the warmth of your home even more.

Sadly, the price is truly out of reach of most of the interested customers who have been reading this review. Besides, to operate all the functions fully, you have to pay more for different subscription. So, if you are looking for a fancy gadget, then this is it; if looking for a classic one to just serve the purpose, then there are other options available in our list for you.

Things We Liked

  • Sleek and elegant looking;
  • Catches channels all around the world;
  • Can be controlled via remote control or phone. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive.
Kaito KA500 AM/FM/SW Radio

Features

  • Type: Emergency;
  • Size: 8.3 x 2.3 x 5.3 inches;
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds;
  • Power: generator and built-in batteries, three AA batteries, solar and AC/DC adapter;
  • Inputs:  USB port, Headphone/speaker Jacks inputs;
  • Speaker: single;
  • Advantages: flashlight and reading lamp;
  • Color: black, blue, red, green and yellow. 

Review

This radio will never leave your side when you truly need it. With its four ways of power options, your radio will never be out of power in emergencies like power cut, disaster, war or simply travelling in off grid places. There is a built in battery that can be powered with an attached hand crank dynamo. Besides, with its solar panel, 3 AAA batteries and AC/DC adapter lets you use other sources as well.

This radio is meant of emergencies especially. You get a reading lamp and flashlight as well, the features you undoubtedly need in challenging situations. It is highly durable and a little heavy. The weight comes from all the additional it carries, but a leather strap makes carrying easy.

The feature I loved most about this radio is, its USB cable that can be used to charge mobile phones. However, the price of this radio is surprisingly low. It is as much as a normal tabletop radio with no-fancy-features. For people living in disaster prone areas or prone to travel a lot, I highly recommend this radio for staying up-to-date.

Things We Liked

  • 4 ways to power up;
  • Suitable for any emergencies;
  • Reasonably priced. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No cons.

5. Panasonic AM / FM Radio (Model No RF-2400D)

Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio, Silver

Features

  • Type: Table top;
  • Size: 3.2 x 9.2 x 4.8 inches;
  • Weight: 1 pound;
  • Power: 4 AA batteries and AC adapter;
  • Inputs:  Headphone/earphone;
  • Speaker: single, 10 inches;
  • Advantages: flashlight and reading lamp;
  • Color: silver. 

Review

It’s the most simplistic retro radio in our list. No matter how trendy a person is, one can never go wrong with retro styled gadgets. Besides, oldies are not big fan of complicated multi functional fancy devices. So, we decided to place a few of simple radios here so that everyone can easily pick one for themselves or the loved ones.

There is a knob to tune the channels and a telescopic antenna to properly catch the signals. The attached handle is comfortable to hold and carry the set. You have to purchase four AA batteries to operate this. While testing, we surprisingly got signals which were even 500 to 700 miles apart which we could not receive in other radios.

The price seems higher to me, compared to the latest ones. But with Panasonic, you can never go wrong with the quality of their products.

Things We Liked

  • Can catch weak and distant signals well;
  • Simplistic design;
  • Easy to use. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey.
C Crane Weather and Airband Portable Radio

Features

  • Type: pocket sized;
  • Size: 4.8 x 1.1 x 3 inches;
  • Weight: 5.4 ounces;
  • Power: 2 AA batteries and AC adapter;
  • Inputs:  Headphone/earphone;
  • Speaker: single;
  • Advantages: LCD display, alarm, timer;
  • Color: black. 

Review

This one is the most versatile pocket sized radio of this list. It comes almost the size of a regular smartphone and weights just several ounces. Just like a traditional mobile phone, it has a LCD display a keypad so that you can set timer, clock, alarm or even radio frequencies.

With this radio, you can navigate not only the AM and FM signals, but also the signals among traffic controllers and aviation airbands. These will help you a lot if you are living close to an airport of to a highway.

The range of this radio is somewhat short, but enough to meet all your demands like weather channels and local broadcasts. The antenna is also not long enough, but everyone loves this radio for its compact, portable size and multiple features.

Things We Liked

  • Versatile use;
  • Comes with warranty;
  • Amazing portability; 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Small antenna.
Tecsun Radio PL-380 DSP Fm Am Stereo World Band Receiver,Small Size Radio

Features

  • Type: pocket sized;
  • Size: 5.3 x 1 x 3.4 inches;
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces;
  • Power: three R6 (V) batteries;
  • Inputs: USB and Headphone/earphone;
  • Speaker: single thin-film speakers;
  • Advantages: LCD display, alarm, temperature, signal strength, auto shutdown, timer;
  • Color: black, grey and silver. 

Review

Tecsun has incorporated all the possible features that are possible to fit-in in a pocket radio in this model. Along with conventional feature like clock and alarm, this radio will keep you updated with its temperature reading and signal strength. Signal strength in really helpful to position the antenna so that you can find signals effortlessly.

This radio runs on RV batteries, but I would suggest you to invest in some good Ni-cad batteries as well. Using those, you will be able to charge the radio just like you do your phone. Its features are made in energy saving way. You can set the auto shutdown timer so that your radio will turn off on its own if you forget to do so, saving the battery power.

The signals of AM, Fm, short and longwave and weather channels can be tuned in seven different ways so that you can use any of those depending on your convenience. This is a plus for sure, but can be confusing at the same time also. It may take several trials to master your skills about operating this device efficiently.

Things We Liked

  • 7 methods of tuning signals;
  • Multi-functional;
  • Reasonable price.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Takes time to know how to use all the features.

8. Sony Portable AM/FM Radio (Model No  ICFP26)

Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio

Features

  • Type: pocket sized;
  • Size: 1.5 x 4.7 x 2.7 inches;
  • Weight: 4 ounces;
  • Power: 2 Lithium Metal batteries (included)/ 2AA batteries;
  • Inputs: speaker and headphone;
  • Speaker: single speakers;
  • Advantages: battery indicator;
  • Color: black. 

Review

May be you will never find a radio manufactured by trusted brand like SONY with half of the price tag compared to other pocket radios. Yes, you are reciting it right; this radio is super cheap, but durably made. Just by cutting of unnecessarily fancy features lets this tiny little radio fit in even the tightest budget.

As this radio is super small, to indicate your tuning, a LED is incorporated. On the other hand, another LED is placed to let you aware about the remaining battery power. Even additional inputs are also available so that you can attach additional speakers to enjoy the channels with a group or plug in an ear phone so that you can listen as you relax.

Things We Liked

  • Budget friendly price;
  • Comes with battery power indicator;
  • Very lightweight. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No weather band.

9. Studebaker Black Retro SB2000 Replica Portable AM/FM Radio with Aux Input (Model No 4330975871)

Studebaker Portable AM/FM Radio

Features

  • Type: Table top;
  • Size: 1.5 x 4.7 x 2.7 inches;
  • Weight: 1.55 pounds;
  • Power: 4 x ‘C’ (UM-2) batteries/AC;
  • Inputs: Auxiliary Input Jack, speaker and headphone;
  • Speaker: single 1 x 2.25” speaker;
  • Advantages: battery indicator;
  • Color: black, red, teal, turquoise, white-pink, silver, white-black. 

Review

People love this radio due to its toy like retro sleek look. It has super simple features and is extremely easy to use. One may have final thought about this radio as, it is just for elder citizens. However, using its auxiliary port, you can plug in your device with favourite music library and listen through its speaker with transparent sound quality.

The price of this masterpiece is within an affordable range. Infact, you can play this without paying a penny for batteries, by plugging in its power cord to any AC socket. You can always keep rechargeable batteries as a preparedness measure.

The verdict of this device is, it is a bit heavier than other brands. It is very slight though, not mentionable. Besides, the material used to make the outer layer of this radio seems fragile as well. The durability can only be ensured by long term users though

Things We Liked

  • Sleek retro styled design;
  • Comes with AUX jack;
  • Affordable price.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Havier.
Horologe AM FM Pocket Radio, Portable Alarm Clock Radio with Time, Alarm, Radio, Digital...

Features

  • Type: pocket sized;
  • Size: 4 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches;
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces;
  • Power: 3 AAA batteries and DC adapter;
  • Inputs: speaker and headphone;
  • Speaker: single speakers;
  • Advantages: lock and auto off;
  • Color: black. 

Review

There are advanced features in this pocket radio that only can be found only in high end tabletop radios. The most useful ones are ‘lock’, ‘sleep timer’, station memory and so on. The locking feature ensures, your radio will not accidently turn on and change any settings. Besides, you can set a sleep timer between 10 minutes to 90 minutes so that your radio will not drain battery even if you forget to turn it off.

It is a solid device and to make it long lasting, it is made shock resistance. If you are clumsy like me, this radio is going to last for years even it is dropped for numerous times. There is no knob, only few buttons to tune and save different channels; which is very easy to use. As a present, it will be a great gift for children or elderly people.

For the price, I only can say that it is one of the few high quality pocket radio that is available in an affordable range.

Things We Liked

  • Innovative safety and power saving features;
  • Budget friendly price;
  • Shock resistance structure. 

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Tuning is less convenient.

What is AM/ FM Radio:

AM and FM radio stations are transmitted by radio waves AKA electromagnetic waves. These low frequency electromagnetic waves breakout the wire and transmitted in the air.

Here the transmitter comes into action and transforms all signal into music and other types of audible audio through modulation.

Differences Between AM and FM:

There are some basic differences between AM and FM and they are-

  • AM stands for amplitude modulation and FM stands for frequency modulation.
  • AM is one of the simplest forms of radio but FM is complex than AM.
  • The frequency range for AM radio is 520- 1710KHz, on the other hand, the frequency range for FM radio is 87- 108MHz.
  • AM radios can be transmitted across big distances, but FM radios can cover less than 100 miles.
  • Generally, AM radios are used by radio stations for the talk shows, on the contrary, FM radio is used for transmitting music.

Types of Radio:

Basically there are five types of radio you may find, they are-

1. Vintage:

These radios were available back on the yeat of 954 - 1970s. Vintage radios were able to cover a wide range but they were too heavy to carry.

2. Pocket:

If you’re looking for portable radios, pocket radios will be the best option to choose. They are lightweight, compact and easy to carry.

3. Walkman:

Walkmans are useful while walking or exercising or doing any sports. You can listen to music through headphones while doing any type of sports or physical activities.

4. Digital:

Digital radios are the modern version of vintage radios. But they are light attractive and compact. Some of them are wireless and signal receptions in these radios are strong.

5. Boombox:

They are transportable stereo system with AM/ FM radio panel, cassette player or CD player or sometimes with both of them.

How to Buy a Portable Radio:

You may think it is easy to pick a portable radio as they are small and compact. But you need to consider many crucial things to buy the best one to get the desired output.

The features that can help you to get the right model easily are as follows-

1. Portability:

Of course it is the main feature you should look for while buying a ‘portable radio’. So choose the one that is easy to carry with you at gym, morning walk, exercise or even if different places at home.

2. Display:

While buying a portable radio, look for the one with LCD screen. Though most of the radios come with LCD screens but some are available without it. LCD screen helps you to read easily the information, it will be also helpful if you get one with backlight feature.

3. Preset:

In recent days, preset is considered as one of the most important features of a portable radio. This function can make your life easier and convenient. You don’t need to look manually for the channels you want to have if your device comes with preset.

4. AUX Input:

If you want to connect your radio with any external system, must look for the AUX input option. This will help you to connect the radio to a MP3 player or a speaker.

5. Flashlight:

Having a flashlight in your portable radio can add extra value during power cut or camping at nights. If you’re a camper or face power cut on your home frequently can look for flashlight on the radio.

6. Antenna:

If you live near town or radio stations or tower, radio antenna may not be so useful for you. But if you live out of town or have to travel now and then, you need a radio with long and telescopic antenna. It helps the radio to get the signals clearly even in crowded area.

7. Battery Life:

Battery life of a radio mainly depends on its usage but there are some specific features that influence its battery life. For example, radios with large speakers or LCD screens will definitely consume more battery.

8. Warranty:

Whenever you’re buying any electronic device, pay attention to its warranties. Because these devices may stop working with time, if you have the warranty facilities from the manufacturer, you can get it repaired or replaced.

9. Dimension:

Dimension or the size of the portable radio is the most important thing you need to check before buying. Because as you’re looking for a portable version of radio, you’re going to carry it in or out of your home or office with you. So the size or dimension of the radio must be small enough to carry with you.

10. Power Option:

While buying a portable radio, you must check the power option. If you’re choosing one with rechargeable batteries, make sure that the batteries come with reliable life.

11. Sound Quality:

You must check the sound quality of the radio before buying. Also make sure that it allows you to control the bass and treble to get better sound.

12. Speaker or Earphone:

Some portable radios come with speaker or earphone option and some comes with both option.

It is up to you to choose any of them. If you want to listen to music with headphone, pick that type of radio. If you want to listen to your favorite programme with your friends and family, choose the one with the speaker.

But if you choose the one with both features, you’ll be able to switch according to the situation.

Conclusion:

Hope you’ll be able to choose the best portable radio for you after going through this buying guide.

Here I’ve tried to include the most popular radios in the market. And all of them are unique and wonderful radios in their own way.

Have a glimpse over the features of the best quality portable radio and choose any of them which meets your needs.

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