Best Portable AM FM Radios

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Whether having a party in the backyard of your house or on a camping trip, many people enjoy listening to music. It’s a great way to entertain a group of family or friends. The radio has been providing such entertainment since the early 1900’s Smartphones have certainly replaced a lot of our technology today, including: payphones, cameras, alarm clocks, gps navigation etc.

The list goes on and on. The great thing about AM/FM radios is there reliability. When your power goes out and you have no connection to the internet, or cell phone towers are down your AM/FM still works. That is the first great reason to own an AM/FM radio.

There are so many choices when it comes to AM/FM radios, so how do I choose the right one? The market comprises of various options, and the number is only increasing. With that in mind, it can be difficult to choose the correct AM/FM radio, so we have reviewed several AM/FM radios to help you in your decision on purchasing the right one for you. Let’s get started!

Compare Specs The Best Portable AM FM Radios 2021

IMAGE NAME FEATURES

BaoFeng UV-5R Plus

Panasonic RF-2400D Radio

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Features: FM 87 to 108MHz, AM 520 to 1730kHz, Battery & AC Power, 4″ Speaker, Earphone Jack
Retekess V115 Radio

Retekess V115 Radio

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Features: 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery, AM/FM/SW, MP3 Player, Recording, Micro SD/TF card

CC Skywave AM FM Radio

CC Skywave AM FM Radio

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Features: AM/FM/SW/Weather/Airband, LCD Display, 400 Memory Presets, Signal Meter, Battery & AC Power
Sangean PR-D5BK Radio

Sangean PR-D5BK Radio

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Features: 200mm Ferrite AM Antenna Bar, Adjustable Telescopic FM Antenna, 10 Preset Stations, Aux-In connection

 

What Are The Benefits Of AM FM Radios?

A portable radio allows each of us entertainment whenever, wherever. Whether it’s morning talk radio, sports radio, music, or connecting your own portable device. We have found that AM FM radios have many uses and we think they can be taken pretty much anywhere!

  • Carry it anywhere

The portable radio is much more compact in this day and age that it can easily be taken anywhere you’d like. You can take it on a camping trip, or to the beach. The opportunities are endless, especially when the radio relies on batteries to operate.

  • Headphones port

It is easy to plug headphones in your portable AM FM radio, which makes it great for you to bring music to your ears. With the headphone jack option, you can play your AM FM radio without disturbing anyone else around you. 

  • Connect with every device

Many radios have a Bluetooth option that will connect with Android and Apple devices. Instead of only having the option of listening to AM or FM radio, by connecting your phone you now have access to your favorite podcasts or music playlist!

Which Are The Best Portable AM FM Radios?

No matter your reason for using a portable AM FM radio, we have your best interest in mind. We understand the importance of a high quality, light weight, portable radio. That’s why we have compiled a list of the highest reviewed radios from Amazon. With over thousands of reviews you’re sure to find the right one for your needs. 

1. Retekess TR604 AM FM Radio, Portable Radios with Best Reception

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When listening to the Retekess TR604 AM FM Radio pull out the 24 inch antenna for the best reception while on FM. While listening to AM, make sure to stay clear of nearby appliances as we noticed it creates a little bit of interfering static. Listed under $40 we find this to be a great “bang” for the buck radio.

This radio has enough power to fill the entire room with sound, boasting a 3.5 inch 6 ohm 2W speaker. A great option for those that are hard of hearing. This portable radio is a crowd favorite with over 3,000 4.5 star reviews. 

Easy to carry and store while around the house. The Retekess radio is small in size with a large volume and tuning knob, which allows for better visibility when trying to find your favorite station. It is comes equipped with a 50ft AC power cord allowing you a lot room to run the cord for playback options. An option to run on strictly three D batteries is also a nice feature of this radio. 

Features:

  • Offers radio and MIC recording
  • The FM frequency is 87-108 MHz, and the AM frequency is 522-1710 kHz. 
  • Supports various radio stations
  • Features a 3.5 inch 6 ohm 2W speaker
  • Comprises telescopic antenna
  • Supports the option of Micro USB charging
  • Supports 60 AM, 80 FM, and 300 SW stations
  • Comes equipped with a 50ft long AC power cord
  • The best thing is the earphone jack which is included

 

2. Panasonic Portable AM / FM Radio, Battery Operated Analog Radio

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The Panasonic Radio is user friendly. It has an easy to use interface, compiled of one left to right slide button for on/off and a band option for selecting AM or FM. On the right hand side of the radio it boats a rather large tuning dial to go along with the fluorescent pointer, making it a breeze to find your favorite channel. This radio is earphone/headphone jack compatible, so you can listen to privately.  

Go off the grid with this compact radio. No electricity? No problem. Take a chance to utilize the battery power option. Just four AA batteries are needed in order to power the radio. The perfect option for camping trips, or power outages. With this radio you will always have access to the outside world. 

Features:

  • The powerful sound can be expected from its 10CM speaker
  • Both AM and FM bands are supported
  • The compact size 234x122x82mm can be carried anywhere
  • Headphone jack of 3.5 mm
  • The FM range is 88 to 109 MHz
  • The antenna of the device offers the best sound effects
  • The AM range is 520 to 1730 kHz

3. Sangean PR-D5BK

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The Sangean AM FM Portable Radio boasts a 200mm ferrite AM antenna which allows for the best AM reception. 10 preset stations are also available on this Sangean radio. Five FM stations and five AM stations available for preset. 

The portable radio is available in two colors, white and black. Say goodbye to terrible static reception. This radio comes equipped with a PLL (phase locked loop) which enhances radio frequency with synthesized tuning, eliminating static and bad reception. PLL also enhances stereo audio performance allowing crystal clear sound to come through your speakers. 

Easy to read LCD screen display which offers a backlight for visibility in the dark. There is also a battery life indicator which will alert you to change the batteries or switch back to AC power cord. Additionally if talking about the side panels of the radio, there is the volume and tuning knob on the right side of the radio. On the left side of the radio you will find your earphone jack and power cord adapter. 

Features:

  • Battery indicator and sleep timer
  • 5 AM and 5 FM stations
  • Dual 2.5 headphone jack and speakers
  • AUX can be used as a stereo system
  • PLL tuning for best reception
  • Comprises 6 “C” cell batteries and AC adapter
  • A humane wake system buzzer

 

4. C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Portable Radio with Clock and Alarm

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Similar to the Retekess radio, the C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Portable Radio with Clock and Alarm is small and light weight, making it the perfect option if you are in the market for a portable radio. 

The radio has a large LCD lighted display, direct-entry keypad, so all working and necessary buttons are laid out on the front of the radio. The power on/off button is a nice bright red color, making it easy to locate. On the right side of the radio is a large knob where tuning your favorite station would take place,  along with the volume adjuster placed directly underneath the tuning knob. 

The portable radio supports airband, weather, and shortwave options. Airband is the name for a group of frequencies which is allocated toward radio communication such as, air traffic control. As a bonus, you also get the option of an alarm system and clock radio. The display buttons on the front of the radio make programming your favorite stations a breeze. One click of a button and you are back to your favorite station. This radio also has a built in auto scan option if you ever become tired of manually flipping through stations. 

Features:

  • Sleep timer and clock radio with alarm
  • The design is lightweight
  • Rotary know where volume can be adjusted
  • Lighted LCD
  • Stereo headphone jack
  • Supports shortwave/FM/AM/airband travel/weather
  • It has a time frame of 60-70 hours running on a normal volume
  • 400 memory presets
  • The packaging comprises earbuds, a fold-out back stand, and a carry case

 

5. Retekess V115 Shortwave Radio, AM FM Digital Radio, Rechargeable

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The Retekess V115 Shortwave Radio is known for it’s sleek design and it’s compact size. With being less than 4 inches in height and less than 5 inches in length, it is known for having the capability of fitting inside of a shirt pocket. Now that’s compact. This allows for a great travel, portable radio. Take it literally every where you go. All buttons for presetting your favorite stations are situated on the front of the radio.

Unlike the above radios listed, this radio has MIC recording and in line recording. Simply insert the TF (trans flash) card to start recording your voice or record the live radio. The TF card is not included in the sale of the radio. You can purchase a TF card from Amazon that will store your recordings. This TF memory card has over 70,000 4.5 star reviews.

This radio is a great option for bilingual individuals as it has four languages built into it. English, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. FM reception is best. We found that SW reception came in best at night or when used with an external antenna. AM reception can become interrupted if near too many electrical appliances.

Features:

  • As the tuning can be done easily, it has a large visual dial
  • The telescopic antenna is 23.6 inches long
  • Works on 3x D batteries or AC
  • It can be handled comfortably anywhere you want
  • The knobs can be used easily
  • The earphone jack is 3.5mm
  • The device weighs only 746g and has a size of 220x145x62 mm
  • The frequency of AM is 520-1710 KHz and FM is 87-108 MHz.

 

6. NOAA Weather Radio 

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NOAA Weather Radio is yet another radio known for being small and compact. Available in silver, this radio is called the life saver radio. Be the first in your area to be notified of local weather alerts. If you are in an area know for seasonal hurricanes, tornadoes, or severe weather conditions, this radio could play a crucial role in protecting you or your family. Give yourself an extra layer of comfort knowing what weather could be headed your way next.

Vondior, the manufacturer of this radio is responsible for assisting more than 150,000 civilians in the United States to survive through hurricane season and the bitter cold snowstorm season. Vondior backs this radio with a 3 year warranty. Customer service is also available 24/7 for NOAA radio owners.

Powered by two AA batteries makes operating this radio convenient, allowing to stay up to date on your local weather reports.  Your tuning dial is on the right side of the radio, along with your on/off switch located directly underneath. With only one tuning dial and one on/off switch, this functionality is highly desirable and a good option for all age groups.

Features:

  • SOS alarm for emergency help
  • Supports NOAA weather alert and AM/FM option
  • Only two buttons to control
  • Guaranteed 3 year warranty
  • Small and compact

 

7. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio

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The Sangean AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio offers a great layout with all of it’s buttons evenly spaced, providing an easy on the eye experience. The on/off button is easily accessible as it’s the only button that is colored red. Sick of manually trying to find your favorite stations? Use the preset option and go from station to station with the click of a button. This radio also includes an auto seek station feature. 

Reviewed over 2,000 times with an impressive 4.5 star rating from Amazon shoppers. This radio is battery operated only. Additionally, there is a tuning system with PLL synthesized where the frequency can be controlled easily and the sound is in turn, crystal clear.

Features:

  • PLL synthesized tuning system
  • Comes in white and black color
  • Comprises 10 preset memory stations
  • Alarm option by HWS buzzer or radio
  • The backlit LCD on the front of the radio
  • Battery system which can easily be recharged
  • The AC adapter of 100-240V, 50/60Hz can be switched 

8. Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio

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The Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio is pocket size for a great portable option. Enjoy the earphone jack for private listening and improved sound quality in busy, or noisy environments. Telescopic antenna provides good reception for both FM and AM reception.

Sony has a long history for their high quality products, so it isn’t surprising that it is the most portable model available on the market. The radio is 2.74 inches in height and 1.5 inches in length, allowing an easier grip to carry in your hand or store in a shirt or pants pocket. There are two LED indicators. One displays the current status of tuning and the other displays the strength of the battery charge. This is a great feature if you ever find yourself in a dim light situation. 

Features:

  • Dedicated socket for headphone and built-in speaker
  • A sleek design with a portable body
  • A built-in strap which makes the device portable
  • Know the current status of the battery and tuning with LED
  • Runs on just Two AA batteries

9. Eton Ultimate Camping AM/FM/NOAA Radio

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This Eton Ultimate Camping Radio keeps it’s users fully alert. Boasting an alert function that will automatically broadcast emergency alerts from your specific location. There are three charging options on this radio. Hand crank, built-in rechargeable lithium battery, or solar panel. Solar panel charging capability makes this radio highly desirable for those who are camping or hiking. 

What really sets this radio apart is the option to charge your devices via Usb port. We find it settling to know, you can be in the middle of no where with this radio and still have plenty of options on how to charge your radio and in turn be able to charge your phone. They don’t call it the sidekick for nothing.

Bluetooth streaming and earphone jack is also available. The sidekick is your ticket to reliable, rugged, and rechargeable. When you think of luxury, think of sidekick.

Features:

  • LCD containing fine and coarse digital tuning
  • Supports shortwave radio bands and AM/FM
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Contains FM telescopic antenna
  • USB port for charging devices
  • Built to last, heavy duty
  • Easy brightness adjustment setting

 

10. PRUNUS J-01 Transistor Radio Battery Operated AM FM Radio

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Unlike small knobs on similar radios, this Prunus J-01 Transistor contains large tuning knobs making it easy to operate as well as providing comfort. This can be a good option suitable for the elderly. The LED screen displays battery life. When the battery becomes low it starts to flash. In this case, to recharge the radio, simply plug it into a power supply. 

There are two dial screens present on the front. With the help of the knob present on the right side of the device, you can easily switch to AM, FM, or SW signals. Not only this, with the help of the switch present at the bottom, the radio can be used to play MP3 music as well. You heard that right; it supports TF cards and micro-SD. With the magnetic speaker, smooth treble and deep bass can be enjoyed, or simply plug the headphones in with a 3.5mm jack and enjoy privately.

Features:

  • Offers continuous playtime of 20 hours
  • Equipped with a 2200 mAH rechargeable battery
  • A portable radio has 310g weight and a dimension of 169x90x38mm
  • Both the format files are supported which are WMA and MP3
  • Supports bands like SW, AM, and FM
  • The rotating antenna rotates up to 360-degree
  • The magnetic speaker has a quality of 3W. 
  • Powers DSP chip

Buying guide – How to choose the best AM FM Portable Radio?

The first thing to consider is the budget. If you have a budget in mind, your work is half done. You can try finding a device that comes under your budget. It can be important to keep in mind the main features that you must have in your radio. If you were uncertain before, we hope our guide shed some light on what options are available on the AM/FM radio market.

Tuner

Having a good tuning knob to adjust to your favorite station is important. Most radios come standard with lit up displays, so even in dim lit places you can find the station you are looking for. If you ever find yourself in dim light situations, it could be a good idea to check that your radio has a light up display. 

Design

Designs have a big influence when it comes to purchasing a radio. Radio manufactures seem to architect designs that just about anyone could be interested in. There is a cool design for everybody to choose from. We just ask that you don’t compromise with the aesthetics of a radio purely based on it’s looks. 

Power

Each radio specifically outlines the speaker output, so depending on if you are looking for a loud or quiet speaker. Make sure to check the radios specifications and details to see the radios power capabilities.

Sound quality

This can be, without a doubt the single most important detail when talking in regards to a radio. Without sound, a radio is essentially useless. Review each radios speaker technology to determine if the radios sound quality is to your liking.

Display

One of the most basic things to look out for is the display. The display can be digital where you can go through the settings of the radio or a dial which helps in finding the right frequency, whichever suits you the best. 

Battery life

Depending on your need for a radio this could be important. Most radios last 15-20 hours on battery life. Some radios are solar paneled, some contain lithium batteries and can be charged. Others can be directly plugged into electricity outlets and will run as long as you need them to. Consider this when purchasing your radio.

Sleeper and alarm timer

Are you a heavy sleeper? For heavy sleepers, we recommend using your radios alarm clock, as we found it to be much louder than your traditional phone alarm. 

Preset stations

This feature will make your life much easier. You can save your favorite station so that you can easily find it whenever you want to return back to it.

Extra functions

Here comes the part where you look for the features that come under your budget. Various devices offer different functionalities offered by them: preset memory setting, LCD, alarm, and other traits.

How AM FM Radio Works?

First, let’s discuss what AM/FM mean. The full form of AM FM is Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation. A radio works through the transfer and receiver of electromagnetic waves. Radio signal gives off an electric current that moves back and forth very quickly.

Antennas play a huge role in radios success. Transmitters radiate out of the radio using the antenna, a receiver picks up on the electronic current and translates it through the speakers on your radio.

What Is The Use Of Portable AM FM Radio?

Radios are a great option when the use of internet or cell towers are no longer an option. No cellphone towers or internet service? Sounds crazy, I know. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us that appreciate being off the grid every now and again, and that’s the perfect time to have a radio, because for the ones that are battery operated, they don’t rely on electricity, the internet, or cell phone towers. It’s a great option for staying connected.

In the case of living where there is cell phone towers, internet, and electricity, what happens when the power goes out? How will you stay connected? The traditional radio should not be an after thought. Radios have been considered life savers for when people lose power.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which portable radio works best?

Everything depends upon what you need. If you are looking for something simple, Panasonic is the best choice. On the other hand, if you need more features, pick the ones like C Crane, Eton, or any other. It’s all about how you want to choose. 

  1. How to know the types of radios?

Two types of radios are available in the market to buy. One is the digital model and another one is analog, comprising modern features with LED screens as well.

  1. What criteria’s should I consider when choosing a radio?

Let’s assume you are an avid camper, or traveler consider purchasing a more compact radio to easily store. It’s possible you live in a severe weather stricken area, so having access to an NOAA weather reporting radio could be a good idea to track the weather reports if you were to lose power. If you think you would enjoy using your radio in a more public setting, but don’t want to be a disturbance, consider a radio with an earphone jack.

  1. What is the cost of a portable radio?

Price ranges of radios are usually across the board. For review purposes, we have selected the majority of our radios to be under $50 as we find that to be the best bang for your buck.

  1. How to choose the best brand?

If you can, try not to base your decision solely on brand. Each radio in this guide serves different purposes. Rather, we advise keeping in mind that thousands of customers have purchased these exact radios and have left great feedback on them. We can assure you that from this guide, no matter the brand, the performance will be more than satisfying.

  1. Do these radios have earphone jack capability?

Yes, there’s an option to use the headphones. All the listed devices mentioned have connected accessories such as headphones. While using it, the speaker of the radio shuts down; this allows you to listen to your favorite songs without any disturbance and in peace.

Conclusion:

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a radio. Some are small and compact, good for on the go. Others are heavy duty and built to last, being a great option for entertainment on the job site. Whether you want to use it to be aware of severe weather, or for enjoying your favorite tunes, radios can serve multiple purposes. Be mindful of your budget and your exact purpose and please use our AM/FM guide to help make a decision. Thousands of others just like you have purchased and enjoyed these exact radios, so you aren’t alone. 

About the author

David Huner

Hi, my name is David Huner, a Tech Lover. In my spare time I enjoy writing reviews and informative articles that I hope you find useful. Please enjoy as I have dedicated much time and effort into my work.

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