When looking for the perfect AM/FM radio, we can all agree that battery life, type of batteries used, and range were most important.
That was our top criteria when looking for the best AM/FM radio.
If you’re ready to tune in right now, then the Sony Pocket AM/FM radio scored high marks in every category and is our top pick.
AM/FM Radio Comparison
|Battery||2 AA||4 AA||4 AA||AAA||6 C||2 D||NA||Ni-MH||6 AA||2 AAA|
AM/FM Radio Buying Guide
There are many different shapes and sizes of AM/FM radios on the market, even with the digital age being in full swing. Below we have outlined the different types of AM/FM radios and added a little bit about each one of them so you can tell the difference and make a decision as to which one works better for your needs.
- Vintage AM/FM – Vintage AM/FM radios come in a variety of sizes but overall they tend to be bulkier than some of the more modern ones. This type of radio does really well as a bedside table or living room end table model and it not really meant to be carried around.
- Pocket AM/FM – This name indicates more about the size of the radio than anything else as it fits perfectly in a shirt or jacket pocket. They are designed to be convenient, portable and easy to carry. These are the ones to take with you on a walk, to the beach, or on a picnic.
- Walkman AM/FM – Walkmans were all the rage in the 80s, especially with the exercise crowd that plugged them in and went for walks and jogs. They are a sportier version of the pocket AM/FM radio. They sometimes come in armband form or even as headphones only with the transmitter and speaker right in the headset itself. Walkmans also had CD players.
- Digital AM/FM – This is the modern version of the AM/FM radio. The digital versions of the AM/Fm radios are much more stylish than its traditional counterparts. And typically perform better as well with more sensitive tuners and digital displays.
- Boomboxes – These large, box-shaped transportable stereo systems have AM/FM radios as well as CD players, cassette players and sometimes both depending on their age. Boomboxes have one or two speakers and are quite a bit louder than the smaller AM/FM portables. The new boomboxes have USB jacks for MP3 players. Their bulk is their only drawback, but many people overlook that due to the better sound.
There are several features that AM/FM radios have that make them even more popular. We have outlined the more common features below so you can see which ones appeal to you and which ones don’t really matter.
- AC and DC power – Many AM/FM radios only have either battery power or electrical power. If they have both, then this means that the radio will run on both battery power and off of electricity which is the most convenient.
- Telescopic Antenna – The telescopic antenna is great for increasing and improving the reception the radio gets. The telescopic part is normally is to improve the FM reception.
- LED battery charge indicator – A convenient feature that shows when the batteries are low in charge and need to be charged and/or replaced.
- Auto- Scan tuning – Some radios offer additional tuning in the form of auto-scan which will cycle though all of the channels that it is picking up. This is great when you are in a new place and don’t know the names of the radio stations for that area.
- Headphone Jack – this is very useful for the listener that doesn’t want to disturb anyone or to keep whatever they are listening to private. The jack is typically the standard size 3.5mm jack.
- LED Tuner Display – This enables listeners to be able to find stations even in lowlight conditions. LED tuners are much easier to see.
- Carry Strap – This is a great feature on the portable AM/FM radios to make them even more convenient and easy to carry around.
- Flashlight – Some AM/FM radios have flashlights that are a part of the radio. This makes them very good for having around in the event of a power outage or at night while camping.
- USB port for MP3 players – Some modern AM/FM radios have USB ports that you can plug an MP3 player into and listen to your own song lists through the speaker of the radio.
- Belt clip – Some smaller AM/FM radios come with a belt clip so you can easily carry them on your belt without worrying about them falling off.
- Alarm clock – many of the AM/FM radios have alarm clocks that you can use to wake up for work or that important meeting.
- Large speaker – Depending on the model of AM/FM radio, you may have a small one or a larger one that is much easier to hear.
- FM/AM Separate Tuner Dial – Some models of AM/FM radio offers separate tuner dials for both FM and AM channels.
- Fold Down Handle – The fold down handles get out of the way but are attached so they are always ready to grab and go
- Special vintage designs – Some of the vintage designs look like radios from decades ago with vintage looks and colors that are sure to charm.
Since radios first came out as emergency devices, they have gone through a lot of transformations and changes. As they became more advanced, listeners became accustomed to using AM/FM radios to listen to music, talk shows, news, weather and more. Even the modern versions allow integration with MP3 players.
Regardless of whether you want to buy a vintage AM/FM radio or something much more modern in design, you will enjoy the conveniences that having an AM/FM radio will provide. The information that we have provided will help you sort through all of the choices and decide on the one that will fit your preferences.
Use the knowledge we have provided in this buyer’s guide to decide on the AM/FM radio that will have all the features that are important to you as well as have the quality of sound and performance that you’re looking for.