Best AM/FM Radio

radio

We spent over 35 hours researching and testing 20 different kinds of am/fm radios and found that battery life, type of batteries, and power were most important. The Sony Pocket AM/FM radio scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. This small, compact am/fm radio provides 45 hours of listening time for AM listeners and 40 hours of listening time on FM. It requires only 2 AA batteries and is the perfect radio for taking camping, to the beach and anywhere you want music on the go. It also has a convenient built-in speaker, LED tuning indicator and earphone jack.

Introduction

If you are looking for a convenient, inexpensive way to enjoy music stations and radio talk shows, don’t forget about the AM/FM radio. It is still a popular item in many circles and it has undergone some upgrades that allow them to do well in the modern world.

There are all kinds of styles, models and types of AM/FM radios. To be able to sort through the choices, you should learn about their features and some of the specifics that will help you make a good decision. This buyer’s guide is designed to help expand your knowledge about AM/FM radios and the things to look for when you are interested in buying one.

Top 10 AM/FM Radios

RankPictureRadioMemory PresetBattery Life
(Hours)
1
Sony
2045
2
Sony 38
2580
3
Panasonic
2047
4
Sony 37
2554
5
Sangean
1060
6Sangean 20120260
7
Sangean 11
20NA
8
iRonsnow
1030
9
Sangean 7
1037
10
Kaito
20120

Best Overall AM/FM Radio

Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio

Even with all of the advanced technology that has come onto the scene, sometimes all you need is just a simple AM/FM radio.  Sony is still a well respected and popular brand name in electronics.

This Sony, AM/FM pocket radio is a terrific portable radio with a built-in speaker, earphone jack, LED tuning indicator and more.

It’ll fit into a shirt pocket easily so you can conveniently carry it around.  The tuner will let listeners choose from a variety of music and talk shows.  The built-in speaker allows for listening anywhere you go.

If you need to be quiet due to your surroundings, the earphone jack provides improved sound and privacy too. The telescopic antenna improves reception and a convenient carry strap helps you keep up with the radio without worry.

The battery life provides approximately 45 hours of listening time on AM and 40 hours on FM. This unit takes 2 AA batteries. It is a great little radio that will provide the music you want wherever you want.

Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio

You can take this portable Sony AM/FM radio anywhere you feel like it.  It has a large, built-in speaker that allows listeners to hear music and talk shows anywhere.

The headphone jack allows for private listening as well. This is a convenient radio to have in the event of a power outage or severe weather if you need to hear important announcements.

The crisp sound and simple controls make this a great radio for the garage, the garden, the beach or even in the bathroom as you shower. (Do not put the radio in the shower, but on the bathroom counter is fine)

There is a convenient, built-in carrying handle that makes it easy to carry around. The illuminated LED tuner allows listeners to find their favorite radio talk shows and music stations even in low light conditions.

The small size means you can slip it right into a jacket or shirt pocket. This radio takes 4 AA batteries that provide up to 80 hours of music enjoyment. The telescopic antenna improves reception.

Best Budget AM/FM Radio

Panasonic RF-2400 AM / FM Radio

Panasonic is a well known brand for electronics and this little AM/FM radio is a good example of the quality and convenience they offer. This portable AM/FM radio has a large dial panel that makes tuning easy for listeners.

Other features include FM/AM separate dial scale, 4” dynamic speakers for great sound even from a small device, both AC/DC operation, a silver front housing with metal speaker net, earphone jack, fold down handle and a cable for connecting to a KSU.

This convenient, portable Panasonic radio is perfect for taking on picnics, fishing, going to the beach, being in the garden, working in the garage and many more activities where having a small radio is really convenient.

Summary

Back in the 50s the AM/FM radio became the most popular electronic communication device in all of history. Even though digital radio has taken over in terms of popularity, there is still a need for the traditional AM/FM radio. There are still a wide variety of styles, sizes and types of AM/FM radios that are available on the market today. How do you know which one is the right one?

We did research on the top AM/FM radios that were available and compared them against each other in the categories of size, speaker quality, ease of use, battery life, features, style, and other categories. These top choices excelled in all those areas and more. Any one of them would be a perfect AM/FM radio to have.

Learn more about AM/FM radios by reading our detailed buyer’s guide below. We have put together information that will help you with choosing the right AM/FM radio for your specific needs. Not all AM/FM radios are the same and there are some that are not worth spending any money on. This information will help you make an informed decision that you will feel confident about.

AM/FM Radio Comparison Chart


Sony
View

Sony ICF38
View

Panasonic
View

Sony SRFM37W
View

Sangean
View

Sangean H201
View

SANGEAN WR11
View

iRonsnow
View

Sangean PRD7
View

Kaito
View
ColorSilverBlackSilver
Gray
BlackBlackWhiteWoodenRedBlackBlack
Battery
Life
(Hours)
4580475460260NA3037120
Battery2 AA4 AA4 AAAAA6 C2 DNANi-MH6 AA2 AAA
Power100.00mW400.00mW770.00mW5.60mW2.00W400.00mW7.00W0.50W1.00W480.00mW
Voltage3VAC 120V,
DC 6V
110.00V1.50V9.00V3.00V120.00V3.60V9.00V1.50V
Weight
(Ounces)
4.202.001.004.803.601.143.110.504.303.20
Dimensions
(Inches)
2.80 x 1.10 x 4.6010.20 x 5.60 x 3.5022.80 x 7.80 x 10.803.20 x 1.60 x 6.6010.20 x 5.40 x 2.502.20 x 9.30 x 5.509.40 x 6.80 x 4.705.00 x 2.40 x 1.601.60 x 8.50 x 4.603.50 x 0.80 x 2.30
Warranty
(Years)
1111111111
Memory
Preset
20252025102020101020

 

AM/FM Radio Buying Guide

AM FM Radio Reviews

Types

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.

    AMFM Radio1

  • 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.

Features

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.
  • AMFM Radio2

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

Resources

  1. Sony – http://www.sony.com/
  2. Panasonic – http://shop.panasonic.com/