Radios have been a great source of entertainment and news for many decades. Everyone has a story to tell about radio nights with friends, family or cousins, whether it be camping or just nights at home when the power is out and boredom strikes. And for the older people, they just don't want to let go of their nostalgic past - human nature. Sometimes we buy a radio to relive those moments or just simply because we need one in our day to day life.
PocketWhen it comes to portable radios, pocket radios are well known for being ultra compact, lightweight and easy to carry.
Best PickThe Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Radio is the BEST deal you will get in the market, with almost every feature you could possibly want in a radio and at a great price.
Budget PickFor a compact portable radio experience, Sony SRF-M37W Walkman is the BEST portable radio for the money.
Quick Comparison Between Top 9 Best Portable RadiosThere are a wide range of FM/AM radios on the market, which is why deciding which one to buy can be difficult. It can be very challenging to find the perfect radio with all the correct features for your needs. In this list, I will discuss and review a few of the best portable radios on the market, plus give you a tour of all the features you should look for when buying a portable FM/AM radio. [table id=122 /]
1. Panasonic RF-2400 AM/FM Radio
2. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Radio
3. Sony ICFP26 Radio
4. Horologe Radio
5. DreamSky Mini Portable FM Radio
6. Sangean PR-D18BK Radio
7. SONY ICF-S10MK2 Radio
8. Sony SRF-S84 FM/AM Radio Walkman
9. Sony SRF-M37W Walkman
What is an AM/FM Radio?The AM/FM radio stations are transmitted through radio waves known as electromagnetic waves. The waves are generated from an alternating current. These low-frequency electromagnetic radiations escape the wire and are transmitted into air. This is where the transmitter comes in, which transforms these signals into music or other types of audio through modulation. What differs between AM and FM is the level of modulation: AM radio stands for amplitude modulation, and FM radio stands for frequency modulation.
AM is the simplest form of radio broadcast, whereas FM is more complex. The frequency range of AM radio is (520-1710) KHz whereas FM frequency is (87-108) MHz. While AM radios can transmit across great distances, FM radios cover less than 100miles. AM is usually used for talk-show radio stations and FM radio is mostly used for music, because there is more chance of interference in AM radios than in FM radios. So basically, a portable radio is a small radio receiver that uses transistor-based circuits to transmit radio waves.
Types of Radios
VintageThese types of radios date back to the year 1954 to the 1970s. Vintage portable radios cover a vast range of sizes, but typically vintage radios are more bulky and heavy.
WalkmanWalkmans are mostly used when exercising, going to the gym, or doing any type of sports. It allows the user to listen to music or talk radio through headphones and on-the-go. Sometimes they also come with arm bands to make them even more easy to carry.
DigitalThese devices are the modern version of vintage radio, being light and attractive. Many of them are wireless. Signal receptions are strong in digital radios.
BoomboxBoomboxes are transportable stereo systems that have an AM/FM radio panel, CD player or cassette player, and sometimes both.
Why Buy a Portable Radio When You Already Have Other Modern Devices?Why would one need a portable radio in the 21st century? This question can naturally come to mind when contemplating the vast array of modern technology. And if you buy one or get one as a gift, what can they offer you that other more advanced devices can’t? Well, the answer is that no matter how modern a device may be, they will always have some form of limitations. For example, the battery life of a cell phone versus a radio. A cell phone has a very small battery life, but it is made for a different level of use. On the other hand, portable radios are made only for one purpose, and, as a result, its battery life lasts much longer than most cell phones. Furthermore, with radios you can use rechargeable batteries or extra batteries without any worry, which is not possible with cell phones or other modern devices. Since the portable radios are cord free, you can take them with you anywhere, just like cell phones. You might not be able to talk with a radio, but it will provide you with all important news if you are in a remote area, whereas cell phone might not get the signal.
Nowadays, radios come with a buzzer clock, timer, etc., so you can easily rely on them when you are traveling. Portable radios are a comfortable partner for athletes or users who go to the gym, or those who enjoy running. Since no computer memory or minimal circuitry is necessary for radio, the radio weighs less than any mp3 player. Moreover, a portable radio also comes handy in emergency situations. Some radios are made for emergency alerts which have built-in preset buttons for weather channels.
Things to Consider to Find the Best Portable Radio on the Market
PortabilityAll the radios discussed here are portable radios, in with different features for carrying and transportation. Some are portable enough to use in different places within the home, some are portable enough to use while you exercise, and others are more suitable for traveling, sports and walking. For example, Panasonic and Sangean radios are portable enough to transport around your home, having a handle by which it can easily be carried around the home or taken camping. For sports and exercising purpose Sony’s models are perfect because they are made to be so compact that they will fit inside your pocket. They are also designed for personal use only and usually come with earphones or a headset.
LCD Screen DisplayWhile many of the portable radios have an LCD screen, a few are fully analog without LCD. LCD screens are easy to read and also helpful when it has a backlight. In terms of easy-to-read LCD screens, the Sangean radio is top on the list.
PresetsNowadays presets are considered as one of the important features when buying a radio or a portable radio.On the market, you will find radios with no presets as well. While some of the radio has 10-15 presets among them few are fixed for AM stations and few are fixed for FM stations and few for weather channels. Usually in Sangean models presets are present. Many models have external direct preset buttons. Analog radios don't have preset options.
LooksSome radios are simple, retro-styled and straightforward with no extra frills; the old-fashioned radio which brings back memories and take us back to the 90s. On the other hand, if you have more modern tastes then you can go for the more modern-day radios with all the frills and a variety of colors to choose from. Then there are those with a completely unique style and those without speakers which are built purely for personal use.
AUX InputIf you want to connect external systems, you should look for a AUX input option. It enables you to connect your radio to a speaker or MP3 player. Sometimes it becomes our strongest desire to listen to a song which suit our mood, and radios simply cannot fulfil this need alone because you never know what songs a station might play. For this reason, it is great to have the option to connect other MP3-like devices to connect to the radio speakers so you can play whichever songs you choose.
FlashlightA feature which is highly recommended for camping nights, during a power-cut, or just nights in general. So, if you think you’re likely to need a flashlight on a regular basis then it would be wise to seek out this feature in your radio.
DimensionThe dimensions and general size of the radio is always important to consider before buying - Do you want a radio for your house, vehicle, or one that’s small enough to carry around with you in your pocket or hand? Different models come in various size and handling styles, so be sure to pay attention to the dimensions of the radio as well as the carrying techniques before buying.
AntennaAntennas may not be useful for the users who live in or near the town or near to radio stations. However, users who need to travel long distances or who work or live somewhere far from the town will require a long, telescopic antenna. This allows the radio to catch even the most distant channels and even when there is crowd of signals. This is a rather important feature to consider when looking for a radio.
Emergency Warning AlertThis is another important feature to consider. If there is any possibility that your main source of weather news or emergency information could let you down, then it’s a great idea to look for this feature in your radio as a backup. Radios which offer specific alert message encoding allow the user to specify specific areas for emergency warnings. In this way, the user will be notified whenever there are disaster warnings for those specific areas.
Connecting Station with MP3Perhaps the best feature of all is that some portable radios on the market are capable of connecting the mp3 with the radio. As a result, the radio can act as an external speaker so that you can set your headphones or earphones aside for a while. You should look for portable radios with an MP3 docking station or USB port for connecting to digital music players.
SpeakerWe don't usually listen to the radio on earphones even when we have the option; most of the time you get the best experience by using the speakers, and that is why the quality of the speakers is one of the most important features in a radio.
Panasonic has particularly large speakers for a portable radio. Its sound is excellent, and its large speakers are the first thing to stand out when you look at it. While Sangean radios do not have a speaker as large as the Panasonic's, it is still very powerful. Sangean provides powerful sound when it comes to its speakers, and the tone is very well balanced too.Sony and its speakers are not large because it is made to be a compact device; it is for 100% personal use and to be kept in a jacket or shirt pocket. Thus, the speaker doesn't need to be as powerful, but the quality is still good for personal use. Obviously, all portable radios are for personal use, but the Panasonic and Sangean also has a large and a moderately large speaker respectively. On the other hand, the two Sony products are compact in size, the speakers are small and as a result, its sound is not loud as the Panasonic and Sangean. Sony Walkmans make great emergency radios, which can be used by sports fanatics and for weather emergencies, and have a good sound quality, but only with the headset provided. There is no speaker at all on this radio.
Battery LifeThe battery life very much depends on the usage, but it is also dependant on the specific features the device has. The models that have large speakers will obviously consume more battery. They require 4 AAAs, 6 AAs, and 4 AAs respectively. It goes without saying that the models which have both speakers and an LCD screen will need more battery. Models with no LCD screen and small speakers, or with an option of using earphones require less battery, and, as a result, are more budget friendly. Speaker uses more battery than using earphones. However, you are required to wear a headset at all times when using radios with no speakers.
BudgetWhatever the price of the radio may be, battery budget and their usage should also be considered before buying a radio or any device which runs on batteries. Models which requires 4 AAAs batteries ultimately become expensive, even when the device itself costs less than others. If the model doesn't have an LCD screen but has a big speaker, it will use a lot of battery, and this is the reason why battery budget is high for some models. The requirement of 4-6 AAAs or AAs is self-explanatory because those models have both speakers and an LCD screen. Thus, they require more battery. With no LCD screen and a small speaker also with an option of using an earphone it requires less battery and budget friendly.
EarphonesSome models can only be used with earphones, while some have the option to use both speakers and earphone. Usually, on the models with both the features, the speakers turn off once the headset is plugged in. Some of the models on the market have a mono headphone jack, for which you have to buy an external adapter to make it stereo. There are also many radios which don't have speakers, meaning you have to rely on earphones only.
WarrantyYou should always pay attention to warranties whether you are buying an expensive radio or an inexpensive one. Electronic devices often fail with time; this is normal. This is why it is always better to look for the models that are covered by a warranty.
Some Essential TipsNow you know all the features and flaws that can come with a radio. You will now know which kinds will be good for battery life, which are good for sound quality, which one will lack in sound quality, which one will consume more battery, which one is better for using at home and which are best for going to the gym. There are so many reasons and purposes for buying a radio. You might be buying a retro-styled radio for your grandpa who still loves that old style, or maybe another friend who’s into the more modern style. Radios can make a perfect gift for those friends who love or collect radios. Or you can treat yourself to one and enjoy listening to it as you exercise at the gym, go for a walk, or just go about your daily activities.
By purpose what I mean is that you must choose the correct radio out of all of those on the market. Sometimes you have to consider the budget, and sometimes you just want the best quality. While for some presets are important since they only listen to particular channels, others are more concerned with battery life. But how much money you will spend and what features you are going to get for that money is the main concern.Why buy a radio for almost $50 when you could get one for $30 with almost all the qualities except the LCD screen? Why would you buy a radio with large speakers for more money and with a greater battery consumption if you only need it for your own personal use? So, before buying a radio, you should consider your own individual wants and needs before considering the price and other features. As soon as you find your purpose, the features will automatically fit in. No need to buy a radio which uses more than 4 AAA or AA batteries if you want it for yourself. If you want it for your home, then you will need one with speakers. And if you live far away from towns or radio stations, remember to look for one with an antenna so it can receive signals clearly.
PurposeFirst of all, you have to determine why you need the radio. There are many radios on the market. You should check the best-reviewed radios and choose among those whichever best suit your purpose.
FeaturesRead the features one by one try to understand their terms and what they are trying to say when you are reading bullet point features. You might not be used to dealing with these kinds of terms, so make an effort to read them carefully before you make the purchase.
Volume of the SpeakersThe volume of the speakers is always important. If you enjoy listening to the radio with earphones, then definitely a radio with speakers; whether you go for large or small speakers is up to you. Since there are so many options on the market, why should you suffer by buying the wrong one?
Preset OptionsYou may want to buy the radio for emergencies or those times when you can't use any other device. So, if you waste your time searching through all the channels to reach your desired channel, then your purpose isn’t being served correctly. This is why it’s always a good idea to become familiar with your radio and set up presets when available.
ReviewsBefore buying a product, you should always read the comments and reviews. People who have already used the product obviously have the best idea of how well it works or if there are any potential problems you might face with it, so be sure to make yourself aware of these aspects before you buy.
Final VerdictSince you are searching for reviews of radios, you’re either looking for a new one or you’ve never had one before. Either way, you need to choose the best one for yourself and your needs. Every one of the products mentioned and reviewed above are unique in their own way; they are all wonderful radios in their own right and would make a great purchase. However, you have to choose from them wisely depending on what exactly you want from your radio. For that, all that is required is to read the features, understand them, and have a good look at the reviews. At the end of the day, it is you who is buying it. This article is just here to aid you in the process. Now you can decide which is the best portable radio to buy within your budget. Relive the old days and that nostalgic experience of using a radio whilst enjoying the new selection of modern features at the same time.
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