Love to listen to radio shows, but you don’t stay around home a lot. Most of the time, you’re on the move, and you miss listening to those fun shows and music radio stations lying on your hammock in the backyard.
Why not get the best battery operated radio?
I know, you might be thinking, my smartphone got the radio on it, why can’t I listen to that? Two reasons: one it won’t last long, the battery will drain out leaving you stranded in the middle of a desert (if you’re in such a place literally). Two, it can’t catch radio stations like the real thing, at least not when you get stranded in a remote area (can be the desert).
That’s why battery-powered AM/FM radio is the way to go. Need one? Then check out the battery-operated radio reviews.
Table of Contents
- Best Battery Operated Radio – Reviews
- 1. Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio
- 2. C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave Portable Travel Radio
- 3. Tecsun R-9012 AM/FM/SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio
- 4. C. Crane EP PRO Battery Operated Portable Analog Radio
- 5. Sangean TB-100 TOUGHBOX Ultra-Rugged Digital Rechargeable Radio
- 6. PRUNUS J-01 Transistor Radio Battery Operated AM FM Radio
- 7. PR-137 AM/FM Local Current or Dry Battery Operated Radio
- 8. Givoust Battery Operated Personal Transistor Radio
- 9. VEILOND Dry Battery Operated Vintage Transistor Radio
- 10. SEMIER Portable Battery Powered Radio
- Best Battery Operated Radio Buying Guide
Best Battery Operated Radio – Reviews
With countless variations of battery operated portable radio in the market, it’s hard to narrow down to one. If you explore the market, you will find many that look and feel like premium-quality equipment. But after you’ve bought them, you will like to throw your money down the drain.
To help you avoid such a situation, I’ve put some effort and made a shortlist of the 10 Best Battery Powered Radio. Maybe, you’ll find the perfect one for you right here.
1. Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio
Wondering which brand to go with? Go with the top players in the industry to be on the safe side. And what better option to go for then Panasonic.
The one I will recommend is the RF-2400D AM/FM radio.
So, why’s it so impressive? First thing first, the portability of radio is an important factor. And this one fits that criteria quite nice with only weighing a pound.
That aside, it offers both the AM and FM frequencies on it. You get the luxury to tune through both variations of signals to listen to your favorite show. For me, I love the fact it has an analog tuner on the device.
On one side of the radio, you will find a big tuner display. Right beside the side panel, you’ve got a big knob to tune the channels. And at the front of the Panasonic, you will have a 10cm speaker that offers crystal clear sound.
The Ferrite Antenna on it helps the RF-2400D to receive clear signals that play a crucial role in having such good sound on it.
When you’re traveling around, you can power up this unit using AA batteries. And if you don’t want to impose on others, just plug in your headphones to the radio. It has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack—can’t find one on your phone these days.
- Supports AM/FM bands
- Has a 4″ speaker
- Runs on 4xAA batteries
- Simple dial tuning system
- Doesn’t offer digital synthesizer tuner
- Has a 3.5-millimeter earphone jack port
- Dimension of 234x122x82 millimeter (WxHxD)
- Available in one color: Silver
2. C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave Portable Travel Radio
Need a radio that fits in your palm! C Crane will give you exactly that with their CC Skywave radio.
Compared to the other battery-powered portable radio on the list, it has many tricks under its belt. You can see that looking at the control panel with all those buttons labeled different things.
So, what’s it got?
It got the AM/FM radio, check that. But besides those, it offers something called the NOAA weather radio. That’s for weather alerts. Plus, you can even listen to aviation traffic controllers with it. If you’re into it.
Just like the earlier model, it has a preset function. But it offers 40x more presets that totals to 400 if you’ve missed that. The best bit is that you can auto scan to find channels, but you have a frequency in mind, just enter the number on the keypad—simple.
Powered by 2-AA batteries, at a moderate sound level it can give you 60-70hrs of listening time. Plus, you can hook up an alarm waking up to listen to your favorite channel on it and much more.
- Small, lightweight, portable design.
- Supports AM/FM/Shortwave/Weather/Airband channels
- Offers clock.
- Has a lighted LCD.
- Simple to use the rotary volume knob
- Plug-in stereo headphone jack
- Has a sleep timer option
- Offers 400-memory presets
- Run time of 60-70 hrs
- Comes with earbuds, carry case, and a fold-out back stand
3. Tecsun R-9012 AM/FM/SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio
For just alone its old-school look, the Tecsun R-9012 portable radio is quite a catch. Whoever gets their sight on it, they can’t help but talk about it. Great conversational piece to have at your home.
But that’s not the real purpose of it. It is a fully functional radio. Don’t get deceived by its look.
In front of the device, the battery-powered AM/FM radio has that large screen for tuning—not a digital one. Tuning the knob, you can see the scale move on the printed waved mentioned on the tuner screen.
Below that screen is your slider to move between AM/FM and SW channels. On the other side is the built-in speaker that offers great sound. Part of the credit goes to the long telescoping antenna that receives reception even in the remotest of locations.
Powered using both AA batteries and DC line, it is a great option to have.
- Portable dimension: 5.16 x 1.1 x 3.15 inches (LxWxH)
- Weighs only about 200 grams
- Offers FM, MW, and SW functions
- 12 bands radio receiver
- Runs on 2-AA batteries or using DC charging cable
- Comes with an easy to follow the manual (in English)
- Available in one color
4. C. Crane EP PRO Battery Operated Portable Analog Radio
The battery-powered portable radio from C.Crane is another option that you can look into. If you’ve thought the last C. Crane radio was too complex for you, then you will enjoy this one more.
Because it has a simple panel—no buttons. Just a tuning scale upfront that shows you the AM, FM range. The tuning knobs on the side feel real smooth. So, modulating frequencies won’t be that hard. Below it is a big knob for controlling the sound. Middle of those is a twin coil AM fine-tuning knob to make the DSP feature of the radio.
But this radio stands out for the level of control it gives you to tune the sound system. The grippy knobs for bass and treble allow you that.
On top of the radio, you will find a light button right beside the power one. Using it, you will get light on the analog tuner which makes it easily visible in dark conditions—COOL!
- AM/FM support.
- Offers stereo headphone jack.
- Aux-in jack to connect external devices
- Large 5″ speaker at the front.
- Uses a Hi-fidelity amplifier.
- Wide/Narrow enhancement dial for better AM band clarity
- 3-foot long antenna
- Light feature for the analog tuner dial
- 300hrs of alkaline battery run time
5. Sangean TB-100 TOUGHBOX Ultra-Rugged Digital Rechargeable Radio
All right! you want something unique for the best battery operated emergency radio. Go for the Sangean TB-100 then.
Surrounded with ABS plastic, the radio can resist those accidental drops unlike any other. And just not the drops, it resists water, dust, and even shock. They named it TB for obvious reasons.
Enclosed around that plastic tube is the actual radio itself. It has a military kind of vibe to it.
At the front, you will find a backlit screen that shows the channel in use. With a couple of buttons. There is one for changing through the band, on to power on and off the device.
But it has more. The other buttons are there for pre-set memory. Now, you can save your favorite bands for quick access to them using them. Plus, if you’re bored listening to the radio, use the Aux-in jack and connect your phone or other devices to it.
The reason, I say it looks like military equipment is because of the PLL tuner and volume knobs that have given it a rugged feel. Even the flexible pivoting antenna on it also makes it look like one.
- Has digital PLL FM and AM tuner
- Offers a 5.25-inch full-range speaker
- It is dust, shock, and JIS4 standard rain resistant
- Runs on a rechargeable battery, Alkaline and AC power
- Has 10-preset stations: 5-AM and 5-FM
- Aux-in jack available
- Has an ABS plastic roll cage
- Available in 3-color variants: Blue, Green, and Red
6. PRUNUS J-01 Transistor Radio Battery Operated AM FM Radio
Want something more up to date with all those fancy features, then try out the PRUNUS J-01.
Before going ahead to the key features, just take a look at the regular stuff it got. The device has a simple screen indicating AM, FM, and SW bands. But at the same time, it has a display to show the mode, charge, and other aspects in use.
Having the same size around the iPhone 6s Plus, you can imagine how compact it is. With a 301 gram, carrying it around in the pocket is no different than the actual smartphone itself.
But radio bands aren’t the only way to enjoy the portable radio. You can insert your SD card and listen to music MP3 and WMA format files on it. Like the fact, it has a 3.5mm earphone jack to let you enjoy music and shows without disturbing the surrounding—perfect kit to take with you in those long walks or runs in the morning.
With a big tuning knob at the side and a 360° antenna on the radio, getting reception won’t be hard. Plus, with a USB port on it, you can use power banks to charge the battery and run it.
A fine entertainment unit indeed.
- Uses a powerful DSP chip to capture sensitive signals.
- Retractable antenna up to 60cm
- Supports SW/AM/FM reception
- Portable design: 169x90x38mm and 301g weight
- Offers to play MP3 radio using Micro-SD/TF card
- Has a built-in magnetic speaker
- Comes with replaceable and rechargeable 2200 mAh battery
- Offers 20hrs playtime at 40% volume
7. PR-137 AM/FM Local Current or Dry Battery Operated Radio
PR-137 radio is another top-rated battery-powered radio. With its simple, clean design, it stands out as it doesn’t feel a complex unit to operate.
And it isn’t.
The premium black color unit has a large screen featuring both AM and FM analog tuning scale. With the smooth rotating knob at the side, you’ve got the modulation under control. Right below the tuning knob is your headphone jack port.
On the screen, there is a LED light indicator to let you know if the unit got power. Below the screen, you got a dial for volume and a switch dial for changing between AM/FM bands.
That’s all the buttons the unit has.
At the backside of the unit, you’ll find a cover where the power cord got stored. This design makes the radio a clean look as the cables are out of sight.
Below the cable, storage is your dry battery slots. Put 4-C size batteries and the radio is up and running.
- Offers both AM and FM band support
- Uses a long telescopic antenna
- Runs on DC cable or 4-C size batteries
- Has a built-in earphone jack
- Built-in 3-inch speaker
- A nice handle on top for easy carrying.
8. Givoust Battery Operated Personal Transistor Radio
For a pocket-size radio, Givoust portable battery is the ultimate choice. Running on a AA battery, the unit offers quality sound.
With a 4.7×2.5×1.3 inches size, the device fits right on your palm. And it weighs quite less too. Just 0.26 pounds. That’s impressive.
The radio system offers both AM and FM functions. There isn’t anything to do. Just dial at the front that lets you tune it. A scroller on top to increase and decrease the volume. And on the side is a button to change between AM/FM bands.
With a frequency indicator and power indicator on it, operating won’t be that hard. If you want to take some time off the modern devices and have some relaxing time with no-nonsense equipment, this is what you need to get.
- Compact, portable dimension
- Easy to read dial.
- Supports AM/FM bands
- Has a long antenna
- Headphone jack available
- Runs using 2-AA batteries
- Comes with a user manual.
9. VEILOND Dry Battery Operated Vintage Transistor Radio
Looking for an inspiring gift idea, give the VEILOND portable radio player a go. The radio on hand brings back nostalgia with its retro design. But wrapped under that packaging, you find a modern device.
On the radio, you will find an easy-to-read dial. This is a bit different from the rest in the list as it has a vertical tuning scale. That’s all for the antique feel.
With a large speaker on it, you can expect it to fill up the room with a nice base and treble. Even it got a 3.5mm jack to listen to music without disturbing others.
Using the long telescopic antenna on it, you can listen to 3-bands: AM, FM, and SW channels. That’s a lot of options.
The unit comes with a power cord to plug it into the power outlet and listen to your favorite radio stations. And when you’re on the move, use 2pcs of “D” size batteries. Simple and elegant.
- Offers 3 band.
- FM Frequency: 87~108MHZ
- AM Frequency: 530~1800KHz
- Frequency: SW1 3.2~10MHz and SW2 10~22MHz
- Has a large built-in speaker
- Long telescopic antenna
- Has a 3.5mm mono headphone jack
- Runs on AC or D cell batteries
10. SEMIER Portable Battery Powered Radio
Let me get it out of the way right away, the SEMIER portable radio isn’t the best looking. It has a generic feel to it, not bad, but not impressive either.
But that aside, standing at a 6.4-inch height, 8.35-inch length, and 2.5-inch width dimension, the compact radio is quite the gem.
Similar to the Panasonic, it has an analog tuner at the front. But compared to that it’s quite little. That’s because the front has a couple of knobs and a switch taking the entire space on one side. The other side has that large built-in speaker that fills up the room with good sound.
Unlike others, it isn’t hard to operate. With a big tuning knob, slightly smaller volume dial, and a switch for changing between AM and FM, there isn’t anything else to do. Even a kid can use it.
I know, the design of it isn’t inspiring, but having that nice handle on top, makes it for easy carrying. Just put the dry batteries in it and listen to broadcasts on the move.
- Offers both AM/FM bands
- Quality built-in speaker
- Has a telescopic antenna
- Supports 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Rund os AC or D cell batteries
- Includes power cord, user manual
Best Battery Operated Radio Buying Guide
Got through the list, but maybe you’re still not sure which one to pick. Or maybe, you want to get into some digging on your own. Either way, having a proper idea of what to look for is a must in both cases.
To help you with the best battery operated portable radio, I came up with this buying guide. Just give it a read and you’ll get some clear pictures.
The reason to get a unit that runs on the battery is simple, you want to take it with you to places. Or maybe you want a backup power source for emergencies. Whatever the reason might be, having a portable unit is always an asset.
No doubt, aesthetics play a huge role in your purchase. But try to get a compact radio that weighs less. If it is a bit bigger, make sure it has a handle to make the job of carrying it easy for you.
The more bands to go through, the more shows for you to listen to. Simple math. So, get a radio that at least offers the luxury to listen to AM and FM bands. If you can extra stuff like NOAA channels or airband signals, that’s a bonus.
You listen to the radio, don’t you? So, isn’t it obvious to go for a unit that sounds well? If you agree on that then go for a quality speaker on the device.
But that’s just one side of the coin. Even with a quality speaker it will be of no good if the radio can’t get the signals. You will get sound with a lot of noise—not good.
That’s why having a good tuning system and a proper antenna on the device is a must. Capturing the bands right and fine-tuning it on the radio will let you enjoy the better sound quality.
It depends. If you want a simple device, then go for it. But if you want the ability to save your favorite channels or set alarms to wake up listening to your favorite show or more, then get a unit like PRUNUS or C.Crane. Look for the features you want, not just go for a unit that offers a lot, that you might have no use.
Last but not least is the battery. You’ve got a variety of options in this regard. Some use dry cell batteries to give you that backup power. Some have rechargeable batteries that you can charge using the power bank. Go for the right one for you.
Advantages of battery-powered radio
There are many benefits of getting a battery-powered AM FM radio. I will not get into detail. Just will give you a simple idea of the things you can enjoy.
- Portability is the first thing that comes to mind. When you’re going camping or just traveling around, the battery run units will let you enjoy them on the move. You don’t have to find an outlet to plug in and play.
- In emergency conditions like a hurricane when cell networks power everything fails you. You can go to a battery-powered unit and keep track of the situation with them.
- The last thing I will say is that it is like a detox system. Yes, you can listen to music on your phone, it might not make sense to get a pocket radio like Givoust. But unlike your smartphones, the radio doesn’t have all those things to distract you. Studies showing Americans spend 5.4 hours on the phone, for millennials that go to 5.7 hours. It is time to cut off that time. Radio seems a good step.
What’s the best brand for battery-powered radio?
All the brands mentioned are great. Whether it’s Panasonic or Prunus, all are on the same level.
Can you run it without the battery?
Most of the devices run both on AC/DC power or battery. So, yes, you can plug it into a power outlet to play.
What’s the best unit for camping?
If you’re planning to go tracking on tough trails, then I will say go with the Sangean TB-100 (Toughbox) AM / FM / AUX. It got made for those conditions.
Finding the best battery operated radio is not that hard. But it’s not that easy either.
You will get bombarded with the number of radios that look great but are just a real waste of your time and money.
Don’t fall for those traps. Use the buying guide and make the right choice. Or just give any of the options listed here a try.