While camping outdoors or having a barbecue party in the backyard, most of us feel like listening to something. Whether it’s music or a favorite radio show.
And it’s not that hard to do with the smartphone. But, it won’t last long for long. You need something that will get you through the night. Just like the best portable AM FM radio.
But which one?
The market already has so many options, and the number is only growing. It’s hard to pick a good portable radio. It won’t be if you check out this best am FM radio list.
Table of Contents
- Top Portable AM FM Radio – Comparison
- Best Portable AM FM Radio – Reviews
- 1. Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio
- 2. Retekess V115 Portable AM FM Radio
- 3. C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM Radio with Clock and Alarm
- 4. Sangean PR-D5BK AM/FM Portable Radio
- 5. VMEI Portable NOAA Weather Radio with AM/FM
- 6. Retekess TR604 Portable AM FM Analog Radio
- 7. Panasonic RF-2400D Portable AM/FM Radio Player
- 8. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio
- 9. PRUNUS J-01 AM FM SW Portable Transistor Radio
- 10. Eton Field Radio with Bluetooth & Fine Digital Tuning
- How To Choose Good AM FM Radio – Buying Guide
- How AM/FM Radio Works
- Use of Portable AM/FM Radio
Top Portable AM FM Radio – Comparison
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Best Portable AM FM Radio – Reviews
Finding the right digital am FM radio is not always easy. And not everyone has the time.
Fortunately, I’ve put some time on this to make this easier for you by coming with the top 10 AM FM radio list. You can give it a look to find the right deal for you.
1. Panasonic RF-2400D AM / FM Radio
Panasonic has a reputation for coming with some of the best sound systems. And the RF-2400D is proof of that.
What’s great about the device is that it takes you back to the old times. The radio has that same traditional look. Here, you will get a simple housing with a big speaker and a tuner display at the front. On the side of the display panel, there is a large knob that helps you to tune.
That design makes it easier for you to search through the stations to pick the right channel. It’s a great gift that you can give to the old-folks of yours who have a hard time dealing with modern gadgets.
But just because it has a classic look, doesn’t mean it uses the backdated technologies. This AM/FM radio gives you a superior-frequency range for precise tuning. And the sound quality is what you expect from Panasonic. The 10CM speaker gives you crystal clear sound to enjoy your favorite music at loud.
And when you need to take things down, you got the headphone jack too.
- Supports both AM and FM bands
- 10CM speaker for powerful sound
- Handle for easy carrying
- Got 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Radio is small in size: 234x122x82 mm (WxHxD)
- Ferrite Antenna for getting crystal clear sound
- FM range: 87 to 108MHz (50kHz step)
- AM range: 520 to 1730kHz (9/10kHz step)
2. Retekess V115 Portable AM FM Radio
To go in the different directions of the Panasonic, you can go with the Retekess V115 portable radio.
If you look at the device, it is quite compact. You can fit in your shirt pocket. The 4.7×3.1×0.9 inches size makes it super portable.
Now, this small radio has the digital display that you were missing from the earlier option. But what’s more interesting is that you can turn this radio to a speaker as it supports a TF card reader.
The other thing that you will notice in the Retekess, it got a lot of buttons on the front. You got the mode button, the AM/FM setting, play, stop, and forward, a backward option that you expect to see. But there are a couple of things that are extra. You get some dials on it.
Using these numbers, you cannot only directly choose a radio station, but when you have the TF card in place, you can use it to play a particular song by entering its song code.
Plus, you can record too with it. If that something, you need.
- Frequency for FM is 87-108MHZ, AM is 522-1710KHz and SW is 4.75-21.85MHz
- Offers MIC recording and radio recording
- Runs on 1000mAh rechargeable lithium battery
- Supports large number of preset radio stations
- Supports 80 FM, 60 AM and 300 SW stations
- Can play MP3 format music on TF card
- Has a telescopic antenna
- 5 mm earphone jack included
- Supports Micro USB charging
3. C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM Radio with Clock and Alarm
Just like the Retekess, the C. Crane CC Skywave am FM weather radio has a small dimension. And that’s not it! Even the design of it is quite identical to the earlier one.
Here, you will get a large LCD lighted display, direct-entry keypad, and a couple of other buttons on the front. On the side, there is a large knob to tune through the channels and a scroller for the volume. The red button on it makes it easy to identify the power button.
Now, this best pocket AM/FM radio also supports shortwave, weather, and airband. As a bonus, you get a clock radio with an alarm system.
Just like the earlier option, this one also has memory presets to get to your favorite channels fast. Plus, you can always use the keypad for direct entry. Not to mention, the auto-scan tuning is always there if you don’t want to do anything on your own.
But all things aside, the run time of the unit is what makes it stand out from most. You can get approx. 60-70 hours playtime with moderate volume.
- Small lightweight design.
- Supports AM/FM/Shortwave/Weather/Airband travel
- Clock radio with alarm and sleep timer
- Has a lighted LCD
- Rotary volume knob
- Has a stereo headphone jack
- Memory presets: 400
- Runs 60-70 hrs on moderate volume
- Package includes earbuds, carry case and a fold-out back stand
4. Sangean PR-D5BK AM/FM Portable Radio
In the portable radio market, Sangean is a brand that gets recognized by all. They’ve got some of the best AM/FM radios. And I’ve got one of them right here.
It’s the Sangean PR-D5BK.
This beautiful sleek radio is available in two different colors: Black and White. But the black one simply the more eye-catchy one of the two. Here, at the front, you will get a dual stereo set-up on both ends. Between those stereos, you have a couple of buttons.
You get 5 buttons for presets. And besides that, you’ve got options for sleep, display, and step/band, which are quite easy to understand. On top of those buttons is your LCD. This one is backlit, so you can use it in dark conditions.
In addition to this, on the radio’s side panels, you’ve got a tuning and volume knob at one side. The other side got all the ports for charging, earphones and AUX. Plus, there is the button to change between stereo, FM, and mono settings.
You can expect to get superior reception as it got a 200mm Ferrite AM antenna on the radio. Plus, it has all sorts of handy features. From auto seek to alarm and much more.
- 10 memory preset stations: 5FM, 5 AM
- Humane wake system buzzer
- Offers sleep timer and a battery indicator
- AUX-in connection to use as stereo system
- Dual 2.5″ speakers and headphone jack
- Powered by AC adapter or 6 “C” cell batteries
- PLL synthesized tuning for excellent reception
5. VMEI Portable NOAA Weather Radio with AM/FM
To prepare for a zombie apocalypse or any natural disaster, get the VMEI radio. Compared to the other options, it’s much more suitable for use in outdoor scenarios for its build and features.
In disasters like hurricanes or blizzards, often there is no power. And keeping that in mind, the Emergency radio got 4 different power options. It got a 2300mAh rechargeable Li-ION battery that you can charge using a micro USB or USB port. Or you can simply run it using 3 AAA batteries. Even it has a solar panel to charge the radio. And if all things fail, you can use the hand crank to charge it. Not to forget, you can charge your phone using the radio.
Then when it comes to the radio function itself, it supports both AM and FM bands. On top of that, it has the NOAA weather alert radio to get alerted about the weather conditions. And that’s not it, to keep you safe and prepared, it offers a LED flashlight on it.
Along with all that, you get an SOS button for emergency help and a compass if you ever lost your way in the wild.
- Supports AM/FM and NOAA weather alert broadcast.
- SOS alarm for help in emergencies.
- Flashlight to use in dark conditions
- Offers 4 ways of power
- Package includes compass, outdoor buckle, micro USB 2 in 1 powerline
- Has a 30-day money-back guarantee
6. Retekess TR604 Portable AM FM Analog Radio
For an old school portable AM/FM radio, Retekess got a quality option for you. It’s their TR604 transistor analog radio—No screen that means.
Instead of the display, you get a large dial showing you the channel frequency on it like they used to do in the past. For tuning through the frequencies, you get a big knob on the side of the radio. You get both FM and AM bands with it. There is a simple rotating knob in the front below the volume to switching between the two.
Compared to most other devices in the market, you get better reception with it. That’s because it has a long 24-inch antenna on it. The speakers of the unit are superior. Thanks to the 3.5inch speaker, you get crystal clear, loud sound. The low base, extended tremble improves the music quality by some margin.
For more comfort of use, it even has the 3.5mm earphone jack on it. Now, you can listen to music without causing any problem to others.
- Has a 23.6inch long telescopic antenna
- Large visual dial for easy tuning
- Comfortable handle for easy carrying
- Operates on AC or 3x D batteries
- Has a standard 3.5mm earphone jack
- TR604 has easy to use knobs
- FM frequency: 87-108MHz and AM frequency: 520-1710KHz
- Size is 220x145x62 mm and weighs just 746g
7. Panasonic RF-2400D Portable AM/FM Radio Player
This Panasonic portable radio brings back the iconic radio look back with a simple device like the RF-2400D.
Though it looks like the old radios of the past, this one has the modern touch to it all around. That’s why the device is super compact. It got a 3.2×9.2×4.8 inches dimension, and it weighs just around a pound. With the top handle, this is one of the most portable options you can find.
With this unit, you will have to get better signals than most. This one picks up both FM and AM bands. And the range it has is quite impressive. For FM you have an 87-108MHz range with a 50kHz step. And in the AM, you get a 520-1730kHz range with a 9/10kHz step. Not to forget about the Ferrite Antenna that helps to pick up the reception.
The large dial panel, knob tuning will make you nostalgic. But the sound quality with the 10cm speaker will bring you back to the modern time. You can enjoy the fine quality, crystal clear sound that Panasonic delivers in their sound systems.
- Supports both AM and FM bands
- Transistor radio model
- Has a large, easy-to-grip knob for tuning.
- Indicator light for to know when the station gets tuned right
- Comes with a pack of 12 Panasonic AA batteries
- Package includes a 110V AC power cord
- Lightweight device weighs around 1 pound
8. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio
For a minimalistic, functional radio system, invest in the Sangean PR-D7 BK model. This radio embodies the simplistic design with modern touches better than many of the others.
There is nothing extravagant about it. You get a compact radio with a speaker, display, and a few buttons on the front. On one side, there is a big rotating knob while the other end has ports and jacks.
So, you can pretty much fancy getting the standard features. You can tune it yourself or use the scan function to do it. Then there are your 5 preset buttons. That means you get 10 preset stations: 5 for FM and the other 5 for AM band. Other than that, you get the Alarm system or Humane wake buzzed to help you wake up.
Plus, you get the PLL Synthesized Tuning System that gives you the ability to get perfect frequency control. It’s an easy to use system that anyone can use.
- Comes in black and white color
- Uses PLL synthesized tuning system
- Alarm by radio or HWS buzzer
- Has 10 preset memory stations
- Rechargeable battery system.
- Large backlit LCD display on the front
- Has switching AC adapter 100-240V, 50/60Hz
9. PRUNUS J-01 AM FM SW Portable Transistor Radio
If you want the best pocket AM/FM radio, then look into the PRUNUS J-01 transistor radio. This one has almost the same dimension as an iPhone 6s Plus with being a bit thicker. No doubt, it will fit in the pocket. And if you don’t want to carry in the pocket, you can use a detachable strap to hang it from anywhere you like.
In this radio, you will find a powerful DSP chip housed inside it. Thanks to it, the transistor radio is more sensitive to capturing signals. With the help of the copper antenna, you will get better radio reception.
On the front of the unit, you will find two dial screens. Using the large grippy knob on the side, you will be able to tune the radio to any FM, AM or SW signal. And not just that, using the switch at the bottom, you can even use the radio to play MP3 music. That’s right! It supports Micro-SD/TF cards. Now, with the magnetic speaker, you can enjoy deep bass and smooth treble. Or simply plug any headphone with the 3.5mm jack.
- Equipped with 2200mAH rechargeable battery.
- Offers 20 hours of continuous playtime.
- Supports FM, AM and SW band.
- Can play both MP3 and WMA format files
- Compact radio has 169x90x38mm dimension and 310g weight
- Has a 3W high-quality magnetic speaker
- 360-degree rotating antenna
- Powered with DSP chip
10. Eton Field Radio with Bluetooth & Fine Digital Tuning
The Eton field radio is different from the rest. Here, you get a stylish-looking device with a black front body with silver color knobs and a couple of buttons. That nice contrast of color gives it a distinctive look. Plus, there is a large LCD display that shows the setting used on the radio.
When you look past the design, you will find a device that offers you AM/FM, shortwave radio. What’s different about it is that it has a strong anti-interference system that makes sure to give you superior audio quality with low background noise and distortion.
You get the typical set-up with the device. There are knobs to tune the channel, sound, and the Band. The buttons are there for choosing preset settings and alarm. What you get extra are the bass and treble knobs that let you get the right audio setting. Also, there is a button for the display’s brightness control.
Here, the best of the analog setting combines with today’s state-of-the-art modern systems. The testament of that is the headphone jack and Bluetooth system that lets you enjoy music silently and from your phone.
- Supports AM/FM and shortwave radio bands.
- LCD display with coarse/fine digital tuning.
- Has treble and bass control.
- Offers 50 memory stations.
- Supports Bluetooth for easy streaming on the radio
- Has FM telescopic antenna.
- Alarm function.
- Easy display brightness adjustment setting
How To Choose Good AM FM Radio – Buying Guide
The first thing anyone should consider is the budget. If you have that set in your mind, that’s like half the job gets done. You will try to find a device within the fund you’ve got. But what features to look for that’s the big question.
If you don’t have a clear idea about that. Check out the guide for the best portable radio.
The first rule of thumb is to get a small device. The smaller, the better as it will give you better portability. But just because of saving space, don’t compromise with the aesthetics. No doubt, it will accompany you to your adventurers outdoors but most of the time, you will set it aside in your home. Therefore, having a practical and elegant looking model can contribute to your decor. So, go for the vintage or a sleek design if you can.
Doesn’t matter if you get a great looking device or not, but you’ve got to aim for a fine-tuning radio. It’s the one thing that will make sure to receive the waves and capture the frequency. If it can’t do it right, you will get poor quality transmission with a lot of interference.
So, keep an eye for a radio that offers crankling free listening no matter where you are. No doubt, some of the waves would be hard to pick up when you’re deep in the jungle or the middle of the sea, but it should pick up most.
What do you do with a radio? You listen to it. So, it is logical to find a device that offers the best audio quality.
For that, you have to look into the radio speaker. If you feel like it sounds a bit jarring and the vocals aren’t easy to hear, then it’s not the best.
Be all ears and listen to the radio. Try to notice if the balance of bass, mids, and treble sounds right or not. If possible, get a model like the Eton, where you can equalize them to get the right setting that soothes your ear.
You should try to get a radio that offers a powerful loudspeaker. Now, this is quite easy to figure out. Just check out the watts mentioned on the digital AM/FM radio you’re looking to get. The higher the watts, the more you can turn it up to blast the sound. In most cases, you will find radios that come within 0.5-3 watts range. So, depending on your surroundings and your need, pick the ideal model.
What good is the radio, if it dies down after a couple of hours use. The reason for getting a radio is to get a long playtime. So, find a device that offers at least 15-20 hours of constant use, that should be the ballpark. And if you use earphones with it, you might be able to extend that time.
Also, the ease of charging is another thing that you should keep in mind. If it supports USB charging as well as AC power, then that would be more useful to you.
Now, comes the part where you look for more stuff within your budget. In most of the devices, there are a lot of functionalities they have to offer. There are LCD display, preset memory setting, alarm, and an array of other traits.
The basic thing you should eye for is a display. It can be a digital one where you can look into all the settings of the device. Or just go with a dial that would help you find the right frequency, whichever you prefer.
Preset memory function is something that’s hand down will make your life much easier. You can have your favorite station saved that you can find just with a press of a button. Now, depending on the model, you can get 5-400 preset stations.
Alarm and Sleeper Timer:
Another thing that might come to good use is a sleep timer and an alarm function. That way, the device will turn off on its own, if you forget to turn it down. That way, you can be sure to save charge. And an alarm function will wake you up with your favorite station’s music in a lively manner.
Other than that, you can look for a device that supports SD cards to play music. Or find an option that has the Bluetooth functionality, which would make that job even easier. Not to forget about the headphone jack, which will let you enjoy music without making a nuisance of yourself.
How AM/FM Radio Works
I won’t go all Einstein with you about its working procedure. But let’s try to figure out how it works.
The first thing that comes to mind, what AM and FM mean. The full form is Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation. And just like you expect, these frequencies transmit using the radio waves.
The modulation part is what makes information travel using the radio signals. Imagine the waves as a blank paper. What’s the worth of a blank paper? Nothing. But when someone writes on it, that’s when you get information. That’s what modulation is.
Now, you might already know we are surrounded by the waves; just we don’t see it. AM/FM radio, however, works using the waves. They just pick it up by tuning to the right frequency and that’s how you get to listen to your favorite programs or music on it.
Use of Portable AM/FM Radio
The portable AM/FM radio’s use depends on its user’s needs. For instance, if you are a traveler who is constantly going from one adventure to another, the radio is the one thing that will keep you connected with the world. Yes, you’ve got the smartphone and the internet. But we all know how useless they become when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. In that case, the radio will keep you updated. Not to mention, it will alert you about the weather conditions if it gets bad.
That’s just one of its use. If you think about it, the portable radio is like your old-school iPod. You can get to listen to music anywhere, anytime. And the best part is that you can listen for hours without worrying about it shutting down. The battery lasts for a long time. And now SD cards slot on them, you can have a playlist you like just like the MP3 players.
Forget about them, just consider a natural disaster with no internet, electricity nothing. If something bad like this happens, you would be glad to have a radio like the VMEI on your home. Though smartphones have made them obsolete, radios still can outdo those modern devices in times of need.
Which portable radio to choose?
It depends on your need. If you want a simple option with nothing more than the Panasonic models would make a great choice. On the other hand, if you want a lot of features within the radio, you can go with Eton, C Crane, or any of the other. It’s all up to your use.
What are the criteria for choosing a portable radio?
You can check the buying guide for that. However, for a quick summary, I would suggest fixing a budget and looking for a minimum quality reception and sound system. Then you look for the extra stuff like Preset stations and more.
What are the different types of portable radios?
In the market, there are two choices. You can get the analog model and there is the digital one with all the modern features with an LCD screen.
How much does a portable radio cost?
This depends on the model. But most of the devices come within a 20-200 dollar range.
What are the best brands of portable radios?
Panasonic is a safe bet anytime. Other than that, any of the other brands on the list like Retekess, Sangean, you can put your trust on them.
The best portable AM/FM radio is a great device to have. Whether for fun or some serious use in certain scenarios, the tool comes handy.
And it doesn’t cost you a fortune. So, go for it. Make it your regular companion for those outdoor travels or just a decor piece in your home. Whatever the case, you won’t regret having it.
That’s for sure.