Are you looking for a radio you can take with you on the go, any place at all? Do you want this small portable radio to have a decent FM reception? Are you tired of looking at FM radios, unable to find the best radio with decent reception? Well we have just the thing for you!
FM radios might seem like a blast from the past, but the truth is it is still very much around, and it never went anywhere, and getting one of these would ease the burden of your cell phone. The modern-day FM radios are exciting packages as they feature a lot of different functionalities, ranging from an alarm clock, flashlight and many more, all being powered by a reliable source that can take you the whole day.
This handy guide will take you through our top ten picks for the best portable radio with AM/FM. We’ll help you answer the all-important question that you might be thinking of; “what is the best AM/FM radio for its reception?”, and will show you all of the things you should be considering when searching for decent portable radio.
We know it can be difficult to find a radio with best reception reviews, or one that uses efficient power from AA batteries or another source, but we promise you that we’ll find you a radio with good radio reception, a range of charging options and decent battery power supply, and a quality listening experience even in power outages. What’s more, we’ll find you some audio equipment suited to your exact price range.
Table of Contents
12 Best Portable Radios for FM Reception 2020
1. Raynic Weather Radio
Our first option pulled from the Amazon pages is the Raynic Weather Radio with a Solar Hand Crank. It’s got an impressive 5 power sources, and provides NOAA weather alerts, a flashlight, reading lamp and cellphone charger.
This is perfect for an escape to the country; as you can see, it’s fully equipped for all of your outdoor or emergency needs. This comes with glowing customer recommendations, so it’s just bursting with popularity. No questions asked, this easy to setup device packs a punch, with a rating of 4.5 on Amazon.
Perfect for the outdoor lifestyle, this durable and multi-use model gives a 2000 mAh power bank so you can charge your phone via USB cable. What’s more, the integrated flashlights mean that you’ll never be stuck in the dark on tricky terrain – you’ll always have a glow to give you visibility in the night.
- Versatility and durability – a pleasure for the outdoor or home environment
- 5 power sources including solar energy – it really goes the distance
- Poor sound quality
- Some users note that, despite the most rigorous attempt, channels cannot be picked up
2. PowerBear Portable AM/FM Radio
Our second model is the PowerBear Portable AM/FM radio. At a stunning price, less than $20, this certainly shocks us because it’s that good! It’s portable, compact, and has a bunch of handy features.
The small handheld size does you a favor by ensuring that you can take it anywhere. What’s more, the high quality built-in speakers allow you a decent sound quality that you can take any place – bet on it. The long distance reception provided by the long range transistor means you can keep listening almost anywhere, even up the highest hill.
It’s battery powered by two AA batteries, and these batteries last for over 800 hours… that’s an entire month of constant use.
- High quality speaker
- Durable and suited to the longest ranges
- Customer service
- Many users find absence of good quality sound, and instead get distortion and static
3. Panasonic RF-2400D
This is one of the best am fm radios with best reception. This AM/FM radio is just that, a radio. It does not overcomplicate things with unnecessary add ons; it is not trying to compete with the newer radio models. It does not feature Bluetooth or some other feature that might make it seem retro with an eye for the future. The Panasonic RF-2400D is comfortable being a throwback from the past; it just wants you to turn its easy to read dial and gently nod to your favorite music. A simple radio for the simple things!
- Ferrite antenna for the best sound
- Retro design
- Simple to use knobs
- No storage for the AC cord
- The AC cord hangs off by the side, making it longer.
4. USCCE Digital Clock
This digital clock has a 3.4-inch LCD display with a brightness that can be controlled. On the beautifully designed screen, you can keep track of the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit, and you have the option to read your time in 12 or 24-hour modes. The clock features a dual alarm system with five built-in tones for you to choose from. Now to the high-quality FM radio that allows you save up to 40 stations and 2 USB ports to charge your smartphone and other devices. The clock/FM radio gives you AC/DC power options, so you are sure this alarm would wake you and keep you company with its radio.
- It doubles as an alarm clock
- Alternate power options
- USB ports that allow you to charge other devices
- The LCD display is not the best quality
- The USB charging is slow
5. Sony ICFP26
And Sony does it yet again, a stylish product that gives the best functionality. This radio is very portable and would fit in your hands or pockets easily. This Sony radio features a telescopic antenna, a headphone jack and a built-in speaker. This easy to use FM radio has an LED battery indicator and LED tuning indicator. It also has the added benefit of coming with a carrying strap that allows you to carry your fun gadget everywhere you go.
- The radio is portable
- The LED tuning and battery indicator is a nice touch.
- Very affordable at under $20
- It does not deliver the best sound quality
- It uses up the AA batteries quickly.
6. Powerbear Portable Radio
This is that radio you want to take everywhere; it simply does everything right. This radio checks all the boxes as it offers great sound quality, portability, and a button that allows you to switch between AM and Fm modes. The radio is stylish and does not compromise on quality and functionality. It features a built-in headphone port that allows you to personally listen to the radio without inconveniencing people around you.
- Very compact design
- Sturdy, durable build.
- It is fitted with a long-range antenna.
- Susceptible to interference
- Might be difficult to get a good reception.
7. Kaito’s Voyager
The Kaito Voyager is that friend that goes camping or hiking with you and just would not let you go. The radio was designed to outlast and withstand whatever you throw its way. It features six different ways to keep your trusty radio friend talking; these are; a built-in NiMH rechargeable battery pack, 5V AC/DC USB input, three AA battery compartment, solar panel, hand crank generator and a wall power adapter not included in the package.
It features an LED indicator that informs you of the signal strength and allows you to make accurate tuning to your favorite radio stations.
- LED to indicate signal strength.
- Multiple ways to power the device.
- The power generated by the hand crank is very weak.
- Poor Shortwave radio reception.
8. Reketess V115
This radio has a small/compact design; it is one of the best portable radios with best reception. The Reketess V115 is a radio with good reception indoors and is all you would need to keep yourself entertained on a cool, windy evening. This am/FM radio can be used with a loudspeaker using a USB cable, it has AUX functionality and id capable of sound recording at 64 and 96kbps. The radio comes with three languages installed, Spanish, Chinese and English. The USB functionality allows you to charge it using your personal computer.
- Allows you to record your favorite radio programs.
- It supports an SD card and allows you to play music.
- It is lightweight.
- The radio receiver is not the easiest to operate.
- Shortwave performance is below standard.
9. Studebaker SB2000TS
This radio looks like it was ripped out of an antique Cadillac with its teal finish, the radio is a beauty to look at and compliments the good looks with the best functionalities. The Studebaker is one radio with the best reception, and you can hear its perfection from its quality speakers that deliver crisp sounds. It is ideal for that evening at home or to unwind at the office. The style is awesome, and it is sure to stand out anywhere, on any shelf. You can connect your MP3, iPod or any other audio player using the AUX feature.
- The timeless style.
- The radio is small and compact.
- It is not the most durable on the list.
- The speaker is smaller than the grille.
10. Sangean Table Top WR-11SE
This is one of the costlier options on the list, and it is for a good reason. The Sangean handshakes a state of the art performance with a simple but durable build quality. It delivers one of the best sound quality due to ut acoustically tuned cabinet and 3.5-watt full range speaker. The radio has an AUX-in for audio inputs like your smartphone, MP3 or iPod. The Sangean features an LED indicator that lets you know of the signal quality when tuning for the best reception. And for those times when you want some ‘you’ time, when you want to enjoy your favorite program alone, it comes with an earphone jack in the rear, just for you.
- It is a retro-styled radio with a modern appeal.
- It features an earphone jack.
- Precise tuning.
- The earphone sound is mono, not stereo.
- The sound quality can be made better.
11. AUDIIOO Waterproof Radio
This speaker does a little bit of everything, but what makes it stand out is the waterproof, dustproof and shockproof features. With an IPX7 rating, this radio can be submerged for half an hour in water 1.5 meters deep. This is a feature to have on the belt if there is a chance you would be around water often, maybe near a poor or outdoors. The device also has Bluetooth 4.2 that allows for smoother pairing and can make this simple speaker radio the life of the party.
It has an inbuilt 1500mAH radio that can be fast-charged and allows for up to 12 hours of use.
- It is very durable.
- The Bluetooth feature allows for the easiest connections.
- It features an unnecessary voice prompt.
12. Sylvania SRCD243
The Sylvania device has a beautiful LCD display that allows you to monitor its functions. The radio doubles as a portable CD player with FM/AM radio. This stylish pink boombox would make an excellent gift idea for any girl that knows and love her music. The AUX-in feature allows you to connect your device and use the speakers of this radio to blast your music.
- The LCD display allows you to use the radio easily.
- It features a CD player.
- The CD player is of low quality.
- It is not of the most durable build.
What portable radio has the best reception?
The Sangean Table Top. We carried out extensive tests to figure out which of the radios has the best reception. From our numerous tests, it became apparent that although they all did very well, the Sangean tabletop radio stood out among the pack.
How can I get better FM reception on my portable radio?
There are few things in the mix you need to consider in hopes of getting better reception on your FM radio.
- Switch to Mono: Most radios broadcast on stereo audio, if your device has the option to switch between FM and FM stereo, switch to FM. This is because the process of converting to Stereo degrades the signal quality.
- Switch off nearby electronics: electronics in the house can interfere and weaken the signal strength, so turn them off or use the radio well away from them.
- Change the location of the radio: Sometimes it can be as simple as using the radio somewhere else, move it close to a window, clear from obstructions.
- Check if other radios fare better: If you are trying to pick up a station and you are unable to, you can try another radio, maybe your car radio to confirm if the problem is with your portable FM radio.
Which clock radio has the best reception?
USCCE digital clock. Asides the beautiful LCD display and easy to use interface, the USCCE clock was noticed to have very good signal reception. Among the clock radios we tested, only this one was good enough that it made it on the list.
FM Radio Interference – things you should know!
Interference or radio reception problems are often caused by an interfering signal or a weak signal. With FM radios less susceptible to interference than AM radios.
There are many causes of radio interference; some of them are:
- Your radio is faulty
- Your antenna is faulty or a low gain type
- You are too far from the transmitter.
- Severe weather
- Physical obstruction blocking your antenna from receiving signals.
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to look at all devices in this list, instead wanting to look at one device instead of the others
Table of contents for our buying guide
1. Considerations for Making a Choice:
- Size and weight
- AUX input
- Battery life
- Charging options
2. The 15 Best Portable Radios in 2020 :
- Raynic Weather Radio
- PowerBear Portable AM/FM Radio
- HDi Audio Home Portable Retro AM/FM Radio
- DreamSky Pocket Radio
- Sony ICF506 Analog FM/AM Portable Radio
- Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio
- Sony ICFP36 Portable AM/FM Radio
- Retekess V115 Portable Radio
- Panasonic 2400D AM/FM Radio
- HDi Audio Radio Teal Vintage
- DreamSky Portable AM/FM Radio
- Retekess Portable Transistor Radio
- NOAA Weather Radio Portable Transistor
- PRUNUS Hands-Free Bluetooth Portable Radio
- SEMIER AM/FM Portable Radio
3. Our Top Three:
- Raynic Weather Radio
- Sony ICF-506 Analog FM/AM Portable Radio
- HDi Audio Home Portable Retro AM/FM Radio
4. Buying Guide and FAQs:
- What portable radio has the best reception?
- How can I get better FM reception on my portable radio?
- Which clock radio has the best reception?
- FM Radio Interference – things you should know!
Considerations Choosing Good Portable Radios with the Best Reception
Of course, before you set out to find the best cheap portable radio stations, you’ll need to consider a few features.
When you do this, you’ll significantly crunch down on the time spent on comparing stats of the best FM reception radio, meaning you can cut straight to the chase and listen to what you want to listen to! The best radios come with a range of handy features today to improve overall usability, portability, and sound quality too.
If you want to listen to the radio and your favorite stations with ease, you’ll want to think of the following factors:
The battery life of your portable AM/FM radios should always be taken into account when you’re picking your chosen product. With portability comes the need to have a lasting battery that will give you the best radio signal and sound quality on the go. Features such as an LCD screen can affect battery life, as LCD display options with high lighting can easily eat up batteries.
The two main types of battery power afforded to portable or pocket radios is those that use A or AA batteries, and those that use rechargeable batteries. Whilst a rechargeable battery means you don’t have to keep wasting expense on disposable ones, they come with a higher upfront cost, especially considering you’ll need to buy a charger to go with it.
Most of the best portable radios run solely off battery power – but some pocket sized portable AM/FM radios feature a power cord for AC/DC power. Those designed to be truly portable and carried around will most likely come with an AC adapter anyway for on the go charging.
No matter the power source, the bottom line is that you should definitely compare which types of portable FM/AM radios come with a power adapter or AA/ AAA batteries included.
Some newer models that the talk shows rave about, calling them ‘one of the best’ little radio models around, are even powered by solar energy. This works if you’re using your portable on a camping or fishing trip.
Weight and Size
You’ll find that most of our features link back to the age-old important feature of portability – and weight and size is no exception. Having a model that is compact and lightweight means that it’ll be easier to carry this on the go. The best pocket radio models are small enough to sufficiently and comfortably fit in your pocket, whilst the best portable radio that’s a tabletop radio will generally be a fairly small cuboid shape.
Weight and size can also affect the price tag of your radio. If you’re opting for a bulky model, it may not be the best portable device but it’ll surely be durable. Some may consider this durability to be an asset, thus the price could be higher. However, people pay for convenience and this isn’t a secret.
Therefore, a little radio that manages to have all the features you need, as well as good sound quality and a range of radio stations, may just be that bit more expensive because of your ability to take it anywhere.
One of the most important things about your best portable radio is, you guessed it, portability. This is most applicable to pocket or walking radios. One of the best suggestions we can offer you is to look out for portable radio models with earphones included – they’re accessible and easy to enjoy on the go.
Generally, and historically, the best portable radios that you could carry in your pocket were made by Sony, but newer brands are packing heat and bringing competition. All you need is two AA batteries and the willingness to try a new model that will take your listening anywhere, any time.
Aux Availability: Earphones and Speakers
Aux availability is also really key when searching for the best portable radios with best reception. Though not everyone is a seasoned audiophile with a very particular ear for sound, you should still consider that aux options can and will affect the ability of your radio to give clear sound quality in the long run.
For example, tying back into weight and size, the size of the speaker is undoubtedly linked to the quality of sound. This may not always be the case, but it’s definitely something to consider. Where you plan to use your speaker is also important – not just for signal strength, but also for sound quality. If you’re working on a construction site, for example, the bottom line is a weak speaker is just not going to provide the audio quality you’re after.
What’s more, when we think portable we think earphones – it’s inevitable. Most portable radios will come with an earphone jack or headphone jack, so you don’t need to worry about on-the-go listening, you’ll be able to get this either way.
Durability is a key feature that will dictate how long your portable radios, which feature the best AM/FM radio reception, will last.
For example, most portable radios, or at least one of the best portable radios, will be designed to sustain itself in harsher weather conditions. Many portable radio models will therefore be waterproof, maybe even shockproof. Particular weather radios will also support NOAA emergency broadcasts, so you can keep up to date with weather conditions by listening to broadcasts wherever you are. As long as your AM/FM radio receiver is decent, you’re covered.
Additional Features and Aesthetics
Not to be forgotten, the additional features of your portable radios will affect the quality of their use. For example, you want to consider the type of antenna your portable radio has. A telescoping antenna is a staple to any radio with best FM signal options. Therefore, the best portable radio for FM reception will have a similar construction to this. A ferrite antenna is also effective at holding a decent signal strength.
What’s more, maybe you’ll want to consider what your portable or office radio, with good reception indoors, might look like. If you’re a fan of old school tabletop radios, you might want to look for a model with a more vintage or retro look, that comes in a range of jazzy colors.
Other additional features that can be handy in considering the best long range FM radio for portability include: an LED flashlight, for all of your emergency radio needs out and about; an alarm clock – usually common on a digital radio; a USB cable – so you can listen to all your own favorite music; Bluetooth capabilities; and more. A portable radio that comes equipped with an emergency kit is particularly handy.
Some even come with an included memory card or carry strap, to enhance the build quality and portability alike.
Another top tip we’d recommend to you is to check how many presets your digital radio, pocket radio, or other portable radio comes with.
A small AM/FM radio, good reception included, may come with memory presets so you can save certain radio stations or FM bands. For the price point, you’ll want to make sure your radio comes with a decent level of memory presets to enhance audio performance and personalization of the device.
A digital radio built for outdoor use, or a weather radio, will also most likely have presets for a weather band. This means that you can easily pick up on forecast reports and possible warnings on every road trip. Check the user manual to see which station presets your radio includes.