Whether you are on a road trip or going to experience the great outdoors, keeping up with the news and the latest trends is one of the most important things for you to do.
As much as you can now do this easily on your smartphone, there are places you will go where you will not be able to receive a signal.
In such cases, one of your most important companions will be a portable radio.
In this review, we shall look at some of the best portable radios you can buy, and give you reasons why you should consider getting yourself a portable radio for your next adventure.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Portable Radios Reviews
- 1. iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio
- 2. Sangean PR-D18K – Best Portable Digital Radio
- 3. Sony ICF-S10 – Best Pocket AM FM Portable Radio
- 4. Sony ICFP26 – Best Portable AM/FM Radio
- 5. Panasonic RF-2400 AM/FM Portable Radio
- 6. Sony ICF-F10 Two Band AM/FM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
- 7. Aulker Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker FM Radio
- 8. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio
- 9. Rolton W405 Portable Mini FM Radio Speaker
- 10. Jensen CD-490 Sport Stereo CD Player with AM/FM Radio
- Portable Radio Buying Guide
Top 10 Best Portable Radios Reviews
1. iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio
This wonderful, compact, portable radio is perfect for road trips and camping. The radio can receive all AM and FM frequencies, as well as NOAA Weather Radio.
It also comes with a powerful 3 LED flashlight, and a cellphone charger. The radio offers you with three different charging options, solar, self-charge, or external recharge options.
Just 1 minute of hand-cranking will get you 5 minutes radio play time.
In addition, you will be able to use the torch for at least half an hour, and be able to charge your phone enough for at least 5 minutes talk time.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
- Catches both AM and FM frequencies, as well as NOAA Weather Radio
- Comes with a Cellphone charger and a 3 LED flashlight
- Has three different charging options; Self-charge, external and solar
- Has a powerful 300 mAh battery
- The battery has been known to be problematic
- The USB charging cable is very weak
- Cellphone charging is not as effective as advertised
This radio will work perfectly for those who love the great outdoors. However, if you are planning on using it to charge a cellphone as well, you must remember that your phone will not charge much more than 5%.
2. Sangean PR-D18K – Best Portable Digital Radio
The Sangean PR-D18K is by far one of the best portable AM/FM radios that you will find right now.
It is one of the best radios at separating FM stations on busy frequencies, and its AM reception is exceptional for a radio of its size.
The speaker is also surprisingly good. It provides some of the clearest sound you will hear from a radio of this size.
The bass is also very impressive.
With 4 AA size batteries, you will be able to enjoy your music for hours on end with this small fm radio.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Powerful, clear sound provided by the speaker
- Very good, clear FM reception
- Can separate stations on busy FM frequencies
- Relatively inexpensive for the quality
- There is no AC power cord supplied with the radio
- AM signal is kind of noisy
- AM signal suffers when listening to the radio when it is connected to a switching power supply
- The volume is rather loud even at the lowest setting
This is a wonderful little radio to have if you are going for a road trip, or even if you just want a nice small radio for your desktop. However, you will have to be careful when listening to it at night as it is rather loud.
3. Sony ICF-S10 – Best Pocket AM FM Portable Radio
This portable radio is made by one of the most famous companies in the world, Sony. This means that you can be guaranteed of some of the best quality that money can buy.
This small radio easily fits into your shirt or jacket pocket, and supports both FM and AM broadcasts.
The telescoping antenna helps to amplify the signal, ensuring that you receive a clear signal every time.
The inbuilt speaker is rather powerful for its size, and produces loud and clear sound that is amazing for a speaker so small.
In addition to the speaker, you also get a mono headphones jack so that you can plug in your headphones.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
- Small enough to fit into your pocket
- Inbuilt speaker produces excellent sound for its size
- Supports both FM and AM transmissions
- Provides up to 45 hours playing time using 2 AA batteries
- Has a very short low volume range, making it virtually impossible to fall asleep while listening to it
- Antenna is easy to break when it is in your pocket
- AM reception is weak compared to other radios
- Signal becomes distorted if you move the radio as you listen to it
This is a very good radio for those that are looking to purchase something to listen to as they work. However, the weak AM reception means that this is not the best radio for those who would like to listen to AM channels.
4. Sony ICFP26 – Best Portable AM/FM Radio
This is another quality product from Sony, and is one of the best portable radios in this review. The radio is an update of the Sony ICF-S10 so you are assured the same quality, but better performance.
For instance, the speaker on this is much better than the one on its predecessor, and the AM reception is also much stronger.
In addition, the circuitry inside is more energy efficient. This means that your batteries will last up to 100 hours, almost 60 hours more than its predecessor.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- 100 hour battery life
- Excellent speaker for superior sound quality
- Telescoping antenna for greater sound quality
- Built in carrying handle makes it easy to carry around
- Dedicated on/off switch ensures you will be able to maintain your preferred volume level
- AM reception is weaker than with other models on this list
- The side-mounted headphone jack makes it tricky to listen to with headphones when it is in your pocket
- Electromagnetic interference is still a problem when listening to AM stations
If you are looking for a pocket radio that is perfect for working in your garage or study, then this is the radio for you.
5. Panasonic RF-2400 AM/FM Portable Radio
Panasonic is another giant in the electronics industry, and this offering from them goes to show why they are one of the world’s leading brands.
This portable radio comes with a large radio panel that makes tuning into your favorite station easier.
It also comes with a 4” speaker that produces excellent sound, even in the low range.
It can be powered by either AC or DC power, and unlike some products on this list, the AC power cord is included.
DC power is supplied by 4 AA batteries, which can last for a very long time, with some people stating that it can go for up to 100 hours on battery power.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
- Very long battery life
- Large speaker produces clear sound
- Large dial and radio panel makes tuning easier
- Can be powered by AC power as well
- FM reception can be a little wanting
- Does not lock on to stations accurately
- Reception fades in and out with the slightest interference
If you are looking for a radio that you can use as you work or in the great outdoors, then this is a purchase that you should consider making.
6. Sony ICF-F10 Two Band AM/FM Portable Battery Transistor Radio
This portable radio from Sony goes to show why the company is one of the most recognizable names in the world.
The radio is very compact, but despite its size, the inbuilt speaker is still rather powerful.
It comes with a handy plastic carrying strap that allows you to carry it easily anywhere.
The reception on the radio is very good, and is rarely affected by electromagnetic interference. This makes it perfect for those people who are looking for a small radio for their desks at work.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Good reception, especially in the FM range
- Excellent sound from the inbuilt speaker
- D Cell batteries can power the radio for up to 200 hours on FM frequencies
- Tuning and volume knobs in the front for easier use
- Cannot be powered by AC power
- Does not have full AM spectrum of frequencies
- Does not pick up frequencies from long distances well
- Though the sound is clear, volume is a little low
This is the perfect radio for those that live close to their radio station of choice. However, it will not be useful to those that would like to listen to AM radio that is transmitted at higher than 1640 kHz.
7. Aulker Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker FM Radio
This is the perfect portable radio for those that would like to have a portable radio that does much more than just play their favorite shows.
This Bluetooth radio provides you with up to 8 hours of play time, and will pair with 99% of Bluetooth devices.
Even better, it has a range of 33 feet, allowing you the freedom to move around without having to worry about losing the connection.
The radio also supports micro TF/SD cards, USB input and Aux line in, giving you even more options for your listening pleasure.
In addition, the radio will also allow you to make hands-free calls, allowing you to continue with what you are doing while you are on the phone.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- Allows for hands-free calling
- A host of different input options including Bluetooth, micro TF/SD cards, USB and AUX line in
- Comes with inbuilt alarm that you can customize to play your favorite song
- Supports MP3, WAV, WMA and FLAC formats
- Excellent sound provided by 2 5W speakers
- Voice to alert you that you are connected to Bluetooth is rather loud
- Can only catch FM frequencies
- Does not come with a bag or carry case
- Does not have a display to show you how much battery life is left
This is one of the best radios for those who would like to be able to listen to their favorite FM station, and still have the option to listen to whatever they please.
8. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Digital Rechargeable Portable Radio
This light portable radio is definitely more powerful than it first appears. Not only will it catch both AM and FM signals, it will allow you to save 5 of each as presets.
In addition, the large volume control knob at the side allows you finer control of volume levels.
The clock also comes with a humane wake up system. This system slowly increases the radio’s volume when the alarm comes on, just like an alarm clock.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Comes with AC power that is capable of charging rechargeable batteries
- Comes with an easy to read LCD screen that displays station and time
- Allows you to save up to 10 presets
- Large Volume knob allows for better volume control
- AM function can be problematic
- Tuning buttons make this radio a little tricky to tune
- Consumes batteries quickly
This is one of the best radios you can buy if you are looking for something to keep around the house in case of a power outage.
9. Rolton W405 Portable Mini FM Radio Speaker
As far as portable radios go, you will probably not find one that is better than the Rolton W405.
This radio may only be able to pick up FM frequencies, but it also comes with mini USB capabilities.
This allows you to choose the music you would like to listen to if you cannot find what you want on radio.
In addition, you can also connect your iPod, smartphone, or any other device that uses AUX input to the radio.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Comes with 3.5 mm jack for AUX input
- Comes with child lock function
- Has an emergency flashlight
- Excellent sound thanks to inbuilt speaker and amplifier
- Does not remember the channel it was tuned to
- Can only catch FM signals
- Not good at receiving long range signals
If you are looking for a radio that does much more than play FM stations, then this is definitely a product you should consider buying.
10. Jensen CD-490 Sport Stereo CD Player with AM/FM Radio
This radio may be a little larger than the rest of the ones listed in this review, but then again, none of the other radios on this list come with a CD player.
The CD player can play both CDs and CD-R/RWs, and comes with programmable memory, skip/search and forward and back features, as well as repeat 1 or repeat all.
The FM/AM receiver does a good job at catching all your favorite radio stations. It also comes with AUX input so that you can connect your iPod or Smartphone to it.
Our Rating: (3.7 / 5)
- It has a CD player
- Programmable memory means you can select your favorite tracks to listen to
- Amazing stereo sound for the price
- Carrying handle makes it easy to carry around
- CD player is very sensitive, and can skip at the slightest movement
- CD player has been known to stop working randomly
This is a great radio for those who would like to have something a little more powerful to listen to as they work. It would also make the perfect gift for children and young teenagers.