Despite their declining popularity portable radios are still used today by a lot of people that want to be able to listen to music or other radio programs regardless of where they are.
Sometimes it’s nice to have the radio playing some great tunes behind you when you’re going fishing or spending time outdoors or even just sitting inside getting some relaxing done after a long day of hard work.
With so many different options available it can be hard to know which one makes the best portable radio and even during my own search I came across so many different choices that it was hard to pick the right one.
I wanted to write this post today to cover some of my recommendations on what I believe are the best portable radios for general use and to hopefully help make it easier to settle on a specific device.
The Best Portable Radios
Panasonic RF-2400 AM/FM Radio
The Panasonic RF-2400 AM/FM Radio is one of my top recommendations and I really like it because it comes with the large and easy-to-use radio panel that makes tuning quite simple.
It takes on a very portable size and comes equipped with a carrying handle so it can be carried around and used almost anywhere that you can get a signal.
It features a 4 inch dynamic speaker so the sound quality for music or radio shows is quite decent and it can also be plugged in and used at home if you don’t want to take advantage of the portability.
To get it working without plugging it in it requires four AA batteries and it’s possible to listen to either AM or FM radio depending on your preferences.
One more interesting features is that you can even use headphones if you want to listen without disturbing anyone around you.
Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio
The Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio takes on a much smaller profile than the previous model that I just listed and this radio is very well suited for those looking for ultimate portability.
This portable radio is designed to fit into a jacket, pants, or shirt pocket and it can be used either through the built-in speakers or through an earphone jack depending on your preferences.
There’s a telescoping antenna so that it’s not sticking out all the time and only needs to be up when you’re trying to catch a signal and it has the ability to catch both AM and FM radio.
For tuning there’s a tuner on the side of the device and there’s also an LED tuning indicator that lets you know when you’re catching a good signal.
Not only is this radio quite small and portable but it also comes equipped with a carrying strap.
To operate you’ll need two AA batteries and you can expect anywhere between 40 and 45 hours of battery life depending on whether you’re listening to FM or AM.
Sony SRF-M37W Digital Tuning Radio
The Sony SRF-M37W Digital Tuning Radio is designed to be used with headphones and it features a belt clip so that you can wear it on your waist whether you’re working out, getting some work done at home, or spending time outdoors and just want to listen to your favorite radio show or tunes.
Not only that but there is a weather band tuning function that you can use to listen to the latest weather from any of your local weather band channels.
To make it easier to jump to your favorite stations there are five preset memory buttons and there’s even a clock and battery life indicator so you’ll always know the time and how much battery life is left.
Speaking of the battery, you’ll need a AAA battery to operate this radio and it’s possible to achieve up to 54 hours of battery life.
With the preset memory buttons you can listen to a range of different stations including 5 weather band ones, 10 FM stations and 5 of your favorite AM frequencies.
The Sony SRF-M37W Digital Tuning Radio is what I’d recommend taking a look at if you don’t mind not having a dedicated speaker and you want to enjoy some of the extra features like preset memory and quick weather station access along with the convenience of a belt clip.
Sony ICF-F10 Radio
The Sony ICF-F10 Radio is portable, comes with a carrying strap that makes carrying it even easier, and is battery powered so it’s possible to use it wherever you want to listen to the radio.
On the front is a large tuning dial and also a larger volume dial to make changing the settings or stations quite easy without having to fiddle with small buttons or controls and the AM FM display can also be easily seen so you’re able to choose your favorite stations whenever you want.
For ideal station reception there is a telescoping swivel antenna that you can adjust until you’ve achieved your preferred reception quality and thanks to the 3.75-inch dynamic speaker you can enjoy clear and high-quality sound when you feel like listening.
If you don’t feel like using the speakers there is a standard size headphone jack so you can use headphones without bothering anybody around you.
To get it working you’ll need to use a pair of D-batteries and while I prefer using smaller ones the battery life is quite decent, up to 200 hours of listening time, so I don’t mind.
For anyone looking for a no frills and basic portable radio it’s the Sony ICF-F10 Radio that I would recommend taking a look at.
Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio
The Sony ICFP26 is a very portable little radio and it enables you to listen to your favorite stations through the 100mW speaker or through the headphone jack depending on your preferences.
Not only does it come with a telescoping antenna, making it possible to pick up channels from a wide range, but it also has a LED tuning indicator for gauging signal strength and a LED battery life indicator for determining when it’s time to change the battery.
To make it more portable and easier to carry the Sony ICFP26 has a carrying strap and the band selection (AM, FM, or off) can be quickly selected with the button on the side.
I find that this device is quite portable, boasts a streamlined design, and is well-suited for using to listen to your favorite radio station regardless of where you are and as long as you’re able to pick up a signal.
Sangean PR-D18BK Portable Digital Radio
The Sangean PR-D18BK is a portable digital radio that comes with an LCD backlit screen and 10 radio station presets (5 FM and 5 AM) so you can quickly tune to your favorite station.
The LCD display makes it easy to read and choose a station digitally and with the backlight it’s possible to use this radio at night or in poor lighting conditions and still see what you’re doing.
All of the controls are on the front so they’re easy to use without having to worry about fitting in with some awkward buttons and you can even change the volume, add an alarm, and change the radio station thanks to the large buttons right on the front.
Depending on your preferences there are a few different colors to choose from and at just 12.5 ounces this is a pretty light option if you’re looking to enjoy the radio whether you’re outdoors or indoors.
To power it up if you’re going to need to use four AA batteries and although it’s possible to use AC power there isn’t an adapter included though one can be picked up as an additional accessory.
As for using it with batteries there’s a battery power status indicator that lets you know how much power is left in the batteries you’re using and this way you’re able to replace them without having to worry about running out of juice when you’re out and about.
For those that don’t want to use the speaker there’s also a headphone jack that enables you to listen to the radio using your headphones without disturbing those around you or if you just want a more intimate listening experience.
Eton Mini Compact AM/FM Radio
The Eton Mini Compact AM/FM Radio at just 2.7-inches wide and 4.3-inches in height really is a suitable choice when it comes to a portable radio.
On the front is an LCD display that easy to read and thanks to the digital tuner it’s possible to enjoy much more accuracy when it comes to tuning to the preferred radio station.
On the display is the radio station along with a timer and an alarm activation as well.
There is a FM telescopic antenna making it possible to capture a better signal if you want to listen to FM radio and to choose the band you want there’s a button on the side.
For operation this radio requires two AAA batteries and to prevent any buttons from changing settings during use there is a key lock functions.
Anyone that doesn’t feel like using the speaker can use the headphone jack for a more intimate listening experience.
Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM Stereo Speaker
The Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM Stereo Speaker boasts a no frills design and it’s a great recommendation for those looking for a radio for travel and portability.
On the top of the device is the tuning screen, AM/FM band selector button, and the tuner dial for choosing the preferred station.
The speakers feature a built-in power amplifier and there’s also an audio jack for those that want to use headphones while listening.
For better FM signal this radio comes equipped with a telescoping antenna and at just 2-inches in height and 3-inches in length this is a very portable option for those looking to listen to the radio wherever they go.