best portable radio

Since the arrival of smartphones, most people have forgotten the importance of having a radio. Keeping up with the latest trends, news, and your favorite radio programs is very important especially when you’re on a road trip, but how can you do that without best portable radio?

Sure, you can catch some radio programs or listen to your playlists on your phone, but there are places where you will be stuck with poor or no signal at all. In such cases, the best portable radio is not just the solution- it’s your most important companion. And since you can take it with you anywhere, you will not only be sure you won’t miss your favorite programs but will also be able to listen to music on the go without running down your smartphone’s battery.

With so many portable radios available on the market along with their marketing gimmicks, how will you identify the best when you see one? How can you be sure it will live up to its name and deliver on what it claims to be? Well, you cannot be sure, unless you buy the radio and try it out. And if it cannot deliver crystal clear audio, or meet your expectations, you have just wasted your effort, time and money.

We know you deserve the best and that is why we are doing you a favor by creating this guide to show the best portable radio and direct you on how to make the right choice. Now, let us take a look at the ten best portable radios; we’ll then discuss how to select the best pocket AM FM radio for you.

Top 10 Best Portable Radio

Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio
  • High-quality sound
  • Strong shape
  • Battery up to 80 hours
Panasonic RF-2400 AM / FM Radio
  • Panasonic RF-2400
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  • Affordable price
  • Loud speaker
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  • Classical design
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TIVDIO L-288 Portable AM FM Stereo Radio with Wireless MP3 Player Speaker
  • Cheap price
  • Nice design
  • Sleep timer to shut down

1. Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio

Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio

My rating:

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Mere hearing the name “Sony,” you know you are in for quality, and with the Sony ICF38 portable AM / FM radio’s performance, you will not be disappointed. The radio features a black and elegant portable design that allows you to slip this pocket-size radio conveniently into your jacket or shirt pocket or your handbag.

It comes with a telescoping antenna that ensures solid reception and increased range. Its large 3-5/8 inch speaker provides a crystal clear talk and loud musical sound, allowing you to share your radio program with people around you. It also comes with earphone jack that allows you to plug in your headphones and listen to your favorite channels for improved sound clarity in noisy environments.

Another amazing feature is the control tone switch and the LED turning indicator that make changing from one radio channel to the other a breeze even in low light. This AM/FM radio comes with dual power options, and also comes with a built-in carrying handle for convenience. With its impressive battery life (up to 80 hours), you can easily carry it with you anywhere and keep up on your favorite channels without having to drain your phone’s battery.

In my opinion, for the quality and portability you get, the Sony ICF38 portable AM / FM radio is the best portable radio for the money. Highly recommended!

Things we liked

Great FM and AM reception
Nice shape and design
LED indicator makes tuning a lot easier
Tone control switch to adjust its sound quality
High-quality sound
Dual power options (4 “AA” batteries or AC input)
A year warranty
Impressive battery life (good for camping and your outdoor activities)

Things we didn’t like

Old fashioned

2. Sangean PR-D5BK with Digital Tuning

Sangean PR-D5BK

My rating:

buy from amazon

The PR-D5BK from Sangean is probably the most selective and sensitive AM and FM radio available on the market today. It featured a sturdy but lightweight plastic construction and packed with several other amazing features that made it outshine most of its competitors. It comes with a flip-down handle that is specially designed with its user’s convenience in mind.

One of its exciting features is its crystal clear LCD screen that displays the digital clock, tuning frequency, battery strength and so on. Its digital clock and alarm work pretty fine; you might find this alluring if you need a travel alarm clock with snooze timer and an FM/AM radio all in a single package. Its dual 2.5-inch speakers deliver a clear and high-quality sound; you will be impressed with the nice sound it produces for its size.

You can power the radio with the AC adapter that comes with the device or with 6 “C” size batteries to listen to various channels while camping or traveling. The radio also features ten pre-sets that allow you to program your favorite FM and AM channels. Its digital display is well backlit to ensure visibility even in low light conditions.

My favorite feature is its Aux-in connection that allows you to connect external devices like a CD player or smartphone to listen to music through the radio speakers. It also has excellent reception and selectable switch to select between mono and stereo audio performance.

Things we liked

Aux-in with earphone jack for personal listening
Dual power mode (adapter included)
Nice reception
Digital tuning system with easy to read LCD screen
Digital clock with alarm clock (Humane wake system)
Sleek design with standard-quality audio

Things we didn’t like

No tone control

3. Panasonic RF-2400

Panasonic RF-2400 AM / FM Radio

My rating:

buy from amazon

If you want a good quality AM / FM radio, offered at an affordable price to carry along with you anywhere you go, the RF-2400 AM / FM radio from Panasonic might be all you need. Panasonic is recognized as one of the best international manufacturers of electronic products, so you can be sure you are going in for quality. This radio ensures you do not miss the news, sports and your favorite music and radio shows as it brings them right to where you need them the most.

It is small (3.2 x 9.2 x 4.8 inches) and extremely light in weight (16 ounces); this makes it great as a pocket travel radio or as a home or office table radio. With its long telescoping style antenna that increased the range and sensitivity of the AM/FM receiver, you can easily capture the pristine sound quality of the channels that will be delivered through its full range speaker. The radio also has a large dial on its side and separate scales for FM and AM frequencies to select your station.

Furthermore, it comes with a LED light that allows you to fine-tune the stations. You can power the unit with an AC adapter or with 4 “AA” batteries which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Panasonic RF – 2400 is durable and can withstand the harsh outdoor conditions, you won’t be disappointed with its performance.

Things we liked

Nice AM and FM reception
Loud speaker volume
Easy to use
AC and DC (battery) compatibility
Headphone or earphone compatible
Ferrite antenna and LED light to capture the pure sound quality of your radio channels

Things we didn’t like

Mono sound production
No Bluetooth or Aux-in features for external devices

4. Sony SRF-18 with Built-In Amplifier

Sony SRF-18 Portable AM/FM Stereo Speaker with Built-In Amplifier

My rating:

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The Sony SRF-18 is another nice and impressive product that shows why Sony is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to producing high-quality electronics. It comes in a small but durable plastic body with compact travel speakers that produce high-quality sound for its size. The unit is extremely light (weighs 6.4 ounces), and this makes it ideal for travelers who love to listen to their favorite radio program and music on the go.

Its inbuilt FM/AM radio tuner, telescoping antenna and power amplifier all work perfect, thereby providing you the clear and pure radio sound quality you deserve. It has the audio-in feature that allows you to connect your smartphone and other external devices (such as the iPod, mp3 and CD player) to the radio and listen to your favorite music through the unit’s speakers.

It unit also comes with a LED tune light and operates on a pair of size AA battery. You will not just get a solid reception and high-quality audio from your headphone when using its audio jack; you will also get an excellent battery life. The unit is not water resistant, but the portability, sensitivity, and the quality audios it delivers make it a great buy.

Things we liked

Audio-in (to connect other listening devices to the unit)
In-built power amplifier produces top-notch audios
Excellent AM and FM sensitivity
Lightweight and very portable
LED light facilitates tuning
Good battery life

Things we didn’t like

Not compatible for use with AC adapters
Analog tuning with no Bluetooth connectivity

5. TIVDIO L-288 Stereo Radio

TIVDIO L-288 Portable AM FM Stereo Radio with Wireless MP3 Player Speaker

My rating:

buy from amazon

If you’re in need of the top of the line transistor radio with several attractive features at a very affordable cost, the TIVDIO L-288 is your best bet. The radio comes with a lot of modern features that makes it more versatile than most products within its range. It is a battery operated mp3 player with AM and FM tuner.

The amazing features include its Bluetooth compatibility that allows you to connect your tablet or smartphone and listen to your playlist via Bluetooth. You can also play your favorite music either from a micro SD card or from USB memory stick. It comes with fast forward or rewind button that works pretty cool when you want to next, fast forward, rewind or go back to the previous music.

It features a digital AM / FM tuning system and a clear and readable LED display that shows you the radio frequency or the track number you are on. Its 1000ma rechargeable battery can hold up to 7hrs while providing you the high-quality sound of your favorite music or radio station through its dual 40mm speakers. The radio is not just easy to take with you anywhere; you can set its sleep timer to shut down the unit automatically and save battery when it’s not in use.

Things we liked

Digital tuning system
Bluetooth compatibility up to 10 meters
Comes with rechargeable battery and its power adapter
It supports USB disk and SD card up to 16 GB
Sleep timer to shut down the unit to save power
Quality sound with minimal distortion
Nice portability and radio reception
Great for both outdoor and indoor activities
Great price

Things we didn’t like

From our survey, some customers wished it has clock and alarm functions

6. Sony Icf-304

Sony Icf-304 Am/fm Analog Portable Table Radio

My rating:

buy from amazon

The ICF-304 is another great offering from Sony with standard features that make it a perfect companion for your outdoor and traveling expedition. It comes in a sleek and compact plastic housing that is durable with a telescoping antenna to ensure solid reception and improved sensitivity. Its large 100mW speaker provides a loud and crystal clear sound, allowing you to share your radio program with those around you.

It also comes with earphone jack that allows you to listen to your favorite radio programs with improved sound clarity in noisy environments. Another amazing feature is the LED turning indicator that makes it easy for you to change from one radio channel to the other. It comes with dual power options, which means you can operate it on 4 AA batteries while you’re on a trip or outing, or with optional AC power source.

The radio has a built-in carrying handle for convenience. The good news is, you do not have to drain your phone’s battery to enjoy cool music or listen to your radio programs while you’re on a long trip. Its impressive battery life (up to 26 hours) allows you to keep up with your favourite channels so you can save your phone’s battery for other applications.

Things we liked

It has LED indicator to change between the channels with ease
Nice battery life (up to 26 hours)
AC and DC compatibility
Brilliant reception
Portable and light in weight

Things we didn’t like

Mono sound output
Analog tuning with no audio-input or Bluetooth compatibility

7. Ohala Multifunctional Ultral-thin Fm Radio

Ohala Multifunctional Ultral-thin Fm Radio

My rating:

buy from amazon

If you want a quality portable AM / FM radio with cool features at an affordable price, the Ohala Multifunctional radio might be your best way to go. The radio is light and very portable with only a thickness of 2 cm; this makes it very easy and convenient to take along with you anywhere, anytime.

The unit adopts ultra-thin speaker (super bass woofer) which produces high-quality sounds. It is equipped with ferrite antenna for improved reception sensitivity. The unit is powered by a rechargeable 800 mah battery that can hold up to 6 hours in middle volume.

The unit can also play mp3 song format from your micro SD card and USB flash drive, making it ideal for your trip and outings. It has a large display screen that indicates the radio frequency or music track you are playing. Its 0-9 number buttons are user-friendly, allowing you to select your radio channels or music tracks. It also comes with a standard earphone jack to listen to your radio anytime, any day.

Things we liked

USB disk and micro SD card compatible
High-quality sound production
Rechargeable battery (can hold up to 6 hours)
Ferrite antenna for a clear and solid reception
Crystal clear LED display
Ultra-thin and extremely portable
Digital AM/FM tuning system
Brilliant radio reception

Things we didn’t like

No Bluetooth or audio-in compatibility

8. Sangean MMR-77 Emergency AM / FM Portable Radio

Sangean MMR-77 Emergency AM / FM Portable Radio

My rating:

buy from amazon

When it comes to finding a portable radio with an excellent reception to listen to the news during a crisis or an emergency, the Sangean MMR-77 Emergency radio might be your best way to go. This multi-purpose and multi-powered radio definitely live up to the task, especially during emergencies, to provide you fine quality AM/FM performance when you need it most.

You can power the radio using an external power adapter, a set of size AA batteries or with its inbuilt dynamo (just wind it in either direction, and you are good to go). The radio also features a selective and sensitive FM/AM receiver for a solid reception and noise-free audio quality. The radio also comes with additional features such as an emergency buzzer and emergency light to illuminate the dial dow and your immediate environment.

The unit is water resistant, and this feature makes it ideal for swimming lovers and camping activities with emergency or power outage.

Things we liked

Dynamo powered (wind it for a minute to play for 30 minutes)
Multi-power option
Noiseless audio quality
Water resistant
Turning led indicator for easy tuning
Brilliant AM/FM reception

Things we didn’t like

No battery or power adapter included

9. AGPTEK FM Pocket Radio with Line-in Voice

AGPTEK FM Pocket Radio, Portable Radio with Line-in Voice Radio Recorder and Mp3 Player

My rating:

buy from amazon

Experience the radio with the portable pocket FM radio from AGPTEK. The radio is loaded with a lot of features, making it one of the best portable radios in terms of performance and quality. The unit comes with a built-in microphone to record your meeting, lectures, radio broadcasts, etc. with ease.

The AGPTEK is compatible with micro SD card; you can insert your SD card into the device to play and listen to your mp3 files through its incredibly loud speaker. In addition to this, it is very portable (about the size of an iPod classic) and comes with a standard earphone jack for a personal listening experience. This makes it ideal for travel, jogging, and other outdoor activities

It has brilliant FM reception (AM not supported) and comes with a rechargeable 800mAh battery. It also features a creative and modern design which makes it the best gift for any occasion.

Things we liked

Voice recorder
Compatible with micro SD
Rechargeable batteries
Quality FM reception

Things we didn’t like

No AM support

10. Sony Walkman SRF-M37 Digital Tuning

Sony Walkman Digital Tuning

My rating:

buy from amazon

The Sony SRF-M37 Walkman lives up to its name. This piece is not just extremely light and portable; it is durable and can be a great choice for your road trips or intense workout sessions. Just slide in a single AAA  battery, plug in its stereo headphone, tune to your favorite channel, hit the gym or your running track, and you are good to go!  It comes with a belt clip to secure the unit on your belt, so it doesn’t fall off especially during those periods of intense exercises.

The unit is also pretty easy to operate. It includes an LCD screen with digital clock and a distant or local switch to get you a clear and solid reception of both far and near radio stations. It operates on a single AAA battery to give you 30 hours of music, making this radio inexpensive to use. It comes with 20 station-preset memory and six shortcut buttons that are very easy to use.

The unit has no external speaker but comes with a standard earphone jack and stereo headphone for personal listening. It also has weather band tuning function to get the weather updates from your local broadcasts.

Things we liked

Portable and lightweight
Great companion for your trip, walks, and workouts
Easy to use with impressive battery life
Comes with digital clock
Excellent sound
Battery life indicator
Belt clip and stereo headphones included

Things we didn’t like

No external speaker
A little pricey

Ultimate Buying Guide for Best Portable Radio

After being bitten by a radio bug, the next thing you want to buy is the best portable radio, to keep up with your favorite radio programs anywhere you find yourself. But when it comes to finding the best portable radio, there are some questions you need to ask and things you need to consider. Some of these questions are:

  • Who will be using the radio, You, your kid or an older adult? (This is important when you are buying the radio to gift to your loved ones)
  • How do you plan to use the radio?
  • Will you be using it indoor or outdoor?
  • Will you expose the radio to dust or water?

The answers to the questions will guide you on the features you need to look out for when purchasing the best portable radio.

Now let us discuss the features and factors you need to consider when selecting the best one for you.

Sound Quality

best portable radio

This is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting the best portable radio. Buying a radio with poor sound quality is just like throwing your money into the pit. Therefore, you should always look for a radio with high-quality inbuilt speaker and delivers crisp and clear sound. You may also want to consider going for a portable radio with a headphone jack. This feature is just another plus point, allowing you to listen to your radio without disturbing others around you.

Auxiliary Input

This feature allows you to connect other mobile devices like your mp3 players, CD player, iPod and smartphone to your radio and listen to your music through its speakers. This feature is helpful when it comes to sharing your music with your friends when you’re out on a picnic. And if you’re feeling retro, you can go out on a picnic with your CD player to play your mp3 CDs.

Having problem selecting the best CD player that is compatible with your portable radio? Our guide at here might be able to help.


The functionality of a portable radio is important especially if you want some specific features in a radio. If you want a radio to listen to AM radio programs, then you need to go for the radio that supports this feature or comes with the dual band at least. You can also go for a portable radio with Bluetooth connectivity, Aux input, CD player, USB or micro SD card compatibility if you would love to be able to play your own music. A radio with recording feature may be highly beneficial, especially when you want to record your guitar tunes or group camp songs.

Waterproof and Water Resistance

If you plan to use your radio outdoors, on the beach, your swimming pool, or your bathroom, you will find this feature highly beneficial. And since you do not want your radio to get damaged by the rainstorm, splash from the beach or spray from your shower, you should go for radio built specially for this purpose.

Power Option

Another important feature to look for when selecting the best portable radio is its power options. Most portable radio runs on batteries, but there are some that also run on AC adapter, rechargeable crank, or solar energy. If you want a radio that will serve you well during emergencies or if you plan to be out in the wilderness, then you need a radio with multiple power options. You also need to look out for a portable radio with impressive battery life as it would be inexpensive to operate compared to the one with poor battery life.


This feature may not be useful if you live near radio stations. But if you need to travel long distances or work in an area that is far from the town or radio stations, you need a radio with a long telescoping antenna. This is beneficial in the area where there are lots of signals or when you want to pick far distant channels. Always remember that a radio with a good antenna ensures better reception when you need it the most.

Your Budget

portable radio for money

How much are you willing to spend to get yourself a portable radio that suits your needs? Remember, you do not have to hemorrhage your bank to get the best. Consider your options and go for a radio that suits your needs but falls within your budget.

Other factors you may want to consider includes:

  • Warranty
  • Durability
  • Popular brands
  • Features like Equalizer, light indicator, and other amazing features

Still contemplating whether to buy a portable radio to keep up with your favorite music? The amazing benefits of music might be able to change your mind.

Final words

There are several other portable radios with nice features available on the market. However, the radios we review above are the ones we found more durable, reliable and with outstanding sound quality. The Sony ICF38 portable AM / FM radio is our top product on this list. While it is one of the most expensive items, we reviewed; its crisp and clear reception, warranty, and awesome audio output make it worth its money in gold. It also has the longest battery life, making it the ideal choice for long road trips and outings.

If you are looking more for a portable radio to keep with you while working out, the Sony SRF-M37 Walkman is your best bet. This is because of its great portability, impressive battery life and the included belt clip to secure the unit from falling out during intensive workouts.

But if your ultimate goal is to find a music-oriented portable radio, you can rely on the TIVDIO L-288. It comes with great features such as digital tuning system, support for micro SD card and USB disk, great sound output and Bluetooth compatibility, all at an affordable price. And this makes it a great choice for any outing or picnics.

We hope you find this post helpful and resourceful, don’t just do yourself a favor by purchasing one today, share this information with your friends and your experience in the comment box below.