The best portable and pocket radios

The best portable and pocket radios

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Nowadays the music streaming platforms have now become a tool used virtually all over the world for listening the tracks , albums and entire discographies of our favorite artists.

In addition, these tools (such as the hugely popular Spotify) allow you to create too custom playlists , which you can listen to at any time on any device.

Also for this reason, think about the portable radios it is an old-fashioned idea to say the least, especially in these times where technological evolution makes enormous strides practically week after week.

And yet, despite the fact that the most modern and high-tech options certainly can offer a wide range of features and an indisputable convenience, owning a pocket radio still maintains its advantages, especially if the product is of excellent quality. 

The portable and pocket radio, in fact, allows you to stay up to date on the most important news of the day and also on weather reports (a detail that is anything but trivial if we are camping, for example, ed), as well as allowing you to listen to the radio stations you prefer. 

Clearly, a great advantage of these radios is that they can be easily stored in any compartment, given the small size and great lightness. They are easily transportable in the backpack, in a glove box or in the pocket itself. But how to choose the best portable radio and pocket-sized? Let’s try to understand each other more.

What to consider when choosing the best pocket radio

Although pocket and portable radios have been around for around 70 years, the features they haven’t changed too much in the course of these decades, therefore, the use of one of these models should not be complicated at all. Clearly, there are some features that it is good to look carefully to choose the best model around.

Frequency bands

The first aspect to consider is precisely that relating to the frequency bands. The AM and FM frequencies obviously have differences . In FM radio stations you will be able to find most of the music, but they are also the ones that have the shortest frequency ranges. Therefore you could encounter more than one problem in reception, especially if you are at a certain distance from the “home” of the radio station.

Not surprisingly, the radio stations that prefer talk shows and weather reports are found mainly on the AM frequency, which allows the signal to travel a much greater distance compared to FM due to wavelengths that bounce off a layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere.

Dimensions and weight

A feature that can never be missing in the choice of a pocket radio is obviously the portability. These are tools that we tend to carry around, maybe inside the backpack or even in the pocket of the jacket (or trousers), therefore they must be small and light.

Pocket radios that weigh less than half a kilo are easily found on the market. Better to orientate on devices they have a built-in rechargeable battery , in order to save a lot on weight and size, and it does not matter if you need to recharge them a little more often.

Source of energy

We talked about the rechargeable and built-in batteries, which can be easily refilled to power the radio. However, if we are in a campsite or in any case in a place far from inhabited centers without a practical power supply here the use of portable radio can become really problematic.

For this reason, campers and hikers will choose pocket radios with replaceable batteries. Just carry in your backpack spare AA or AAA batteries not to have any problems.

Another solution is to integrate your portable radio with a charger that charges the device using the sun’s rays , or a Battery Bank (both available on Amazon).

Station presets

A very functional pocket radio is almost always equipped with preset programmable.

Many of the best pocket radios come with multiple presets, sometimes even more than 25. The setup is really very simple and will allow you to always have a list of your favorite stations at hand.

Sure, it won’t be as comfortable as pressing “Play” on your Spotify or Windows Media Player playlist, but it is without a doubt a more hasty way to listen to some of our favorite songs without having to turn the knob back and forth.

Headphone jack

The built-in speakers ensure a truly high-level performance, but if you are looking for the maximum portability and practicality here the headphone jack becomes indispensable in the pocket radio model we want to have.

Suppose we are in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, where we will also find elderly patients and with special problems: better enjoy our music using a pair of headphones , avoiding to annoy those present.

Typically, on portable radios we will find 3.5mm headphone jack, which make the products compatible with the vast majority of earphones.

Belt clip

We have said it over and over again: better equip yourself with a small pocket radio, in such a way as to be able to fit it even in your pocket. But what if our pockets are already full or we just don’t have them?

Help can come from belt clip which allows us to carry our pocket radio easily. The best pocket radios have pretty sturdy clips, some of which are also removable , which allow you to slide the radio over your belt or shirt pocket.

These clips are able to keep the radio very steady even when hiking or biking, even on rough terrain : in this way we will not run the risk of losing it on the street.

Bluetooth / Wireless connectivity

But with pocket radios, can you go wireless, using Bluetooth headphones? Well yes, given that some more modern models they have Bluetooth connectivity. Simply plug the headphones into your pocket radio to listen to all our favorite music.

These pocket radio models can also be used as portable Bluetooth speakers, so you can connect to your phone or other device and stream your favorite music without the hassle of advertising.

Clearly these models they are a little more expensive compared to the “basic” versions, but the advantages are all too obvious (we won’t even have the problem of tangled headphone cables).

Our best choices

Precisely based on the functionality and features described, we tried to do a list of the best pocket radios that can be found on the market.

Sangean DT-160 AM / FM See price or buy

Sangean’s DT-160 pocket radio stands out for many interesting features , starting with the very small size and minimum weight.

This radio uses two AA batteries which they manage to guarantee operation for about 100 hours (maintaining a medium listening volume, ed).

The product is also equipped with a button Dynamic Bass Boost which certifies the excellent audio quality. Appears on the LCD screen an integrated clock and also an indicator that constantly gives us the level of signal strength.

Sangean’s pocket radio allows you to set up 10 FM stations and five AM stations . There are no built-in speakers – all the user has to do is connect headphones and select a preset station to listen to your favorite songs. The price is $ 49.23 on Amazon.

DreamSky Pocket Radio – See price or buy

Are there any pocket radio models that can guarantee remarkable quality at an affordable price? The answer is DreamSky Pocket Radio , one of the best possible choices. This radio is equipped with analog tuning which allows you to access FM or AM stations and stay up to date on the most important news of the day, including weather forecasts.

The model features an integrated speaker and a headphone jack. Furthermore, the wrist strap allows you to better attach the radio to the backpack. The DreamSky finally uses two replaceable AA batteries and is equipped with a 16.5 inch antenna which allows you to have the best possible reception in any situation. On eBay it is priced at $ 23.99.

Kaito KA321 Radio

The Kaito KA321 Pocket Radio is a great product that allows for quality listening wherever you are. The KA321 model has in fact 10 bands , in addition to AM radio and an FM range of 64 to 108 MHz.

In addition to the built-in speaker, the pocket radio is equipped with a headphone jack and also a jack for the power adapter. As for the shortwave bands, the Kaito KA321 radio guarantees eight frequencies covering between 5.7 and 21.95 MHz. In addition, the model features a built-in telescopic antenna that allows you to make the most of your listening potential , in both FM and shortwave frequencies (with analog controls and quick and easy frequency tuning). As for the price we are roughly on 20 euro , even if the product is currently not available on Amazon.

DreamSky AM FM Portable Radio – See price or buy

The main feature of this DreamSky portable radio is to be able to guarantee a high level of performance despite its very compact size.

The power of this solution allows it to pick up long wave AM transmissions, and it is guaranteed too the quality of FM listening thanks to the presence of a telescopic antenna.

This radio runs on two AA batteries and has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a powerful built-in speaker. The DreamSky portable radio will be very easy to use even for people of a certain age and not very used to technology. The analog display makes it possible to search for your favorite stations quickly and easily.

Also, given that the cost set by the company for this device is really low , users could choose to buy more than one, in order to have a DreamSky radio in any situation. Currently not available on Amazon, the cost should be around 20 euros.

PRUNUS J-288 Bluetooth AM / FM Radio – See price or buy

Find a pocket radio that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker It’s not that easy. Let alone if the goal is to be able to find a model that also guarantees high quality.

Still, the PRUNUS J-288 pocket radio appears to succeed in this feat. It is an excellent choice, equipped with digital tuner and Bluetooth speaker functionality, in order to stream our favorite station on your smartphone.

In addition, the transmission speed is greatly improved thanks to the technology Bluetooth 4.0 . The pocket radio features AM / FM capabilities and also a timer that allows the radio to automatically turn off.

The J-288 pocket radio has an extra long FM antenna which ensures the clearest audio possible. The rechargeable battery allows you to avoid of having to stock up on batteries replacement. Finally, the PRUNUS J-288 features an easy-to-read LCD digital display. The price on Amazon is 29.99 euros.

Sangean H201 AM / FM / Weather Alert – See price or buy

Taking a shower humming your favorite songs is always a pleasure, but how good it is to be able to do it listening to even the most beautiful songs proposed by the radio stations we love the most?

Sangean thought of this in making the H201, a radio that is used mainly in the shower thanks to its high water resistance, but which turns out to be a very reliable option too for boat trips or for outdoor runs, even in the rain.

The pocket radio has 20 presets, 10 for FM, five for AM and five for weather stations. The digital display presents a convenient backlight , which allows the user to see everything they need even in situations with low external light.

The radio also features a integrated flashlight (located on the side, editor’s note) and a swivel handle that facilitates transport. The presence of two D batteries for wireless operation can “weigh down” the device a little, and is perhaps the only discordant note. On Amazon Italy at the moment it is not available, but in the USA the price is about 80 dollars.

Vondior NOAA Weather Radio

We have said it many times in this article: better to avoid radios that are too bulky. So what’s better than NOAA Vondior, a compact and lightweight radio which can be carried inside any kit.

On board the device we will find two AA batteries, an analog tuning system and a built-in antenna which detects FM stations. If, on the other hand, we are looking for the right relaxation, the Vondior pocket radio can play our favorite FM station or the AM talk show through the built-in speaker.

Finally, the integrated mono headphone jack allows you to listen to the songs we love most without causing any disturbance to other people. On Amazon it is priced at $ 27.49.

Setup and Audio