The 7 Best Portable Radios (2023)
Radio is still quite an easy and versatile medium for everyday listening to music and news announcements, and it’s a much simpler option than using digital devices. Plus, there are portable radios that are great for traveling purposes.
Between portable desk radios, pocket radios, or very durable portable radios, the market is filled with great options.
My top pick is the Retekess TR604. This is a nice, portable radio with a solid built-in speaker that works with both an AC power supply and batteries.
My budget pick is the DreamSky Pocket Radio. This is a great pocket radio, built for outdoor use and traveling purposes.
The 7 Best Portable Radios (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Retekess TR604
The TR604 is a radio that’s cheap and has a great quality build to it. Retekess really designed a beautiful radio that is AM/FM compatible. It has a 24” long expandable antenna, which is enough to get a clear signal wherever you go. The scale is 3.5” long, so you can be precise when tuning the radio to find the station you want, which is important if you’re in a high-density station area.
It comes with an AC power supply, but it can also work on battery power. Apart from all that, it’s also equipped with a 3.5mm jack for headphones or speakers. The built-in speaker is loud and has a decent sound. All in all, this is a great buy for anyone looking to get a robust, affordable, and reliable portable radio.
2. DreamSky Pocket Radio
If you’re looking for a really cheap and lightweight radio, you should consider the DreamSky Pocket Radio. This little thing is really pocket-sized – it’s 5 inches tall and 2,7 inches wide. Yet, in that small body, it’s packed with everything you might need.
A tuning and volume wheels are put on the side, together with a switch for AM/FM, a 3.5mm headphones jack, and a hand string to keep it all in place. It also has an expandable antenna. It works on 2xAA batteries, so you don’t have to worry about getting those as they are readily available everywhere.
3. Tecsun H501
The Tecsun H501 is a high-end digital world-band AM/FM radio that includes dual speakers and delivers great sound quality. It prides itself on great signal reception and can even be used as an external speaker for a PC. Granted, the price tag is steep, however, the features you get make it worth it still!
The H501 has Bluetooth functionality, supports multiple sound formats loaded on the 16GB SD card, and offers treble, bass, and volume controls for a rich sound. Apart from all this, it has a dual-battery mechanism, an alarm clock, and a sleep timer. In a nutshell, it’s the ultimate option for those who have the budget for it.
4. DEWALT DCR025
Sometimes you don’t want just a portable radio but some other options as well. The DeWalt DCR025 is a perfect example of that kind of item. This is a battery-operated portable radio and speaker, that can be used as a radio, Bluetooth speaker, or charging port, all at once.
The whole machine is based upon having quality batteries inside, made by DeWalt. These are enough for several hours of playing time, no matter in which way are you going to use this radio. Apart from the radio, which has all the standard AM/FM features, there’s always an option for Bluetooth connection as well as two USB ports and an AUX output. Also, the design of this piece is great and it’s sturdily built, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
5. Kaito KA500
The Kaito KA500 is a well-designed, colorful radio that is sturdily built, weather-resistant, impact-resistant, and water-resistant. This radio uses an AC power supply, and batteries, and can even be solar-powered. All this for a very attractive and affordable price!
The KA500 doubles as a phone or GPS charging device, it comes with 7 pre-programmed weather channels and prides itself on stable connection. All in all, it’s a feature-packed radio for both indoor and outdoor use and sports a very affordable price tag, especially considering all the features.
6. Panasonic RF-2400D
The Panasonic RF-2400D is a budget-friendly radio with an old-school design that is great for indoor use. It’s AC and battery-powered with a solid playtime. This radio is really simple to use and provides you with a decent sound quality that picks up both AM and FM frequencies.
This portable radio is very travel-friendly and has a digital tuner with AFC (Auto Frequency Control) for tuning. Plus, it even has a headphone jack for private listening sessions. It is a very user-friendly and affordable radio to take with you wherever you go.
7. Sangean HDR-14 HD
The Sangean HDR-14 HD is a portable, lightweight, and feature-packed radio that supports both AM and FM frequencies. It has 40 memory presets (20 AM, 20 FM), a PAD (Program Associated Data) service, and general necessities like an alarm clock, real-time clock/date, and sleep function.
This radio has it all. It even has a headphone jack, an LCD display, and a low-battery LED indicator. It is the ultimate portable radio for traveling purposes as it is battery-powered, along with an AC power supply option. Although it has plastic construction, with proper care, it could serve for a long time.
Mono or Stereo speakers on a radio?
Mono speakers work with a single channel whereas stereo speakers work with two different channels. The big difference here is that stereo speakers project a wider and more detailed sound range. In a nutshell, stereo speakers should be your first choice for an overall better sound performance and experience.
What to look for in a Portable Radio when buying?
There are a couple of key elements to look for in a portable radio. This includes a power source like a battery or an AC power supply. Usually, having both is a good way to ensure good recharging or falling back on the battery if needed.
Another thing to keep in mind is the sound quality. While speakers do play a massive role in the sound quality of the device, it is also important to have an EQ feature so you can adjust and shape your sound. As mentioned, stereo speakers are the way to go.
And lastly, you should always consider the antenna. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the antenna – the better the reception. Many portable radios have a telescopic antenna that extends a lot. You should opt for an antenna that extends to 12 or more inches.
There are tons of different portable radios out there and you can definitely find one for yourself. Almost all of them are battery-powered, so by buying a few extra batteries you’re going to expand your radio life for months. Also, if you’re tech-savvy, you can always find versatile combinations of radio with other components like flashlights, Bluetooth speakers, and even Bluetooth radios.
My top pick is the Retekess TR604, a nice, portable radio with a solid built-in speaker that works with both an AC power supply and batteries.
My budget pick is the DreamSky Pocket Radio, a great pocket radio that is built for outdoor use and traveling purposes.