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The Best FM Radios

Last updated on October 13, 2023
Best FM Radios

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top FM Radios

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best Overall

Sangean WR-11 Wood Cabinet AM/FM Table Top Analog Radio

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


WR-11 Wood Cabinet AM/FM Analog Radio

If you want a retro radio you can sit on your nightstand or table, this AM/FM unit offers good sound and simple controls. It features modern conveniences like connections for input devices like headphones and iPods and allows for external recording.

Overall Take

Classic Wooden StyleWhile it features a vintage look, this AM/FM radio doesn't disappoint when it comes to modern connectivity options.

 Travel Pick

DreamSky Battery Operated AM FM Transistor Pocket Radio


Battery Operated AM FM Transistor Pocket Radio

Whether you like to go hiking or just want a handheld radio for on the go, this battery-powered unit can offer good sound and portability. It features a headphone jack and simple controls.

Overall Take

Best for PortabilityIf you need a small radio to take with you and don't need a lot of features, this AM/FM radio handles the basics well.

 Most Versatile

Jimeng AM FM Portable Transistor Radio


AM FM Portable Transistor Radio

Designed to give you strong reception and control over the sound quality, this AM/FM radio offers dual power options and has sturdy, easy-to-use controls. You can choose between low and high tone settings.

Overall Take

Versatile Sound and Power OptionsIf you need flexibility, this radio works with batteries or an AC adapter and offers sound options that fit your setting and preferences.

 Best Basic

Panasonic RF-2400D Analogue AM / FM Radio


RF-2400D Analogue AM / FM Radio

Especially made to listen to the radio during emergencies, this option mainly uses batteries, but users can use a separate adapter. It offers a large and loud speaker, simple controls and a headphone jack.

Overall Take

Basic and Simple OptionWhen you just want a basic radio that offers a reliable signal and dual power options, this simple model can fit your needs.

Buying Guide

When you want some free entertainment you can take on the go, an FM radio doesn’t disappoint. You can tune into your favorite radio stations as well as access AM channels on the many models available today. Even better, you can find AM radios in sizes ranging from handheld models that you can listen to as you walk around to large desktop radios that give you big sound.

Smaller radios tend to run on several batteries, making them a great option for emergencies when you lose power or for traveling in general. Models of all sizes may come with a power adapter for continuous listening and the most flexibility.

When choosing an FM radio, you’ll want to find reliable models that offer a good signal and quality sound. Those with longer antennas can help you get better reception. You’ll find options with both small and large speakers along with some models that let you choose between tones to fit your environment.

Although FM radios can seem simple to operate, you’ll find variation in the knobs, dials and sliders they feature. Some makers market their radios as easy to use for those who are elderly and may need larger controls. Other models make it easy to turn to the exact radio station you’re seeking without much fuss.

Besides letting you listen to AM and FM radio stations through the speaker, models often let you plug in headphones at a minimum. Some radios even have auxiliary in and out ports that let you connect gadgets like iPods or recording systems.

What to Look For

  • If you’d like a battery-powered FM radio but worry about paying for all those batteries, consider that you can find rechargeable batteries that can be more economical. You can keep an extra set as well so you aren’t stuck without a radio while the batteries charge.
  • To get the best signal, raise your FM radio’s antenna so that it’s as high as possible where you are. However, keep in mind that factors such as your location’s altitude and any objects that could block the radio signal may impact your reception. Therefore, moving outside may give you a better listening experience.
  • When buying an FM radio that works with both batteries and an AC adapter, check whether the manufacturer includes the power plug. Sometimes, you’ll need to buy that as a separate accessory when the maker intends the radio to be used primarily with batteries.
  • If you plan to plug your phone or MP3 player into your radio, check whether you have the right connection and cable. A standard AUX cable can plug into your device’s headphone jack, but some devices like newer iPhones would need an adapter for this to work.
  • You can use your FM radio with a separate antenna set up inside or outside your home if you have trouble getting good reception where you listen most.

More to Explore

When listening to your favorite tunes, you can thank the American engineer named Edwin Armstrong for inventing the modern radio. He started working with AM radio technology and would eventually invent a portable model in the 1920s after he did related work for the U.S. military. He built onto his research and went on to patent the FM radio in 1933.

Although many people use music streaming services today, the radio has remained popular and continues to surpass other media formats in terms of reach. With radios being widely available and without a fee to listen to stations, they continue to appeal to as much as 92 percent of Americans who enjoy listening weekly.

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