The Best AM radio is a fantastic way to enjoy a host of “classic” radio channels. Though the best AM radios are harder to find these days, there are still various options on the market
Despite many countries beginning to phase out AM technology in favor of DAB and FM, the AM era isn’t quite over yet.
There are still tons of Americans throughout the country who have an AM radio at home. After all, these devices can offer unique benefits that you can’t get anywhere else.
For instance, did you know that a quality AM radio can access channels over longer distances than FM? That means that if you’re located in a rural part of the States, you may be able to pick up frequencies better with an AM tool.
Additionally, AM has a lower bandwidth than FM radios, meaning that you can access a higher number of stations wherever you are.
Throughout the years of 1920 to 1950, good AM radios were everywhere, offering a reliable way to access the airwaves. Today, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a radio that offers AM signals, without compromising on performance.
Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Read on for our list of the best AM radio reviews.
1. Panasonic RF-2400D (best for old-school performance)
There are many reasons why you might be looking for the best AM radio in an age of Bluetooth and digital streaming. One option is that you’re searching for something to appeal to your nostalgic side – a device that reminds you of a simpler time.
That’s exactly what you get from the Panasonic RF-2400D AM radio.
One of the best AM radio receiver options that’s fully portable and durable too, the Panasonic comes with an analog tuner to help you find your favorite stations. The signal strength is excellent, and there’s a 10 cm antenna included to help you tune your sound.
The robust handle on the top of the device folds down when not in use, and there’s even a large speaker for extra volume.
- 2400 AM/FM tuner
- 10 cm speaker and antenna for better sound
- 770MW max output
- Earphone/headphone jack
- Portable handle
- Tactile tuning knob
This is a pretty basic device overall, but it’s also something you can trust to deliver a high-quality AM radio performance wherever you are.
There’s no digital synthesizer, no DC-in jack, and no time settings, so you can’t use it as an alarm clock. But you do get a portable radio that covers AM and FM with ease.
- Feels brilliantly retro
- Good reception and volume
- Available to power via AC or batteries
- Clear enough sound quality
- Small and portable
- Very basic features
- No waterproofing or dust proofing
2. Sangean H201 (best for in the shower)
We rely on our radio to keep us informed and entertained in a lot of environments these days, including the bathroom. The Sangean H201 is one of the best AM radio receiver options for shower use.
This portable AM/FM radio is waterproof up to JIS7 standards, with a water-resistant speaker that you can use freely in any shower.
There’s a large, easy-to-read backlit display so that you can check the time and your station at any moment. What’s more, there are plenty of easy-to-use buttons that allow you to explore station presets, set sleep timers, and more.
This public alert certified radio can also give you instant weather channel reports at the touch of a button.
- 25 memory presets
- Auto seek function
- Clock and timer functionality
- Certified weather radio
- JIS7 waterproof design
- Emergency LED illumination
- Built-in antenna
- Hanging strap included
The durable nature of this device makes it the perfect choice for our list of good AM radios.
The H201 is highly versatile and waterproof to the point where you can even submerge it into your bath! What’s more, there are extra features like timers and presets included.
- High-level waterproofing
- Protected from dust and debris
- Multiple preset options for each waveband
- Battery-powered for portability
- Built-in antenna to help you find channels
- Quite bulky compared to many powerful AM radios
- Handle isn’t very comfortable to use
3. Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 (best emergency)
Some people buy a quality AM radio because they love the traditional feel of an AM tuner. Other people purchase AM technology because it’s often more reliable during emergency situations.
If you’re looking something that can keep you connected, no matter what, try the Kaito Voyager Pro KA600.
Not only is this one of the best AM radios around, but it’s also one of the top emergency radios on the market too.
The solar panel allows you to collect energy from the sun, and there’s a hand-powered crank for extra power too. You can even use your radio to charge your smartphone in a tough spot.
This all-purpose portable AM radio comes with 6 modes of power available, making it excellent for any hiking trips or adventures.
You’ll get features like:
- Comprehensive access to FM, AM, Longwave and Shortwave channels
- Pre-programmed NOAA weather channels
- 18-inch telescopic antenna for better sensitivity
- Durable construction with digital tuner
- LCD backlit display
- 12 hour clock with sleep timer and dual alarms
- Emergency mobile battery charger
- SOS beacon light included
- Hand crank and solar power options
If you need a durable indoor and outdoor device, then the Kaito is one of the best AM tuner options on the market. It’s perfect for keeping you connected when times are tough, with hand-cranking technology built in.
- Multiple ways to power and charge
- Easy to use functionality
- Range of emergency features built-in
- Charge your smartphone battery on the move
- Durable design
- Pretty heavy
- Flashlight button isn’t great
- Takes a lot of solar power to get enough energy
4. Sangean PR-D5 (best for digital tuning)
The hunt for the best AM radio brought the team at Radio Fidelity face-to-face with a number of brands. Sangean, however, seemed to be one of the major contenders in the space.
Once again, we have another tool from Sangean here, this time the PR-D5. This radio comes with an easy-to-read LCD display with a battery-power indicator to show you when you’re running out of juice.
There’s a 200mm Ferrite AM antenna to help boost your reception. Additionally, the device comes with support for up to 10 memory preset stations.
You can set an alarm using HWS (humane wake system) or radio settings. There’s also FM radio built-in.
Features of the PR-D5 include:
- 200mm Ferrite AM antenna for better reception
- 10 memory preset stations
- Synthesized tuning system
- Alarm by HWS or radio
- Easy-to-read LCD display
- Battery power indicator
- FM radio included
- Rotary tuning knob
- Real-time clock and alarm features
The dual 2.5 stereo speakers on the Sangean give you an excellent level of audio quality, which is often hard to find with an AM radio. Additionally, there’s an aux-in connection if you want to use your smartphone with the device.
- Easy to use design
- Powered by batteries for portability
- Excellent AM connection with digital tuning
- 10 preset station included
- Sleep timer, alarm and aux-in option
- Powerful speakers
- Tuning can be complicated
- Tuning knobs can turn sticky when exposed to heat
5. Bosch PB120 12-Volt (best heavy duty)
So, what if you’re looking for the best AM radio to use on a work site? Perhaps you work in the trade industry for a living, and you need something to keep your mind occupied while you work. The Bosch PB120 can help with that.
This compact FM/AM radio comes with an MP3 player included, as well as a bunch of other bonus features.
Despite a highly ruggedized design, the Bosch PB120 is lightweight and sleek, so it’s easy to take with you on the move.
There’s an integrated AC adapter storage system, so you can maintain power and play without any cords. Additionally, the Bosch is excellent at absorbing knocks and bumps without losing quality.
- 12-volt power performance
- Integrated AC adapter storage
- 10 preset stations
- 8 hours of battery time
- High-performance speakers for better sound
- High-level shock-absorbing components
The main thing that detracts from this device is the fact that it doesn’t come with waterproofing built-in. Also, you can use a cable to plug in an MP3 player, doing so can distort the quality of the music.
- Great for durability
- High-level performance with good speakers
- Up to 8 hours of battery time
- MP3 playing available
- 10 preset stations
- Quite bulky
- No waterproofing
- Aux in distorts the audio quality
6. Sony ZSRS60BT portable sound system (best for Bluetooth)
Just because you want some relatively old fashioned technology in your radio, like AM tuning, doesn’t mean that you won’t want to take advantage of modern options too, like Bluetooth.
With the Sony Portable Bluetooth digital tuner, you can get the best of both worlds in one convenient package.
This device stands out as one of the tools with the best AM radio reception, and high level of performance.
There’s a CD player built-in if you want to play your own music, or you can stream using a USB stick, or Bluetooth connection.
There’s also up to 30 preset station options available for both AM and FM.
You will get features like:
- Professional bass sound enhancement
- 30 memory presets
- LCD display
- Up to 26 hours of battery life
- AM/FM tuner
- Bluetooth audio streaming
- USB connection
- CD playback
- Portable design
Despite still being small enough to be reasonably portable, the Sony has a lot to offer. There’s even USB recording and playback available.
You can record your favourite tracks from a CD and take them with you in USB style.
- Advanced features like USB playback
- Bluetooth audio streaming included
- Mega bass enhancement
- Up to 26 hours of battery life
- AM/FM tuning
- CD player included
- A little bulky and difficult to transport
- No remote
- Quiet volume without mega bass
7. Sony ICFP26 (best pocket radio)
If you’re searching for the best AM radio that you can carry around without a back-ache, then check out the Sony ICFP26. This portable radio is about the size of a chunky smartphone, which means that it fits easily in most pockets.
Offering both AM and FM connectivity, it’s not the most advanced product that we’ve seen, but it still belongs on our list of good AM radios.
This versatile and compact AM radio is excellent when you’re low on space. For instance, if you’re trying to save backpack room on your hiking trip.
There’s also a headphone socket included for private listening, and an antenna for better tuning.
- Headphone input
- Battery powered portability
- Lightweight and portable design
- Built-in hands strap included
- LED tuning and battery status
- Powerful volume
- Excellent sound quality
This is one of the cheapest and most basic options on our list of best AM radio choices, but it will come in very handy if you’re looking for something to take with you when you travel.
Remember that it does take batteries, so you’ll need to stock up.
- Portable and lightweight
- Headphone input
- Hand strap included
- Battery indicator included
- Good sound quality
- Limited features
- Can struggle with volume
8. Eton Elite Field radio (best desktop)
The best AM radio doesn’t have to be complicated to deliver an excellent experience. This high-performance option from Eton is one of the most reliable AM radios on the market today.
With an LCD display built-in, you can easily fine-tune your stations to find the best possible quality of sound. Unlike some of the other good AM radios on this list, the Eton allows you to adjust things like bass and treble too.
The Eton Elite remembers up to 50 stations, to help you find your favorite channels fast. What’s more, there’s a telescopic antenna, a built-in strap, and a headset input option too.
It’s worth noting that you will need to pay a little extra for such a high-performance radio, however.
The Eton Elite includes features like:
- Best in class sound quality
- LCD display with fine tuning
- 50 preset memory stations
- AM/FM tuning options
- Versatile receiver
- Headphone aux-in built-in
- Portable and durable design
- Treble and bass control
The best thing about this radio is that it feels like a modern device, even if it has more “traditional” features than some of the other radios out there.
The Eton Elite is built to deliver great results wherever you are, and that’s something that really shines through with this device.
- One of the most powerful AM radios
- Excellent audio quality
- Fine-tuning features with 50 presets
- Treble and bass control
- Minimal distortion
- Quite expensive
- Instructions aren’t much good
9. Sangean WR-16SE (best vintage)
Finally, if you’re looking for the best AM radio to give you a taste of vintage style alongside some excellent performance, you can’t go wrong with the Sangean WR-16SE.
This is a special anniversary radio offered by Sangean that provides a combination of old-fashioned aesthetics and modern features. On the surface, the Sangean looks like a traditional retro radio.
This is the kind of radio you’d find sitting in your grandma’s house, bleating out alerts about the war.
There’s AM/FM access available, as well as Bluetooth technology that granny’s radio probably didn’t have. You’ll also have Bluetooth technology built-in, and high level wireless audio streaming.
The aux input also allows for additional music playing sources, like using CD players or MP3s.
The Sangean might seem a little expensive, but it’s packed full of charm you can’t get anywhere else.
- Precision tuning with tactile knobs
- Beautiful vintage design
- Deep bass compensation
- High-level volume support
- Aux input for additional audio sources
- AM/FM support
- Bluetooth technology included
- Headphone output
- USB charging
This AM radio delivers a perfect blend of the past and future.
Features like USB charging and Bluetooth means that you can access the convenience of the modern age. At the same time, the unique design and AM tuning reminds you of the golden years of radio.
- Stunning vintage design
- Precision tuning available
- Bluetooth included with AM and FM
- Deep bass compensation
- Aux input support
- USB charging
- Charging doesn’t work perfectly
- Not super accurate for tuning
Top tips for choosing good AM radios
Our best AM radio reviews have hopefully given you an insight into some of the AM technology that’s still available on the market today. However, you may be having a hard time choosing from so many good AM radios.
The first step in making your decision is figuring out the difference between an AM and FM radio.
Remember, although AM radios can sometimes deliver a lower sound quality than FM, they also have more scope. If you live in a rural place or you like to go out hiking a lot, then an AM frequency might give you more opportunities to find local channels than an FM radio.
As sometimes it’s easy for an AM radio to struggle with delivering high-quality audio, it’s extra important to make sure that you’re using the right technology. Finding an AM radio that has the right audio codecs and a good high-level tuning station is essential.
Other points to think about when choosing a quality AM radio include:
Some AM radios are more expensive than others. It’s a good idea to ensure that you know how much you can reasonably afford to spend before you start shopping.
Aside from AM, what other kind of radio do you want to listen to? Would you like digital frequencies and Bluetooth built-in? Alternatively, would you prefer to just find a radio with AM/FM support?
Most of the time, people purchase AM radios because they want to take them hiking or to distant locations. If that’s the case for you, it’s a good idea to look for a radio that’s durable and unlikely to be damaged by moisture.
Ease of use
How easy is it to find a good signal with your AM radio? Are you stuck switching between channels for hours? Are there pre-set memory stations available that you can visit at the touch of a button?
Is this radio small enough to carry with you on your next camping trip? Are there multiple ways to charge it if you can’t get to an outlet? A versatile AM radio will be a lifesaver in an emergency situation.
Can you just tune in through the radio speaker? Or are you able to add some headphones and listen privately? Will your AM radio play music from other devices through a cable connection or CD player?
Finding a quality AM radio for your home
AM radios deliver a very different experience to FM radios and their digital counterparts. For instance, if you’re using your AM radio largely for talk-shows, then you might prefer an analog radio that allows you to get a clearer reception for talk stations.
Remember, your AM radio will typically get the best reception when it’s placed near a window.
If you have a hard time finding channels, choosing a device that allows you to save your favorite stations to presets will save you a lot of time and effort.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the best AM radio is that it’s common to get interference when your radio is close to another device, like a fluorescent light or a laptop.
While some sources of interference will be impossible to turn off, such as hard-wired technology and smoke detectors in your home, knowing which products cause disturbances can help.
If you’re concerned that you’re often exposed to a lot of different sources of interference, it might be a good idea to choose an AM radio that comes with FM and digital frequency options too.
Choosing the best AM radio
Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to choosing the best AM radios. Good AM radios come in a variety of shapes and sizes, to suit all kinds of preferences.
For some people, the best AM radio will be one that can continue to deliver an excellent experience no matter the circumstances. For instance, the Kaito Voyager offers one of the most dependable products for use in emergency scenarios. If you ever run out of battery, you can expose your radio to sunlight to get some extra juice or use the built-in crank.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for an AM radio that gives you the vintage style and sophistication of an old radio, with some extra modern features, you might prefer the Sangean WR-16SE.
This stunning radio gives you the best of both worlds in a device that you’ll be proud to display in your living room, kitchen or bedroom.
Remember, when you’re choosing your radio, keep an eye out for any device that can give you a good combination of sound-quality, practicality, and performance.
What’s your favorite AM radio on the market right now? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation with us on social media!
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