The best AM radio: 9 contenders reviewed and rated!
If you’re on the hunt for the best AM radio, you’re in the right place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Budget: 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.
Other connections: 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?
Durability: 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?
Portability: 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.
Listening options: 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?
Top tips for choosing good AM radios
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.
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!