The best FM radio: 10 reviewed for your daily music fix!
In a world full of Bluetooth radios, internet streaming, and countless futuristic devices, looking for the best FM radio might seem like a step backwards.
Even with all the compelling listening devices on the market today, the top FM radio can still deliver some unique benefits that you can’t get anywhere else.
An FM radio is one of the most dependable ways to tune into your favorite channels and programs when Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections aren’t available.
With a good FM radio, you can even ensure that you don’t miss out on your daily talk show or music mix when you’re camping in the mountains or hiking through some rural woodland.
Of course, not all FM radios were created equal. To help you make the right choice, we checked out some of the highest rated and most-loved radios in the US market.
Here’s your insight into some of our top choices.
1. Bose Wave (best tabletop FM radio)
Bose is one of the biggest companies in the audio landscape today. Known for exceptional headphones and high-fidelity Bluetooth speakers, Bose has taken the world by storm.
The Bose Wave is more than just one of the best FM reception radio options, it’s also a full tabletop system for room-filling sound. Thanks to breakthrough waveguide technology, you get excellent surround sound.
The Bose Wave also features a bunch of extra components for the music lover, such as an MP3 player component if you want to play your own tunes, and a CD player too.
There’s a dual alarm function in case you’re using the device as a bedside clock. What’s more, you can set your preferences with up to 12 presets too.
2. Sony portable Bluetooth stereo (best with Bluetooth)
Just because you want the best FM reception radio available today, doesn’t mean that you don’t want access to other features in your device too, like Bluetooth streaming.
Bluetooth connectivity can make a good FM radio great. After all, when you run out of things to listen to on your favorite channels, you can simply switch to Bluetooth and start streaming instead.
The Sony Portable Bluetooth radio might not be the most advanced or the most attractive radio on the market. However, it still makes it into our top FM radio list for its usability, reliability, and versatility.
For a low price tag of under $90, the Sony comes with everything from AM/FM tuning, to a 30 station preset memory, and USB recording. Other features include:
CD playback functionality
Bluetooth audio streaming
AM/FM tuner with 20 FM and 10 AM presets
USB recording and playback
CD sync feature
Mega bass sound enhancement
26 hours of battery life
A great thing about the Sony Portable is that you can genuinely use it wherever you like. Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or sitting in the garden, this device features hours of battery life to keep you entertained.
One of the best things about this device from Sangean is that you can use it as an excellent bedside clock. There’s a USB port in the device that can charge your phone as you snooze, so you don’t have to track down an extra outlet on your wall.
If you’re looking for a stunning radio that delivers an excellent combination of aesthetic appeal and great performance, look no further. As one of the most eye-catching options on our list of the best FM radio options, the Tivoli Audio is sure to grab your attention.
This attractive device comes with a furniture-grade handmade wooden cabinet – which is great for boosting the acoustics.
There’s a three-inch long-throw driver to give you better tonal balance whether you’re listening to FM/AM radio.
For a price that edges just over $120, you might be unhappy with the fact that this product doesn’t do anything beyond FM and AM radio. There’s no Bluetooth aspect or CD player.
This a traditional looking option for those who want the best FM radio tuner with a sense of vintage style. Features include:
Improved FM tuner for better reception
1 year warranty
State-of-the-art 3-inch long-throw driver
Furniture-grade wooden cabinet
3.5mm headphone jack included
The Tivoli might not seem like a very advanced FM radio at first glance, but it’s excellent at delivering an accurate tuning experience.
Sure, it’s not going to bring the house down with volume, and you can’t connect your own music, but you will have a radio that looks great and delivers great accuracy.
If you’re on the hunt for the best FM radio to carry with you on the move, then you should definitely take a look at the Sony ICFP26.
This pocket-sized portable radio is one of the best FM radio player options to keep with you when you’re at the gym or jogging around your block. Just a little bigger than your average smartphone, the ICFP26 includes AM/FM connectivity, along with incredible ease of use.
The device comes with a built-in speaker and a headphone jack so you can choose exactly how you want to tune into your preferred shows. There’s also an LED battery indicator so you can keep track of how much energy you have left.
The compact PR-D19 radio is a fun and reliable device that you can take on virtually any trip. Not only is this device practical and affordable, but it packs a surprising punch volume-wise when you consider it’s size.
We’ve talked about pocket and portable radios so far in our list of the best FM radios. We also want to give a mention to one of the best mini radio systems that we’ve seen.
The PRUNUS J-288 is one of the cheapest portable radios around. Although it doesn’t come with any preset memory function, which is a bit of a pain, there are multiple ways to play your favorite music.
The PRUNUS offers a Bluetooth mode, as well as the option to plugin your own USB flash drive or listen to AM/FM radio.
There’s a sleep timer and clock function in case you’re using this device as a bed-side speaker. What’s more, the PRUNUS comes with a power-saving feature that shuts the LCD screen down when you’re not using it.
With massive telescopic antenna to help you track down your top channels, the PRUNUS is a great option for anyone in search of a compact and reliable radio device. What’s more, this little FM radio looks great too!
Studebaker might not be a name as well-known in the best FM radio market as Sangean or Sony, but it still has some great products to offer.
During our search for the top FM radio, we came across the Studebaker SB2000TS. This fun retro radio comes with a handle for portability, a high-level antenna for improving your tuning potential, and an aux input for connecting your iPod.
The premier speaker delivers a good quality of volume and sound at most levels, and the appearance of this device is sure to appeal to your nostalgic retro-loving side.
You can pick the Studebaker up and take it with you into your garden or carry it around the house. We’d recommend keeping it away from water though, as it’s not very resistant or ruggedized.
There aren’t a lot of advanced features on the Studebaker, like water resistance or Bluetooth streaming. If you’re on the hunt for an appealing home radio with a retro vibe, then this could be just the thing.
Choosing the best FM radio for your needs isn’t an easy process.
Although many people believe that the FM radio is gradually being replaced with more advanced options like HD, there are still a lot of good FM radios out there to choose from. That can make it difficult to narrow down your options when you’re investing in something new.
Although the features that you need from a top FM radio will depend heavily on you, we have some tips for the key elements you might want to look at when making your decision:
Weight and portability: The best FM radio can often come in handy when you’re travelling. A lightweight design that’s easy to carry with you could be great for someone always on the go. The Sony ICFP26 for instance is great if you need a radio that fits in your pocket.
Listening options: Just because you want the best FM radio player doesn’t mean that you don’t want to consider other listening options too. Many FM radios also come with access to things like AM radio, or Bluetooth streaming. Keep your requirements in mind when you’re shopping.
Powering options: What if you want to listen to your radio when you’re nowhere near a wall outlet? Alternative power options will definitely come in handy. Consider things like solar power, and hand cranking, both options available with the Esky emergency radio if you’re thinking of taking your radio on the move.
Battery life: If you are planning on purchasing a portable radio, how long do you need your device to last? A high-performance radio with a long battery life will keep you entertained for longer. The Sony portable Bluetooth speaker offers up to 26 hours of life
Speakers and sound quality: The best FM radio should make you feel like you’re listening to a professionally-produced CD. Although it’s easy for distortion and noise to creep in on your listening experience, good speakers will help to enhance your sound quality.
Other functions: Do you need your FM radio to come with extra features, like an aux-in port so that you can connect your MP3 player? Perhaps you need a way to listen to your music privately through a set of headphones? Making a list of the features that would define the best FM radio for you will help you to make the best choice.
Budget: FM radios come in a range of different sizes and prices to suit virtually every taste. Just remember that the less you spend, the fewer features you’re likely to get. In most cases, you will get what you pay for when you’re shopping for audio equipment.
Available presets: It’s helpful to be able to find your preferred radio channels with the touch of a button, rather than having to turn a knob for several minutes. Although traditional tuning systems can be charming, presets will often save you a lot of time and effort.
Style: Finally, don’t overlook the importance of style. If you want to embrace your nostalgic side, then a retro radio like the Panasonic RF-2400D is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with a more vintage appeal, we adore the Tivoli Audio Model One.
Choosing the best FM radio to buy
The best FM reception radio for your needs will always depend on you, and what kind of features or functionality you’re searching for from your radio.
With a little luck, the selection we covered above will give you an insight into some of the top—performing best FM radios around right now. Don’t be afraid, however, to take a look around and conduct your own assessments too.
Do you have a favorite FM radio that we haven’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments or get in touch with Radio Fidelity on social media!