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Best FM Radio US

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. 

Best FM Radio US

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. 

For a price tag of around $420, the Bose Wave isn’t cheap, but it offers features like:

  • Room-filling sound technology with waveguide
  • Sleek and seamless design fits into any room
  • CD player included
  • AM/FM tuner (Advanced)
  • LED display screen
  • Wireless streaming with optional Bluetooth adapter
  • 3.5mm audio output
  • Timer and alarm functionality
  • Convenient remote control included

The Wave from Bose seems to be an ideal choice for anyone looking for a good FM radio to add to their living room or slot underneath their TV. 

It also works with the SoundTouch family of wireless speakers available with Bose. Keep in mind that this product isn’t for people on a budget.

Pros:

  • High-quality sound and volume
  • CD player and MP3 player
  • Good AM/FM tuning
  • Wireless technology optional
  • Remote control support

Cons:

  • Lacking advanced features for a high price
  • Quite expensive
  • Extra cost for Bluetooth adapter

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
  • LCD display
  • 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. 

Pros:

  • Fantastic battery life
  • USB and CD recording
  • CD player built-in
  • Bluetooth streaming available
  • Excellent mega bass option

Cons:

  • Not very attractive
  • Too bulky to be a pocket radio
  • Missing some features (like smart assistant)

3. Panasonic RF-2400D (best retro)

One of the reasons that we still cling to FM radio in the world of HD connectivity, is that FM can provide an excellent source of entertainment when you’re on the move. 

When HD and Bluetooth connections aren’t suitable, you need a reliable radio to keep you tuned in. That’s where something like the Panasonic RF-2400D can come in handy. 

This stunning retro radio comes with a robust carry handle that makes it easy to transport, and a manual tuning knob so you can track down the best channels with ease. 

You can fold the handle away when it’s not in use and listen to your music via the built-in 10 centimeter speaker, or through the headphone/earphone jack. 

For a price of around $40, features include:

  • Unique retro design
  • RF 2400 AM/FM tuner
  • 10 centimeter speaker 
  • Ferrite antenna for better sound
  • Excellent power output
  • Earphone jack
  • Battery power for portability

This definitely isn’t the best FM radio receiver out there for people in search of the most advanced technology. You do get a lot of advanced functionality from the Panasonic for a low price tag. 

If you’re looking for the best FM radio player with a retro feel, this could be it.

Pros:

  • Easy to use functionality
  • Good volume and reception
  • Clear sound quality 
  • Portable and small
  • Available for battery or AC power

Cons:

  • Not waterproof or dust-proof
  • Quite basic in functionality

4. Sangean RCR-30 (best with USB charging)

Sangean is one of the best FM radio player producers in the market today. 

The company’s robust portfolio of good FM radios include options for those in search of portability, advanced feature sets, and more. 

What’s more, many of the Sangean devices also rank as the top radios with the best FM reception too. 

The Sangean RCR-30 is an FM radio that comes with a bunch of extra features built-in, including world-class Bluetooth, and wireless audio streaming. 

There’s even a touch-to-pair functionality with NFC technology. 

Unlike many of the top FM radio options we’ve covered so far, the Sangean allows you to control more aspects of your audio with bass and treble management too. 

For less than $100, the RCR-30 includes:

  • AM/FM digital tuning with 10 presets
  • Built-in Bluetooth streaming
  • NFC touch-to-pair
  • Relax and fall asleep to ambient sounds
  • Built-in backup battery
  • Treble and bass tuning 
  • Charging for smart phones

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. 

Pros:

  • USB charging included
  • Built-in Bluetooth streaming
  • NFC touch-to-pair technology
  • Great bass and treble control
  • Good AM/FM tuning

Cons:

  • Not very portable
  • AM reception isn’t very good
  • Display is quite bright

5. Tivoli Audio Model One (best vintage)

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
  • High-performance design
  • 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.

Pros:

  • Excellent tuning performance
  • Beautiful design
  • Connections for headphone jack
  • 1 year of warranty included
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Very limited functionality
  • Quite expensive for what you get
  • No Bluetooth 

6. Sony ICFP26 (best for pocket listening)

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. 

For less than $20, you get a reliable pocket-sized radio with features like:

  • Battery powered portability
  • Headphone or speaker option
  • Telescopic antenna
  • LED battery indicator
  • LED tuning indicator
  • Built-in strap
  • Lightweight design

Although this isn’t the most advanced portable radio that we’ve seen, it’s an excellent option for those who want to keep entertained and informed wherever they are. 

If you’re looking for a good FM radio, but you don’t want to spend a fortune or take up a lot of space, give the Sony a go. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Good sound quality
  • LED battery status indicator
  • Easy to use
  • Hand strap included

Cons:

  • Limited volume
  • Not very advanced feature-wise

7. Sangean PR-D19 (best for durability) 

If you are the kind of person who likes to take your radio with you to local camping sites or on weekend hikes, then you’re going to need something that’s reliable and durable. 

The Sangean PR-D19 could be just the thing, with it’s protective bumper to protect the device from bumps and knocks. 

This simple radio comes with a built-in lock switch, so you can throw it in your backpack and not worry about changing the station as you walk. 

There are also a range of other capabilities built into this FM/AM speaker that make it a delight to use, such as a power status indicator, and auto-seeking for local stations. 

You can even listen via headphones with an aux-in port and set your own sleep timer. 

For just under $55 features include:

  • 20 station presets
  • Easy-to-read LCD display
  • Adjustable tuning steps
  • Real-time clock with dual alarms
  • Adjustable sleep timer
  • Lock switch
  • Battery power status indicator
  • Headphone output 
  • Automatic station seeking

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.

Pros:

  • Adjustable sleep timer
  • Durable enough to take on camping trips
  • Excellent battery life
  • Shock and bump-proof
  • 20 pre-set options

Cons:

  • No digital radio or Bluetooth
  • Lacking in volume

8. PRUNUS J-288 (best mini FM radio)

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. 

For less than $20, the J-288 offers:

  • Lock function to listen while you work
  • Easy scanning to find FM stations
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Charging indicator light
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • High fidelity stereo speaker
  • Sleep timer and clock
  • Headphone jack included

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!

Pros:

  • 10-hour battery life
  • Timer and clock function included
  • Bluetooth connection supported
  • Easy auto-scanning feature
  • USB flash drive mode

Cons:

  • No preset memory function
  • Missing advanced features 
  • Limited volume

9. Studebaker SB2000TS portable (best home radio)

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. 

For around $35 you get features like:

  • Battery powered for portability
  • Aux input to plug in your MP3 player
  • Portable design with handle
  • Tactile tuning knob
  • Microscopic antenna
  • Adapter plug to access home electricity
  • Unique retro design

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. 

Pros:

  • Attractive FM radio with radio style
  • FM/AM tuning is very good
  • Easy to use
  • Good sound quality
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Low on volume
  • No Bluetooth or advanced features

10. Esky emergency radio (best FM radio for emergencies)

Finally, if you need the top FM radio to have with you in an emergency situation, then we’ve got the perfect choice for you. 

Designed to be both durable and reliable, this Esky Solar and weather radio comes with a multitude of ways to keep your system powered. 

You can use battery power, plug your device into your wall, or crank the wind-up component on the radio to get some extra juice. 

There’s even a solar power included so you can gather some extra energy from the sun during your next camping trip. 

Not only does the Esky ensure that you can continue listening to your favorite shows wherever you are, it also comes with some other great features too. 

There’s a super-bright flashlight included in case you need some extra help finding your way on a late-night hike. What’s more, there are USB charging ports for your smartphone too. 

For just over $25, the Esky includes:

  • Phone charging capacity
  • Solar panel
  • Hand crank
  • USB charging dock
  • Durable and water resistant
  • Lightweight and portable
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • High-power flashlight included

Perhaps the ideal accessory for anyone who loves camping and exploring the great outdoors, the Esky Solar radio will keep you tuned into what matters, wherever you are. 

What’s more, it’s lighter than a paperback book, so you won’t have problems carrying it.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • AM/FM and NOAA radio
  • Flashlight included
  • USB ports for phone charging
  • Solar power and hand crank

Cons:

  • Can take a lot of cranking to create any energy
  • No advanced features (Bluetooth)

What to consider when you buy the best FM radio

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! 

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