10 of the best shortwave radio products available now
Radio is one of the most powerful technologies on the market today, and it’s been around for much longer than you’d think. For years, innovators have turned to radio frequencies to accomplish a variety of goals, ranging from entertainment, to communication.
Shortwave radio isn’t as popular as the standard FM and AM broadcasts that many of us listen to each day.
With shortwave radio, the aim isn’t just to broadcast popular music channels around the globe. Instead, people use it to bridge the gaps between geographical borders and strengthen human connections.
Shortwave radio is an interesting pastime, and an excellent way to get a behind-the-scenes look at different communities worldwide.
To make the most of shortwave radio, you need a few essential things, including a shortwave radio license and an SW system.
Today’s radio fans can find good shortwave radio solutions built into emergency radios, modern products, and more. You can even find a handful of shortwave apps.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the best buy shortwave radio options on the market.
Another excellent option among the best shortwave radios by Tecsun, the PL-380 DSP is one of the most compelling products in the company’s lineup, with a small and lightweight design that’s easy to carry.
This AM, FM, and SW radio can handle all of your communication needs, with seven tuning modes to choose from, and a handy LCD screen.
This intelligent device might be small, but it has a lot of functionality to offer, including 550 preset memories, and a light and snooze function, a key lock function, and a built-in charging system so you can keep your rechargeable battery topped up.
There’s a USB jack, earphone jack, and an extendable antenna to help you get the right reception.
One bonus feature of the Tecsun PL-380 DSP is its Easy Tuning Mode, or ETM. This function is very similar to the auto-tuning storage options available from other devices.
The product can quickly flip from one available station to the next when you turn a wheel.
FM, SW, and MW broadcasting
Small and lightweight design
550 preset memories
12/24 hour format
Digital clock function
Easy tuning mode
Alongside easy tuning mode, this shortwave radio system from Tecsun comes with plenty of extra bonus features, including a digital clock for keeping track of time.
The controls are a little difficult to use for beginners on this device. Erasing tuned stations is particularly difficult.
The Kaito KA500 is another example of one of the best shortwave radio options for emergency use.
This powerful item comes with access to multiple charging modes, including solar panels, a hand-crank generator, and a compartment for batteries too.
You can even charge the device with a USB input and use your radio as a power bank for your smartphone.
With comprehensive coverage of AM and FM radio, as well as shortwave connections, the Kaito makes it easy to stay ahead of the curve.
This handy product comes with an LED reading light and flashlight, as well as a telescopic antenna that extends up to 14.5 inches for excellent reception. There’s even a built-in speaker for crisp and loud sound.
6-way powered emergency radio with hand crank and solar
Comprehensive AM, FM, and 2-band shortwave radio
Emergency mobile battery charger support
14.5-inch telescopic antenna
Impact-resistant and water-resistant material
Mobile device charging
NOAA weather report
LED flashlight and reading light
With impact and water-resistant materials throughout to improve the durability of your radio, the Kaito has it all.
One possible downside to consider with this radio is that although it sounds quite good on FM frequencies, it doesn’t work as well on AM.
The solar power doesn’t offer much of a charge either.
The KA900 radio from Kaito is brimming with functionality.
One of the best shortwave radio products for emergencies and survival preparedness, the Kaito KA900 comes with all the functionality you need for an outdoor radio, including AM, FM, and shortwave streaming options.
You also get access to Bluetooth streaming and real-time alerts.
Perhaps the ideal radio for those who want to be ready for anything, the solar panel on this device powers the radio and charges the built-in batteries for later use.
You can buy an AC/DC adapter for this radio separately to access even more functionality too.
AM, FM and shortwave radio
NOAA weather stations
Hand crank and solar power energy
Rechargeable battery performance
Convenient for emergency situations, the Kaito is a good product to have around when you’re not sure when or where you might need your shortwave radio.
You even get a durable and premium construction for extra peace of mind.
There are a few downsides to consider with this product too. It’s very difficult to connect to Bluetooth, and the battery charging takes quite a while.
Finding the best shortwave radio is a matter of personal preference and research.
You’ll need to consider your requirements as a shortwave fan and what you need to accomplish with your device.
The best shortwave radio will be one that can cover all the frequencies that matter to you, save important channels, and deliver excellent sound quality.
Picking a good shortwave radio is a challenging process, but there are a few things that you can consider making the journey a little easier. For instance:
Frequencies: Aside from a new shortwave radio, what else are you looking for? Do you need a device that plays on AM and FM stations too? Do you want longwave frequencies as part of the mix? Ask yourself what you’re looking for before you start shopping.
Simplicity: It takes a while to become a master of shortwave radio. You’ll need a certificate and license to practice with shortwave channels. However, some radios do make it easier to get started than others. Think about how easy it’s going to be to use your shortwave radio. Can you use things like tactile knobs and buttons to skip channels?
Functionality: Alongside shortwave listening, do you want to be able to accomplish other things with your radio. For instance, maybe you want access to Bluetooth streaming so that you can connect your smart device to your speaker. Another option could be to look for an emergency radio that comes with power charging for your smartphone, as well as a flashlight or reading lamp.
Battery life: How long will the best shortwave radio for you last on a full charge? If you’re looking for a convenient emergency radio, then you’ll need something with a stronger battery. It might be worth considering the different methods you can use to power your radio too. Some advanced options come with things like solar and crank power options.
Portability: Finally, if you’re going to be using your shortwave radio on the move, you need something small and lightweight. Some of the more impressive shortwave radios also come with handles and straps that make them easier to carry.
Getting the best shortwave radios
Hopefully, this guide to the best buy shortwave radio options available today has given you some basic information to get started with as you browse through SW models.
Remember, shortwave technology comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with something to suit practically everyone.
For all-around performance, our favorite option is the Kaito Emergency Radio KA900, with access to shortwave radio, FM, AM, and even Bluetooth streaming.
Although this product is a little more expensive than some of the others on the market, it makes up for its price with a wide range of capabilities, including a recorder and a phone charger.
Good luck finding the ideal shortwave radio to suit you! Don’t forget that you can check out our other fantastic reviews for more insights into some of the market-leading products available today!