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Best Shortwave Radio 1

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. 

Let’s tune in.

Preview
TECSUN R-9012 AM/FM/SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio Portable Receiver Gray
5-Way Powered Solar Hand Crank NOAA Weather Alert Radio,AM/FM Shortwave Survival Portable Outdoor Emergency Radio,2500mAh Recharegable Battery Cellphone USB Charger,LED Camping Flashlight,SOS&Compass
TECSUN PL-380 DSP FM Stereo. MW. SW. LW. World Band PLL Radio Receiver, LCD Display, ETM Function Added
Retekess V115 Portable AM FM Radio with Shortwave Radio MP3 Player Digital Record Support TF Card Sleep Timer and Rechargeable Battery (Black)
Eton Elite Executive AM/FM/Aircraft Band/SSB/Shortwave Radio with RDS & Custom Leather Carry Cover, Model:NELITESATELLIT
Title
Tecsun R-9012
Mesqool Radio
Tecsun PL-380 DSP
Retekess V115
Eton Elite Executive
Color
Black
Yellow
Black
Black
Black
Prime
Price
$22.00
$39.99
$47.38
$24.99
$140.85
Preview
TECSUN R-9012 AM/FM/SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio Portable Receiver Gray
Title
Tecsun R-9012
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$22.00
Details
Preview
5-Way Powered Solar Hand Crank NOAA Weather Alert Radio,AM/FM Shortwave Survival Portable Outdoor Emergency Radio,2500mAh Recharegable Battery Cellphone USB Charger,LED Camping Flashlight,SOS&Compass
Title
Mesqool Radio
Color
Yellow
Prime
Price
$39.99
Details
Preview
TECSUN PL-380 DSP FM Stereo. MW. SW. LW. World Band PLL Radio Receiver, LCD Display, ETM Function Added
Title
Tecsun PL-380 DSP
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$47.38
Details
Preview
Retekess V115 Portable AM FM Radio with Shortwave Radio MP3 Player Digital Record Support TF Card Sleep Timer and Rechargeable Battery (Black)
Title
Retekess V115
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$24.99
Details
Preview
Eton Elite Executive AM/FM/Aircraft Band/SSB/Shortwave Radio with RDS & Custom Leather Carry Cover, Model:NELITESATELLIT
Title
Eton Elite Executive
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$140.85
Details
Preview
Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power,Dynamo Crank, Wind Up Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Flashlight,Reading Lamp and Cellphone Charger, Yellow
Sangean ATS-909X BK AM/FM/LW/SW World Band Receiver - Black
Kaito Emergency Radio Voyager Max KA900 Digital Solar Dynamo Crank Wind Up AM/FM/SW & NOAA Weather Stereo Radio Receiver with Bluetooth, Real-time Alert, MP3 Player, Recorder & Phone Charger, Black
Eton Elite Mini Compact AM/FM/Shortwave Radio (Graphics/markings/Color/Packaging May Vary)
Retekess TR618 Shortwave Radio AM FM Radio Portable Transistor Analog Radio MP3 Player with Earphone Jack Operated by 3 D Batteries or AC Power
Title
Kaito KA500
Sangean ATS-909X
Kaito KA900
Eton Elite Mini
Retekess TR618
Color
Yellow
Black
Black
Black
Black
Prime
Price
$49.98
$249.26
$99.98
$29.99
$39.99
Preview
Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power,Dynamo Crank, Wind Up Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio with Flashlight,Reading Lamp and Cellphone Charger, Yellow
Title
Kaito KA500
Color
Yellow
Prime
Price
$49.98
Details
Preview
Sangean ATS-909X BK AM/FM/LW/SW World Band Receiver - Black
Title
Sangean ATS-909X
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$249.26
Details
Preview
Kaito Emergency Radio Voyager Max KA900 Digital Solar Dynamo Crank Wind Up AM/FM/SW & NOAA Weather Stereo Radio Receiver with Bluetooth, Real-time Alert, MP3 Player, Recorder & Phone Charger, Black
Title
Kaito KA900
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$99.98
Details
Preview
Eton Elite Mini Compact AM/FM/Shortwave Radio (Graphics/markings/Color/Packaging May Vary)
Title
Eton Elite Mini
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$29.99
Details
Preview
Retekess TR618 Shortwave Radio AM FM Radio Portable Transistor Analog Radio MP3 Player with Earphone Jack Operated by 3 D Batteries or AC Power
Title
Retekess TR618
Color
Black
Prime
Price
$39.99
Details
Best Shortwave Radio 2

1. Tecsun R-9012 AM/FM/SW (best portable)

The Tecsun R-9012 is a convenient shortwave radio in a compact shell. 

If you’re looking for the best shortwave radios to take on the move, the Tecsun may be the best choice. 

It’s simple and sleek and features it’s own carrying cord for extra stability. You can easily fit this device into many larger pockets and bags too. 

The high-sensitivity full-band radio from Tecsun comes with access to SW, MW, and FM functionality, and a 12-band radio receiver. 

If you’re out on the move and you don’t have an outlet available, then you can use a set of 2 AA batteries to keep this device charged. Alternatively, use rechargeable batteries to cut costs. 

Features include:

  • Small and lightweight design
  • High-sensitivity full-band radio
  • FM, MW and SW functionality
  • Carrying strap included
  • Mains powered or AA batteries
  • 1 year of warranty
  • Headphone jack

The battery-operated AM/FM shortwave radio from Tecsun might not be world-changing in its innovation, but it offers a great selection of features for a low price. 

The sound is a little tinny and distorted in places, so keep that in mind.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Power in two different ways
  • Headphone jack for private listening
  • FM, SW, and MW functionality
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • Tinny and distorted sound
  • Limited functionality
Tecsun R-9012
Enjoy your favourite radio stations quietly anytime, anywhere thanks to the earphone/headphone jack that comes included with the TECSUN R9012 AM FM Shortwave radio.
Best Shortwave Radio 3

2. Mesqool 5-Way powered shortwave radio (best emergency)

When you’re on the hunt for the best shortwave radio, you’re likely to come across a decent number of products designed for emergency use. 

The Mesqool 5-way powered radio comes with access to AM, FM, and SW radio, so you’re always connected when you need to be. 

Users can get all the information they need by rotating a knob rather than tuning up and down. 

With 5 power sources to choose from, there’s nothing to stop you from keeping up-to-date with your radio. 

This incredible device even comes with access to solar and cranking power in case you don’t have any outlets or batteries available. 

For extra peace of mind in unplanned circumstances, the Mesqool includes a bright camping flashlight and 6 LED reading lamp. 

There’s also a loud SOS alarm and a USB option where you can plug in your phone when you need some extra juice. 

Features include:

  • AM, FM, and SW radio
  • 5 power source options
  • 2000 mAh power bank
  • Loud SOS alarm
  • Reading lamp and flashlight
  • Portable design with strap
  • One year warranty
  • Convenient tuning knobs

With everything from shortwave radio to an emergency cell phone charger, this all-in-one radio system has it all. 

There’s even the added bonus of a one year warranty, so you always have a bit of extra protection too. Unfortunately, the casing isn’t very durable, as it’s made from plastic.

Pros:

  • AM, FM, and SW radio
  • Multiple powering options
  • Power bank for your smartphone
  • One year warranty
  • Flashlight and reading lamp

Cons:

  • Plastic casing isn’t very durable 
Sale
Mesqool Radio
Stylish and thoughtfully designed, the Mesqool shortwave radio is a must-have emergency kit that offers unique features such as a weather alert radio, solar radio, a reading light and more.
Best Shortwave Radio 4

3. Tecsun PL-380 DSP (best with ETM)

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. 

Features include: 

  • FM, SW, and MW broadcasting
  • Small and lightweight design
  • LCD screen 
  • 550 preset memories
  • 12/24 hour format
  • Digital clock function
  • USB jack 
  • Earphone jack
  • 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. 

Pros:

  • Easy tuning mode
  • Small, lightweight, and portable
  • 550 preset station memories
  • Digital clock and LCD screen
  • USB and earphone jack

Cons:

  • Controls are difficult to follow
  • Erasing tuned stations isn’t easy
Tecsun PL-380 DSP
Fast tuning technology makes this radio a breeze when it comes to accessing available stations and can be done with a click of the tuning wheel – very useful when travelling to other countries!
Best Shortwave Radio 5

4. Retekess V115 portable shortwave (best with micro SD)

The Retekess V115 is one of the best shortwave radio options on the market, suitable for people who live life on the move. 

This AM FM shortwave radio is surprisingly efficient and reliable for its tiny size. 

There’s no alarm, but you do get a sleep timer function built-in and bass sound with in-line recording options available. 

This AM and FM radio comes with an MP3 player and 3.5mm aux input. You can use the device as a loudspeaker or listen to it privately. 

For shortwave radio lovers, the product covers three languages, and the package includes a USB cable so you can charge the device from your laptop or a phone charger. 

The number pad also makes it easy to assign channels to specific keys. 

The Retekess is a surprisingly affordable option for those who want to experiment with different kinds of radio. Features include:

  • Portable and compact design
  • V115 transistor radio bass with MIC recording function
  • AM and FM radio functionality alongside shortwave
  • Three language support
  • USB cable for charging
  • Clear LCD screen
  • Extendable antenna
  • Micro SD input

The Retekess radio is small and simple, but it comes with a lot of handy features, including its own Micro SD card slot, a backlit display, and an automatic search function. 

This device doesn’t have the best sound quality for an FM radio, and the quality of audio through headphones isn’t excellent either. 

Pros:

  • Portable and easy to transport
  • Recording function included
  • AM, FM, and Shortwave radio
  • LCD screen
  • Micro SD

Cons:

  • Not the best FM radio quality
  • Headphone issues
Retekess V115
The Retekess V115 shortwave radio can be powered directly from the wall or with the included 1000mAh rechargeable battery, this along with being super portable makes it a great tool for the outdoors.
Best Shortwave Radio 6

5. Eton Elite Executive (best design)

If you want to show off your skills a professional in the shortwave radio landscape, then Eton has you covered. 

Probably the best shortwave radio for those in search of aesthetic appeal, the Eton Elite Executive is a brilliant piece of equipment. 

You can tune with automatic or manual functionality and pick up everything from single sideband to VHF aircrafts. 

With support for every radio wavelength, including shortwave, LW, RDS, AM, and FM, the Eton Elite has it all. 

For more than 30 years, this company has been designing award-winning products for emergency preparedness and hobbyists. 

The nifty Eton Elite Executive radio even comes with a leather casing to keep your device in excellent condition. 

Features include:

  • AM and FM radio
  • Shortwave and longwave connectivity
  • Radio Data System
  • Single sideband
  • Automatic or manual tuning
  • Sleep timer
  • Alarm clock
  • Headphone jack
  • External antenna support
  • Leather casing

One of the more impressive products in the Eton legacy, the Elite Executive radio comes with a beautiful design, a fantastic set of tuning options, and a robust performance. 

This well-built radio looks and feels great, but it has a bit of a tinny sound at times, along with a few reception issues. 

Pros:

  • FM, AM, longwave and shortwave radio
  • Versatile and portable performance
  • Single sideband and VHF tuning
  • Excellent professional design
  • Leather casing

Cons:

  • Slightly tinny sound quality
  • Reception issues
Eton Elite Executive
The Elite Executive is a best-in-class radio impressive in design and function, crafted so you can listen to the world and access every radio wavelength at home or abroad.
Best Shortwave Radio 7

6. Kaito KA500 (best with weather alert)

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. 

Features include:

  • 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. 

Pros:

  • Multiple power options
  • AM, FM, and shortwave radio
  • Phone power bank built-in
  • NOAA weather reporting
  • Reading light and LED flashlight

Cons:

  • Not the best for AM radio
  • Solar power isn’t very reliable
Kaito KA500
Introducing the Kaito KA500 Voyager, a portable receiver designed for both daily use & emergency applications. Channels are continently programmed in for easy tuning - no more guess work involved.
Best Shortwave Radio 8

7. Sangean ATS-909X (best with squelch function)

Promising enhanced performance in a tiny package, the Sangean ATS-909X is an AM FM shortwave radio with tons of amazing features to explore. 

This portable device comes with a wide-narrow bandwidth switch to suit your needs, as well as five tuning methods, auto scan tuning, direct frequency tuning, and more. 

The alpha-numeric memory system means you can store up to 406 presets at once. 

The clock also displays when you’re tuning the radio, with access to various world city times. The LCD screen also features a battery life and signal strength indicator. 

Features include:

  • 406 memory preset stations
  • Automatic searching for stations
  • SSB (Single side band)
  • USB and LSB functionality
  • Dual conversion for MW, SW, and LW
  • Built-in battery charger
  • Headphone amplifier
  • Leather case

The Sangean ATS-909X makes it easy to listen to audio however you choose. 

The three-inch speaker means you can easily listen to audio with a group. There’s also a headphone jack for private listening. 

The built-in battery charger has an LED to show its status.

The 909X isn’t sensitive to pick up weaker HAM stations and also maybe a little complicated for beginners.

Pros:

  • Over 400 preset options
  • Headphone amplifier
  • Multiple connections for MW, SW, and LW
  • Single sideband
  • Battery charger

Cons:

  • Not sensitive to weaker stations
  • Complicated for beginners
Sale
Sangean ATS-909X
Sangean ATS-909X is a compact, high end table top receiver perfect for monitoring, which also benefits from having up to 406 memory channels to store all your favorite stations.
Best Shortwave Radio 9

8. Kaito KA900 Radio (best survival radio)

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. 

Features include:

  • AM, FM and shortwave radio
  • NOAA weather stations
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • MP3 player
  • Telescopic antenna
  • 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. 

Pros:

  • AM, FM, and shortwave radio
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Telescopic antenna for frequency management
  • Solar power and hand-crank power
  • MP3 player

Cons:

  • Difficult to connect Bluetooth
  • Charging takes a while
Kaito KA900
Kaito KA900 is one of the best survival radios with multiple methods to power up from: AC/DC adapter (NOT included), batteries, hand cranking, USB power source and even an adjustable solar panel.
Best Shortwave Radio 10

9. Eton Elite Mini (best straightforward)

The Eton Elite Mini might not look like much at first glance, but it’s one of the best shortwave radio options we’ve seen so far. 

This small radio comes with access to AM, FM, and shortwave radio. You can tune into your favorite local stations and listen to music or news from across the globe. 

Though small, the Elite Mini from Eton packs a significant amount of power into a small space. 

Along with shortwave, you also get AM and FM radio functionality, an alarm clock, and a sleep timer. There’s a headphone jack included here too. 

The Elite Mini digitally displays the time, so you can keep track of your day, and there’s a telescoping antenna for better connectivity too. 

Features include:

  • Mini pocket-sized design
  • AM, FM, longwave and shortwave radio
  • Alarm clock built-in
  • External antenna for connectivity
  • Headphone jack
  • Sleep timer
  • Leather casing for protection

The Eton Elite Mini is easy to use, and reliable with a good reception thanks to the convenient internal antenna. 

You can also use the telescopic antenna for a more advanced reputation on a wider scale. 

The Eton comes with a handy carrying pouch to keep it secure too. On the downside, there are limitations to what you can do with this radio, including automatically scanning for channels. 

Pros:

  • Mini compact and lightweight design
  • Sleep timer included
  • FM, AM, shortwave, and longwave functionality
  • More than 30 years of expertise
  • Headphone jack available

Cons:

  • No automatic channel scanning
  • Limited frequencies
Sale
Eton Elite Mini
The Eton Elite Mini is the more compact and affordable younger sibling of the Eton Elite Executive but still includes features like an alarm clock, headphone jack, AM/FM and shortwave connectivity.
Best Shortwave Radio 11

10. Retekess TR618 (best transistor)

Finally, the Retekess TR618 is a convenient portable shortwave radio system with an extendable antenna. 

This transistor analogue radio supports USB, SD, and TF card input. You can store your music in the SD or TF card slot too. Plus, there’s support for private listening thanks to a 3.5mm input jack. 

Providing excellent sound quality with a 3-watt loudspeaker, the Retekess is a fun and convenient piece of equipment. 

You can enjoy listening to music and shortwave signals wherever you go with this device. 

The easy-to-carry handle can fold away when it isn’t in use. There’s also the benefit of large knobs and buttons for better accessibility. 

Features of the TR618 include:

  • AM, FM and shortwave radio
  • Support for SD and TF card
  • USB disk input
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Excellent sound quality with SW experimentation
  • Power cord or batteries
  • Convenient LCD screen
  • Large horn
  • Earphone jack

The Retekess portable radio has a large LCD where you can find the channels that matter most to you, as well as an easy-to-carry handle and a portable design. 

This product is great for life on the move, but it may take a little while to get used to the functionality. 

Pros:

  • AM, FM and shortwave radio
  • USB, TF card and SD card
  • 3.5mm earbud jack
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy to operate and carry

Cons:

  • Difficult to use for beginners
Retekess TR618
Providing excellent sound quality with a 3-watt loudspeaker, the Retekess is a fun and convenient piece of equipment that you can take on the go with the easy-to-carry foldable handle.

How to choose the best shortwave radio

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!

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