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The best small radio: Tune in to top sounds wherever you go

A reliable radio is a wonderful thing. 

With one of these devices, you can easily listen to anything that you want on the move, whether you’re keen to tune into the top hits of the season, or you want to keep track of a live sports game

The only problem? Many of the leading radios available on the market today aren’t designed for portability or compact homes for that matter.

These large devices take up a huge chunk of space on your bedside table or living room cabinet, contributing to the aesthetic, but detracting from something else: convenience. 

A tabletop radio might look and sound great, but it’s not going to keep you entertained on your next camping trip. What’s more, bigger devices can make a small room look extra cluttered. 

That’s where the best small radios come in.

Created both for people with limited space, and those who frequently live life on the move, small AM/FM radios pack all the functionality of your favourite home products into a tiny package. 

Whether you’re looking for a device that won’t take up too much space in your kitchen or bathroom, or you’re on the hunt for a small radio you can slip into your pocket, we’ve got some great choices for you. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best small radios on the market today.

1. Jensen CD-555 player and FM radio (best with CD player)

A small radio doesn’t have to compromise on versatility just to save space. 

The Jensen CD-555 is the best small radio CD player on the market today, offering a combination of Bluetooth wireless streaming, a top-loading CD player, and an FM radio all in one. 

This tiny cube-shaped device can slot easily into any room or hide away on your bookshelf when you’re not using it. 

What’s more, because it comes in a range of colors, you can rest assured that you’ll find a design to suit your style. 

If you’re looking for portability, the Jensen also comes with a fold-down handle, so you can grab your device and take it with you around the house while you tidy or handle your chores. 

For a price of just over $40, features include:

  • LED screen with track information
  • Top-loading CD player
  • Bluetooth for wireless streaming
  • Programmable memory for radio stations
  • FM radio receiver
  • Bass boost for your audio
  • Aux input for your iPod or MP3 player
  • Convenient carry handle and built-in battery
  • Headphone jack

This is a fantastic small FM radio, ideal for anyone who wants to pack more functionality into a small space. 

You can listen to your favorite channels, stream your music, or just tune in through your headphones. 

One down-side is that the Bluetooth can be quite challenging to set up, and audio can get a little distorted at high volumes. 

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • CD player included
  • Aux-in cable for attaching devices
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • FM radio with programmable memory

Cons:

  • Some distortion at high volumes
  • Bluetooth is be a struggle to connect

2. Prunus J-288 small AM FM radio (best with flash drive)

The Prunus J-288 is a fantastic example of a small AM FM radio that you can take with you on the move, or place anywhere in your home. 

This stylish little radio comes with an ultra-long antenna to help you access the wideset selection of channels. You can even save dozens of channels so that it’s easier to track down the programs you prefer. 

Listen to your radio through the built-in speakers or connect a set of headphones for a private music session. 

One unique feature of the Prunus J-288 is that it comes with a USB flash-drive input, and a TF card mode, so there are more ways to listen to your own music. On top of that, you also get Bluetooth connectivity for streaming from your smartphone too. 

The built-in microphone in the small radio means that you can take calls hands-free as well. 

Available at a tiny price of just under $25, features include:

  • Fantastic AM FM reception
  • Headphone jack
  • USB flash drive and TF card mode
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Aux input for your external devices
  • Hands-free calling
  • Sleep timer and clock
  • Power saving battery 
  • Multiple options for saving stations

The Prunus J-288 is small, but it’s mighty too, with tons of functionality to explore. 

The rechargeable battery means that you don’t need to plug your device into a wall, and you can get up to 10 hours of life on a single charge. 

Just keep in mind that the volume isn’t great, you won’t be able to fill a room with it and there’s no option to charge your phone with the USB slot.

Pros:

  • Excellent range of listening options
  • Hands-free calling feature
  • Sleep timer and clock included
  • AM FM reception is great
  • Power-saving mode

Cons:

  • Not the best volume
  • Can’t charge a device with the USB slot

3. Retekess V115 portable small radio (best with shortwave)

There are lots of small AM FM radio options out there, but what if you want to access shortwave radio too? Your best option may be to check out the Retekess V115. 

This convenient pocket-sized device comes with everything you need to stay connected, including a mic recording option, and a socket for plugging in your MP3 player or external devices. 

There are three language options built-in and lots of dedicated buttons on the radio face for storing your favourite channels. 

You can use this device as a loudspeaker or a private radio, with the available headphone socket, plus, there’s a handy strap included for your wrist. 

With surprisingly impressive volume for such a small device, the Retekess ticks a lot of boxes. 

You can even use your own TF card within this device if you have any digital albums to play. 

For a price of around $30, features include:

  • Small AM FM radio with shortwave
  • Excellent loud-speaker and headphone sound
  • Pocket-sized design with wrist strap
  • MP3 and TF card slots
  • Adjustable backlight display
  • Recording available
  • Rechargeable battery

We think this would be a great radio to have on-hand when you’re traveling, but you also want to make sure that you can take notes for your vlog. 

The fact that you can adjust the light on the display also means that the Retekess won’t disturb you too much when sitting on your bedside table. 

Unfortunately, pre-setting stations is pretty confusing, and the AM reception isn’t great, despite the built-in antenna. 

Pros:

  • Built-in recording function
  • Shortwave, FM and AM radio
  • Includes TF card and MP3 access
  • Backlit display is adjustable
  • Wrist strap for portability

Cons:

  • Difficult to use for beginners
  • Not the best AM reception
  • No Bluetooth

4. Avantree portable FM radio (best for FM)

If you’re looking for a small FM radio, and you’re not worried about things like AM and shortwave, then the Avantree might be the perfect choice for you. 

This convenient little radio works brilliantly whether you’re looking for something to use at home or take with you on the go. 

With the SP850, you can stream music wirelessly from your external devices via Bluetooth, or even add songs to your playlist in Micro SD mode. 

Alternatively, the small FM radio also comes with automatic and manual search modes, to help you find the right channel and automatic channel saving. 

You can also connect your USB cable as an antenna to boost your signal wherever you are. 

Unlike many of the best small radios on the market today, the Avantree even lets you adjust your EQ depending on what you’re listening to, with pre-sets for everything from rock and pop, to Jazz and talk radio. 

For a price of around $35, features include:

  • 3-in-1 radio speaker with FM connectivity
  • Micro SD card mode
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Automatic and manual searching options
  • Crystal-clear sound with EQ support
  • Small radio design with wrist strap
  • 24-month warranty
  • LED screen with clock
  • Easy to use

This convenient rechargeable radio is great for life on the go, with its hand-strap for easy portability. It would also fit just as well into a compact kitchen or bedroom. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you do only get about 6 hours of radio in total, and you’ll also only be able to connect your Bluetooth from up to 10 feet away. 

Pros:

  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Bluetooth streaming available
  • Easy to use with convenient screen
  • Wrist strap included for portability
  • Good FM connectivity

Cons:

  • No AM or alternative radio modes
  • Limited Bluetooth range
  • Not a lot of battery life

5. Vondior battery radio (best battery powered)

Vondior is a brand known for creating convenient and reliable technology. It’s no wonder that they offer one of the best small radio products on the market. 

This portable battery-operated radio comes with AM and FM wavelengths, so you can find your favorite station wherever you are. 

The built-in loudspeaker offers an excellent quality of sound, with enough volume to keep you and your family entertained. There’s also a headphone jack for private listening too. 

Simple and convenient, you won’t find any extra bells and whistles on this small radio. There isn’t any Bluetooth connectivity or digital connections, but you will get a consistent quality of sound and plenty of radio channels to choose from. 

For a price of less than $20, the Vondior is one of the cheapest small FM radio products we’ve seen, with features like:

  • Battery-powered functionality
  • Visual tuning dial 
  • AM/FM radio connectivity
  • Telescopic aerial included
  • Excellent loud-speaker or headphone options
  • Convenient, lightweight design

Because it’s battery-powered, you can easily take this radio with you on the move, or even use it when you’re out in the garden, pulling up weeds. Just keep in mind that it’s not dust or waterproof, so be careful what you expose the product to. 

If you’re looking for something cheap and simple that’s not going to leave a hole in your savings, this could be it.

Pros:

  • Easy to use 
  • AM/FM radio connections
  • Good loud-speaker volume
  • Convenient and portable design
  • Visual tuning

Cons:

  • Not a lot of functionality
  • No Bluetooth
  • Basic sound quality

6. Sbode Bluetooth radio and speaker (best bass)

Let’s dial things up a notch for the next item on our list of the leading small radios. 

This Sbode Bluetooth radio and speaker gives you a fantastic way to take your music into the great outdoors, with crystal clear sound performance, and boosted bass. 

Small enough to fit in a backpack, or slot easily onto your bedside table, this multifunctional radio comes with access to FM wavelengths, and Bluetooth 4.2. That means that you can play your own music, or tune into the radio in seconds. 

There’s an aux-in port for those who want a wired connection to their external devices, and a TF/SD card slot too. 

Unlike many of the other small radios out there, the Sbode comes covered in a ruggedized material that protects your speaker against rain, dust, and more. You can expose the device to running water, but it won’t survive being submerged in a pool. 

With a price tag of just under $50, the Sbode has a lot to offer, including hands-free calling. Other features include:

  • Bluetooth streaming with a 100-foot range
  • Micro SD/TF card support
  • 3.5mm audio cable
  • Durable and splash-proof design
  • Hands-free calling
  • FM radio 
  • 15 hours of battery life
  • Automatic power-saving mode
  • 1-year warranty

There are tons of things to love about this small portable radio, from its durable design to its 15 hours of battery life. 

We particularly love the fact that you can take calls with the Sbode from a distance if you have your smartphone connected. 

Unfortunately, this device does have issues with rolling off tables due to its shape and you might find it challenging to sync your device with Bluetooth.

Pros:

  • Great bass boost and audio quality
  • Excellent Bluetooth range
  • Hands-free calling included
  • Splash-proof design
  • 15 hours of battery life

Cons:

  • Can roll off tables and flat surfaces
  • Difficult to get a Bluetooth connection at times

7. AUDIIOO small FM radio and speaker (best waterproof)

If you’re looking for a small radio because you want something you can throw into your pocket or backpack for your next pool party, AUDIIO has you covered. 

This nifty little speaker is designed for durability, with a design that’s IPX7 rated. That means that you can submerge your small radio in water for up to 30 minutes, and it will still work perfectly. 

Resistant to moisture, knocks, and dust, this portable radio will keep you connected to your music and favorite shows wherever you go. 

You get FM radio built-in, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for streaming your own music. 

There’s a built-in microphone, which means that you can take calls without touching your phone too. 

For a price tag of under $20, the AUDIIOO could be the ideal small radio for the pool-side, with features like:

  • Compact design with clip 
  • 12 hours of battery life
  • Microphone with noise-canceling technology
  • Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Quick charging
  • FM radio with automatic search

This is one of the smallest FM radios that we’ve seen, and it’s packed full of functionality too. 

You can easily slip it into your backpack when you’re on the move or clip it to the belt-loop on your jeans. 

You can rest assured that the AUDIIOO will continue to work when it’s exposed to rain or water too. 

Unfortunately, there’s no screen for FM tuning, and the volume can only fill so much space. 

Pros:

  • Convenient and compact design
  • Excellent waterproof rating
  • Good Bluetooth connectivity
  • Excellent battery life
  • Microphone included

Cons:

  • Limited volume
  • No screen for FM tuning

8. Studebaker SB2000TS (best retro)

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful retro radio to remind you of the industry’s incredible history. That’s why we love the charming aesthetic of this small radio from Studebaker. 

Designed to be compact and attractive at the same time, The SB2000TS is an eye-catching device with AM and FM radio connections. 

This portable radio comes with an aux input cable to connect your external devices, and there are three colors to choose from to suit your sense of style. 

There might not be a lot of advanced functionality built-into this radio, but what it does, it does well. 

The speaker delivers a high quality of sound, and there’s a microscopic antenna to help you get the most out of your radio reception. There’s even a handle for portability that you can slide away when it’s not in use. 

For a price of around $35, the Studebaker features things like:

  • A traditional tactile tuning knob
  • AM/FM radio 
  • AC adapter plug or battery power
  • Aux input for your digital audio
  • Premier speaker output
  • Foldable carry handle
  • Telescopic antenna

You might not be able to connect your devices through Bluetooth with the Studebaker, but you can still listen to your music through an aux cable. 

If you’re looking for something simple and stylish, the Studebaker is more than just the smallest AM FM radio with retro vibes; it’s the most eye-catching too. 

Just be wary that you can’t get too much volume out of this product. 

Pros:

  • Attractive retro aesthetic
  • AM/FM tuning with an easy-to-use design
  • Good sound quality with premium speaker
  • Tuning is quite simple
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • No advanced features like Bluetooth
  • Feels a bit flimsy
  • Not a lot of volume

9. Eton Executive Traveler (best small radio for travel)

What if you’re looking for the best small radio to take with you overseas? In that case, we recommend taking a look at the Eton Executive Traveler. 

This classy radio comes with a wide selection of features to explore, including both AM and FM radio, as well as longwave and shortwave signals too. 

There’s an easy system for changing the time on your clock to suit any location in the world, and you can tune into local radio channels too. 

With a convenient display that features a timer and clock, you can set your life by your radio when you’re on vacation or traveling for work. 

There’s also the option to plug your Executive Traveler radio into an outlet or use AA batteries. 

This might not be the best small radio for home, but it will keep you on the right track when you’re on your next adventure. 

For a price of around $50, features include:

  • Battery power or recharge via outlet
  • International radio tuning
  • Easy-to-use LCD
  • Easy tactile tuning features
  • FM, AM, longwave and shortwave radio
  • Headphone jack for private listening
  • Timer and clock functionality

Small enough to fit in any pocket or backpack, the Eton Executive even comes with a leather carry case to keep your investment safe when you’re on the move. 

This is a product that’s worth keeping on-hand whenever you leave home.

Just note that it doesn’t have any advanced features, like Bluetooth, and the volume is a bit limited. 

Pros:

  • Excellent for travel
  • Timer and clock 
  • Easy to use
  • Leather cover for protection
  • Range of radio frequencies

Cons:

  • No modern features like Bluetooth
  • Not a lot of volume

Choosing the best small radio

Choosing the best small radio will all depend on the kind of features you need, and what you want to do with your new audio device. 

If you’re looking for the best small radio CD player, the Jensen CD-555 is an obvious choice, with its compact design, and extra features like Bluetooth connectivity and a bass boost function. 

Alternatively, if you need something perfect for travel, the Eton Executive Traveler will keep you tuned in to local stations, and help you keep track of the time wherever you go. 

Here are some points worth thinking about when choosing your small radio. 

  • Radio frequency: Do you want a small FM radio, or are you looking for something that can combine AM and FM? If you need even more options, then the Retekess V115 comes with shortwave radio connections too. 
  • Extra audio options: Maybe you want the opportunity to switch between radio and playing your music. In that case, something like the Sbode Bluetooth radio could be the ideal choice. It comes with FM radio built-in, but you can also stream your music at a range of up to 100 feet. There’s even a space for micro SD cards. 
  • Bonus features: How will you be using your small radio, aside from listening to AM and FM channels? If you’re taking it on an adventure and you want to take some notes, then the Retekess V115 comes with a recording function built-in. If you want something to act as a bedside clock, then the Prunus J-288 has a sleep timer and clock included, as well as a headphone jack for private listening. 
  • Design: There are a lot of points to think about when choosing the right design for your small radio. If you want something sleek and stylish, then you might love the retro appeal of the Studebaker. On the other hand, if you want something rugged and durable, the AUDIIOO will make sure that your radio continues working, even after being submerged in water. 
  • Portability: Most small radios are likely to be more portable than their tabletop counterparts. Some devices, however, are more portable than others. Consider the amount of battery life that you get from your product when making your choice and whether it comes with any clips or wrist-straps that can make transportation easier. 
  • Listening options: Do you just want a ready with a loud-speaker, or do you need something that you can also listen to in private? For flexibility, it’s often a good idea to look for a product that includes its own headphone port.

Which small radio is right for you?

The best small radio for you will depend on a number of things, from where you’re going to use your new device, to what kind of extra features you need, beside radio connectivity. 

If you’re looking for the best small radio CD player, then we’d recommend trying the Jensen CD-555, with its Bluetooth streaming, and bass boost functionality. 

On the other hand, the Sbode Bluetooth radio might be one of the best options if you’re looking for durability, a high battery life, and an excellent quality of sound. 

Good luck finding the best small radio for your needs, and don’t forget to check out the other radio reviews we have here at Radio Fidelity. 

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