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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.