Senior Editor and Researcher
While radio’s popularity has declined with the rise of mobile phones, you can still get so much value from following radio stations.
The friendly welcome of the host, the excitement of discovering a new song, and being part of a community can make the experience worthwhile.
If you live in Philly, you’re a lucky person. The city has a long history with this medium. So, where do you start if you want to get into radio?
Lucky for you, we’ve gathered Philly’s top 21 music radio stations so you can discover your next favorite song.
Top 21 Music Radio Stations in Philadelphia
Let’s see the top music radio stations in Philly and what they can offer their audience.
1. Q102 Philly
Q102 Philly is always on top of its game.
It’s a versatile station that has played a variety of music genres throughout its broadcasts to appeal to the general public.
In its early days, it was dedicated to playing classical music. Now, it moved to the Top 40 format, focusing more on rhythmic music that people can dance to.
The channel has several podcasts, even if you’re not into their music. They tackle hot takes, self-healing, and more.
With over 1,174,200 million weekly listeners of various ages, it’s no wonder Q102 tops the list.
2. Rumba 106.1
Originally, Rumba 106.1 went by the name FM 106.
It underwent multiple changes, covering different genres, from contemporary adult music to swift jazz and rhythmic adult tunes.
However, everything changed in 2022. The workers of iHeartMedia, the platform hosting the station, decided to use Rumba 106.1 to show some love to Philadelphia’s growing Latino population.
Now, if you’re looking for dynamic contemporary Latin music, this is the station for you. Whether salsa, bachata, or urban pop, Rumba 106.1 will give you what you’re looking for.
3. 105.3 WDAS FM
Just like Rumba 106.1, the owners of WDAS wanted to empower a specific group: the African-American community.
You can see its emphasis on authenticity from its early debut. It had a diverse music library, playing jazz, folk, and classical music.
The station is now known for its urban contemporary format, including classic R&B, soul, and funk music.
What’s interesting about this station is that its impact doesn’t just stop in the music industry.
It’s also built a massive community that’s played a crucial role in civil rights issues.
4. ALT 104.5
Throughout its existence, ALT 104.5 has covered a variety of music genres.
It started with country music, then moved to adult contemporary tunes.
The station even went through a phase focused on dynamic Spanish music.
Now, it’s mostly known for alternative rock, featuring bands such as Twenty-One Pilots and the Lumineers.
With popular music and fresh aesthetics, ALT 104.5 offers its listeners a transcendent musical experience.
5. Power 99
If you’re looking for massive coverage of hip-hop and R&B, Power 99 has got you covered.
You can also listen to The Rise & Grind Morning Show, where the hosts discuss social and global issues.
6. BIG 98.1
BIG 98.1 lives by one rule: Old is gold.
As the workers of WOGL-FM noticed the rising competition in the radio world, they decided to target an older demographic than other competitors.
That’s why the station’s owners changed its name to BIG 98.1. You know what? It worked.
Now it’s the biggest station that plays classic hits from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
7. WMMR 93.3
WMMR has stuck with progressive rock for the longest time.
It featured many prominent rock DJs, like Dave Herman, Carol Miller, and Ed Sciaky.
The station even featured several local DJs in live shows at one point. Unfortunately, their budget doesn’t allow for that anymore.
If you’re not interested in rock music, you can watch Preston & Steve. It’s a morning broadcast where the hosts discuss serious and light-hearted topics, explore unusual stories, and host charity events.
WMGK was once known as an adult contemporary music station.
It remained dedicated to the genre for almost half a decade, hosting contemporary jazz shows and soft rock.
That didn’t last for long, though. With the decreasing competition, the station dedicated itself to classic rock and ditched all the other genres.
Now you can listen to your favorite rock artists, from Elton John and Bruce Springsteen to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
9. 95.7 BEN FM
BEN FM has quite a diverse music history.
Like many music radio stations, it began by playing classical music but switched to adult contemporary music with an extreme rebranding.
Now it’s mostly known for playing adult hits, covering genres like pop, rock, and contemporary music.
BEN FM has one of the biggest music libraries in town. So, you know where to go if you ever want to listen to Green Day, U2, or Prince.
10. B 101.1
B 101.1 started as an instrumental-based station. That means it played instrumental covers of popular songs.
They covered artists like Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, and Tony Bennett.
As instrumental music declined in popularity, though, the station went on to cover traditional genres.
It finally settled on mainstream contemporary music.
11. Smooth Jazz JJZ 106.1
If you’re a jazz enthusiast, this station will be your best friend.
It has a weekly updated playlist that covers a wide range of artists.
Whether it’s Kenny G, Brian Simpson, or Riley Richard, Smooth Jazz JJZ will find a song for you.
12. Jamz 95.3
Jamz 95.3 is one of the top hip-hop and R&B stations out there.
Not only does it have a massive music library, but it also features indie artists regularly.
So, if you ever want to listen to new talents, just pop up the INDIE ARTIST IN ROTATION show. You may be listening to the next big thing.
13. Deep House Lounge
Deep House Lounge is an underground internet radio station.
Although it debuted in 2011, it’s quickly built one of the most significant communities in town.
The station plays techno, house, and underground music. It’s known for consistently airing quality underground music from all over the world.
The station has featured numerous talented DJs, such as Lars Behrenroth, Rob Paine, and Darren Holland.
After having it taken down on charges of obscenity, the community behind the station petitioned for its return. It’s become one of the biggest Triple A-programming stations in town.
It has a variety of music programs, such as World Cafe, Free At Noon, and Star’s End.
It’s also known for featuring new aspiring rock, blues, and roots reggae artists.
WKDU is one of the few radio stations in Philly that stayed dedicated to the freeform format.
While it gives its DJs the freedom to play what they want, the station dictates that a portion of their music has to be new releases to keep things fresh.
WKDU is known for hosting annual music marathons covering various genres, such as electronic, reggae, and soca music.
One of WKDU’s most popular bits is The Black Experience in Music.
It consisted of five black college students playing jazz, funk, and R&B. Their influence isn’t exclusive to music, though, as they also educated people on black culture.
16. WRTI 90.1
WRTI started out as an all-jazz station.
However, now it’s known for its double format. It combines the smoothness of jazz with the power and fluidity of classical music, with a little bit of spiritual music every now and then.
The station will bring you music recordings from different classical eras if you’re a classical music fan.
But, it’ll also play opera and concerts for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It even hosts live classical concerts.
For jazz enthusiasts, you’ll have music, live performances, and interviews with aspiring artists in the jazz scene.
17. 247 THE SOUND (WSND)
247 The Sound specializes in playing classic hip-hop with R&B.
As an underdog, the station supports independent artists who are looking to have their music heard on local radio.
One of their most popular programs is The Soul 70s, where you can listen to the best soul artists from the ’70s, such as Stevie Wonder and Barry White.
In its early days, WXTU used a classic Top-40 format. In fact, it was one of the first radio stations to adopt that format.
Now, it leans heavily on country music. Not only does it have one of the biggest country music libraries, but it also covers every bit of country music-related news out there.
So, if you want to see interviews with your favorite Country artists, you can watch Backstage With Razz or Behind The Curtain.
19. 96.5 TDY
In the music sphere, it started out as an all-jazz station. Almost a decade later, it did a 180, switching to an all-talk format.
After a change in management, the station returned to playing music, switching from rhythmic music to adult contemporary tunes.
Now, it’s adapted a classic Top-40 format, playing rock, urban, and pop music.
When it comes to indie and alternative rock, only a few channels stand against I99Radio‘s massive library.
The station will bring you worldwide coverage of rock music.
Additionally, the station is all about discovering new music people have never heard.
So, it features aspiring artists with something fresh to offer their audience.
21. Famous 56 Boss Radio
Famous 56 Boss Radio specializes in oldies’ music.
Naturally, it targets a different demographic than most stations. If you’re a little bit older, you’ll appreciate the type of music they play.
Yes, they actually say that on their website.
The station’s crew has been in the business for a long time. So, if you’re looking for a good oldies experience, you can trust these guys.
Now you know Philly’s top music radio stations. Each has its history and can bring something different to the table.
So, the next time you want to listen to a specific music genre, you know which will suit you best.