Despite the many technological advances that have driven the world of sound in recent years, there are still those who bet on conventional options such as portable radio.
Because people refuse to bury those walks in the middle of Sunday next to the portable radio, in search of football news or other sports, nor do we want to give up the warmth of the announcer’s voice while sunbathing on the beach. Although many mobile devices today include a radio, it will never be the same as a genuine portable radio!
The most important things about Portable Radio
- The best portable radios allow them to offer a superior sound quality than the radio applications incorporated in mobile devices.
- Some portable radios provide extra functionality like USB or microSD input. With it, you can play your favorite music and save shows to listen to later!
- One of the critical purchase criteria is that of the power supply. Depending on where you will use the portable radio, you will have to choose one option or another.
We review this and other essential purchase criteria at the end of the content.
The best portable radios
We know of many people interested in a portable radio. You are probably one of them. That is why we are going to offer you a selection of four quality models. Our goal is to bring you the best products to help you in the purchase process. Along with each collected portable radio, we offer a quick analysis of its characteristics. We started!
- Best Sony Portable Radio
- The best portable radio with Bluetooth
- The best Philips portable radio
- The best Energy Sistem portable radio
Best Sony Portable Radio
It is currently the best-selling Sony portable radio. It can be purchased in a vertical, horizontal, or compact format with a more current, not so retro aesthetic. Of course, it incorporates AM / FM radio tuner and volume control.
It also includes a hand strap for easy portability and a headphone jack, and several LED indicators. It also works with two AA batteries.
The best portable radio with Bluetooth
If you are looking for a cheap Bluetooth mini-radio, this Avantree model will surely please you. And it is that in addition to being an excellent portable radio with Bluetooth, it can be used as a speaker.
Besides, it not only offers a Bluetooth connection or speaker function but also plays SD cards. With this, you can enjoy your favorite songs at all times. Oh, and it’s a portable radio model with a rechargeable battery!
The best Philips portable radio
This Philips portable radio is somewhat more extensive than the rest of the models listed here, including a handy handle. Being a Philips portable radio offers much more possibilities than the models of other less renowned brands.
It incorporates DAB + technology, FM antenna, volume control, battery indicator, and digital display. You can connect it to a mains socket or put batteries of the type LR14. If you are looking for a portable radio with good sound, give it a try, as in this section it performs at a spectacular level.
The best Energy Sistem portable radio
Coquette mini radio manufactured by the Energy Sistem brand. Its compact and elegant design gives it a classic but modern look that is very attractive from an aesthetic perspective. Thanks to its solid materials and performance, it is a mini radio with spectacular value for money.
But what does it offer? It has a memory for up to fifty presets, a headphone jack, and a small digital display. Besides, it is an excellent portable radio with a rechargeable battery, since its autonomy reaches eight hours without a problem.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Portable Radios
After finishing our brief review of some of the best portable radios currently available, it is time to dive deeper into the product itself. Indeed, portable radios do not have cutting-edge technology since they do not require it, but some options and functions should be explained. Follow us and take right notes!
Why buy a portable radio?
Mainly because of the sound. Also, for its absolute portability. Its size usually allows you to carry it in a pocket, although there are more extensive alternatives. The usual thing is that they work as mere AM / FM tuners, incorporating a speaker and even offering a headphone jack. There are also them with a strap to wear attached to the wrist. Their size and characteristics are focused on outdoor use, although they are very versatile (some can even be used as mini music players). Thanks to new technologies, portable radios with microSD cards are already offered, and portable radios with Bluetooth. With the latter, you can use Bluetooth headphones!
Why is a portable radio better than a mobile device radio?
Dedicated devices intended for a particular use typically perform better. Why? Because all its components pursue the same objective. This is not the case with the most popular mobile devices today. A smartphone or tablet does not have the radio function as a priority. Besides, there are other significant differences:
|Portable radio||Radio on smartphone|
|Reception quality||High average||Half|
|Time delay||Minimum||Superior, since it is reproduced over the Internet.|
|Data consumption||Zero.||Medium. Also, some radio applications may not work without the Internet.|
|Sound quality||High average||Medium|
|Sound reproduction||Through speakers and headphones.||Sometimes it can only be activated via headphones.|
|Components||Exclusively intended for radio and sound reproduction.||The priority of a smartphone is not the radio function.|
|Autonomy||High, since it is intended for a single function.||Medium, since it is shared with the rest of the functions.|
Advantages and disadvantages of a portable radio
The best portable radios are a real dream come true, as they cover a strong demand: some studies indicate that 76% of people continue to consume classic offline FM radio ( 1 ). But what are the advantages and disadvantages of portable radios? Here are the pros and cons of these versatile gadgets:
- Great portability
- High autonomy
- Exceptional sound quality
- Great tuning capacity
- Possibility of using with headphones
- They take advantage of modern technology such as Bluetooth connection
- Some can play your music using, for example, microSD cards
- They don’t consume data
- Generally robust and durable
- Value for money is not always the best
- Your possibilities are limited
Types of portable radios
Indeed you have thought about buying a portable radio, and that is why you are here. We do not know if you have appreciated the fact that there are different types. This is not an excessively sophisticated article; however, the markets always think of other possibilities. In this case, we are not facing an exception either:
- Analog: The portable analog radio is the most basic option. A portable analog radio will hardly have an AM / FM option and perhaps a headphone jack. It is the ideal alternative if you want something simple.
- Digital: The digital portable radio is somewhat more sophisticated than the portable analog radio. Generally, it incorporates other functions beyond the frequencies, such as, for example, the possibility of playing your music through them.
- Pocket: The pocket portable radio is more of a portable analog radio or digital portable radio. It is an option whose size is, logically, pocket-sized. In other words, it is a tiny and highly manageable portable radio.
- With USB or microSD card: The portable radio with USB or microSD card is nothing more than a digital portable radio that incorporates these options. With this, you can save your favorite programs or play music or podcasts through your digital portable radio.
What is DAB technology?
In today’s market, it is possible to find portable mini-radios with DAB technology. These acronyms correspond to the term Digital Audio Broadcasting, that is to say: digital audio transmission. Although it has been used since the mid-nineties of the last century, it is still not very widespread. Despite this, its expansion is already inevitable. And it is that soon all portable radios will work with it. DAB offers better reception of sound signals and, therefore, higher audio quality. Besides, it also allows the visualization of textual information. And contrary to what it may seem, it is an inexpensive technology that does not increase the price of the products that use it.
How to configure a portable radio?
It all depends on the type of radio you have in hand. Therefore, we always recommend that the first step should be to consult the instruction manual. Beyond that, we can give you some general guidelines, so you know what you are going to face when you buy one of the best portable radios today:
Check first that the product is in condition. Once this is done, take into account the type of power: batteries or rechargeable batteries.
Analog portable radios are tuned with a wheel. On the contrary, digital ones can usually be tuned by buttons. The latter, also, is not uncommon for them to incorporate a function for the device to scan and save all the detectable stations. In this way, you will access them faster and always with the highest possible reception quality.
If you have additional features, such as a microSD card input, press the corresponding button to change the mode. Remember, on the other hand, that if you have a portable analog radio, the antenna can help you improve the station’s reception.
Portable Radio Purchase Criteria
As you may have already seen, a portable radio is a reasonably simple gadget, but with a sufficiently diverse homogeneity in terms of features and types. Therefore, you should not just buy any model, but the one you need. And to help you in the task, we analyze the critical purchase criteria for you to make your ideal option.
- Power supply
- Sound quality
It is an essential criterion since brands must offer absolute trust and quality. You probably already have an idea about some of the most famous, but you also have to know that less popular ones are equally valid. This is so when said firm, a priori less known, is exclusively dedicated to the product (in this case, portable radios).
But a trusted brand will give you a higher percentage of security. And it is that, usually, this translates into quality materials and superior durability. Profitable brands also tend to put more effort into offering superlative reception or autonomy. If the brand you’re dealing with doesn’t inspire confidence, then take a look at this list:
- Energy Sistem
When you look for a portable radio, you already imagine that you will be facing compact models and designs. However, even within this type of radios, different dimensions can vary their portability and use. That is, a pocket device is not the same as a compact one with a larger size and number of functions:
- Portable pocket radio: Ideal if you want to listen to the radio anywhere, with your headphones on and without even realizing that you have the gadget on you.
- Portable radio with handle: Great option if you don’t mind giving up a discreet size so much. With the handle, you can take the portable radio anywhere with total comfort and without the danger of dropping it.
For many people, a portable radio must ensure good autonomy of use. Some run on batteries. On the other hand, there are models of portable radios that incorporate an adapter. With this, you will connect the portable radio to the current. This alternative is ideal if you will use the portable radio at home, as it will save you a lot of money on batteries.
On the other hand, if the everyday use is going to be outdoors and away from power sources, we bet on portable radios with rechargeable batteries. These usually have autonomy of around eight hours. If it still does not seem enough, you can also resort to portable battery chargers. With this, you will have a portable radio for a while!
Do you want to take the opportunity to buy a portable radio that has a more significant number of functionalities? Well, these exist and are very common. As we have pointed out previously, you have portable radios with DAB technology. This technology guarantees a higher quality of reception and a much clearer sound. But there is more.
The market is stocked with brands that offer models that incorporate SD card slots and USB ports so you can play your music. In other words, in addition to performing radio functions, they also act as reproducers. It is not uncommon for some to be able to offer connections via Bluetooth and even via wifi. There is nothing!
Other somewhat less common additional features are:
- Dynamic Bass Boost: In some digital portable radios, there is the possibility of accentuating the bass at the push of a button. This is best lost with good traditional or wireless headphones (it will depend on whether the portable radio comes with Bluetooth or not).
- LCD screen: This is a fairly common feature. With it, you can view the station you are listening to and some other useful extra information.
- Voice recorder: Yes, there are portable radios with a recorder. They are somewhat more expensive. Of course, if you move in the audiovisual world, it may be the option that best suits you.
The arrival of DAB technology allows improving audio quality to match that offered by compact discs. However, keep in mind that we are still talking about portable radios, so the audio quality is never the same as that provided by a hi-fi system. Therefore, the speakers that these products incorporate are not very powerful either.
The pocket ones may not even reach the watt of power, while the compact and somewhat more voluminous ones can typically get 3 watts. If you want the sound to be more precise, it is best to use good headphones. We are not talking about expensive headphones; it is unnecessary unless you want good headphones to use with other devices.
As you have seen throughout the article, portable radios can remain as essential as before or incorporate more sophisticated functions. Regardless of this, the actual process is more than fulfilled, and they have more than enough autonomy to be able to use them for hours.
We have offered you the possibility to meet some exciting models, and we have talked about some somewhat newer features in these modest devices. From here, the decision is yours alone. You know better than anyone you need, and based on that, you will have to focus your purchase! We want you to be correct in the choice.