As much as Spotify, Apple Music, or other best music apps would like you to believe, traditional radio is not dead. Sure, the rise in popularity of streaming services and on-demand music means fewer folks are willing to tune their radio sets, but even now, there are many uses where the radio is still king. For example, perhaps you want to tune into the early morning antics of your local breakfast show or follow along listening to the commentary of a sports match.
The latest technology in radio (albeit quite dated nowadays) is DAB or Digital Audio Broadcasting (or HD Radio in the United States). Unlike traditional FM radio, you don’t need to know the exact frequency of what you want to tune in to, as DAB signals also transmit the station’s metadata. This means that DAB radios have “station lists,” which you can cycle through. This is great for the discovery of stations also, as you can quickly cycle through all the station options in your area. However, DAB radios are more expensive, and some local radio stations can’t afford to transmit by DAB. However, DAB signals have a much longer range than FM, so regional stations can be picked up much more accessible.
Also read: 5 best AM radios for long-distance reception
It can be pretty challenging to find the right radio for you, given the available standards in your country. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best radios available on Amazon broken down by type for you to buy in 2023.
Best FM, HD, and DAB Radios on Amazon
FM is the universal standard for radio broadcasting, and most radio stations broadcast on this frequency. Almost all radios have built-in FM receivers, so the following radios are attractive for their value and sound performance.
1. Retekess TR604 AM/FM Radio
- Great retro look
- Battery-powered or DC
- Mostly analog
- Can’t set station presets
- Not a very loud speaker
First up is this beautiful retro-looking analog AM/FM radio from Retekess. If you’re not a digital fan and miss the days of an old-fashioned 50’s style manual tuner, this radio is perfect for you. With its large tuning dial, you can easily set your desired station in a tick.
This is a perfect option if you’re in the market for a radio for your old folks! The large text on the tuning bar is easy to read, and the radio will feel right at home to anyone born in the yesteryear. For those more accustomed to the digital age, you might miss the electronic comfort features of automatic tuning, seeking, and station presets. It’s all knobs and not a lot else. If you forget station frequencies, you’ll need a post-it note to write it all down.
If you need to take this radio on the go with you, this can be battery-powered. To go wire-free, you’ll have to use 3 ‘D’ batteries, a strange and obsolete battery standard. A trip to a hardware store should get you some, but we’re not sure why they didn’t just use AA batteries. Luckily, as there’s no display or digital components to power, the battery life on this bad boy is excellent. You’ll only have to swap out these batteries every few months, even after hours a day of use.
Though, if batteries aren’t your style, this radio still does plug into a wall outlet. There’s an included 110V AC power supply in the box with a generous 1.4m cable for convenience.
Priced at $26.99, this FM radio is an affordable and helpful device for anyone looking for a simple and easy-to-use radio. For accessibility, this is great for elderly folk or anyone who doesn’t like to use digital buttons and technology.
2. Bryon Statics Retro Portable AM/FM Radio
- Cool, retro look
- Decently loud
- The tuning dial is difficult to read.
- No station presets
A flashback to the 50s, this neat little radio combines trendy retro appeal with a super-handy design, finished in classic cream and black. You can plug it into the mains, take it on the road, or pop in batteries.
This radio knows what it wants to be: a pure vintage-style accessory. If you like the design of this radio, you’ll love using it. The dials feel sturdy and weighty, and tuning using the analog knob is endless fun. Unlike the previous pick on this list, the tuning dial is not very easy to read. For those with good eyesight, you’re unlikely to have an issue, but you may need to squint to read the numbers. Again, style over utility.
This analog radio is easy to use and lightweight; the sound is full and excellent. The radio also has a handle that can be folded over. Coming in either this lovely black-and-white ice-cream sandwich look or full cream color, this radio looks classy and fits with any other vintage décor you have in your home.
The external antenna is long enough to swivel fully, so you can easily optimize your signal. Flicking to AM mode, the radio uses a fixed coil wound antenna inside the device’s housing to provide excellent AM reception.
Priced at $23.56, this radio is an affordable style accessory for your home. If you’re into the vintage look, you’ll love this excellent FM radio from ByronStatics.
3. Victrola Retro Wood Bluetooth FM/AM Radio with Rotary Dial
- Great, vintage design
- Metal and wood construction
- Bluetooth connectivity
- EQ Controls
- Average sound quality
This retro FM/AM radio is a perfect synergy between old and new from Victrola. With a timeless wooden design, our Victrola retro wooden radio is ideal for any home or office!
Listen to music from traditional analog with AM/FM tuning dial. Crafted perfectly with a metal dial, the AM/FM tuner is so satisfying to turn, perfect for anyone looking for a vintage radio experience. Flicking between AM and FM is as seamless as flicking the knob and is ideal if you want a spot of late-night coast-to-coast AM radio. During the day, the FM receiver can pick up your usual commercial radio station.
Though, the trick up this radio’s sleeve is its Bluetooth connectivity. This built-in Bluetooth receiver can easily pair with your phone, tablet, or computer. This unlocks a whole host of internet radio options, giving you the power to listen to radio stations worldwide and even – the enemy – Spotify.
Measuring 9.5″ x 4.9″ x 6.3″, this radio is little and compact, fitting easily into a corner. The wood is MDF and doesn’t feel the best, but from afar, it looks great. The speaker performs best for talk shows, while those looking for a powerful speaker with an oomph for music may be disappointed.
Priced at $50.93, this radio may be a little expensive. But, if you can fork out the cash and want a beautiful radio to tuck into a room corner, perhaps next to a vintage-style lamp, this is a perfect option for anyone looking for a classy vintage FM radio.
HD Radio (HDR)
HR Radio is the digital radio standard in the United States. If you live in the US, these are the radios you will want to look at. If you live elsewhere, for example, in Europe or Asia, the standard you’re looking at is DAB. Scroll down to see our picks for DAB radios.
1. Sangean HDR-14 HD Radio
- HD Radio
- Good sound
Receive local stations with additional content, including sports, news, and music. Access digital entertainment and technology and discover fresh digital content in a new way with more stations, better sound, and no subscription fees. Digital radio unlocks many stations you wouldn’t otherwise get on FM radios.
The HDR-14 has a real-time clock and date with alarm and sleep functions, two alarm timers by radio, a buzzer, HWS (Humane Wake System) buzzer and radio, and a snooze function. Unfortunately, the tuning on this little radio is done by pushing the button, and the tiny LCD doesn’t display much information.
The small speaker used in this tiny portable radio is also little, so you shouldn’t expect deep bass or anything like that, but it still produces a pleasant sound and is surprisingly loud. Sound quality is excellent when using headphones and combined with good reception with the collapsed antenna. It results in a radio you can put into your pocket and enjoy listening to with headphones.
Measuring 5″ x 3.02″ x 1.28″, this radio is super compact. It can easily fit in the palm of your hand, perfect if you need to throw this radio into a pocket for an adventure or if you want a handy little companion that’s very portable. If you wish for extra portability, this radio uses 3 AA batteries for power on the go. If batteries aren’t your style or your radio dies on you, this radio is super compact, measuring the included DC radio from the mains.
Priced at $70.58, this radio isn’t the cheapest in the world. But, if you want to access digital radio broadcasting, this is a fantastic first foray into HD radio.
2. Sangean HDR-16 HD Radio
- Great sound
- Still compact
- Great radio reception
Bumping up a notch, we have the Sangean HDR-16. Backed by Sangean’s 41 years of experience in quality, high-performance radios, the HDR-16 features the latest HD Radio Technology in a stylish package. Easy to take on the go, the HDR-16 delivers local HD radio stations with clear digital sound.
Keep track of favorite stations and quickly tune to the best programs in standard or HD Digital Radio with 5 AM and 5 FM presets. This radio is a great heavy-duty set, with the option to connect portable devices to use the HDR-16’s stereo speakers. You can also connect the HRD-16’s Line Output to your home stereo if the two loudspeakers aren’t enough for you.
The speakers on this radio seem to be of very high quality. In addition, separate bass and treble controls are accessed electronically by pushing in on the volume control, giving you some excellent control over your sound.
If you want to take this HD radio with you, this device can be powered by batteries. But you can plug in the AC adapter at home and listen away. This radio teeters into the prosumer, high fidelity range of radios, and it shows. The reception is excellent, outperforming the weak radio receivers in other cheaper products.
With a price of $99.99, it’s not cheap at all. But you’re paying for exceptional radio performance, great sound, and a reliable premium product.
3. Sangean HDR-18
- Great, rich sound
- Excellent radio performance
- Stellar build quality
- Radio loses its time and alarm settings if the power turns off.
If you have a lot of cash to blow and want the best-in-class HDR radio for your tabletop, this premium cabinet-style radio from Sangean is a fantastic choice. Discover the experience of crystal-clear, distortion-free HD Radio with the Sangean HDR-18 Table Top Radio.
With memory for 10 AM and 10 FM station presets, quickly and easily tune to a favorite station via the console or remote control. The HDR-18 remote control lets you input your favorite AM/FM frequency directly.
If you want to periodically switch from radio to your input (dare I say, Spotify!), you can connect an MP3 player or other external devices with the Aux-input. In addition, it’s super easy to scan through HD and standard AM/FM stations at the push of a button with the full-function remote control. The HDR-18 also features a convenient sleep timer and headphone jack allowing you to comfortably experience your favorite local HD station without disturbing others.
The radio has excellent reception and sound quality. Amazon customers comment on how this radio can still pull in all available HD stations, even in rural areas. However, while this radio features a clock and a “humane waking system,” just a gradually increasing volume alarm, the clock on this bad boy is problematic at best. If the power of the radio goes out for even one second, the lack of non-volatile memory means you’ll lose your clock settings and alarms. Irritating!
Priced at $142.61, this radio is priced at a premium. But if you’re looking for a beautiful tabletop radio cabinet, you’ll adore this excellent radio from Sangean.
And so, if you’re a US reader, that’s your lot! We’ve got some great picks there for HD Radios. Sangean is one of the best radio manufacturers, and there’s a reason I can’t recommend anything else. They perform amazingly, sound great, and are built to last.
If you’re from Europe, Asia, or anywhere else where the digital radio standard is Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), read on.
As DAB radios are unavailable in the US for the next three picks, we’re using the UK Amazon as a reference. All the products will be available elsewhere in Europe, but availability elsewhere worldwide may vary.
1. Majority Histon II DAB+ Radio$.... (Product detail is unavailable temporarily)
- Great DAB performance
- Battery powered
- Good sound quality
- Speaker lacks low-end
- It does not support AM radio
First up, from British radio start-up Majority, we have this handy little portable DAB radio: the Majority Histon II. This lovely compact DAB+ digital and FM radio has an excellent industrial design that fits snuggly on any worktop or surface without taking up too much space.
The Majority Histon II looks excellent in your kitchen, lounge, or bedroom and can be portable with 4 x AA batteries. If you’re not looking to take this radio on the go with you, you can easily plug it into a power outlet. The simple setup lets you listen to various stations on this stylish unit. For example, the BBC’s full range of radio stations, including BBC Radio 1X, BBC Radio 4 Extra, and regional commercial stations like Manchester’s Radio X, can be heard nationwide.
Set up to 20 preset station options (10 on DAB and 10 on FM) so you can quickly listen to your favorite stations. As you can see, there are no presets for AM radio, and that’s because this radio can’t receive it. Although most stations in Europe are FM or DAB, we don’t see this as too much of a problem. AM isn’t that big of a thing here (as it’s much easier to have coast-to-coast radio stations with high-fidelity broadcasting).
Priced at $.... (Product detail is unavailable temporarily), this radio is super affordable, perfect for anyone looking for a starter DAB radio in Europe. I highly recommend Majority Histon II.
2. Sony XDR-S41D Portable DAB/DAB+ Wireless Radio$.... (Product detail is unavailable temporarily)
- Good, reputable brand.
- Great radio clarity
- Lacks low-end due to its size
- No AM.
The Sony XDR-S41D is very straightforward. Housed in this compact black plastic housing, the radio fits into any environment you use. Power it on, and it’ll automatically scan and find all the stations available in your area. Once you’ve found your favorite stations, you can easily set up to 5 presets to return to later.
You can plug this radio into the mains or use 4 AA batteries. The compact nature of this radio makes it perfect for taking into the bathroom with you or having it as a little companion while cleaning around the house. Battery life can vary depending on your use, but this radio’s typical battery life is about 15 hours.
The backlit five-line LCD offers enough information about the radio’s status and the track playing to use the station metadata transmitted over digital radio fully. The backlight stays on for up to 30 seconds, which helps you save some power, especially if you’re using batteries.
As for sound quality, it’s limited by the laws of physics. This is a thin radio, so you probably won’t expect that much bass to come out of its speaker. And that’s what you get, though you can expect some great clarity. This radio performs better with spoken words as voices are clear and sharp.
Priced at $.... (Product detail is unavailable temporarily), this is an excellent no-frills radio, perfect for anyone looking for a valuable and reliable compact DAB radio.
3. Roberts Stream 94i$.... (Product detail is unavailable temporarily)
- Great, rich sound
- DAB+, Spotify, and Internet Radio!
- Great build quality
The all-guns-blazing option for the DAB radio is the Roberts Stream94i, a masterclass in high-end features and great sound. Use the Stream 94i as a stylish speaker and stream your music collection from a smartphone or iPad. In addition, you are featuring built-in FM/DAB/DAB+, wireless connectivity, millions of songs via Spotify Connect, and a choice of 20,000+ internet radio stations and podcasts.
If you don’t fancy using Spotify Connect (perhaps you’re using downloaded music on your phone or use Apple Music), you can connect your phone via Bluetooth. Not in front of your speakers and want to change the track? Not a problem. The Stream 94i can be fully controlled anywhere in your home using the Undok smartphone app.
Using natural walnut wood, this cabinet is acoustically tuned to pack a punch with its rich, room-filling sound. If you love a warm, vintage sound, you’ll love what Roberts offers here. The sound quality is impressive for such a small unit. It has surprising bass and plenty of detail in all other areas.
With 120 presets, you can save radio stations – FM, DAB, and Internet – while discovering new music. So you can switch back at the touch of just a few buttons.
Priced at $.... (Product detail is unavailable temporarily), this radio comes at a steep premium. But, for the extra money, you’re getting a whole host of additional features, and this futuristic WiFi-enabled radio performs excellently, sounds lovely, and looks fantastic in your house. So, if you have this amount of money to spend on radio, pick up a Roberts Stream 94i.
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