Even though cellphones have taken the place of radios by offering the same services along with other innovative features, the criticality of a radio is realized when you go to a remote area or a natural calamity hit. In that case, the best radio for long distance AM reception is all you will need to keep a check on the latest happenings.
In the following list, we will be analyzing the pros and cons of top AM radios in the market. Having an insight knowledge of the products will help you in deciding which radio can be the best fit as per your requirement:
1. Sony ICFP26 AM/FM Portable Radio
Sony has always come up with innovative products that stand out in the market. By the same token, this radio has all the fancy features qualifying it as another hallmark for the brand. The Sony ICFP26 grants you the ease of switching to several AM or FM channels by simply dialing the integrated tuner. While by extending the antenna on top, you can experience a crystal-clear reception.
The built-in mono speaker will serve you with a good sound quality whenever you want to enjoy the broadcast with your family. And the 3.5mm headphone jack will work out when you are in a mood of listening alone.
By installing 2 AA batteries you can enjoy the broadcast for as long as 110h. Whether you wish to place it in your sitting area or carry it on the walk with you, these compact radios are a good fit for all needs. Also, the built-in hand-strap and the glossy plastic casing has further upgraded the portability.
To simplify operating, the featured LED indicators will update you whenever a station tunes in or when the radio is about to run out of battery. However, the radio lacks in offering a rechargeable battery option, but as the battery life is lingering, installing the AAs won’t be a problem.
2. Panasonic RF-2400D AM/FM Portable Analog Radio
Though a bit more expensive than its competitors, the Panasonic RF-2400 has flawless reception, high-quality speakers and absolute portability, making it worthy of spending some extra bucks. The installed ferrite antenna results in outstanding AM reception. And the AFC (Auto Frequency Control) function ensures that the broadcasted channel is tuned smoothly.
The integrated dial scale with fluorescent pointer updates the user about the currently played station even from afar. Whether you plan to listen to the broadcast at home or out at a campsite, the radio with its dual power options is suitable for both needs. You can either use the 4 AA batteries or the AC adapter to run the radio.
With its plastic casing and compact designing, the radio has a light yet durable body that withstands the rough handling. However, even though the AC adapter is built-in the device, the cord for power supply is stiff and connects from the side of the radio which is a bit inconvenient.
3. Sangean PR-D5BK AM/FM Radio with Digital Tuning
For more than 40 years, Sangean has been offering the users with reliable and portable radios. The first captivating feature of this radio is the built-in backlit LCD updating the user about the tuned station. Whereas the screen is large enough so you can read it seamlessly even from a far distance.
The radio with 5 AM and 5 FM preset channels saves you from the effort of finding the available stations. However, even searching for the channels is not a hassle as the Auto Seek feature will promptly detect and broadcast the active bands. While the digital tuning system will take the responsibility of playing perfectly tuned channels.
The in-built stereo speakers enable listening to the broadcasts in rich and warm sound. The AUX port featured on the radio is an answer to the call of those aiming that their radio turns into a speaker. Hence, whether you want to listen to the clear broadcast or enjoy playing your favorite songs, the radio can suffice for both purposes.
Lastly, the dedicated 200mm Ferrite AM antenna and the telescopic FM antenna secure reception at its best. With no power restrictions, this radio can work on either AC supply or 6C batteries. Consequently, the radio is best in all aspects, what has brought it down to #3 is the high-cost and muffled AM reception sometimes encountered.
4. Byron Statics FM/AM Portable Radios
These antique looking radios with their simplistic design will drive you back to the 50s. The classical cream and black units are easy to operate as there is nothing but three knobs featured on the radio. The volume and AM/FM/Off knobs are located on top while a large dial dedicated for tuning can be seen at the front.
The radio with its plastic casing is immensely lightweight. The handle built on top assists in carrying the unit anywhere or you can place it in your sitting area as the classical design will fit in with all types of furniture. You can either plug it for AC input or install the 4 AA batteries when away for hunting or fishing.
The large knob assists dialing with precision so that every channel you tune has the best signals. To catch the FM stations, the external antenna can be swiveled at different angles. While for AM reception, you need to move the radio in different directions as the antenna coil is housed inside the radio.
Since you have to tune the radio manually, the fine-tuning is a bit tricky but if you are an old school lover, compromising on this single flaw would be a fair play.
5. PRUNUS J-288 AM/FM Bluetooth Portable Radio
These radios are best at reception as the 56-inch ultra-long antenna will catch the signals smoothly without any statics. Searching for the stations you have played before is not a case with these radios as they can save 99 AM and 98 FM stations in their memory.
The 3W speaker built-in secures exceptional sound quality. Besides, you can transform this stereo radio into a music player by using 4 available modes. You can switch SD card, AUX, Bluetooth or USB flash drive mode to enable the radio to extract and play your favorite songs.
The radio installs 1500 mAh rechargeable battery that can last for 6-8 hours after fully charged. A charging indicator featured on the radio will turn green from red to update you when the radio charges fully. And while you travel with this portable unit, the lock key will prevent unintended pressing.
However, Prunus J-288 does not offer the best AM reception. It might catch some stations perfectly but for others, you may face muffled reception. Nonetheless, if you want to experience a premium sound quality, going with this one will serve better than the others.
6. PowerBear AM/FM Radio with Long Range Reception
This radio is best for those having a tight budget. No matter whether you are at home or somewhere away in nature, the long-range antenna will catch smooth signals so you can tune in various AM and FM stations.
The plastic casing renders durability along with portability. The radio is super compact and weighs around 3.07 oz, hence, you can take it anywhere to keep a check on recent updates. To power the radio, you will have to install only 2 AA batteries that can last for about 800 hours.
Although the speakers do not offer exceptional sound quality, buying quality headphones and using the 3.5 mm headphone jack can provide a good alternative.
Things to Consider Before Buying Radio for Long Distance AM Reception
When planning to buy an AM radio, knowing the governing factors is important. We have recommended the following products after going down to the nitty-gritty of them. Below is the glimpse of features we considered before presenting them as our top choice:
A quality radio should receive signals from the farthest stations with little to no interference. For this, the type and size of antenna play a significant role. As the antenna is responsible for efficiently receiving signals. Consequently, a device having a high-quality antenna will have a static-free reception.
Also, the grade of speaker built-in the radio affects reception. A standard radio will play even the distant channels in a rich sound with no bass. Thus, check for these two features if you don’t want to experience muffled reception or inefficient connection.
Portability is a matter of great concern if you love venturing. Besides, carrying the radio is critically important as you may lose connections when away in remote areas. In such circumstances, a radio will be the only source informing about the weather conditions or any imminent emergency.
However, carrying a bulky radio in your backpack is inconvenient. The smaller the radio will be, the more easily it could be carried. Therefore, if you are planning to go hiking, hunting or camping, search for a unit as light as a feather so it supports your journey without increasing some extra pounds of the luggage.
Inspect that for high portability the durability of radio is not compromised. Because while traveling, the radio can possibly face rough handling. To efficiently work through the beatings, it’s casing as well as the other components should be super-rugged.
Normally, the units are available in plastic casings that make them light-weight yet durable. But the quality of material used varies and so does the longevity.
Ease of Use
As an amateur, learning to operate a radio is perplexing. Especially when radio does not come with user-friendly features. A radio with an LCD display assists the user by updating about the current status like battery level or the played stations. Similarly, a radio with pre-programmed channels will save you from the hassle of searching stations.
You might come across a radio featuring digital tuning which automatically fine-tunes the right frequency or the auto-seek function that instantly detects and plays the active stations. Hence, look for a radio that offers maximum ease so you can start listening to the broadcasts right after buying.
Before you plan to buy the best AM radio, consider analyzing various factors related to the product. The foremost among them is cost. Buying a low-cost radio is a possible case scenario but going for the one having cheap quality would lead to wasting money only.
Instead, you can consider buying Sony ICFP26, Prunus J-288 or PowerBear units that offer reliable performance at low-budget. Portability is also a subject of concern if you love venturing. For this, looking for a lightweight as well as rugged radio would be best.
Although, if your budget allows, you can enjoy premium features integrated into the Sangean PR-D5BK. All in all, the products recommended deliver the best for their respective prices. Consider following the link to check out which product is suitable according to your requirements.