An AM radio enables you to use it whenever you want – whether for emergency purposes or just for listing your preferable local stations. AM radio stations are also known as “Medium Wave” stations. They are standard broadcast stations those who are used to transmitting broadcast radio signals for the public listening. You can get updates on Music, local news, and weather with a radio.
What is an AM RADIO?
AM means Amplitude Modulation. The sound quality of these ones is more inferior to the FM. These ones are very low quality signals. You can send these over long distances; mainly, during night. During night time the AM signals can travel more distance with high intensity due to “skywave propagation”. The lower band frequency of AM signals makes a large wavelength. The frequency band range is from 550 to 1720 kHz, and the full audio spectrum is up to 20 kHz. But the upper modulating frequency of this range is up to 5 kHz. AM receiver or an AM radio is nothing but an electronic gadget that detects amplitude variation in the radio waves that are transmitted at a particular frequency. Further the receiver amplifies the signal voltage and feed it to the speaker or to a headphone.
This complete guide will let you know all the details that you may require while choosing the best AM radio for your personal use. Here, we have enlisted the top 10 electronic equipment and specification of each gadget.
Best AM Radio Review- 2021
Sangean LB-100 Ultra Rugged Compact AM / FM Radio
Description: This Sangean LB-100 is very reliable. It offers an excellent sound quality compared to other models in this list. This robust model is made up of durable ABS plastic. It is perfect for those who want to use it on construction sites and other outdoor work.
The 5-inch driver of this best AM/FM radio offers a full and crisp sound. Sangean LB-100 is ideal for use in noisy situations. The digital LCD of the product permits super precise tuning. There is an antenna that is flexible but not extendable.
Build quality: This Sangean LB-100 comes with a durable ABS plastic construction. The impact-resistant material makes the product perfect to use in building sites. This one is water-resistant. Therefore, you can use it on rainy days.
Speaker: It comes with a 5-inch water-resistant speaker that can give you high-quality sound.
LCD Display: The LCD is easily readable. It can show you both the station and the time. The dimensions of the LCD screen are 2.24″ x 0.98″.
Useful Functions: There are twelve Memory Presets, i.e., for 6 AM and 6 FM stations. There are five easy touch memory preset buttons with the help of which you can access your favorite AM/FM stations.
- Five preset buttons
- Easily readable LCD
- water-resistant speaker
- Unable to pick up a local channel
Description: This best portable radio comes in a sleek black plastic casing. The 12×7 cm dimensions of the product make it ideal for sticking in a pocket. You can operate this unit dialing an Analog tuner; you can pick any of your favorite station from the different stations availabe. It comes with 100-hour battery life. The Sony ICF-P26 allows you to use it for personal listening with the help of a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Sony ICF-P26 comes with a high-quality loudspeaker. The fully extended antenna and perfect reception make the product superb to listen to on the move.
Battery: This Sony ICF-P26 comes in a compact design. The vertical size of the product is perfectly fit for those places where space is at a premium. It comes with a modern LED battery status indicator. This product comes with two AA batteries. Therefore, you can listen to it through the built-in speaker and the dedicated headphone socket and enjoy the high quality sound.
Speaker: Sony ICF-P26 is equipped with a built-in speaker and headphone jack with Telescoping antenna.
Additional features: There is a carrying strap that offers extra convenience. It has both an LED tuning indicator & an LED battery status indicator. The dimensions of the product is 4.69 x 2.74 x 1.50 inches. (W X H X D)
- LED tuning indicator
- Headphone jack telescoping antenna
- Only after a few usages, the volume gets lower
Description: The product uses both 4x AA batteries and mains power to run. You don’t have to carry it around a bulky power brick. The AM reception of the product is excellent.
Panasonic RF-2400D can deliver you excellent sound and performance. If you want a portable one, then it is a perfect option for you. It is an excellent radio with good reception indoor.
Included Accessories: The Sony ICF-P26 comes with large and easy-to-read radio dial. Besides, it has a separate scale for AM and FM tuning. It contains a built-in LED indicator that is helpful in low-light tuning.
Antenna: The product comes with a ferrite rod AM antenna, a telescoping FM antenna, along with a 4″ Dynamic speaker. These are beneficial in delivering crisp and high-quality sound. There is a 3.5mm port that supports Mono earphones. You can use the AC cable or 4 AA batteries to power the product.
- Offers high-quality sound
- 4 AA batteries
- No FM station is available
- A little bit costly
Description: The frequency of FM is 87-108 MHz and of AM is 522-1710KHz (9K), 520-1710KHz (10K). Retekess V115 comes with a Micro SD/TF card of 32GB and a 1000mAh BL-5C lithium battery. The audio format is MP3.
The dimension of the product is 120 x 80 x 20 mm or 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.8 inch. And the weight of the product is 160g or 0.35lb. It includes a Retekess V115 portable radio, a BL-5C battery, a USB charging cable, a Hand strip with a bracket, and a Multilingual manual.
Portable: This one comes with a compact design. Retekess V115 can fit easily in a man’s shirt pocket but doesn’t come with any alarm feature. It is equipped with a sleep timer.
V115 Transistor: It offers radio bass sound along with a MIC recording and in-line. This one comes with a three recording mode— simple 64kbps, quality 96kbps, and super 128kbps.
Tuning and |Storage: You can use the automatic search option that helps you to search and store the radio stations automatically. There are a long press and the fast forward button, which allows you to jump to the next station.
- Three recording mode
- Compact design
- The sleep timer is available.
- Neither clock not tuning knob is available
Description: This Ultra-Rugged Digital Rechargeable product is very durable and long-term usable. It comes with a rain/dust/shock-resistant design. It offers superior sound quality.
The tuner used in this case is Digital PLL FM and AM. Besides, it has a speaker of 5.25-inch Full Range. In addition, it is resistant to JIS4 Standard. It comes with a Rechargeable Battery, a charging LED indicator, Alkaline and AC Power Memory.
There are a total of ten preset stations (5 FM, 5 AM). The inputs used in this case are Aux-In for MP3, CD player, and iPod/iPhone. It comes with an Amber Backlit LCD. The length of the cable is 2.7 Meters.
Digital Tuning: Sangean Toughbox comes with a flexible pivoting antenna. The digital PLL tuner can offer better reception. This one is the best and compact job-site radio in the whole industry.
Dust and Shock-Resistant: The robust design and water, dust, and shock resisting ability make Sangean Toughbox exceptional. It is suitable for any outdoor job site conditions. It comes with a ruggedly designed rotary tuner along with volume control.
Water-Resistant Speaker: It comes with a 5-inch water-resistant speaker that can provide you a high-quality full-range sound. It can offer enough audio quality in noisy environments.
ABS Construction: It comes with an ABS plastic construction that is durable enough. The impact-resistant material makes the product ideal for use on building sites.
Batteries: There are four rechargeable or alkaline C batteries. While your plug-in the product with the AC power’s help, it will charge the rechargeable C batteries. There remains a 2.7-meter-long rubber cable that you can roll up on the back of the unit. It helps to avoid tripping also.
- Water-resistant speaker
- ABS construction
- Rechargeable C batteries
- The battery compartment is unable to hold the battery tightly.
SEMIER AM/FM Portable Radio
Description: It comes with a 6-month Seller Warranty. The product’s package dimensions are 21.8 x 12.8 x 11.7 cm, and its weight is 671 Grams. The hardware interface is 3.5 mm Audio.
Perfect for outdoor places: Semier AM/FM Portable Radio comes with an AM/FM Analogue Tuner, a handy carrying handle, and a telescopic antenna. It works on batteries and makes the product perfect for use at home, park, beach, picnics, gym, or playroom.
Large Speaker: Semier AM/FM Portable Radio is equipped with a large built-in speaker that can provide you high-quality sound.
Battery: The product contains an AC operated, or DC Operated two pieces Size “D”/UM -1 dry Battery. In case any power interruptions occur, the AM/FM transistor radio uses dry batteries and runs on them.
Headphone Jack: The 3.5 mm mono headphone input jack of the product is very advantageous.
- 5 mm Headphone jack
- Offers superior sound quality
- The volume controller is absent.
Description: This Hi-Fi Tabletop product is a perfect one that comes with vintage styling. It comes with an Analog AM/FM tuner. Sangean WR-11SE allows you to control your preferred station with ease.
There exists a high-quality 7W speaker along with a 3″ full-range driver. This best tabletop radio provides you superior sound quality. Besides, it comes in Walnut color.
Solid Cabinet: There is a Solid MDF Cabinet that comes with a fantastic Real Walnut Veneer Finish. It offers you a precise Rotary Vernier Tuning along with a Volume Control.
Auxiliary Input: There is an auxiliary input that is used for additional audio sources. For example, you can use MP3 Player or iPod/iPhone as other sources.
Rear Connections: The Sangean WR-11SE needs rear connections that feature AC-In, DC-In, Aux-In, REC Out, Headphone, FM F Type Antenna Terminal, and so on.
Speaker: It contains a 6.5 Watt Full Range Speaker of 3 inches size. This one has Enlarged Magnet and Deep Bass. The tuned cabinet is beneficial in improving Sound Quality.
- Enlarged Magnet
- Uses iPod/iPhone as extra sources
- Rotary Vernier Tuning
- Display light is very bright
Description: The FM and AM frequencies are 88 – 108 MHz and 530-1710 kHz, respectively. Kaito KA500 is a 6-way powered emergency radio. But the product doesn’t come with three AA batteries.
It offers a USB mobile phone charger. It comes with LED Flashlight along with Red LED SOS beacon light and a 5-LED reading lamp.
Suitable for Emergencies: If you are looking for such a model that is perfect for emergencies and disasters, then this one is the best option. The Kaito KA500 has all the features that you want in emergencies. It comes with a High-quality AC type brushless generator.
Solar Panel: It comes with a solar panel that will power Kaito KA500 automatically. Besides, it helps to charge the built-in batteries. The solar panel is designed in a way so that you can maximize the sunlight’s rays.
Broadcast Coverage: The Comprehensive broadcast coverage includes AM, FM, SW1, and SW2 along with all seven pre-programmed national weather channels.
- Rechargeable battery pack
- Suitable for use in emergencies
- Poor battery service
Description: Prunus J-288 is equipped with a 1200mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery. Here, the built-in upgraded power-saving unit is used. It comes with an LCD screen. You can use it for up to 10 hours. When you charge it, the indicator becomes red. After getting charged, the indicator turns green.
The digital tuning radio can save 99 AM (522-1620KHZ) stations automatically. In most cases, it saves 98 FM(87-108MHZ) stations. This product comes with sufficient space for storing all your stations.
Excellent Reception: What makes this Prunus J-288 perfect is its 56cm ultra-long antenna. The antenna is three times longer than other models. It can boost the signal stability without static.
Stereo speaker: You can wear the headphones along with a built-in 3.5mm jack socket. You can now enjoy your favorite songs in the TF card mode, Bluetooth mode, aux input mode, the USB flash drive mode, or radio mode. This model offers a clear bass audio experience and immersive surrounding stereo sound.
Bluetooth: It comes with an upgraded 4.0 Bluetooth technology that helps to increase the transmission speed. The feature can reconnect to the paired device automatically. You can use it as a hands-free telephone receiver. Now, you don’t need to worry about missing an important call.
Sleep Timer: You can set the shutdown time in advance. To do it, you need to press the “CLOCK” key. Now, you can listen to those stations that you want. You will not face any problem while turning off the battery-operated radio even when you fall asleep.
- Li-ion rechargeable battery
- Sleep timer
- Upgraded 4.0 Bluetooth technology
- Unable to hold charge for a long time
C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave
Description: The C Crane CC Skywave comes with an intuitive layout that makes it easy to use. This one features an AM reception. It is powerful enough to decrease signal interference.
The Aviation/Airband of the product enables you to listen in on nearby traffic controllers. It has a small speaker that offers you excellent sound quality. C Crane CC Skywave comes with a perfect size to stash in an interior crevice. The dimensions of the product are 4.75″ W x 3″ H x 1.1″. And, the weight of it is 5.5 oz.
Lightweight: The C Crane CC Skywave weighs very light that permits the user to carry it easily wherever they want.
Clock: It comes with a clock that has an alarming feature.
Included Features: This one features Lighted LCD Display, Rotary Volume Knob, a Stereo Headphone Jack, and a Sleep Timer. Besides, there are Earbuds, Carry Case, and a Fold-out Back stand. The manufacturers offer one year warranty on the purchase of the product. You can power the battery using an optional AC adapter.
- 400 Memory Presets
- Poor construction
- The battery doesn’t last long
How an AM Radio Differs from Other Radio-
What makes them different is in the process of modulation or the alteration of the carrier wave. It helps to vary the amplitude or overall strength of the signal. On the other hand, the FM helps to change the frequency of the carrier signal.
How to Resolve AM Radio Reception Problems
Sometimes, you may face difficulties while receiving AM signals due to faulty radio equipment or interference. You can follow these steps to fix your AM radio reception. Remember that if you are not an expert, then there is no need to fix the equipment yourself. You can take the help of a technician in this case.
Step 1: First, you need to check if you are in a radio station coverage area. Then, find out the name of your place or your postcode.
Step 2: The faulty radio equipment will make you stop from receiving the radio. That’s why the buyers must check the radio equipment while buying.
Step 3: Sometimes, electrical equipment in your home may cause radio reception issues. Here we will mention a few radio reception issues that may cause due to home appliances and how to detect the problems.
For kettles, toasters, and refrigerators:
In this case, you need to switch on and off all the appliances. But make sure that the radio is on.
Electric motors such as power tools, electric shavers, hairdryers:
When your radio is in ON mode, you can use the product. You have to listen for a whine or buzz from the radio.
For Products having thermostats like hot water systems, refrigerators, and spa baths:
You need to listen for a normal harsh buzz that you can get from the radio.
You have to switch the lights on and off while the radio is ON mode.
However, if you face issues because of your equipment, then what you need to do is:-
- You can move the equipment away if the issue is because of the other gadgets
- If the fault is with your radio then fixing it can also make your job done.
- Else, you can buy a new one, also.
Step 4: Check External Reasons for the Issue.
An external electrical source may cause radio reception issues. In this case, you should try to isolate the source first. To do this, you need to turn off the power of your house. Then, you should request your neighbors also to do the same.
Power Lines: This problem arises during hot, windy, and dry weather. Hence, you need to listen for a harsh and buzz from the radio. The problem occurs when dew falls on those lines.
Street Lights: Check whether the interference is happening when street lights are turn on.
Nearby Transmitters: You should listen to the voices rather than the radio program. You can take the electricity provider’s help if you face reception issues for power lines or street lights.
How to Boost AM Radio Signal?
The radios you can carry from one place to another are directional. Hence, you have to point the back or front side of the receiver. Point it towards the AM Radio Station that you have chosen. Then, you need to add the AM Radio Antenna. It helps to boost the signal as well as the range of any portable or home receiver. Hence, the best solution for you is to relocate the radio.
How to Reduce Noise on a Radio?
First, you have to keep all the sensitive equipment in a Faraday cage. However, you can keep them at least in a metal box.
After that, you can use a simple radio scanner. It helps you to search for your frequency source. Next, you need to isolate the power lines. Use high-end filtering devices; in this case.
Now, you need to use the proper grounding and make sure that you have kept the length of the wire short.
Then, make the radio pathway clean, with solid connections. Now, you have to pay attention to your antennas to check in which directions they are pointed. You need to notice it while you face any RFI issues, and so on. It can help you to pinpoint the proper location. With the help of this, you can easily get rid of the noise issue.
AM Radio Fine-Tuning Tips
Along with tuning the antenna to the desired station, pointing the antenna towards the station is the second most essential thing. Usually, the AM Radios come with a ferrite rod, which is located towards the top of the radio. But every model doesn’t come with a rod. The antenna, a large coil of wire, i.e., a signal magnet, can pick up the signal and surround the noise perfectly. You can get it available in the back of the radio.
The portable ones become directional and allow you to point it towards the radio station when you place the antenna at the backside of the radio. It helps to boost the signal. Hence, you also need to turn the antenna to the desired station after placing it. Thus, you can get an unbeatable reception.
AM Radio Buying Guide:
A few things are there that you should consider before buying the best AM radio for your personal use.
Portable vs. Tabletop; Which is Best:
The portable ones are usually small and lightweight. As a result, they are suitable for hiking or camping trips. And they come with some additional features. For example, those models come with built-in LED flashlights and give access to all the weather channels.
On the other hand, the tabletop ones are designed in such a way so that it is being kept in one place like a stereo system. This type’s sound quality is better as these ones come with larger and more complex speaker setups. Here, you can find a lot of preset stations and digital tuning.
Analog vs. digital Tuner; Which One to Select:
Nowadays, you can find many radio stations that transmit digital signals along with standard analog signals. Those who have a digital tuner can only pick up digital signals. And those models that come with analog tuners can pick up only analog signals. That’s why it depends upon you entirely, which option you will prefer.
The tabletop ones must need a connection with a power outlet. On the other hand, the portable ones can draw power from a variety of sources. For example, the portable one use standard alkaline batteries, built-in rechargeable battery packs, solar panels, AC adaptors, hand cranks as power sources.
Usually, the portable ones can catch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather channels. It helps you to know all the latest news and updates related to weather. This type of model helps you when you camp or hike in spots without cell reception or 4G.
Multiple AM radios come with digital displays that can show you the frequency. Sometimes these models exhibit the station names also.
If you are using a pull-out antenna, it will help you to get a better signal. It is helpful when you are facing difficulties in receiving your favourite station.
A few models feature a built-in alarm clock. In this case, your preferred station starts playing an alarm when you set it. Many people use it as a wake-up alarm.
Benefits of AM Radio:
These are simple electronic gadget compared to others. Compared to FM, these have a narrower bandwidth and wider coverage.
We have given you the top 10 AM Radios that are suitable for tight budgets. You can get a higher-quality driver just by expending a few extra dollars. You need to consider the portability factor also. These products are the best options for those who want to use radio on-the-go outdoors. You can use a bigger one that comes with a larger driver. These can offer better sound quality.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Radio?
It is a way by which you can send electromagnetic signals over a long distance. This one helps you to communicate from one place to another. You can use radio signals for locking and unlocking the car doors from a distance. It allows it to send sound through Frequency Modulation (FM) or Amplitude Modulation (AM). It is used in radio, television broadcasting, cell phones, two-way radios, wireless networking, and satellite communication systems.
How AM/FM Radio Works
The amplitude of the carrier wave is mainly used for encoding the original sound. On the other hand, the frequency of the carrier wave is mainly modulated for encoding the sound. There presents a radio receiver. It helps to extract the original program sound that comes from the modulated radio signal. After that, it recreates or replicates the sound in a loudspeaker.
What is the best AM radio for the reception?
The best AM radios for the reception are as follows:-
- Sony ICF-P26
- Panasonic RF-2400D
- Sangean LB-100 Ultra Rugged Compact
- Sangean WR-11 Wood Cabinet Table Top Analog
- PowerBear Portable
What is the best AM radio receiver?
The best AM radios are:-
- Kaito KA500 Solar-Powered 5-Way.
- Sangean LB-100 Ultra Rugged Compact.
- Midland WR400 Deluxe NOAA Emergency Weather Alert.
- Studebaker SB2000RB Portable.
- Sangean WR-11BK Wood Cabinet Table Top.
- Vondior Battery Operated Portable Pocket.
How can I boost my AM radio signal?
If you want to get a better AM reception, then use an external antenna. For example, you can use a loop antenna. In this case, you only need to place it near the window with its rear-facing outside. Or you can switch off any nearby electrical appliances to boost the signal strength.
Will AM radio go away?
For many years, people refuse to use these. Many of these are going out of business each year. At the end of 2015, there were only 4,684 left. But still, these ones are very useful.