Best Shortwave Radios

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 14, 2018
Can't live without music? Want to be aware of the latest news even when being miles away from home? What about having an alarm and flashlight for the emergencies handy? If that sounds like something that you'd want, then one of these shortwave radios is what you really need. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Modulation
Frequency range
Control
Power supply
Features
Accessories
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to PLL synthesized digital dual conversion receiver, high sensitivity, and hand frequency tuning, you can find the desired wave fairly quickly.

CONS

User manual isn't very clear.

OUR VERDICT

The Tecsun PL-880 radio can boast the great build quality, easy control, volume knob, built-in alarm, and sleep timer. Its single side band receives both short and long wave signals. Hence, it can be used both within cities and up to several thousands of miles away from them.

detailed parameters
Type

Portable/Tabletop

Modulation

AM, FM, LW and SW with SSB

Frequency range

FM: 64-108 MHz 

SW: 1.7-29.9 MHz 

AM: 0.52-1.71 MHz 

LW: 0.1-0.51 MHz

Control

LCD display with mechanical keypad, Three rotary knobs

Power supply

Rechargeable Li-ion 3.7V  battery

Features

Alarm (24 hour), Sleep Timer (0-120 minutes)

Accessories

Rechargeable battery, Stereo earphones, Carrying pouch

Warranty

30 days

PROS

Basting generous memory capacity, the radio allows you to store up to 400 channels which can be easily changed with a handy rotary knob.

CONS

Sound quality isn't the best.

OUR VERDICT

The C.Crane CC Skywave is an AM, FM, shortwave and airband radio. With it, you'll always be aware of the situation in the nearest airports. The receiver is as small as a palm. A hand strap for easy transportation is included. Thus, it can become your fellow traveler in any trip.

detailed parameters
Type

Portable/Tabletop

Modulation

AM, FM, WX, AIR, SW

Frequency range

FM: 87.5-108 MHz

AM: 0.52-1.71 MHz

WX: Channels 1-7

AIR: 118-137 MHz

SW: 2.3-26.1 MHz

Control

LCD display with mechanical keypad, 1 rotary knob, Rotary volume knob

Power supply

2 х AA batteries, or optional AC adapter

Features

Clock with 12/24 hour format, Alarm, Sleep Timer, 400 Memory Presets

Accessories

Earbuds, Carry case, Fold-out backstand

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to a TF memory card slot, this receiver can be used not only as a radio but as an mp3 player as well. Just insert a memory card with your favorite music tracks and enjoy.

CONS

Programming features are quite tricky.

OUR VERDICT

The TIVDIO V-115 is a portable radio you can put in a pocket or place on your desktop. It features an adjustable LCD backlight, recorder, and sleep timer (up to 90 minutes). Thanks to a micro USB, you can connect it to your PC for charging. Suitable for stationary and portable use by travelers, housewives, or workers.

detailed parameters
Type

Portable/Tabletop

Modulation

AM, FM, SW

Frequency range

FM: 87-108 MHz 

AM: 0.52-17.1 MHz (9K), 0.52-17.1 MHz (10K) 

SW: 4.75-21.85 MHz

Control

LCD display with mechanical keypad

Power supply

1000 mAh rechargeable BL-5C lithium battery, Micro USB interface

Features

100 Radio presets, Sleep timer (up to 90 minutes), Built-in three languages (Chinese, English, Spanish), Slot for TF memory card (Max 32 GB), 3 recording modes (MIC recording, Line-in recording, Radio recording)

Accessories

Rechargeable battery, USB charging cable, Hand strip with bracket

Warranty

30 days

PROS

RDS (Radio Data System) for FM stations can deliver more than just an analog audio signal. It can also transmit such digital data as the station name, music style, and even song title/singer.

CONS

On/Off button can be pressed accidentally if the radio is in a pocket.

OUR VERDICT

The Eton Field radio has got a smart design with legs for a convenient desktop use. It can be easily set and tuned. Thanks to the Bluetooth, you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet. Built-in connectors for external antennas are available. It's the best shortwave radio for those who prefer to keep their favorite music playlist in a 'pocket'.

detailed parameters
Type

Portable/Tabletop

Modulation

AM, FM, SW

Frequency range

FM: 87.5-108 MHzAM: 0.52-17.1 MHzSW: 1.71-30 MHz

Control

LCD display with mechanical keypad, 7 rotary knobs

Power supply

4 x D batteries, or 7V DC adapter

Features

RDS function, Bluetooth, Clock with 12/24 hour format, Alarm, Sleep Timer (up to 60 minutes), External antenna capable, 50 Memory slots, Adjustable audio tone

Accessories

7V DC adapter, Carrying strap

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This radio uses five chargers you can choose from. Besides AAA batteries and a rechargeable battery pack, you'll find a Solar panel in the package for the most eco-friendly and energy-saving charging.

CONS

No timer. 

OUR VERDICT

The Kaito radio covers AM and FM waves as well as Weather Emergency channels. Thanks to 2'' dynamic speaker, you get clear and loud sound of any radio wave while the built-in torch, alarm and SOS signal make this device useful in any journey.

detailed parameters
Type

Portable/Tabletop

Modulation

AM, FM, SW, NOAA weather channels

Frequency range

FM: 88-108 MHz

AM: 0.53 -17.1 MHz

SW: 7.0- 18.00 MHz

NOAA Weather: 162.400-162.55 (continuous band)

Control

Analog tuning display, Band selector, Volume control dial

Power supply

Hand-crank dynamo generator, Solar panel, 3 x AAA batteries, 5V mini USB input, NiMH rechargeable battery

Features

3 LED flashlight, Red SOS alert flash, Siren

Accessories

Rechargeable battery pack, USB charging cable, Lanyard

Warranty

30 days

Tecsun PL880

Less Tuning, More Music

The Tecsun PL880 is a radio you can listen to at home or while traveling, as it is small enough to not take too much room in your backpack and be placed conveniently in a corner of your apartment or house. It's both a shortwave and longwave radio that features single sideband reception. It covers AM and FM frequencies, which allows finding a wider range of stations to enjoy. Thanks to the PLL synthesized digital dual conversion receiver coupled with high sensitivity and hand frequency tuning (with the Fine Tuning knob), finding your favorite ration stations is easy and quick. As a nice bonus, the Tecsun PL880 features a 24-hour alarm clock plus sleep timer (adjustable from 0-120 minutes) that you can use as an alarm clock to wake up to a lovely track in the mornings rather than annoying rings. The radio is powered by one single 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery (included) and comes supplied with a built-in charger. You will also find stereo earphones and a user manual in the package. If you plan to travel somewhere with the radio, an included carrying pouch is at your disposal as well.

To sum up, the Tecsun PL880 is a lightweight and portable radio that's able to transmit both shortwave and longwave signals and cover AM and FM frequencies. It is easily tuned, has an alarm and a sleep timer. Overall, this radio has got all the makings of becoming your favorite regardless of whether you are a stay-at-home kind of person or an enthusiastic traveler.

Review of Tecsun PL880 Portable Digital PLL Dual Conversion AM/FM, Longwave & Shortwave Radio with SSB (Single Side Band) Reception

 

C.Crane FBA_SKWV

Listening to or Listening in?

The CC Skywave is a great example of modern multifunctional device. It isn't just a receiver that transmits radio signals but also an alarm clock, a sleep timer, and a weather radio with the alert to keep you informed about weather changes. There's more to that. The aviation/airband makes it possible to get the news from local airports by listening in air traffic controllers. It can be a real help if you are on a holiday, for example, but plan to fly back soon - you'll have an opportunity to be the first who will be informed about probable changes of the flight schedule.

This portable shortwave radio offers excellent AM reception at 2.3-26.1 MHz, which allows it to greatly reduce signal interference. As a result, the sound coming from the radio is absolutely fantastic, especially seeing how small this radio is. With only 4.75” W x 3” H x 1.1” in overall dimensions, it will easily fit in your pant's pocket or any compartment of your bag.

It features 400 memory presets, direct entry keypad, LCD display, clock with 12/24 hour format, sleep timer, rotary volume knob, stereo headphone jack, fold out back stand, battery meter, signal meter, and lock switch. You will also find earbuds and a carry case in the box. The radio runs approximately 60 - 70 hours at moderate volume on 2 AA batteries (not included) or can be powered by an optional AC adapter.

The CC Skywave is an ideal model for hikers and campers. It doesn't take a lot of space but offers a good sound, a good portion of news and even the latest airport data.

Review of C.Crane FBA_SKWV AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Travel Radio with Clock and Alarm

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

TIVDIO 4331019190

Little Pigeons Can Carry Great Messages

The TIVDIO V-115 is a handheld shortwave radio. It is one of the smallest options on the market (4.7 x 3.1 x 0.9). To be more precise, this radio can be even put in a men's shirt pocket! So, it can easily become your fellow traveler wherever you go. Yet, despite its tiny size, it offers great functionality. It is equipped with 3.5mm AUX input and USB port, thus you can use it as an mp3 player or a loudspeaker. Also, it features a sleep timer. The only disadvantage is that it doesn't have an alarm function, which is a bit of a shame.

On the positive, the TIVDIO V-115 supports three built-in languages: English, Spanish and Chinese. Also, it features 100 radio presets, adjustable LCD backlight, headphone jack, rechargeable lithium battery (charging adaptor isn't included), and a USB cable. This also means, when it runs out of charge, you'll have two options how to recharge it: either via a phone adaptor if you purchase it additionally or your PC.

We would like to point out that this is a transistor radio with 3 recording modes. With MIC recording, you can record whatever you want to say; line-in recording is useful for recording streaming music; radio recording can save the playing radio station on a micro SD card (not included). The V-115 digital radio offers 3 options of record quality to choose from - simple 64 kbps, 96 kbps, and super 128 kbps.

All in all, the TIVDIO V-115 is a nice multifunctional radio you can use at home or away. It can follow you day-by-day: at work, at home, in your garage, or during a journey. Its frequency range supports AM, FM, and SW to ensure a great variety of waves you can choose.

Review of TIVDIO 4331019190 Portable Shortwave Transistor Radio AM/FM Stereo with MP3 Player Recorder Support T-Flash Card and Sleep Timer

 

Eton NGWFBTB

Stream Your Music

Not many receivers can boast high sensitivity, strong resistance to interference, and low level of background noise. The Etón Field BT is one of the rare exceptions. Its wide/narrow bandwidth selection enhances sound clearness and greatly reduces noise no matter whether you're listening with or without earphones.

The Etón Field BT has also got Radio Data System (RDS) for FM, which allows FM broadcasters to transmit not only an analog audio signal but also digital data like the station’s name, style of music, song title, singer's name, etc.

The Field BTN features the Bluetooth technology, which means you can stream music from your smartphone, tablet, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. So, it's the best shortwave radio for those who prefer to keep the favorite music playlist in a 'pocket'.

If you decide to set off somewhere, you'll appreciate not only good sound quality and the Bluetooth function but also local and world time settings, radio and buzzer alarm clock features as well as a sleep timer. For sure, you will feel less homesick being far away if you regularly get news from home, which has become possible thanks to the AM, FM, and SW coverage of this mini unit. Furthermore, you will never lose your wave - the radio can be powered either by batteries or the mains supply (via AC adaptor). And if an AC power failure occurs, the radio will automatically switch to the battery power.

This radio is a good choice for true melomaniacs who like being followed by their favorite music wherever they go.

Review of Eton NGWFBTB AM / FM / Shortwave Radio with RDS and Bluetooth

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Kaito 4336302721

Forewarned is Forearmed

Made for both everyday use and emergency situations, the Kaito Voyager V2 offers users a few power options so that they could keep the device fully charged at all times. The unit features 5V mini USB, three AAA batteries (not included), a built-in rechargeable Ni-MH battery, hand crank, and a solar panel. All of these make it a versatile device appropriate for any household - you can use it while emergency, camping, backpacking, picnic, hiking, and any other outdoor activity.

This shortwave radio provides a wide coverage across AM and FM frequencies, as well as 7 national weather channels with real-time alert. Analog tuning with high sensitivity (a telescopic antenna extends up to 14") along with a 2" dynamic speaker provides users with clear and loud sound no matter whether they are listening to their favorite FM music stations or AM talk shows. You can use this receiver as an emergency mobile battery charger owing to the built-in standard DC 5V USB output port, which enables charging of mobile devices that use both iOS and Android operating systems. Besides, it has many safety features that include an alarm signal, LED flashlight, and a red LED SOS beacon light.

So if you'd like to stay connected with the world no matter the circumstances, the Kaito Voyager V2 is the type of radio you need.

Review of Kaito 4336302721 Portable Solar/Hand Crank AM/FM, Shortwave & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with USB Charger & LED Flashlight

Additional Info

User Manual


 

What Is a Shortwave Radio?

If you are an active person who prefers hiking and camping to lazy beach holidays, you probably own a flashlight, alarm, SOS device. And so as not to feel isolated from the world where the Internet is not the option, it's also nice to have a device which can provide you with the news and entertainment (radio shows or simple songs). That's exactly where shortwave radios may come in handy. This small hand-sized device can deftly combine all those features in a compact body. Most of the radios broadcast at AM and FM frequencies and can offer up to 400 memory presets you can quickly go through. It won't take much time and efforts to tune to the desired wave thanks to their rotary knobs and single sidebands. Moreover, if you happen to get close to any airport, you can even catch the conversations from the cockpit crew. Does it not sound fantastic? Many models offer several ways of charging. The simplest is, of course, AA batteries you can easily replace anytime you wish.

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Publish Date: 2018-09-14 14:09:52