With all the latest advancements in audio equipment, many people think that the good old table top radio is extinct. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, radios have evolved at a great pace as well. And they’re not all that expensive either, especially when compared to other recent audio equipment.
We’ll review the best AM/FM clock radios today, as well as some other audio equipment that can improve your daily lives no matter how and where you intend to use them. Let’s get to it!
Radios with a vintage look and feel will always hold a special place in our hearts, and that’s exactly what the Sangean WR-11SE table top radio offers. It’s a compact radio that doesn’t take too much space on your table top, and yet it doesn’t sacrifice any features.
The cabinet is acoustically-tuned and made from solid medium-density fibreboard and walnut. Not only does it bring that vintage appearance, but it also improves the sound quality over a typical plastic casing.
Operating the radio is simpler than using your TV – with only three rotating knobs that are crafted to have a very special feel to them and allow you to precisely select your frequency. On the back of the radio, there’s a headphone jack and an AUX-IN port to plug-in your own audio source.
The 3-inch, 65-watt speaker offers excellent audio quality with deep bass that balances well with the high and medium tones.
Some people don’t like the fact that you can’t save your favourite stations, but for us, that’s the beauty of a vintage table top radio.
- Vintage design
- Quality sound
- Simple to use
- No clock
- Can’t save favourite stations
If you often spend time outdoors, especially away from urban areas, a hand-crank emergency radio is a must-have. And as far as emergency radios go, we think the Midland ER310 is one of the best options on the market.
It’s a lightweight radio weighing only a pound, but it still offers plenty of functionalities. The best part about it is that it has 3 different power sources – solar panel, hand crank, and a rechargeable 2600mAh battery that provides up to 32 hours of radio operation. As a backup, you can even power it with 6 AA batteries.
With it, you can use the NOAA weather scan to scan through 7 available weather channels to alert you of any severe weather updates, and the weather alert will sound an alarm if there’s an increased risk of a storm.
Other very useful emergency features include an ultrasonic dog whistle, an SOS flashlight beacon that flashes morse code in an emergency scenario, and the ability to charge your portable device via the included USB charging cable.
- 3 different power sources
- Emergency flashlight
- Ultrasonic dog whistle
- Weather alerts
- Audio quality not the best
The WR400 model from Midland is a high-end clock radio that can help you stay prepared for severe weather conditions no matter where you are. It’s their most advanced emergency weather alert radio so far.
Whenever the National Weather Services issues a severe weather warning, the WR400 automatically alerts you, providing you with that much important head start to get to a shelter. It’s capable of receiving 7 NOAA channels, and will automatically lock onto the strongest weather channel.
You can customize how you want to receive these alerts by choosing one of the three options: 85dB siren alarm, voice alert, or visual LED flasher.
The large, backlit LCD display allows you to easily read the date, time, and alert messages, as well as set up an alarm clock. Yes, the Midland WR400 doubles as an alarm clock with a snooze button. Not only that, but it can also be used as an AM/FM radio that is automatically switched to a weather alert if there is any.
Some people complained that the alert can be sometimes too loud, especially if you’re close to the radio, but for an emergency weather alert radio, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- S.A.M.E. Programming
- NOAA Weather alert
- Dual alarm clock
- AM/FM radio
- Speaker is too loud for some
The Sony AM/FM Portable Radio allows you to enjoy music in all formats wherever you are. You can play CDs, listen to the radio, or connect to your phone via Bluetooth and stream your favourite songs and podcasts.
The audio quality is excellent and the speakers are housed in a bass-reflex design for an even better listening experience. There’s also the MEGA BASS option that boosts the circuitry to enhance the bass performance.
You can even enjoy your favourite music on the go, as the Sony radio can be used for up to 26 hours wirelessly thanks to the 6 size-C batteries (not included). The batters are very easy to swap, and the radio has a well-designed carrying handle that makes carrying a breeze.
- Built-in Bluetooth
- 26 hours of battery life
- AM/FM radio
- CD playback
- USB playback
- Not much value for the price
If you’re looking for a radio to use in different jobsite environments without worrying about any accidental damage to it, then the Sangean LB-100 is your best bet.
What makes this radio so unique is the rugged roll-cage design that protects it against all possible dropping scenarios. This shock-resistant feature makes it the perfect radio for jobsites and all tough working environments. Besides the rugged design, the radio is also IPX4 waterproof against water damage and rain.
As for the radio features, it has a PLL synthesized tuning that provides exact and fade-free reception, with 10 station presets for quick access to your favourite stations. The LCD display is easy to read and shows the station playing and the current time. It also has a flexible pivoting antenna and a 5-inch full-range speaker that provides sufficient audio even in noisy environments.
- 10 station presets
- IPX waterproof
- Shock-resistant design
- Flexible antenna
- Powerful speaker
- Reception is not great
This is not a traditional radio, but rather a portable Bluetooth speaker for use on jobsites. The DeWALT is built with tough materials suitable for use in working environments and produces a high-quality sound.
It can be powered either through a 12V or 20V battery pack, the same one you’d use for your other DeWALT power tools.
You can enhance your workday by streaming your favourite music or shows directly from your phone with a Bluetooth range of up to 100ft. You can also plug your devices directly via the AUX input.
Right next to the AUX input there’s a USB charging port so you can charge your phone in the workplace. While charging, you can mount the phone on top of the carrying handle and keep it safe from spills or scratches.
The buttons are top-mounted and rubberized for increased jobsite functionality as they provide dust and water resistance. You can use the buttons to control your playback directly from the speaker, which is an added bonus.
As for the sound quality, it’s surprisingly loud and clear. That’s achieved by using dual full-range 76mm drivers with active sound amplification.
- 100ft. range
- USB Charging port
- Control buttons
- Sound quality could be better