The right pocket radio can be a great portable accessory for travel, and important tool in emergency situations or even an affordable alternative to your current mp3 player. No matter what you are looking to use your pocket radio for, it is important that you take the time to find the right radio to fit your needs.
There are several characteristics to look for in any pocket radio. This includes the ability to give weather alerts, Bluetooth capabilities and a durable and compact design that you can take with you on-the-go. In fact, these are the features that we looked for while researching some of today’s top pocket radios. Based on this criteria and our research, we found that the Snowshow Pocket Radio Recorder was the best overall buy.
Pocket Radio Buying Guide
Ready to buy a new pocket radio, but not sure how to find the radio for your money? We can help. There are so many different things to consider when buying a pocket radio and with new products that have new technologies in them constantly being released, it is important to stay up-to-date on what to look for in any new pocket radio.
This is why we have spelled out the best way to go about buying new pocket radios. Here are some of the key features to look for when shopping for these new radios.
Key Features to Look For
These are some of the key features that can make any handheld radio stand out from your average portable radio. The more of these extra features you can find in your portable radio, the more uses you will likely find for these handheld devices. Here are some of the extra features to look for.
Access to Different Radio Bands
When buying any portable radio, it is important to pay close attention to the different radio band capabilities. The average consumer is familiar with AM/FM radios and most pocket radios do have these capabilities and are able to access local radio, news and music stations. However, these aren’t the only bands. If you want to be able to tune into global news stations, then it is important to have shortwave frequencies. This is a popular feature for those who want pocket radios they can take with them when they travel or for those who are visiting somewhere abroad.
The other form of radio bands to be on the lookout for is NOAA weather bands. This will provide you with access on up-to-date news about the local weather—which can be vital in an emergency situation or in situations where staying abreast of the weather is essential. The great thing about these types of pocket radios is that they will give you an automatic alert if there is an incoming weather threat in your area.
There is nothing quite as important with a pocket radio as good sound quality. If you can’t hear your radio stations clearly, then the other features don’t really matter. Make sure to look at the sound quality technology that your radio offers. This will vary from product to product, but a great place to start is by looking at reviews from other buyers and focusing on pocket radios that allow you to balance the treble and bass of the speaker output.
Almost all portable radios will have preset features on them, but it is important to make sure you look for the number of presets the radio comes with. Since many pocket radios are designed to be small, simple and easy to travel with, they may not have the same preset capacity as say your car radio. If you know you listen to a lot of different stations and don’t want to worry about manually scanning through these stations when you use your radio—pay close attention to pocket devices with larger numbers of presets.
Bluetooth capability is one of the biggest features to look for when shopping for a pocket radio. With Bluetooth technology, pocket radios can double as wireless speakers and connect to your cellphone, laptop or mp3 device with the press of a button. It is important to note that not all pocket radios have Bluetooth capability, so it is important to make certain that a device is Bluetooth ready before
Control and Interface Features
Of course, being able to easily use and control your pocket radio is another important feature. While pocket radios of the past were mostly scrolling tuners, the majority of controls today are digital, making it much easier to find specific channels. As these radios get more advanced, other features have become more popular such as battery level displays, key lock features and automatic shut offs. There are many technologically advanced interfaces out there, and there are also other quite simple control features as well. What is important is that you find one that you can comfortably use.
As you look at the control and interface features, make sure to look for an illuminated display with your radio. If you are planning on using this radio at night, or while you camp, illumination will be key. This is also a common feature that you will find in portable radios that also double as an alarm clock.
Durability and Design
The thing to remember about pocket radios is that they are designed to go with you on-the-go. These are not your standard radios. You need to look for pocket devices that are designed to be slim, light and easy to carry, and therefore quite portable, as well as radios that are meant to be durable. If you are planning on traveling with your pocket radio or keeping it with you throughout your journeys during the day, then this is essential.
Make sure to check the dimensions of the radio before you buy it as well as the weight. If you are particularly worried about how portable this radio will be, look for radios with handles or hand grips on them. These are actually quite popular and are designed to help make transporting the device simpler.
This is a great feature that is appearing in more and more pocket radios, but one that isn’t necessarily a given with these devices. With the addition of a headphone jack, you can easily listen to your radio as more of a personal music device and enjoy your product without disturbing others. A headphone jack will also let you attach a portable speaker to your pocket radio and increase the sound volume and quality of its output, if you prefer.
Since pocket radios are meant to be used on-the-go or wirelessly, they are going to likely have some type of battery-powered design. There are many pocket radios that are powered by rechargeable batteries. Typically, these batteries last longer and you don’t have to buy new batteries all the time. However, charging that battery can mean downtime for your pocket radio. There are other pocket radios that will take AA, or comparable batteries, which means you will need to replace these whenever the batteries die.
A pocket radio can be a great accessory to take with you on-the-go, and with the right radio that boasts the right features, you can easily use your device not only as an AM/FM radio but as a portable speaker, Mp3 player, or as a weather update device. However, the key is to know what you are looking at with these radios and what you are planning on doing with your advice. By looking at some of our top-rated portable radios and diving deeper into our buying guide of features to look for when shopping for portable radios, you can make sure you are making smart decisions when it comes to your new portable electronic.