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Best AM radio

Which AM radios are best?

Having an AM radio is convenient for leisure and emergencies alike. Once you have the device, you get instant access to all the radio signals near you for free. Of course, not all AM radios are the same quality, and some have additional features that make them appealing for users.

The top AM Radios, Sangean Shower AM Radio, is preferred for its highly waterproof design and useful features. It can mount wherever needed, making it a device that can follow users throughout the day.

What to know before you buy an AM radio

Where do you use an AM radio?

If you need a radio that can survive outdoors or in the shower, models are available that are durable under specific circumstances. Some AM radios are capable of lasting through severe weather conditions. Consider when and where you would like to use the radio because there is probably an option right for your needs.

What radio signals do you access?

Many radios have access to AM and FM radio signals. If you plan to bring your radio with you, it is helpful to have access to emergency weather reports. Whether a radio uses only analog tuning or analog and digital tuning, be sure that it will pick up the stations and transmissions you want to hear.

Are there additional features that would help?

Some AM radios are built into alarm clocks, have flashlights or serve as power banks for other devices. Many options can make a simple AM radio into a practical multitool with lots of features. Depending on your budget and the features you need, there are AM radios capable of a lot more than just receiving signals.

What to look for in a quality AM radio

Power methods

Many radios use smaller batteries, especially if the device is portable or compact. Some large radio units need C or D batteries and become more costly to power. There are other methods of powering a radio than individual batteries, though. The best AM radios allow for multiple different power options, especially in the case of emergencies. Hand cranks, solar panels, outlet adapters and USB plugs are all valuable methods of powering a radio, but not all models use every power method.

Tuning capabilities

All AM radios use analog tuners, but high-quality models can have digital tuners that automatically find available signals. Some radio stations send both analog and digital signals, so digital tuning can allow for more signals to be heard. High-quality radios have digital screens that help with tuning since they can display the exact frequency you are hearing and, in some cases, can show the names of songs or programs transmitted. 


A high-quality AM radio will be able to go the distance, literally. It should be carried with you from place to place and not break from normal wear and tear. Some radios are water-resistant for severe weather conditions or use in the shower, so keep an eye out for models designed to hold up under harsh conditions. 

How much you can expect to spend on AM radio

You can find a simple AM radio without much additional functionality for less than $20. AM radios with more features and higher quality can run for up to $100, depending on what they are designed to do.

AM radio FAQ

Can you get rid of AM radio static?

A. The way that AM signals work unfortunately makes them vulnerable to the presence of static. Depending on how far away the signal is, any changes in weather or even interference from other objects, the signal can be disrupted. FM radio signals do not experience static due to the way that the signal is delivered, but the best you can do for AM static is tune the device and adjust it to reduce static as much as possible.

How do AM and FM radios work?

A. Basically, it receives and decodes a specific type of radio wave sent through the air. AM, or amplitude modulation, radio refers to the type of radio waves used to carry encoded information that is deciphered by your radio and turned into the audio you hear. FM uses frequency to encode audio information. Not all radios are capable of decoding both methods, but these days they are very often designed to do both.

What’s the best AM radio to buy?

Top AM radio

Sangean Shower AM Radio

What you need to know: This is a versatile and easily mounted shower radio that is completely waterproof and perfect for shower listeners.

What you’ll love: It has an LCD screen and digital tuning, letting users dial the exact signal and it can automatically seek signals. It can run on replaceable batteries or via an AC adapter. It accesses AM, FM and emergency weather report information. The handle allows for easy transport or hanging up the device anywhere.

What you should consider: The design exchanges audio quality for water-resistant capabilities so that audiophiles might need a better speaker.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top AM radio for the money

RunningSnail Hand Crank AM Radio

What you need to know: This is a very affordable and portable AM radio with multiple ways to power the device and extra features that make it great for camping or travel.

What you’ll love: You can power the radio with a hand crank, USB port or a built-in solar panel. It accesses AM, FM and emergency weather reports. It can serve as a power bank for mobile devices and it comes in a few colors. Its compact size makes it easily portable.

What you should consider: The hand crank is mainly for emergency use, as it does not provide very much power to the device. Build quality for this radio may not be as durable as other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kaito Solar AM Radio

What you need to know: This AM radio sports five different methods of powering the device and extra features.

What you’ll love: It has access to AM, FM and emergency weather alerts. It comes with a built-in flashlight and reading lamp. The radio also has a port for charging your cell phone. It comes in five colors and it powers itself by solar panel, batteries, USB input, a wall adapter or a hand crank.

What you should consider: The hand crank and solar panel can only provide enough electrical power for a few minutes, so those are just for emergency use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

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Elliott Rivette writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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