Portable radio: How to choose the best in 2020?

Old portable radio on a table.

If you were born before the 90s, you probably already had a portable radio. Although not so common nowadays, some people are still very adept at the avant-garde way of listening to music and radio programs.

From the handheld radio to the largest, there are several options available to date for a portable radio to carry on the shoulder. The good news is that, like Smartphones, radios have evolved, and many models tend to provide several functions.

This article will talk about the best models, the advantages of the portable radio, where to buy and what you should pay attention to before buying. Come with us to know everything about the portable radio!

First, the most important.

  • There are portable radios in different sizes: from the small ones, which you can carry around to listen to public transport, to the larger ones, which are usually used indoors.
  • One of the great advantages of the portable radio is that it rarely lets you down. Even when the power goes out, you will still be able to listen to music and radio programs.
  • If you are in doubt between a portable radio and a portable speaker, know that they are quite different. We will explain the reasons to you!

Best portable radio models

Among radios of different sizes and with several different functionalities, these models provide excellent quality and cost-effectiveness. Check out this list and learn how to choose the best one for your needs.

  • Portable Radio with Internal AM / FM speaker – Philips
  • 12-track portable radio with USB and SD 1W
  • Coby Portable Radio

Portable Radio with Internal AM / FM speaker – Philips

Portable Radio with Internal Speaker AM / FM AE1500X / 78 Black Philips

With a modern and super compact design, the Philips portable radio is easy to operate and tune in to radio stations. Also, it provides good sound quality on the speaker. Its maximum volume is very powerful.

Super light, this portable radio model from Philips doesn’t even weigh 1 kg. Tunes to both AM and FM radio. It has a headphone jack, allowing you to listen to your music or radio program smoothly, even on public transport. Its power is 100mW and works with 2 AAA size batteries.

12-track portable radio with USB and SD 1W

12-Track Portable Radio with USB and SD 1W Black RM-PF 122 / AC - Motobras

The Motobras portable radio is stylish and easy to carry. Its measures are 21 cm high x 10 cm wide x 28 cm deep. It weighs just 1.12 kg.

It provides great sound quality and tunes in both AM and FM stations with a charming and retro design. It has a headphone output with 1W power. Also, it provides versatility with its auxiliary inputs for a USB cable and SD Card.

Coby Portable Radio

Portable Radio, Coby, CR201

With a digital tuner for AM, FM, SW1 and SW2 radio stations, the Coby portable radio has an automatic or manual tuning option and can memorize up to 10 radio stations.

Its LCD also works as a clock, and you can even use it as an alarm clock. Also, it is resistant, inexpensive and has a one-year warranty.

Buying Guide

Why have a portable radio today? With the advancement of technology, some think they have been left out. There is still an audience that does not give up this type of radio at all. Here we will talk about the advantages of the device and what to pay attention to in choosing the best model for you.

Two children are on a sidewalk.  The smallest is crouched in front of a small portable radio.  The other, bigger, is crouched with a bigger portable radio.  Both wear clothes that go back to ancient times.

What is a portable radio?

The portable radio was a very common device before the millennium’s turn and the popularization of the Smartphone. It was common to go out on the street and see young and older adults listening to their radio, whether in a song, football game or TV show. Over the years, this device has fallen into disuse, but many still use it. One of the reasons for still using the portable radio is that it does not leave in hand in case of a power outage.

Other people often use the portable radio to listen to football games, as television often delays the image. Also, if you have cable TV, you know that, on rainy days, you can stop the TV image.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of portable radio?

The portable radio is one of the most reliable options because, as we mentioned, it continues to work without electricity, for example. So many people keep a spare device. Also, they usually come out well and last for several years. Some portable radio models nowadays even have extra functions like a USB cable and SD Card slot. Like cell phones, some radio devices are modernizing.

One of its disadvantages is that most radios run on battery only, so if it runs out and you don’t have a reserve, it will probably be on hand. In addition, some models may be difficult to tune to the radio of choice.Benefits

  • Works even without electricity
  • Has more fidelity to live broadcast than television
  • Most portable radios are inexpensive
  • Some have extra functions


  • Usually run on batteries
  • It may be difficult to tune to some radios

Portable radio or portable speaker?

When researching the portable radio, you will probably also come across an electronic that, at first glance, looks a lot like a portable radio: the portable speaker. However, it is important to clarify that both are quite different. Despite having the music in common, they differ by way of use. The portable radio has the function of playing radio stations (usually AM and FM), which usually play music, programs or football games. With it, you choose only one option among the existing ones.

With the speaker, you have greater autonomy. You decide what it touches and when. Most speakers work with Bluetooth that your plugin with your Smartphone or another device. You will choose what the speaker will play with your cell phone, which can be a YouTube video or a song on Spotify, for example.

Speakers are most often used at parties and meetings with friends, so you choose the music that will play at that moment.

However, if you want to listen to music, programs and games on the radio, the portable radio is the ideal electronic for you!

Portable radio
CharacteristicsPlays what is playing on AM and FM stations. It usually works on a battery.You choose what will touch it from your Smartphone or other device. It usually works via Bluetooth and can be recharged.
Main usePeople who want to listen to music, programs or games on a radio stationPeople at parties and meetings
Average priceR $ 100R $ 300

How much does a portable radio cost?

Portable radios are generally not expensive. From R $ 40, it is possible to find a quality model. The average price is usually around R $ 100.The most expensive portable radio models rarely exceed R $ 500 and generally have a more charming and elaborate design.

Where to buy a portable radio?

With a quick search on the internet, you will find several online stores with many portable radio options. Among them are Amazon, Magazine Luiza, Lojas Americanas, Mercado Livre, among others. It is possible to find some models also in physical stores. There are portable radios in markets like Carrefour and Extra, for example. In electronics stores like Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio, there are also options.

Small portable Sony radio on top of a surface

Purchasing Criteria: Main factors for evaluating a portable radio

With the wide variety of portable radios available, the time has come to know exactly what will differentiate each other:

Read on to learn more about each of the features.


The power of radio will define the height and clarity of the sound emitted. It is normal for portable radios, especially smaller ones, to have a little less power, but it is necessary to evaluate this before purchasing.

Some models reach the power of 10 W, providing a very loud and clear sound. If you’re looking for this on a portable radio, choose high power.

Other models have a power of 6 or 8 W. Always choose a model that meets your needs.


There are portable radios of different sizes, from the super compact and lightweight ones that fit your pocket to the bigger ones, which are usually used more indoors.

Suppose you intend to go out with your radio on the street, to listen to radio stations while on public transport, for example, the idea is to opt for a smaller model. Many of them have measures similar to a Smartphone and can easily be carried in the hand or pocket.

Man from the back using portable radio in football stadium

If you’re looking for a portable radio just for use at home, a larger model may be right for you. Their advantage is that they usually have several features.

Other features

A portable radio can rarely be used only for listening to radio stations on the speaker. They often have other features that offer several benefits.

The most common of these is the headphone jack, allowing you to plug in your headset and be able to listen to your radio in public. Another is the possibility to record your favorite stations.

Some models also offer the possibility of connecting USB cables, SD disk cards and playing CDs. Before buying your radio, take its features into account.

Blue portable radio on wooden table next to newspaper


The most common in stores is to find portable radios that work on batteries. In this case, it is worth checking how many batteries the model consumes and whether it has a recharger.

There are also portable radio models that are rechargeable. As they do not consume batteries, they end up being more advantageous in the long run, but they can leave you in the hand if the power goes out.

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