The 5 Best Shortwave Radios You Can Buy

You can always find yourself in an emergency. Either at your residence, your workplace, on vacation or hike, or at times, on the road. In all these cases, communication of any nature can prove useful, especially in relaying your message or getting helpful correspondence. Having the best shortwave radio in this situation can negate the absence of a cellular or satellite network to get help.

How to pick the right shortwave radio for your use?

If you desire the comfort of information and communication at every phase of life, picking the correct shortwave radio can go a long way. However, the task can prove a hurdle, especially in a modern world awash with digital technology. You can quickly end up with a shortwave radio product that cannot fulfill both your emergency needs and personal preferences. Consider the following to correctly pick the best shortwave radio, which will not only prove useful in emergencies but stand peerless in their functionality. 

  1. How portable can the shortwave radio prove? Buy a shortwave radio that can suit your preference when moving around.
  2. What kind of rating does the shortwave radio have? All items bought online always have customer reviews. The rating should provide an excellent feeling about the option you want to settle for.
  3. Get product endorsements from friends or family members who know a thing or two about shortwave radios. 

 You can find out more details about Shortwave Radios from the John Draper blog.

Attributes of the best shortwave radios

What defines the best shortwave radio?

  • The capture of a good range of frequency: 540 kHz to 30MHz. The frequency range should form a priority when picking a shortwave radio. Shortwave radios with a frequency bandwidth of 540 kHz to 30 MHz comprise the best in circulation. However, most shortwave radios nowadays access longwave bands within the FM frequencies.
  • Visual readout of frequencies. The best shortwave radio should provide precise readings, something that most analog readouts don’t capture well. You should, therefore, look for a digital display when it comes to shortwave radio readouts.
  • Radio-sensitivity and bandwidth selectivity. The best shortwave radio should have a provision to pick the wide or narrow selectivity bandwidths, besides having a sensitive radio receiver. Narrow bandwidths can allow for a reduction in frequency interference but relay low audio. On the other hand, wide bandwidths have better audio quality but more vulnerability when it comes to interference. Further, a sensitive receiver allows for a clear broadcast of weaker signals.
  • Portable radio and an external antenna design. The portability of radios allows easy movement with the gadget, while an external antenna will let you adjust the connection and gain better access to reception.    
  • Appealing features and ease when it comes to usage. Rotary knobs mostly prove easier to use when it comes to tuning in to a specific frequency bandwidth. Further, features such as LED displays, sleep timers, battery systems in addition to its charging system, etc., accentuate and make the shortwave radio more appealing.

Best Shortwave Radios

1.Tecsun PL880

The Tecsun PL880 proves a top-range shortwave radio because of its ultra-filtration capabilities. Tecsun PL880 can allow you to adjust both its listening frequency and sensitivity. 

Product features

  • PLL synthesizer
  • Adjustable and lengthy antenna
  • Alarm 
  • Sleep mode
  • Stereo earphones and a radio pouch 

Advantages

  • Reproduction of a clear sound through filtration of adjacent frequencies
  • Portable and flexible enough to adjust its physical location to connect to a shortwave frequency.
  • There is a good volume of about 65dB, which is loud enough for shortwave radios but not enough for party purposes.  
  • Extra features such as the alarm and sleep mode options can come in handy in specific situations.
  • The 3.7V lithium batteries prove rechargeable.  

Disadvantages

  • Arduous and a lengthier manual tuning process.

Verdict

The Tecsun PL880 shortwave radio will likely satisfy your listening needs in almost every location.

2.TIVDIO V-115 Portable Shortwave Transistor Radio

The transistor shortwave radio comes portable and with a modest design. TIVDIO V-115 radio is best suited for travel and casual use. Featuring an excellent balance between performance and cost, the radio can cater to your listening needs.

Retekess V115 Shortwave Radio - AM FM Digital Radio

Product features

  • USB port and cable
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (1000mAh)
  • Mic recording and line-in port
  • 100 preset memory capacity
  • Backlit LCD
  • Sleep timer
  • T-flash card slot

Advantages

  • The radio proves light and portable making it easy to carry along while on the road.
  • The full frequency range of 87 MHz to 108 MHz for the FM and 522 kHz to 1719 kHz for the AM.
  • Ability to select and play recorded songs from your T-flash card
  • Affordable
  • The radio allows you to record sound in three diverse modes. The recording quality can either prove 64kbps or 128kbps.
  • The lithium-ion battery allows you to recharge the radio’s battery.

Disadvantage

  • Intimidating on the first impression because of the five-play mode toggle buttons.

Verdict

The shortwave transistor radio’s simple nature makes it easy and fun to use the product in dire situations. 

3.5-Way Powered Solar Hand Crank NOAA Weather Alert Radio

The shortwave weather radio comes in a portable and unique design. The 5-Way radio proves effective when it comes to the receptivity of shortwave frequencies in terrible weather. Therefore, it can become useful for travel or living in locations prone to extreme weather.

,Solar Hand Crank Emergency Short wave Radio

Product features

  • Camping flashlight and reading lamp
  • Pre-configured NOAA stations and AM/FM/Shortwave radio 
  • 2500mAh battery power bank and five power sources
  • Emergency cell phone charger
  • One year warranty
  • SOS alarm
  • Micro-USB port
  • Compass 

Advantages

  • Ability to switch from the weather station to shortwave frequencies to get both weather forecasts and other news.
  • A constant supply of power uses five different options: a power bank, the USB charging port, solar panel, internal battery, and AAA batteries.
  • Camping flashlights offer light in emergency blackouts to help you navigate and stay safe.
  • The emergency cell phone charger allows your phone to stay on even in blackouts.
  • The red SOS emergency beacon that works in morse code can facilitate your rescue when in distress.
  • The compass can help you find direction in the confusion of emergencies and bad weather. 

Disadvantages

  • The radio comes with an analog display that can reduce the precision of frequency tuning.
  • The radio can prove intimidating because of the four-round knobs and a center button.

Verdict

This product’s ability to receive shortwave frequencies besides the range of compliments it comes with makes it useful when seeking help in untenable situations. 

4.C Crane CC Skywave

The simple yet highly compact midrange shortwave radio proves ideal for the outdoors. CC Skywave lacks some features you will probably get from sophisticated top-range shortwave radios, though it proves far superior to local radios in your residential stores. Further, the radio has a wide frequency range of 2.3 to 26.1 MHz.

Product features

  • LCD
  • Numerical analog buttons
  • 400 frequencies memory capacity
  • Sleep timer
  • Adjustable alarm
  • Locking system
  • Mute button
  • AA battery power
  • DC adapter (optional)
  • Carrying case
  • Earbuds
  • Fold-out stand

Advantages

  • Highly portable, and the carry bag makes it even easier.
  • The LCD can improve accuracy when it comes to tuning frequencies.
  • The numerical analog buttons allow for more precision in the manual tuning of frequencies in instances where you become impatient with the rotary knob.
  • The optional DC adapter gives the radio an edge in the untimely case of the AA batteries running out.
  • You can privately listen to the radio using the earbud provision in instances where you have to.
  • The radio also receives NOAA weather alerts, which can prove vital when traveling in specific regions.

Disadvantages

  • The radio lacks an LED-powered display, and the LCD present relies on traditional light bulbs.

Verdict

The CC Skywave shortwave radio is straightforward, making it easier to use than other radios. 

5.Sangean ATS-909X

ATS-909X radio proves a visual pleaser and an improvement on the original Sangean ATS-909. The radio comes compact with a brilliant FM tuner, with a bright and large LCD screen.

Product features

  • 153 kHz longwave band, 108 MHz FM band, mediumwave, shortwave, and AM frequencies
  • Large LCD with a bright LED backlight
  • Five tuning options

Advantages

  • Excellent quality reception on both SW and AM
  • Headphone jack provision to allow private listening in crowded areas
  • Functions on batteries as well

Disadvantage

  • It may be a bit expensive

Verdict

The radio can suit your listening needs in remote areas, provided you can afford it.

Shortwave Radios Conclusion

Everyone learns best through experiencing a situation, whether it’s a storm, getting lost while hiking, or getting stranded on an island. Whatever the situation, it can prove better to have insight and prepare for the worst rather than wait to learn. If you have to get a shortwave radio for emergency purposes, consider the above-reviewed products. You will not only know the value of these top radio products but understand their limitations and strengths before buying. Further, most of these shortwave radios have a reputation for fulfilling your listening needs, including emergency moments.