AM radio for long range dx listening

Best DX Radio For AM DXing – Long Range Listening

The best dx radio for AM dxing is the CCRadio-2E by C Crane. I bought one of these and have been very happy with it.

C.Crane CC Radio 2E

I have owned this AM radio for several years and can absolutely confirm it’s attributes which make it one of the best dx long range listening AM radios in production today.

Here’s why I bought it. And why I believe it’s the best AM radio in its ‘DX’ class. A quick review as to why I like it. First, a few pictures..

C. Crane CCRadio-2E Enhanced Portable Radio
(view on amzn)

Here’s a photo of my CCRadio-2E front panel controls:

C.Crane CCRadio2E front panel controls

And here’s the top panel buttons of the C.Crane CCRadio 2E

C.Crane CCRadio 2E top panel buttons

Now that I’m taking more pictures of this radio, I might as well show the side with the Volume and Tuning (also Squelch) knobs, ⅛” (3.5mm) stereo headphone jack, and a ‘Lock’ switch.

C.Crane CC Radio 2E volume and tuning knobs

Here’s the rear panel with an external antenna connection as well as ⅛” (3.5mm) jacks for Aux in, and Line out.

C.Crane CC Radio 2E external antenna connection on rear panel

(UPDATE) It has been a few years since I originally posted this, and the radio is still going strong. My opinion has not changed – likely best or one the best in its class for long range DXing – AM Radio Band listening.


The 530 to 1,700-kHz frequency band, which broadcast AM occupies, is classified as a medium wave (MW) radio band.

Medium wave signals follow the curvature of the Earth, using ground wave propagation, but can also bounce off the ionosphere at night, resulting in skywave propagation.

With the addition of skywave propagation, AM broadcast signals can travel great distances — 500 miles or more.

Why CCRadio-2E is the Best DX Radio

DX AM radio

Superior AM Radio Band Antenna for DXing

It’s twin-coil ferrite antenna.

One very important factor to good reception (regardless of what type radio) is the antenna! The C.Crane CCRadio-2E has a new internal ‘Ferrite Bar’. It measures 8 inches long and has what they call “Twin Coil Ferrite®” technology. Let me tell you – it works!

This feature by itself attributes to my opinion as a best radio for AM DXing. It is exceptional at pulling in distant stations.

There are also terminals for an external AM antenna. This enables connection to other antennas, such as the ‘TERK AM Advantage’, which I wrote about in the following article:

[ Read: TERK AM Advantage Antenna Review ]

Superior Audio Quality

The audio circuitry and hardware has been tuned for the human voice. It makes a big difference in how it sounds.

This AM radio has the best sounding audio I’ve heard in this category. It has a 5-inch, 6-watt speaker, and audio tuned for the spoken word.

Even with my older model C Crane radio, their audio quality has always been significantly better than other radios.

The Bass and Treble controls allow you to equalize the sound to your own liking. Very solid sounding. Given a previous career within the audio industry, I can appreciate what they’ve done.

Additional Bands

The following additional tuning bands use the telescoping antenna.

  • FM
  • NOAA weather channels
  • 2-meter ham band 144 – 148 MHz

FM & NOAA Weather channels

The radio will also tune in the FM band. It also has all seven NOAA weather radio channels (with emergency alert functionality).

2 Meter Band (VHF)

Additionally this radio will tune in the Ham radio 2-meter band (often used during emergencies and disaster situations by emergency responders). This is a nice inclusion for this radio for preparedness and information gathering.

Your saved 2 Meter frequencies can be scanned (press both ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ tuning buttons at once).

Squelch setting.. Press and hold the main Tuning Knob for 3 seconds until the display changes. Then slowly turn knob clockwise through 12 (increasing squelch settings).

I love that they included 2 meters. I have programmed in several local repeater frequencies and verified great functionality.

Additional Features

Should have mentioned earlier, but yes it’s both battery powered (four D-cells) or AC powered. I use EBL rechargeable D batteries, and have the capability to charge them using a portable folding solar panel.

Other features include memory presets, clock, sleep timer, headphone jack, line in-out, and adjustable display light.

Let me expand on the display light… This is a nice touch and something I’ve not seen in other similar class radios. There are several brightness settings for the green hue LED back-light display. The dim setting is perfect for lights-out listening.

Closing Remarks

There’s an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’. While this radio is not cheap, I am very satisfied with the new CCRadio-2E. I still believe it’s the best dx radio for AM on the market today for long range listening.

I live in a rural region far away from AM broadcast stations. This radio will impressively pull in some of them which are very far away. Although it really opens up nicely during the evening / nighttime.

AM radio band broadcasts often consist of talk radio shows, news, and sometimes sports broadcasts. I like the preparedness aspect of the AM radio band for emergency news and information.

I do enjoy listening to AM radio when the opportunity presents itself. There are a few talk shows that interest me. Even though I can listen to most any of these on the internet, I enjoy the good old fashioned ‘airwaves’ too. <grin>

I believe that a portable AM radio for preparedness is a good thing! Because if you lose power – you will still have a source of news and information, given that these radios are battery powered.

Since AM radio is local, especially during the day (when reception is mostly limited to 100 miles or less), you will have a good resource for news reporting of any event which may be unfolding.

During the evening and night, atmospheric conditions enable AM radio wave propagation to great distances – which is where the CCRadio-2E really excels.

Note: One thing I’ve noticed regarding its functionality: While you’re tuning to a faint/weak station, you can hear the special tuning (internal automatic gain curcitry) such that the volume (apparent strength) of the station will change up/down until it ‘locks’ on to it. This is normal – and interesting to observe.

Tip: An article about an inexpensive but decent little AM pocket radio:

[ Read: Best Cheap Pocket Radio ]

I’ve added several AM Radio Station lists that you can download (PDF). Sorted various ways…

List of 50 kW AM Radio Stations

Here’s a list of 50 kW AM radio stations that I put together, sorted a few different ways:
Download a PDF copy and print it for your reference…

(I feel the frequency sorted list is the most useful, given that an unknown station that you’re listening to will reveal their station identification call letters often at the top and bottom of the hour)

(Right-click, then ‘Save as’ if you want to save the PDF’s)

50 Thousand Watt AM Radio Stations sorted by call-sign, frequency, state, and city.

Station ID




[ Related articles:

Best Portable Shortwave Radios

Best Baofeng Antenna Upgrades

Radio Communications Post SHTF

2-Way Radios For SHTF Local Communications


  1. Like they say ” antenna is everything “. Even a cheapo AM in your vehicle will DX if you get as high as possible. Dxing has been one of my hobbies since 10. I work at 7200 ft. el. I work nights, so sometimes I will take a work vehicle to the highest spot and tune the dial. So far my furthest has been Minneapolis, MN. Not bad for being in AZ.

  2. I bought the CCRadio2 (not 2E) two or three years ago. It is a great radio that I use every day, and it has performed well. Does anyone know what the difference is between the 2 and the 2E versions?

    1. In addition to the model ‘2E’ I also have the previous model to yours, the CCRadio ‘Plus’ (also a very good AM radio – sounds great like all their radios do).

      But when I purchased the 2E (Enhanced) it was immediately apparent that the 2E was entirely better.

      Regarding your question, I searched online for differences between the 2 and 2E, and it seems that the 2E was very much revamped. Most notable is the AGC and its RF performance (super-sensitivity).

      If you’re happy with the 2 though, I would stick with it!

      1. I enjoy AM DX’ing (listening to far-off AM radio stations at night.)

        I use an Icom IC-R70, it’s an old radio from 1982. But it hears things clearly that other radios don’t hear at all.

        Last fall I bought a Grundig Satellite-750 for Short-Wave listening to have an extra radio. It’s not nearly as good as the R70, but it cost a lot less too. It works OK but you get what you pay for.

        And older radios had much better filters then modern radios. The Icom was originally $1,200 (in 1982 dollars) and the Grundig was $200.00 a few months ago. Both are fun to use.

  3. We have 3 crane radios. My husband carries one with him where ever he goes. he can’t miss Limbaugh! We have trouble out here with AM radio transmission. We live by the VLA and there is something about them building out here because there isn’t enough RF energy sources around to interfere with them tying to find intelligent life somewhere. Fine for them but hard for us. The Crane radios are the only ones that work pretty well. Sometimes even they have problems. We have 3 because he left the first one out in the rain and the liquid crystal went away making it hard to tune, the second one’s charger died and the new one was just a little more than a charger, and of course it comes with a charger he can use on both radios. He is happy.

  4. Realistic DX-160, with a long wire and big external ferrite bar and plug in speaker box. Circa 1977 or so.

  5. For years the standard in portable AM DX radios has been the GE Super Radio 2 and 3. It’s an analog radio (no digital readout) but it gets excellent reviews for picking up distant AM stations.

    Look for one at thrift stores or garage sales

    1. The GE SuperRadio is by far the best DXing radio you will find. I have three of them, one is the Superradio 1 I believe, it doesn’t have the little tweeter speaker.

      As a point of reference, you can listen to WGN, WBBM and WSCR from Chicago in Metrowest Boston almost like local stations in the winter months.

      I had an old CCrane digital and it was good but not as selective as the superradio.

      1. Dan M, thanks for vouching for the GE Superradio. Now I’m going to have to look on ebay ;)

  6. The GE super radio has long been the king of AM DXing because of it’s huge Am ferrite bar antenna.
    And it’s bass and treble controls along with large speaker give it incredible audio.

  7. – I’m pleased to see the reviews on the GE super radio, since I have one in my old field gear that is compatible with 110/220 and also has AA battery (4 of them) capability. This is the one I refer to as my “field” radio, and I have been able to power it with a wide variety of ‘non-standard’ batteries when needed (the huge 6v lantern batteries, a ‘dead’ 9-volt battery, taped-together ‘D’ batteries, a 24-volt Armored vehicle through a lamp rheostat, and others.) It was even used to listen to a World Series game for an entire Armored battalion sitting in a forward position with everyone on a “Hot Loop”. Looks like Heqq, but still works.
    – Papa S.

    1. Kula:

      “DXing, taken from DX, the telegraphic shorthand for “distance” or “distant”, is the hobby of receiving and identifying distant radio or television signals, or making two-way radio contact with distant stations in amateur radio, citizens band radio or other two-way radio communications.”

      Gata love the internet search LOLOL

  8. D batteries take a long time to charge. I use the D battery jackets for the rechargeable AA Panasonic En Loops. Going to get one of these radios. Will use portal.

    1. Yes they do.. they’re typically 10,000 mAh each (lots of ‘juice’).

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