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.
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:
And here’s the top panel buttons of the C.Crane CCRadio 2E
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.
Here’s the rear panel with an external antenna connection as well as ⅛” (3.5mm) jacks for Aux in, and Line out.
(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 AM RADIO BAND
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
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.
The following additional tuning bands use the telescoping antenna.
- 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.
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.
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.
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