best-cheap-portable-radio

Best Cheap Pocket Radio For AM/FM Band

I believe this is the best cheap pocket radio for the money! And I don’t mean cheap in the sense of poor quality. Rather, cheap being inexpensive.

I’ve had this portable pocket radio for several years. I’ve got to tell you that I still believe it’s the best little AM/FM radio in its class (inexpensive and small).

UPDATE: There is a newer model of this portable radio:
Sony ICFP26 Portable AM/FM Radio
(view on amzn)

Sony ICFP26

It performs well. Good for discovering news and information (especially during a power outage) and will help keep you informed.

AM ‘Cheap Pocket Radio’ Attributes

It is remarkably priced, especially considering that it’s made by Sony (who makes quality electronics).

It’s small enough to easily fit in a pocket, pack or kit while measuring only 4.69 x 2.74 x 1.50 inches. It’s a “pocket radio”.

Runs on AA batteries. You’ll get approximately 100 hours of run time.

[ Read: Best AA batteries that don’t leak or corrode ]

Battery monitor LED glows bright green with adequate batteries then dims as batteries weaken signaling the need to replace them.

Hinged battery compartment cover so you won’t lose it.

When I first bought it after looking at reviews for the best but inexpensive small portable radio, I was quite surprised with it’s ability to pull in stations.

It has a nice convenient red tuning LED.

It has a decent sound for it’s small size. Pleasing tonal voicing. Good quality sound for a small portable radio.

Standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Headphones will play in both ears, though mono sound.

If you don’t already have a portable battery operated AM radio for your home, preparedness kit, camping, or for listening while out in your boat fishing, this inexpensive small pocket radio might be just right for you.

[ Read: Best AM Radio For DX Long Range Listening ]

[ Read: Shortwave Radio ]

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14 Comments

  1. So heres the thing, when the power goes out for whatever reason, especially if its wide spread, most of the stations here go down as well, at least over here they do, luckily the NOAA weather recordings keep going

    1. AM Radio signals can propagate for many hundreds of miles (and more) at night. The atmospheric conditions change at night which enable the ‘skip’ for this band.

      That said, in my location even during the day I can pick up a particular 50 KW AM station several hundred miles away along with several others (albeit not a very strong signal from here).

      During a Level-1 preparedness event we’re not dealing with extreme wide-spread outage, so generally this won’t be an issue.

      However you being on an island in the Pacific, if the island goes out, that’s pretty much it for your chances of AM radio reception. Beyond that, we’re talking HAM radio…

  2. Have a few of the original model. Work back pack, truck, GHB, house and the ranch. Worth it as the most powerful AM station in my state is in another city 100 miles south. I can pick that station up anywhere in the state with this little radio. This includes many locations that are 500+ miles away from their tower. Not always the clearest but enough I can hear the news. I have accidentally placed the antenna against a barbwire fence and the reception improved.

  3. I owned a dozen over the years. As a contractor they fit into a tool bag perfectly. Good reception everywhere even in basements.

  4. I have that Sony and out of four other AM/FM/recievers here, this is the only one that picks up AM stations (we’re in the sticks). My truck radio however outperforms it. In my daypack I have a small Memorex audio jack radio the size of a matchbox that also has excellent reception.

    1. This isn’t about “the best” this is an entry level radio to get people the basics and get them into prepping.
      I have no regrets buying this radio.

      1. Also, for those who are interested, I believe the best radio for AM band long-range reception (‘DX’) is this one:

        C Crane CCRadio-2E Enhanced

        I’ve had this radio for a few years and it’s probably the best one for AM radio band long distance reception.

  5. To RWT: The “trick” about getting better reception by touching your antenna to a wire fence is a trick they teach Highway Patrol officers at the Academy for if and when you find yourself on a lonely stretch of Desert Highway. If a bird lands on the fence, you may end up frying Billy Blue Jay by keying the mike. (then you have dinner?)

  6. I have several small radio’s the best/smallest is COBY CX-7 Mini
    that hangs from your neck headphones only.
    Excellent reception.
    I didn’t think much of the brand until I had one of my own for $1.99 at goodwill.

    All together I have about 15 small radio’s around.
    from the cranks to pocket.
    3 of them have weather channels and one is just a noaa specific model.

  7. I have to add in, get what works for you.
    Don’t go by what I have or may suggest, I have 6 different brands of radio.

    Everyone needs to get what works best for them, for whatever situation may arise.
    So if you have some spare $ get a couple different models/brands and play with them, use
    them and put a couple away safe.
    keep what works best for you.

  8. Ken and all. I hope i haven’t been to dense and missed it. I would like an AM/FM with superior reception and takes AAA batteries and also runs on a standard 110 outlet for under $100. It is to be stationary, so can be of a larger size. Thanks in advance or sorry I didn’t get it.

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