BBUn todays world smartphones, tablets, laptops etc make it very easy to communicate or get information fast. However all of the above are useless when you’re deep in the forest or camped up in the mountains with absolutely no contact with the wider world.
Thankfully, there is some great long distance radio’s out there that make long distance communication possible. Yes, even today, there is a place for AM radio.
There are many products out there that claim to be the best radio for long distance AM reception but we beg to differ and have decided to create a blog that outlines the Pros and Cons of the most popular long distance radios.
Unlike Netflix, AM radio has no subscription. Theres no need download the latest updates and you don’t have to worry about getting your information tracked. Just turn on the radio and enjoy the wealth of free information it has to offer.
Even if you’re not tucked away deep in the forest, it’s always handy to have a good radio nearby in case of emergencies.
Imagine extreme weather causes disruption or you lose electricity and can’t get any news from Government Officials? A good old trusty long distance AM receiver in your cabin, tent or room will be
Selecting The Best Radio For Long Distance AM Reception
There are so many options to choose from and in order to get the full benefits you need to choose the best. So this review and buying guide looks at numerous factors in order to weed out the rubbish!
In the end we found 5 radios that we think are worth spending your hard earned cash on. Please bare in mind we tested out dozens of different models from multiple manufacturers too.
We looked at durability, the price, expert reviews etc.
Some of the factors considered include:
Convenience and ease-of-use were very important factors considered by the evaluation team. Very complicated radios with no extra benefits did not make the cut.
Consumers generally find it easy to connect with gadgets that are easy to operate; and for radio, users don’t expect to spend considerable time touching or tuning knobs before they start receiving a transmission from some distant station.
Durability – Activities such as camping and hiking subject expose gadgets to all sorts of rough handling. Gadgets could easily get dropped or get bumped on hard surfaces. This makes it imperative that the durability of such gadgets such as the AM radio is not in question.
It would be distressing or frustrating having to discover that your device refused to work after a hard drive through bumpy countryside roads.
The AM radios in these guide all survived the durability test with high marks.
Portable – For this guide, the guiding principle was, ‘smaller is better’. Fortunately, there are several portable units packed with premium features.
Portability is important for so many reasons. In the first place, if you are carrying the radio in a backpack, you don’t want a heavy or bulk device taking up too much space and slowing you down with its weight.
Secondly, it is crucial that you are able to hold the device in your hand because that could be the only convenient place for it in certain circumstances.
Again, if it is portable, it would be far easier to simply whip it out from where it is stored and proceed to search for stations while holding it close to your ears.
Strong reception – The receiver is one of the most important variables in the selection of long range AM radios.
Radios that were able to connect to the furthest stations from the test location made a huge positive impression.
Linked to the strength of the receiver is the clarity of the sound. The ability to clearly hear a distant station is what the device is all about. In this respect, you should expect quality speakers on these radios.
Pre-set settings/LCD display – Radios with these features make it very easy to pin down your preferred stations. All you have to do is press a button and the radio’s memory would instantly take you to the pre-programmed frequency.
The LCD display comes in handy here too. With it, you’d know if you are at the right frequency for a particular radio station. It can make fine-tuning for clearer reception and to eliminate interference very easy.
Top 5 Best Radio For Long Distance Am Reception: Review
1. Sony SRF-M37W Walkman Digital Tuning Stereo Radio
The Sony SRF-M37W Walkman is a fantastic compact little radio. It’s small, very portable, provides hours of listening on a single AAA battery.
Seriously, for such a compact little device runs it can run for hours giving it an edge over the competition and making this a very cost effective purchase.
It has a strong, digital tuning system for AM, FM, and Weather stations and you can lock them in and still change them later. It has a battery memory backup which means your preset stations won’t disappear when you change the batteries too.
The LCD screen displays the battery life and a clock. It also features a built in DX switch that provides the best reception for close and far away stations.
The buttons have a good response time too, you’d think a small device like this would have a slight delay.
Along with the radio your purchase will also get you a belt clip and a stereo headset. The headset really doesn’t do the radio any justice though. We recommend getting a better set. Although with that being said, you really can’t fault it with the price of this set.
Overall we think this is the best radio on the market for long distance AM reception. It is one of our favourites when compared to the other products listed below in this article.
2. Sangean PR-D18BK Portable Digital Radio
This Sangean PR-DI8BK is the perfect long range radio for a camping trip or high up the mountains.
It’s a durable little unit that will survive a good old fall. The transmitter is very sensitive giving it the ability to pick out far away stations.
The unit is durable and can take all the bang, scrapes and rough handling you throw at it while outdoors. And it has an excellent and very sensitive transmitter to pick out distant stations. The radio features an easy to read LCD screen with backlight, 2 alarm timer and it has 10 station presets (5 FM, 5 AM).
3. C Crane CC Skywave Portable Travel Radio
Another lightweight, portable radio that is the perfect choice for trips or even to be used in the kitchen. Straight out of the box you can immediately notice the quality of this build.
This isn’t just a cheaply put together radio in order to make a quick buck. The quality is great and will last you a lifetime of use.
Aside from the great build quality, it comes packed with features. For example, it has a
It’s also pretty small and compact, it will fit snug in your pocket.
The portable radio comes packed with features such as a strong ability to reduce static; NOAA weather station with alert to give weather updates; aviation channels that allow you to listen to nearby traffic controllers; and crystal-clear audio.
You would love the ability to have up to 400 preset stations in the AM, FM or SW bands and you can see all your stations on the back lighted LCD screen. It uses just 2 AA batteries; and at moderate volumes, you can get up to 70 hours of battery time.
Other awesome features include a direct entry keypad, auto scan, sleep timer, a fold out back stand, battery meter, lock switch, and much more.
You get a pair of earbuds and a carrying case when you purchase it.
4. Horologe AM/FM Portable Pocket Radio
The Horologe AM/FM pocket radio is the ultimate in portability as it can comfortably fit into your pocket. The size does not affect its long distance capability or the premium features packed into it.
The device comes with a dual power option. You could use 2 AA batteries or the 3V adapter to power it. It utilizes an advanced DSP chip as the brain for stable channels and excellent reception.
The designers had only one thing in mind: make it easy to operate while giving it the best features no matter the size. It features an LCD screen so users can easily adjust frequencies; a programmable sleep timer to auto switch it off if you fall asleep; an alarm clock that could in handy in so many ways; and a ‘Misoperation Lock’ to prevent you from accidentally changing your settings.
5. Retekess V115 Portable Radio
The Retekess V115 is a portable Am radio that combines all the best features of a long distance receiver with the features of a mini portable digital sound system. For a very cheap price, you not only have a radio to listen to your favorite stations, but also a device capable of storing and playing your favorite songs on demand.
Unfortunately, its function as a travel radio is limited by the absence of a disposable AA battery compartment. However, the rechargeable battery is capable of giving over 48 hours of listening time on a full charge. It can be charged using a USB cable connected to a computer.
That said, you would love the TF card slot to store and play MP3 music; the adjustable LCD display backlight; the ability to record sound from the radio directly to the memory card; and great sound output.
You get a charging cable, one hand strip with bracket and a manual in English if you purchase this amazing gadget.
Frequently Asked Questions About Long Distance AM Radios
What is an AM radio?
The ‘AM’ in AM radio stands for amplitude modulation,
The ‘AM’ is short for amplitude modulation. This refers to the type of radio waves used by these radio stations to transmit audio signals.
Because the radio station you hear on the radio encodes audio information by a process known as modulation, the radio’s receiver must be able to convert that modulated waves back to audio.
How come there is so much static in AM Radio signal?
Amplitude modulated waves are susceptible to static because of the way the waves work. A slight variance in the amplitude of the wave easily creates a change in it. It is this change that comes across as static.
What is a digital AM radio?
An AM radio can be termed digital if it is designed to clean up analog signals to reduce static. In practical terms, this means the radio has a digital tuner that can receive digital signals as well as analog signals.
Why is the range of AM radios farther at night?
AM waves bounce between the earth and the ionosphere as they travel. At night, favorable conditions exist in the ionosphere making it possible for the waves to travel longer distances of up to 1000 miles in some cases.
The downside of this is that there would be much interference at night when you are trying to tune in to a station.
You are here because you need the best radio for long distance AM reception. Each product reviewed above is unique in several ways to give you a bigger field as far as making a choice is concerned.
No matter which one you pick, you would surely get great value for your money. The radios all have most, if not all, the most essential features to expect from these gadgets. In essence, you would always have a reliable and dependable AM radio any time you need to use it.