Best Radios for the Garden

Summer is finally here! It’s time to make the most of it by enjoying yourself in the garden.

But while you’re soaking up the summer sun, you don’t want to miss out on listening to your favourite radio station or keeping up with the cricket. So let’s look at the best radios for the garden currently available in the UK.

 

What to look for in a garden radio

When it comes to listening to the radio in the garden, any old radio won’t do. Here are a few important features to look for:

Battery operated with a long battery life

You don’t want to drag an unwieldy extension lead out into your garden. The best radios for the garden are battery operated and use long-life batteries.

Water-resistant

We all know British weather is unpredictable, so the perfect garden radio is something that can survive an unexpected shower.

DAB/DAB+

Radio will eventually see a digital switchover, where AM/FM will be switched off. That means it makes a lot more sense to get a digital radio rather than an analogue radio that could become obsolete in a few years. Furthermore, you’ll get a lot more choice with DAB radio and the sound quality should be better.

Durable

If you’re exposing your radio to the elements, it needs to be more durable than a radio you’d keep on your bedside table, for example. The best garden radios don’t mind being moved around or even being dropped occasionally.

Solar powered

Some radios can be powered just by the power of the sun thanks to built-in solar panels. This will save you money on batteries, and also ease your eco-friendly conscience. A solar powered radio will let you listen to the radio all day provided its sunny, without having to replace batteries.

Earphones or speaker?

Will you be listening with earphones or by using the radio’s speaker? A handheld/personal radio could be a good option if you don’t want to disturb the neighbours.

 

What is your budget?

For around £10 you can get a simple AM/FM radio that won’t be especially durable. A good personal DAB radio will cost around £30+. If you spend more you can get something specially designed for outdoor use.

 

Handheld/personal radios for use in the garden

Kite DAB Digital FM Personal Portable Pocket Handheld Radio Battery Powered / Headphones

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

The Kite personal DAB radio is a small and handy radio you can keep in your pocket while gardening or relaxing outside.

Features

  • 6 hours of playback from its 3 AAA batteries
  • Save up to 20 stations
  • Displays the current time
  • Comes with Majority in-ear headphones
  • Auto scan tuning feature

Pros

  • This is a small and light radio (weighs about as much as a packet of cigarettes)
  • 12-month warranty
  • Comes in a gift box, making it a great present
  • Stylish
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Runs on AAA batteries only; can’t be charged directly (though you can use rechargeable batteries)

Verdict

This radio is surprisingly good for the price. If you’re looking for a small personal DAB radio for the garden, you should definitely consider the Kite DAB personal radio.

 

AZATOM Pro Sports S1 DAB FM radio – Rechargable

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

This handy little radio lets you listen to DAB, DAB+ and FM stations. DAB+ future-proofs the radio against the possibility that regular DAB radios become obsolete in the future.

It’s portability makes it perfect for the garden.

Features

  • Save up to 20 stations
  • Auto scan feature for finding DAB and DAB+ stations
  • Screen shows song names and latest news
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Can be charged by USB
  • Choice between using stereo earphones or built-in mono speaker

Pros

  • Cheap yet quality
  • Excellent sound
  • Good reception
  • Easy to use
  • Useful instruction manual

Cons

  • Could be too large for some pockets
  • Some users find reception is worse compared to other radios

Verdict

This is a great radio for listening to the radio in the garden. The radio requires recharging every 3 hours or so, so it’s not ideal if you want to listen to it all day. On the whole, however, this radio is great value for the money. You can read our full complete review of the AZATOM Pro Sports S1 here.

 

Solar-powered and wind up radios

Duronic Hybrid Radio Wind Up Solar and Rechargeable AM/FM Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

This is a cheap portable radio with a twist: it’s rechargeable by winding it up or using solar power.

Its ability to run without mains electricity or constantly charging batteries has made it popular in developing countries and remote areas. It’s also great for using in the garden or taking on camping and fishing trips.

Features

  • Can be charged by USB
  • Solar powered
  • Indicator light shows when it’s being charged
  • AM/FM reception
  • 1 minute of winding gives about 30 minutes of charge
  • Torch feature (great for camping)

Pros

  • Very portable: only weighs 203g
  • No batteries
  • Often runs purely on solar power without needing to wind it (especially in sunny spots and greenhouses)
  • Excellent value for money
  • Sturdy enough for the garden

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold solar charge overnight
  • No DAB radio
  • Sound quality isn’t perfect

Verdict

This is an amazing little radio for the price. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy listening to the radio in the garden without having to worry about batteries. It’s not ideal if you need superior sound quality, but if you want a simple radio for the garden, camping or fishing, it’s perfect. You can read our full review of the Duronic Hybrid Radio here.

 

Roberts SolarDAB DAB / FM Digital Solar Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

This solar-powered DAB radio from Roberts is a high-end portable radio for the garden. Its integrated solar panel lets you listen to the radio outdoors without having to replace the batteries.

Features

  • Uses 3 Lithium ion batteries
  • Rechargeable batteries that can be recharged via the solar panel
  • Gives up to 20 hours battery life on full charge
  • Weighs 623g
  • Connects with an MP3 player or smartphone via the line-in socket
  • 3 ways to power the radio: solar, batteries and mains

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very good battery life

Cons

  • Solar charging isn’t always viable if you have cloudy weather

Verdict

This radio is great for gardening, working on the allotment, doing outdoor decorating or taking on picnics. The radio is relatively expensive, but it will save you money on batteries in the long run. Read our full review of the SolarDAB here.

 

All-weather radios

Roberts Splash DAB/FM RDS Digital All Weather Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

This is a weather-proof radio that can be used in the garden or in the shower.

Features

  • Water-resistant
  • DAB and FM radio
  • Up to 60 hours battery life
  • Takes two D sized batteries
  • LED torch (great for camping)
  • Carry handle

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Good-quality sound, and goes fairly loud
  • Easy to read manual

Cons

  • Batteries aren’t included
  • Doesn’t include an adapter

Verdict

This is a top-rated splash-proof radio that’s ideal for the unpredictable British weather. It’s also a good radio for listening to in the bathroom. The sound quality is good, but it doesn’t have the useful solar-powered feature of the similarly priced Roberts DAB / FM Digital Solar Radio. Read our full review of the Roberts Splash here.

 

General portable radios

Roberts Unologic DAB/FM RDS Digital Radio with Built-in Battery Charger

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

If you’re looking for a reliable rechargeable portable radio to use in the garden, the Roberts Unologic DAB/FM Radio could be ideal.  It’s lightweight and environmentally friendly, and is manufactured by the highly respected British radio brand Roberts.

Features

  • Listen to DAB or FM radio
  • Built-in battery charger for AA batteries (also takes non-rechargeable batteries)
  • LCD screen shows station names, track titles and latest news
  • One-touch access to favourite stations
  • Weighs 577g
  • Headphone and MP3/smartphone line-in socket

Pros

  • Designed to be environmentally friendly
  • Save money by charging batteries
  • Portable for the garden or taking on picnics
  • Easy to tune
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • No alarm clock feature

Verdict

If you’re an eco-conscious consumer looking to enjoy the radio outside, the Unologic radio from Roberts is perfect for you. Read our full review of the Roberts Unologic here.

 

Roberts R9993 3-Band Portable Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon

Overview

This is one of the most popular portable radios in the UK. It’s cheap and cheerful and gets the job done. If you just want a simple and inexpensive AM/FM radio for the garden, the Roberts R9993 is worth considering.

Features

  • Three wavebands: LW/MW/FM
  • Weighs 420g
  • Headphone socket

Pros

  • Lets you listen to AM stations live 5 Live and Talk Sport – great for sports fans
  • Batteries last longer than they would in a DAB radio
  • Easy to use
  • Reliable, should last a long time

Cons

  • No DAB digital radio
  • Average sound quality

Verdict

This is a good, no-frills radio for using in the garden, the bathroom, the kitchen or anywhere else. As you’d expect at this price, the sound quality is average and there are no special features, but nevertheless this is a dependable radio. Read our full review of the Roberts R9993 here.

 

Alternatives to getting a garden radio

Rather than getting a radio just for the garden, you could connect your indoor radio to some outdoor or waterproof Bluetooth speakers like the Tech Acoustics IPX7. Of course, your indoor radio would have to have Bluetooth functionality to do this. Bluetooth speakers often only have a range of 15 feet or so, which means your radio would need to be quite near where you put the speakers outside.

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