Best AM/FM Pocket Radios (UK 2018)

While digital radio is growing in popularity, many people still find they can get better reception on AM/FM radio. Pocket AM/FM radios have the additional advantage of offering better battery life than pocket DAB radios, which sometimes only last 5 hours or so before the battery runs out.

Pocket AM/FM radios often have a built-in speaker as well as a headphone jack so you have a choice of ways to listen to them.

A pocket radio can help provide some companionship and entertainment if you’re unwell or spend a lot of time on your own. These radios are popular among people staying in hospital for extended periods of time as well as people with solitary jobs, for example postal workers. A pocket radio is also a nice thing to take with you when walking the dog or fishing.

To help you choose the right radio, here’s a roundup of 7 of the best pocket AM/FM radios currently available in the UK.

Best AM/FM Pocket Radios (UK 2018)

1. PRUNUS DEGEN-DE333 Pocket FM/AM Radio

This tiny AM/FM radio is the size of a credit card, so it will easily fit in a pocket. It has a built-in speaker which sounds surprisingly good for something so small. There’s also a headphone jack for listening privately, though unfortunately there isn’t a key lock function so it’s easy to accidentally change the station or adjust the volume if it’s in your pocket.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Extendable aerial
  • Built-in speaker
  • Headphone jack
  • Takes 2 x AAA batteries

Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.4 x 2 cm
Weight: 65 g

Pros

  • Good sound quality for something so small
  • Very small and light
  • Has both a speaker and headphone jack
  • Straightforward and easy to use

Cons

  • No key lock function

Summary

This product is a good choice if you want something very small and compact. The PRUNUS DEGEN-DE333 doesn’t have any flashy features but it’s functional and easy to use.

 

2. Retekess V112 Pocket Radio

The Retekess V112 is a very small pocket AM/FM radio that comes with earphones included. It has a built-in battery and can be recharged from your computer via a USB cable.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Saves 40 preset stations (20 on AM and 20 on FM)
  • Built-in lithium battery that is charged via USB
  • Digital display
  • 90-minute automatic switch-off function

Dimensions: 8.4 x 4.6 x 1.3 cm
Weight: 41 g

Pros

  • Good radio reception
  • Nice and small
  • Battery should last for several days if you use it a few hours a day
  • Easy to use
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Often ships from China, so it might take a long time to arrive
  • No built-in speaker—headphones only

Summary

The Retekess V112 is one of the cheapest pocket AM/FM radios on the market. It might not have the same number of functions or have the same build quality of radio from brands like Roberts, but it does offer very good value for money.

 

3. Sony ICFP26.CE7 Portable AM/FM Radio

The Sony ICFP26.CE7 is a popular handheld AM/FM radio with the choice of listening through the built-in speaker or headphones. At 11.9 cm tall it might be a bit large for a trouser or shirt pocket, but it should fit easily in a coat pocket.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Hand strap
  • Headphone jack
  • Takes 2 x AA batteries
  • Battery level indicator

Dimensions: 11.9 x 7 x 3.8 cm
Weight: 197 g (with batteries)

Pros

  • Very good battery life
  • Simple and straightforward

Cons

  • Speaker sounds quite tinny
  • Quite large for a personal radio
  • Reception can be poor
  • Fiddly to get the correct volume

Summary

The best thing about the Sony ICFP26.CE7 is that batteries last a long time—some users find that batteries last over 100 hours. However, the overall quality of this radio is quite disappointing for a Sony radio.

 

4. ZesGood AM/FM Portable Radio

This compact radio from ZesGood features a built-in speaker, a headphone jack and a telescopic aerial. It’s a simple and unflashy product that offers very good value for money.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Takes 2 x AA batteries
  • 14-inch extendable aerial
  • Built-in speaker
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 11.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 cm

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Long battery life
  • Generally very good reception
  • Clear sound
  • Compact and light design

Cons

  • Aerial can be fragile

Summary

This product is a great choice if you want something small, cheap and functional. The lack of an LCD or LED display helps give this pocket radio last a very long time on batteries, especially when compared to pocket DAB radios.

 

5. Mifine Pocket Portable AM FM Radio

The Mifine Pocket Portable AM FM Radio has more features than similar products, while maintaining a low price. Unlike most pocket AM/FM radios, this product features an alarm clock and sleep timer. It also has a digital display so you know exactly which frequency you’re tuned into.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Built-in speaker
  • Headphone jack
  • Digital display showing frequency and time
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Saves 20 AM and 20 preset stations
  • Sleep timer (10-90 minutes)
  • Takes 2 x AA batteries

Weight: 60 g

Pros

  • Has a sleep timer—good for listening in bed
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Reception can be unreliable
  • Instructions manual uses very small font

Summary

This radio could be a good choice if you want something to listen to in bed as it has a sleep timer which will switch the radio off after chosen period of time from 10 to 90 minutes, thereby saving battery life.

 

6. PRUNUS Portable SW/FM/AM Radio

The PRUNUS Portable SW/FM/AM Radio is a versatile product with plenty of features. It should fit in a coat pocket but is a bit large for a pocket radio at 12.6 cm wide. It’s available in a choice of colours: Black, blue, red or gold.

Features

  • AM/FM/SW radio
  • USB stick/Micro SD/TF card reader
  • Saves up to 297 stations
  • Carrying strap
  • Built-in rechargeable battery (charges via USB)
  • Aux input
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 12.6 x 7.3 x 3.1 cm
Weight: 209 g

Pros

  • Can play MP3 files via USB drive, micro SD card and TF card
  • Clear sound quality
  • Feels well built
  • Easy to use—good for less tech-savvy people
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Battery only lasts 5-6 hours
  • No low battery warning

Summary

This radio is a well-made product with a good range of features for the price. It feels fairly well made and sounds crisp and clear. The main downside is that it needs charging quite frequently.

 

7. Roberts Sports 995 Personal Radio

The Roberts Sports 995 is a stylish pocket AM/FM radio with a minimalistic design and a great range of features. This little radio comes with headphones included and is powered by a single AAA battery.

Features

  • AM/FM radio
  • Scan and manual tuning options
  • Save up to 15 preset stations (10 on FM and 5 on AM)
  • Stereo/mono switch
  • Auto power-off feature
  • Takes one AAA-sized battery (not included)
  • Bass Boost function
  • Includes headphones
  • Key lock function to prevent you accidentally changing the tuning
  • Sleep function

Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.7 x 2.3 cm
Weight: 60 g

Pros

  • Mono switch helps improve the reception in areas with bad reception
  • Sleep timer saves the batteries if you go to sleep listening to the radio
  • Small and light
  • Stylish design
  • Earphones supplied are comfortable and stay in your ears
  • Presets are easy to use

Cons

  • No signal strength indicator
  • Relatively expensive

Summary

The Roberts Sports 995 arguably has the best range of features of any personal AM/FM radio. Some of the most useful functions are the easy-to-use presets, the sleep timer and the key lock function that stops you accidentally changing the station. Another plus is that the radio comes with comfortable earphones. However, the Sports 995 is quite expensive for an AM/FM radio.

 

How to Choose an AM/FM Pocket Radio

Here are some things to consider when looking for an AM/FM pocket radio:

  • Price – The radios reviewed here all cost less than £40 at the time of writing. You can get a pocket AM/FM radio for under £15, though you will typically need to pay more if you want something with more features or something by an established brand.
  • Size – The radios reviewed here range in size from 8.4 cm (3.3 inches) long to 12.6 cm (5 inches) long. If you want to use the radio in your pocket, consider the size of your pocket so you can choose something small enough.
  • Built-in speaker – Some pocket radios have a built-in speaker which is useful if you don’t want to listen through headphones all the time. The sound quality of a small pocket/personal radio will usually be quite tinny but should be ok for listening to speech and sports programmes.
  • Battery type – One of the most important things to think about when choosing a pocket radio is how it’s powered. Some radios have a built-in battery that will only last 5 hours or so before needing to be recharged. Others take AA batteries which can last over 100 hours on some models. The downside to AA batteries is that you either need to replace them or recharge them yourself once they run down. It’s also a good idea to choose a radio with a battery level indicator so you’ll have some warning when the battery is about to run down.
  • Brand – Some of the radios reviewed here are made by established brands such as Roberts and Sony, while others are made by less well-known Chinese brands such as Tivdio. While you can normally expect better build quality from established brands, this isn’t always the case.

Conclusion

If we had to recommend just one of these products it would be the PRUNUS DEGEN-DE333 as it’s very small, light and easy to use.

You may have noticed that most of the radios reviewed here are from less well-known brands from the Far East. Pocket radios from British brands such as Roberts are being discontinued as manufacturers focus more on DAB radios. If you’re interested in going digital, see our roundup of the best pocket DAB radios here.

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