Best Portable Radios with Bluetooth (UK 2018)

There are lots of quality portable radios with Bluetooth on the market in 2018. What was once considered an advanced feature has now become mainstream and affordable.

Bluetooth enables you to connect your phone or tablet to the radio and use it as a wireless speaker. This is useful as most radios have much better sound quality than phones. You could use Bluetooth to listen to podcasts, internet radio stations and streaming services like Spotify through your radio’s speakers.

Before we get into this article, it’s important to define what we mean by a “portable radio with Bluetooth”. At the time of writing, it’s not possible to buy a pocket radio with Bluetooth, so by ‘portable’ we are referring to radios that have a built-in speaker and can be powered by batteries or a built-in battery pack, but not including pocket radios.

Can you use a portable radio with Bluetooth headphones?

The radios reviewed here have a Bluetooth receiver rather than a Bluetooth transmitter. This means that if you play audio on a phone or tablet the radio can receive this signal and play it through its speakers.

These radios don’t have a Bluetooth transmitter which would allow you to use them with Bluetooth headphones. However, you could connect a Bluetooth transmitter such as this one from Mpow to the radio’s headphone jack to enable it to transmit the signal to Bluetooth headphones.

Best Portable Radios with Bluetooth (UK 2018)

1. Pure Elan BT3

The Elan BT3 is a compact DAB radio with a useful alarm feature as well as sleep and kitchen timers. This radio is stylishly designed and is available in a choice of colours: Grey, red, blue, slate blue, mint and graphite. The Elan BT3 is made by established British brand Pure, and comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarm clock
  • Colour screen
  • Sleep and kitchen timers
  • Powered by mains or AA batteries
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 5.3 cm
Weight: 422 g
Battery type: 4 x AA

Pros

  • Well made
  • Small, compact size
  • Stylish design
  • Straightforward and easy to use

Cons

  • Instructions aren’t very detailed
  • No built-in battery charger

Summary

The Elan BT3 is one of Pure’s most affordable radios, and it combines affordability with high build quality and an aesthetically pleasing design. There isn’t much to complain about with this radio, though it’s a shame you have to charge the batteries separately. Read our full review of the Pure Elan BT3 here.

2. Majority Little Shelford

At the time of writing, the Little Shelford is the cheapest radio on this list. Made by budget digital radio brand Majority, the Little Shelford is a stylish retro-style DAB radio with a leather effect finish and a carrying handle.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Powered by mains or AA batteries
  • Sleep timer
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 10 cm
Weight: 762 g
Battery type: 4 x AA

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Small and compact
  • Stylish retro design

Cons

  • Common issue with saving preset stations
  • Quite cheaply made
  • No built-in battery charger

Summary

The Little Shelford is one of the best budget-priced portable radios with Bluetooth. While it doesn’t have the highest build quality possible, it offers great value for money and performs well for the price. Like the Pure Elan BT3 reviewed above, the Little Shelford doesn’t charge batteries itself, so you will need to either replace batteries or use a separate battery charger. Read our full review of the Majority Little Shelford here.

3. AZATOM Multiplex

If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth radio with a built-in rechargeable battery, the AZATOM Multiplex could be a good choice. It has a 2200 mAh rechargeable battery which charges while the radio is plugged into the mains. Unlike most portable radios, the Multiplex has stereo sound and offers a decent amount of volume.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Headphone jack
  • Adjustable bass and treble
  • Powered by mains or built-in battery
  • Sleep timer
  • Stereo sound
  • USB charging port

Dimensions: 27 x 14 x 13 cm
Weight: 1.9 kg
Battery type: Built-in rechargeable battery

Pros

  • Good Bluetooth range (up to 66 feet)
  • Warm sound quality with good amount of bass
  • Goes quite loud
  • Lots of features (alarm, USB charging, timers)

Cons

  • No dedicated preset station buttons

Summary

The AZATOM Multiplex is a versatile product that performs well. Unlike the two radios reviewed above, it has its own built-in rechargeable battery which is quite convenient. The Multiplex is a bit bigger and more powerful than the radios reviewed above, though it’s still fairly compact and easy to carry around using the carrying handle. Read our full review of the AZATOM Multiplex here.

4. Pure Evoke H3

The Pure Evoke H3 is the most expensive radio on this list at the time of writing. It’s a high-quality product with an attractive oak or walnut wood-effect finish. This radio would look great in the kitchen, but you can buy it with an optional battery pack so you can use it as a portable radio.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock with snooze
  • Kitchen and sleep timers
  • Full-colour display
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm
Weight: 940 g
Battery type: ChargePAK F1 rechargeable battery (not included)

Pros

  • Available with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Stylish design
  • High build quality
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Battery pack costs extra
  • Relatively expensive
  • No carrying handle

Summary

The Pure Evoke H3 is a premium product with high build and sound quality. It’s a great Bluetooth radio, but the battery pack is an optional extra and the radio doesn’t have a carrying handle, suggesting it’s designed to be used more with the mains that as a portable radio. Read our full review of the Evoke H3 here.

5. John Lewis Spectrum Duo II

The Spectrum Duo II is an attractively priced portable Bluetooth radio from John Lewis’s own-brand range. This radio has both Bluetooth and NFC, so it’s very easy to pair your phone or tablet with the radio.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • Full-colour display
  • Saves 20 preset stations
  • Stereo sound
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 7 cm
Weight: 1 kg
Battery type: 4 x C

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good value for money
  • Strong FM and DAB reception

Cons

  • No alarm clock
  • Not much bass
  • No built-in battery charger

Summary

The John Lewis Spectrum Duo II is easy to use and offers very good value for money for a stereo Bluetooth radio. However, be aware that it doesn’t have an alarm clock and you will need to charge batteries separately.

Conclusion

If we had to pick just one of these radios to recommend it would be the Pure Elan BT3 as it offers a great list of features for the price including an alarm clock, sleep and kitchen timers and a colour screen. The Elan BT3 is also very stylish and would look great in any room of the house.

One drawback to the Elan BT3 is that it doesn’t charge batteries itself, so you will need a separate battery charger. If this is an issue you might want to consider the AZATOM Multiplex instead, which has a built-in rechargeable battery that charges when the radio is plugged into the mains. The Multiplex also has an impressive list of features and a good Bluetooth range of up to 66 feet.

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