Whether you’re gardening, camping or just relaxing in the sun, it’s nice to be able to listen to the radio outdoors. However, you can’t just take a regular radio outside and expose it to the elements without expecting trouble.
If you want to listen to the radio outside or in a greenhouse, it’s best to invest in something a bit tougher. You might also want to think about buying a solar-powered or wind-up radio so you don’t need to rely so much on batteries.
In this article we’ll look at some of the best outdoor radios on the market in the UK in 2018.
What to look for in an outdoor radio
Here are a few features to look for in a good outdoor radio:
- Water resistance: There are very few (if any) truly waterproof radios, but you can buy models designed to withstand rain and damp.
- Solar charging: The UK climate isn’t ideal for solar charging, but solar charging can be useful when you’re camping and run out of batteries.
- Bluetooth: If you choose a radio with Bluetooth, you’ll be able to stream music or other audio from your phone. This is much better than listening to music through your phone’s tinny speakers. Outdoor radios with Bluetooth usually only have a Bluetooth receiver rather than a transmitter, so they can’t be used with Bluetooth headphones.
Types of radio to use outdoors
There are a few different kinds of radio that can work well outdoors:
- Jobsite radios: These radios are designed for construction sites. They’re very tough and are usually water resistant up to a certain point. They tend to be expensive, but there’s little chance of the radio being ruined through outdoor use.
- Solar radios: There are several small and inexpensive portable camping radios on the market that can be charged by winding them up or using solar energy. There are also some more expensive DAB radios with solar charging.
- Shower radios: If rain is your main concern, a shower radio might be a good choice. These radios usually have the most water resistance but aren’t as sturdily built as jobsite radios.
- Regular radios: If you’re careful about radio, a regular portable or pocket radio could be a good choice for using outside.
Below we’ve reviewed some of the top radios in these categories.
There isn’t a single best radio for listening to outdoors. Which radio is right for you will depend on exactly where and when you want to listen to it. Here’s a summary of the radios reviewed here to help you make a quick decision:
- Makita DMR104: A rugged splash-proof FM/DAB radio.
- UEME Job Site DAB and FM Radio: A tough radio with FM, DAB and Bluetooth.
- Duronic Hybrid Radio: A small AM/FM radio with solar charging.
- Roberts SolarDAB 2: An FM/DAB radio with solar charging and a built-in battery charger.
- Sony ICF-S80 Shower Radio: A water-resistant AM/FM radio.
- John Lewis Spectrum Shower Radio: A water-resistant FM/DAB radio.