Shortwave radio plays a vital role in connecting communities, so it has retained its importance for many. But if you want access to it, you may have wondered: can you listen to shortwave radio online?
Yes you can listen to shortwave radio online, and in this article we’ll show you where and how.
What Shortwave Stations Can You Listen to Online?
If you are just getting started on your modern shortwave journey, you can find a list of the most well-recognized online radio streaming options below. Check them out and find hours of programming with little to no hassle.
- BBC World Service (UK)
- RTE (IRE)
- Radio Australia (AU)
- Radio New Zealand (NZ)
- Radio Canada International (CAN)
- Deutsche Welle (GER)
- Radio France (FR)
- National Public Radio (USA)
- NHK (Japan)
- Radio Sweden (SWE)
- Radio Voice of Russia (RUS)
- United Nations (UN)
With just this list, you could find hours of shortwave programming to enjoy. Luckily for you, this is just the tip of the proverbial shortwave iceberg.
The more you look, the more online spaces you will find dedicated to providing resources for shortwave radio listeners around the world. They can discuss and share their passions and help each other find new broadcasts to enjoy.
Even if you use a traditional shortwave device, you can still find a ton of new stations to discover while turning your traditional shortwave radio dial.
There are several websites, like SDR space, HFRadio.org, and The Listening Post, that provide lots of shortwave choices for radio enthusiasts. These community-run websites are full of users from around the world who share their personal shortwave radio equipment on publicly accessible servers.
If you happen to have an SDR radio, you can connect to your computer and tune in to an infinite litany of shortwave stations. This can help people who live in areas where signal interference is a common nuisance.
You could also use the Web SDR, a website that uses the internet to connect SDR devices and access plenty of raw shortwave radio signals around the world.
Can You Listen to Shortwave Radio on a Mobile Device?
One of the best parts about listening to shortwave radio through the internet is the convenience that comes with using a mobile phone on the go. You can play music, hear world news, local news, or even listen to your favourite morning radio shows with a few simple swipes of your fingers.
With the help of several different radio apps, you could be just one download away from more shortwave radio broadcasts than you have ever imagined before. While music streaming has its place, having thousands of radio stations at your fingertips is still a great option for many.
You can also find apps that provide shortwave broadcast schedules and shortwave radio schedules. You can pull up lists that feature the dates and times of thousands of scheduled shortwave broadcasts and they automatically check for updates every time you engage the app.
These same apps can be used on most tablets as well, giving you even more opportunities to listen to shortwave radio wherever you can find a reliable internet signal.
Between your computer and your mobile device, you will never find yourself without access to shortwave radio again!
Using a Traditional Shortwave Radio Device
Though the internet has provided a veritable smorgasbord of shortwave listening options, some would say that the easiest way to enjoy shortwave radio is still by using a high-frequency system and getting familiarised with traditional shortwave radio devices.
Just as you can find lots of shortwave enthusiasts online, you can also find a fair amount of guidance and tips on how to get started using your very own shortwave radio. You can find websites and forums full of people ready to offer advice and resources that answer any question that might arise.
Listening to shortwave radio over the internet is a great way to enjoy shortwave broadcasting, but you may find more chances to explore when using a traditional shortwave device in the comfort of your home.
You can also use both the internet and a traditional high-frequency device in tandem, so you can enjoy shortwave broadcasts while you are out and when you are back home again.
Shortwave radio receivers can be purchased at rather cheap prices, so it’s not too big of an investment, especially if you really enjoy listening to shortwave radio.
Going “Analog” in the Digital Age
Before the invention of the almighty internet, shortwave technology was the closest thing any of us had to the worldwide web. It made the world a smaller place and introduced people to new cultures and perspectives.
Today, the demand for shortwave radio is nowhere near as robust as it once was. With that being said, hundreds of millions of people still listen in regularly, even in developed nations.
Though many have predicted that shortwave radio would eventually be replaced by television, and then the internet, it has persevered. Ironically enough, this survival can be credited in part to the use of the internet.
So can you listen to shortwave radio online? Digital browsing might have reduced the need and demand for shortwave radio, but it can also be used as a tool to make shortwave listening more convenient to the modern listener. You might be surprised at how many ways you can enjoy shortwave radio using the internet as a helpful tool.
Since the early 19th century, listeners of all ages have tuned in to their shortwave radios to find news, music, commercial programming, and entertainment.
Once considered the height of communication technology, shortwave radio signals relayed telegraph and telephone communication across the globe. It was one of the most widely used communication mediums of its day.
As the availability of local AM/FM broadcasting grew over the years, the need for shortwave radios shrank.
In the modern-day, their use has long since moved out of the public eye and into popular memory. Meanwhile, in countries where local broadcasting is not so easy to access, shortwave radio is still as relevant as ever.
How Has the Internet Changed Shortwave Radio?
First and foremost, you no longer need to have an actual shortwave radio to discover broadcasts from around the world. Anyone with a secure internet connection and a compatible electronic device can banish issues with unstable radio signals and poor sound quality.
You can also filter your listening to suit your schedule. You can now playback your shortwave broadcasts when it is convenient, instead of being forced to listen in real-time.
Seeing as 92 per cent of people in the UK use a mobile device, 74 per cent use a computer, and 53 per cent use a tablet, most of us have all the tools we need to gorge on shortwave radio whenever we like.
No longer are specialised devices or bulky equipment needed to tune in. Everything is more streamlined and easier to access and you can find thousands of stations to listen to. You will not have to deal with pesky signal interference anymore either!
The Future of Shortwave Radio
Even with the introduction of the internet and streaming services, shortwave radio still has an important place in many people’s lives and has not faded into obscurity like some might have predicted.
Two decades ago, shortwave experienced a huge dip in listener volume and it looked like many broadcasters had turned to more sophisticated communication mediums as the new millennium came and went.
Now, 20 years later, shortwave’s potential is being re-explored and revisited.
It can be hard to remember that not everyone in the world has access to electronic devices like tablets, computers, and smartphones. In these parts of the world, shortwave radio still acts as a lifeline to many who want to hear of world events and experience the art and culture of far-off places for themselves.
Even in developed nations like the UK, two-thirds of all households still own an analogue radio and the love of shortwave has been rediscovered by new generations despite all the other communication technology available to young people today.
New technology has provided upgrades for old transmitters, making them more efficient and saving energy by 80 per cent compared to old analogue methods.
Shortwave radio, as always, defies many religious, cultural, political, and geographical divisions and can still be consumed anonymously and freely. This is not an example you can find many of in the modern world.
There is still a large section of people in the developed world who choose to get their information from shortwave radio rather than from other modern communication methods, even though it cannot be denied that these new technologies still have their place in today’s fast-paced world.
Still, it is fitting that technology as old as shortwave might still have some advantages over digital broadcasting, one of the most important of them being mobility.
Unlike internet streaming and satellite broadcasting, you can bring shortwave broadcasting with you where you go, whether that is with a mobile device or a portable shortwave radio.
Can You Listen to Shortwave Radio Online? Final Thoughts
Though shortwave radio technology has been around for a long time, it has remained a viable communication technology even in the face of Earth-shaking technological advancement.
Many have claimed over the years that it would die away, but it remains and might still have a viable future as a means of communication for broadcasters and listeners all over the world.
Sure, shortwaves’ monopoly on communications technology has come and gone, but the advent of the internet has served to breathe new life into this tried and true method of letting our voices be heard.
Today, there are more ways to listen to shortwave radio than ever, further connecting the developed world with the underdeveloped world and bringing us all together as one human race.
There are still millions and millions of people who regularly enjoy shortwave radio broadcasting and if you are one of them, looking into using the internet to listen to your shortwave radio could open up a whole new world of listening possibilities for you if you give it a chance.