These days, you can buy radios with all kinds of features like Bluetooth, WiFi, aux-in ports and SD card readers. There are also several DAB, FM and internet radios that offer a USB port.
A USB port can be added for different reasons. Sometimes it allows you to play music from an MP3 player or USB drive, and even record the radio onto a USB device. At other times a USB port is added to allow you to charge a smartphone or other device.
When choosing a radio with a USB port, it’s important to check that it will offer the features you are looking for. Some radios can be charged via a USB cable, but this doesn’t mean they can play music from a USB drive or record via USB. Furthermore, USB charging ports usually don’t offer USB playback as well.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best radios with a USB port available in the UK. Most of these products are DAB radios, but we’ve also included some internet radios.
DAB Radios with a USB Charger
These radios feature a USB port that allows you to charge another device such as a smartphone or Kindle. This is a particularly useful feature in clock radios, where you might want to charge a device while you sleep. Many radios offer two USB charging points, so you and your partner can both charge your phones at the same time.
The AZATOM Horizon is an affordable and highly rated clock radio with a USB port on the back for charging a device such as a phone. The Horizon has a dual alarm clock so you can set two separate alarms, for example one for weekdays and another for weekends. This radio also has Bluetooth, unlike many other products in its price range.
The Horizon’s design is ideal for a bedside table—it’s compact at 14 x 14 x 4.4 cm, and there’s a large snooze button on the top so you can easily pause the alarm.
Other features include the ability to dim the display so it won’t keep you awake at night, and a headphone socket so you can listen to the radio without disturbing anyone else in the room. Read our full review of the AZATOM Horizon here.
Pure Siesta Rise S Clock Radio
The Pure Siesta Rise S is one of the most stylish DAB alarm clock radios available in the UK at the time of writing. Compared to other clock radios from budget brands such as Majority, it’s fairly expensive, but it is well made, has a very elegant design and is backed by a generous 3-year warranty.
The Siesta Rise features a single USB socket at the back for charging a phone. Other features include the ability to set three separate alarms, Bluetooth and a headphone jack. This radio has an attractive design and comes in a large choice of finishes.
In addition to small bedside clock radios, several larger DAB radios also offer one or two USB ports for charging devices. One of these radios is the AZATOM Multiplex, which measures 27 x 14 x 13 cm and is powerful enough to fill the average living room. There’s a rapid charge USB port on the back for quickly charging a phone or other device.
If you’re looking for a good all-round FM/DAB radio that will let you charge a smartphone or MP3 player, the AZATOM Multiplex D1 is a good choice. This radio is well made and uses a wooden case to give it a solid feel and a warm sound.
Other features include Bluetooth, a headphone jack and a dual alarm clock. Read our full review of the AZATOM Multiplex here.
DAB Radios with USB Playback
These radios feature a USB port that lets you play MP3s from a USB drive or MP3 player. Many of the radios with USB playback are ‘boomboxes’, meaning that they are portable radios with a carrying handle and often feature a CD player and stereo sound.
Roberts ZoomBox 3
The Roberts ZoomBox 3 is a portable boombox with an FM/DAB/DAB+ radio, a CD player and USB and SD ports for playing music or audio in MP3 or WMA format. It’s relatively expensive for a CD player boombox, but it offers a unique combination of features and is built to the high standard of quality you’d expect from Roberts.
Other features include a headphone jack and the ability to save 40 preset stations. This product measures 24.5 x 24.5 x 13.9 cm so it’s fairly small, and there’s a carrying handle so it’s easy to carry around. It can be plugged into the mains or powered with 6 x C batteries. Read our full review of the ZoomBox 3 here.
AZATOM Zenith Z2 CD Boombox
The AZATOM Zenith Z2 is quite similar to the Roberts ZoomBox 3, but with a lower price tag. It offers FM, DAB and DAB+ radio as well as a CD player. The USB port is on the front of the radio, which makes it easy to connect and disconnect a USB drive or MP3 player. As well as playing MP3s from a USB drive, you can also play MP3 CDs.
This radio is compact and easy to carry around, measuring 21 x 19.5 x 11 cm. It can be powered by the mains or with 6 x C batteries.
Other features include an aux-in port and the ability to save 60 preset stations. One downside to this product is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack.
JVC RD-D70 All-In-One Hi-Fi
As the name suggests, the JVC RD-D70 All-In-One is intended to meet all your radio and music listening needs. It has lots of features, including an FM/DAB radio, Bluetooth for streaming music wirelessly and a CD player that can play MP3 discs.
One nice thing about this product is that it comes with a remote control. Unfortunately, the JVC RD-D70 doesn’t have a headphone jack.
Unlike the two radios mentioned above, the JVC RD-D70 is a mains-powered radio rather than a portable boombox.
The JVC RD-D70 offers excellent sound quality for the price, and would be ideal for a kitchen or bedroom. Read our full review of the JVC RD-D70 here.
DAB Radios with USB Recording
There aren’t many radios that let you record onto a USB drive, but there are a few products out there. This can be useful for making your own mix tapes or recording interesting and important radio programmes.
At the time of writing, there aren’t many DAB radios on the market that let you record from the radio onto a USB stick, but we have found two good options, the Roberts Stream65i and Blutune 200.
The Roberts Radio Stream65i is a versatile high-end DAB that comes with a great range of features. In addition to a USB port for playing and recording MP3 files, it also has Bluetooth, an SD reader, a CD player and internet radio. The built-in alarm will even let you wake up to music from a USB flash drive.
Recording onto a USB drive is very straightforward with this radio, and you can record from both the radio and the CD player.
This radio is expensive, but being able to record onto USB is important to you, it could be worth it. It’s one of the most versatile digital radios on the market, and offers you a huge choice of ways to listen to music.
Roberts Blutune 200
Like the Roberts Stream 65i, the Blutune 200 is a top-quality radio with a high price to match. It lets you not only record onto a USB drive, but also use the USB socket for charging a smartphone or other device. The USB drive can play audio files in MP3 or WMA format.
In addition to USB playback and recording, the Blutune 200 Sound System is packed with features including an FM/DAB/DAB+ radio, Bluetooth, an SD card reader and an alarm clock that allows you to wake up to an audio file from a USB drive. Read our full review of the Blutune 200 here.
Internet Radios with a USB Port
These radios offer internet radio as well as a USB port. Internet radio gives you a huge choice of stations to listen to—over 20,000 from all over the world including the UK.
Roberts Radio Stream 94i
The Roberts Stream 94i is an FM/DAB/DAB+/internet radio that lets you play MP3 files from a USB stick. The Stream 94i is one of the most popular and highly rated internet radios in the UK, so it’s a good choice if you’ve never bought an internet radio before.
As well as radio and USB playback, the Steam 94i also has Bluetooth, an alarm clock with snooze, a sleep timer and the ability to save 120 preset stations. You can use your phone as a remote control using the UNDOK app, or use the remote control provided.
This radio is very similar to the Roberts Stream 93i; the main difference is that the Stream94i has Bluetooth and is more expensive, so if Bluetooth isn’t important to you the Stream 93i could offer better value for money. Read our full review of the Stream 94i here.
Majority Peterhouse Graduate
The Peterhouse Graduate is a budget-priced internet radio. Unlike most other internet radios, it doesn’t have a DAB/DAB+ receiver, but this won’t be a problem as long as you have a good internet connection.
This radio has a USB port on the back that you can use to either charge a device or play MP3s. This radio also has Bluetooth and an aux-in port, so there are lots of ways to connect external audio sources.
Other features include a remote control and a dual alarm clock. This radio might not have the same build quality as more expensive alternatives from Roberts, but it offers very good value for money. Read our full review of the Peterhouse Graduate here.
John Lewis & Partners Cello
The John Lewis Cello is a very versatile product that offers FM/DAB/DAB+, internet radio and a CD player as well as Bluetooth, an aux input and USB playback. The Cello is relatively expensive, but offers good value for money when compared to similar products from brands such as Pure.
The Cello has a stylish minimalist design with a sleek wood effect finish. The controls are located on the top of the radio, and the USB port can be found at the back.
Some of this radio’s additional features include a dual alarm clock with snooze, a sleep timer, a headphone jack and a useful remote control.
There’s no single best radio with a USB port as the product that would suit you best depends on what you want to use the USB port for. However, here’s a summary of what we would recommend:
- If you want a clock radio with a USB charger, consider choosing the AZATOM Horizon as it’s affordable, has lots of useful features and has a compact design that would suit a bedside table.
- If you want a DAB radio that offers USB playback for listening to MP3s, the Roberts ZoomBox 3 is a good choice.
- If you want to record onto a USB stick, the Roberts Blutune 200 is one of the best and most affordable options.