Imagine being on a camping trip or in the mountains far away from the nearest town with almost no telecoms network and you need to know what is happening in the wider world.
Your best bet is to use the best radio for long distance AM reception if you have it handy.
The good old, simple portable AM radio has never stopped being a reliable source of information for those in the wilderness or some far off place even with the coming of smartphones and the Internet where access to online information is instant.
With a good long distance AM receiver in your cabin, tent or room, you could still have access to important news during emergencies when extreme weather causes disruption or you smart gadgets have run out of power.
But to get the full benefits, you need to have the best. That could be a problem with so many of them flooding both offline and online markets.
This review and buying guide, though, has simplified the stress of choosing one from so many. We have selected 5 of the best for you to pick from.
These 5 are based on several days of painstaking research.
Selecting The Best Radio For Long Distance AM Reception
Dozens of models from different manufacturers were considered. Factors such as the durability, cost, experts review, etc., played a huge role in deciding which of the receivers made it to our final list.
The bottom line is, any long distance AM radio that made the final list had to deliver on its promises as and when needed.
Some of the factors considered include:
Convenience – Convenience and ease-of-use were very important factors considered by the evaluation team. Very complicated radios with no extra benefits did not make the cut.
Consumers generally find it easy to connect with gadgets that are easy to operate; and for radio, users don’t expect to spend considerable time touching or tuning knobs before they start receiving a transmission from some distant station.
Durability – Activities such as camping and hiking subject expose gadgets to all sorts of rough handling. Gadgets could easily get dropped or get bumped on hard surfaces. This makes it imperative that the durability of such gadgets such as the AM radio is not in question.
It would be distressing or frustrating having to discover that your device refused to work after a hard drive through bumpy countryside roads.
The AM radios in these guide all survived the durability test with high marks.
Portable – For this guide, the guiding principle was, ‘smaller is better’. Fortunately, there are several portable units packed with premium features.
Portability is important for so many reasons. In the first place, if you are carrying the radio in a backpack, you don’t want a heavy or bulk device taking up too much space and slowing you down with its weight.
Secondly, it is crucial that you are able to hold the device in your hand because that could be the only convenient place for it in certain circumstances.
Again, if it is portable, it would be far easier to simply whip it out from where it is stored and proceed to search for stations while holding it close to your ears.
Strong reception – The receiver is one of the most important variables in the selection of long range AM radios.
Radios that were able to connect to the furthest stations from the test location made a huge positive impression.
Linked to the strength of the receiver is the clarity of the sound. The ability to clearly hear a distant station is what the device is all about. In this respect, you should expect quality speakers on these radios.
Pre-set settings/LCD display – Radios with these features make it very easy to pin down your preferred stations. All you have to do is press a button and the radio’s memory would instantly take you to the pre-programmed frequency.
The LCD display comes in handy here too. With it, you’d know if you are at the right frequency for a particular radio station. It can make fine-tuning for clearer reception and to eliminate interference very easy.
Top 5 Best Radio For Long Distance Am Reception: Review
1. Sony SRF-M37W Walkman Digital Tuning Stereo Radio
The Sony SRF-M37W Walkman is a small, very portable radio that uses just 1 AAA battery giving it an edge over other radios in terms of how much you spend on power in the long run.
The AM radio also has an FM band with the capability of storing up to 20 preset channels making it easy to tune your preferred stations any time you want. And the battery memory backup means you won’t lose your preset stations when you have to replace the batteries.
It features an LCD screen, a button to tune weather stations directly, a display clock, a battery life indicator, and a built-in DX switch to provide the best reception for close and far off stations.
You get a belt clip and a stereo headset when you purchase the kit. When it comes to the best radio for long distance AM reception, this is my favorite, as compared to other products reviewed in this article.
- Weather Band Tuning Function
- Direct Weather Button
- 20 Station Preset Memory : Enjoy easy one-button tuning for 5 weather band, 10 FM, and 5 AM frequencies
2. Sangean PR-D18BK Portable Digital Radio
If you are thinking of the perfect AM receiver for your camping trip or some sort of trip where you need a long range radio, look no further than the Sangean PR-D18BK.
The unit is durable and can take all the bang, scrapes and rough handling you throw at it while outdoors. And it has an excellent and very sensitive transmitter to pick out distant stations.
It is attractively designed and features an LCD screen with backlight, a buzzer that gently raises the alarm volume, an adjustable sleep timer, a snooze button, and a 10-station preset capability.
Users love that it is easy to use with controls that are conveniently located. The auto scan functionality that searches for active radio stations is a favorite of users too.
- Power source type: AC & Battery
- Output wattage: 1.0 watts
- Included components: product, manual
3. C Crane CC Skywave Portable Travel Radio
This lightweight, portable radio is intuitive and easy to use making it a marvelous choice for trips or even at home.
The portable radio comes packed with features such as a strong ability to reduce static; NOAA weather station with alert to give weather updates; aviation channels that allow you to listen to nearby traffic controllers; and crystal-clear audio.
You would love the ability to have up to 400 preset stations in the AM, FM or SW bands and you can see all your stations on the back lighted LCD screen. It uses just 2 AA batteries; and at moderate volumes, you can get up to 70 hours of battery time.
Other awesome features include a direct entry keypad, auto scan, sleep timer, a fold out back stand, battery meter, lock switch, and much more.
You get a pair of earbuds and a carrying case when you purchase it.
- Small Lightweight Portable AM/FM/Shortwave/Weather/Airband Travel Clock Radio With Alarm.
- Lighted LCD Display, Rotary Volume Knob, Stereo Headphone Jack, Sleep Timer
- 400 Memory Presets, Direct Entry Keypad, Autoscan Tuning, Signal Meter
4. Horologe AM/FM Portable Pocket Radio
The Horologe AM/FM pocket radio is the ultimate in portability as it can comfortably fit into your pocket. The size does not affect its long distance capability or the premium features packed into it.
The device comes with a dual power option. You could use 2 AA batteries or the 3V adapter to power it. It utilizes an advanced DSP chip as the brain for stable channels and excellent reception.
The designers had only one thing in mind: make it easy to operate while giving it the best features no matter the size.
It features an LCD screen so users can easily adjust frequencies; a programmable sleep timer to auto switch it off if you fall asleep; an alarm clock that could in handy in so many ways; and a ‘Misoperation Lock’ to prevent you from accidentally changing your settings.
5. Retekess V115 Portable Radio
The Retekess V115 is a portable Am radio that combines all the best features of a long distance receiver with the features of a mini portable digital sound system. For a very cheap price, you not only have a radio to listen to your favorite stations, but also a device capable of storing and playing your favorite songs on demand.
Unfortunately, its function as a travel radio is limited by the absence of a disposable AA battery compartment. However, the rechargeable battery is capable of giving over 48 hours of listening time on a full charge. It can be charged using a USB cable connected to a computer.
That said, you would love the TF card slot to store and play MP3 music; the adjustable LCD display backlight; the ability to record sound from the radio directly to the memory card; and great sound output.
You get a charging cable, one hand strip with bracket and a manual in English if you purchase this amazing gadget.
- Portable shortwave radio is only 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.9 in; which is very suitable for shirt pockets; it is amazing to find so much functionality in such a compact radio
- Digital radio bass sound with MIC recording and line in recording ; insert the TF card to record your voice or radio voice; note that the TF card is not in the package
- Tuning method and storage method; Use the automatic search in the menu to automatically search and store the nearby available stations; long press the fast forward button to automatically jump to the next available station; directly enter the station or the stored station number through the digital buttons; Long press the "5" button to manually store the current frequency to the storage location you want
Frequently Asked Questions About Long Distance AM Radios
What is an AM radio?
The ‘AM’ is short for amplitude modulation. This refers to the type of radio waves used by these radio stations to transmit audio signals.
Because the radio station you hear on the radio encodes audio information by a process known as modulation, the radio’s receiver must be able to convert that modulated waves back to audio.
How come there is so much static in AM Radio signal?
Amplitude modulated waves are susceptible to static because of the way the waves work. A slight variance in the amplitude of the wave easily creates a change in it. It is this change that comes across as static.
What is a digital AM radio?
An AM radio can be termed digital if it is designed to clean up analog signals to reduce static. In practical terms, this means the radio has a digital tuner that can receive digital signals as well as analog signals.
Why is the range of AM radios farther at night?
AM waves bounce between the earth and the ionosphere as they travel. At night, favorable conditions exist in the ionosphere making it possible for the waves to travel longer distances of up to 1000 miles in some cases.
The downside of this is that there would be much interference at night when you are trying to tune in to a station.
You are here because you need the best radio for long distance AM reception. Each product reviewed above is unique in several ways to give you a bigger field as far as making a choice is concerned.
No matter which one you pick, you would surely get great value for your money. The radios all have most, if not all, the most essential features to expect from these gadgets. In essence, you would always have a reliable and dependable AM radio any time you need to use it.