Are you looking for the best emergency radio with shortwave capabilities? If so, then read on as we review some of the top models available and discuss why they are essential in any survival kit. We’ll also cover features to look out for when choosing a model that can help save your life during an emergency situation.
Most people listen to high-frequency radio broadcasts to stay tuned to their favorite local FM stations.
On the other hand, shortwave radio is ideal for transmitting and receiving frequencies across large distances. It has been in use for almost 70 years and has played an important part in history.
That’s because shortwave radio enables people to access crucial information and cultures from all over the globe before the internet. Furthermore, in many battles, these convenient communication gadgets aided in coordinating military communication.
Although the popularity of analog radios has weakened due to smartphones and the internet, these communication devices are still quite helpful in isolated places where mobile internet and analog radio signals are challenging to receive.
They’re also widely used for camping, in the military, as emergency radios, and to listen to intriguing broadcasts from throughout the globe.
With this, it’s best to have a dependable emergency shortwave radio on your bug-out bag or emergency kit so you’ll be ready for anything at any time.
Let’s dive in to see the top 5 emergency shortwave radios and what made them the best its kind.
If you’re looking for the best stationary shortwave radio, the ICOM 7300 is the best one for you. Although, it has enormous shoes to fill as an SDR shortwave radio receiver, particularly given its low price.
As a brief radio review, this emergency radio has radio frequency direct sampling technology that immediately translates signals to digital data, eliminating noise that may disguise weak signals.
It also has a new IP+ that boosts the IP3’s capacity to replicate weak signals next to interfering solid signals. This IP3 lowers or eliminates signal distortion, allowing you to transmit and receive data.
Now, you have to know that the 7300’s multi-function knob is revolutionary. It not only makes it simple to change transmission and sideband parameters, but it also uses on-screen menus to assist you in making more changes.
Another cool thing about ICOM 7300 is that it excels at blending functionality and user interface. It has a 4.3″ colored touch LCD with all the necessary settings and operating visual aids like a band scope, waterfall function, and audio scope.
Depending on your priorities, you may organize the items on the screen in any way you choose.
Another fantastic feature is the ICOM-7300’s real-time frequency scope, which allows you to run many operations simultaneously, similar to other more costly rigs.
You can also listen to music while switching signals fast with the real-time frequency scope or waterfall. Plus, it includes a charging adaptor. Overall, ICOM-7300 deserves to be one of the best emergency radios with all these features.
2. SANGEAN ATS-909X BK
Among all the shortwave radios on this list, Sangean’s ATS-909X has the best display, even though it is an improved version that solves all of the ATS-909‘s issues.
With ATS-909X, reception is one of the primary problems that Sangean has resolved. This emergency radio has a built-in ferrite antenna and six tuning options for outstanding AM radio, FM, and SSB reception.
It’s simple to operate and can even save up to 406 memory settings across all bands for ease, in addition to superior tuning possibilities.
The ATS-909X can also help you as its bright and wide LCD screen displays all necessary information about the radio station you’re listening to as well as your preferences.
Aside from that, owing to its 3″ speaker, the Sangean ATS-909X boasts good sound quality. Choose your favorite speaker mode by using the mono/stereo switch.
Additionally, this shortwave radio also includes a variety of extras such as independent headphone amplifiers, earbuds, and a leather carrying bag. Wake to the Radio, Humane Wake System, and a buzzer are among the three alarms on the device.
That’s a lot of perks for one handy emergency radio. Pretty cool, right?
On the other hand, the shortwave reception may be murky and poor; however, you can solve this problem by using the provided 23″ wire antenna.
3. Kaito KA900
Kaito KA900 is a solar radio designed for emergencies and has handy features that can make your life simpler even in the most challenging conditions. Thus, making it the best emergency shortwave radio.
Like the other shortwave radios on this list, this emergency radio can also receive AM, FM, shortwave, and NOAA weather alerts to detect severe weather.
A NOAA weather alert functionality is something everyone should look for in radio, because it basically becomes a regular radio and a weather radio which has double the benefit.
When an NOAA message is broadcast, this portable radio will immediately switch on if you set it on alert. Thanks to the KA900 ‘s telescopic antenna, it can extend up to 14 inches to assist you in picking up weaker signals.
Aside from that, the KA900 shortwave radio has many charging alternatives, like charging it through a USB port. It also comes with a built-in solar panel, hand cranking, or an AC wall power source converter, which you can purchase separately.
You may also use it to charge your phone as a battery bank.
Because it’s an emergency radio, it has a lot of capabilities that come in handy when things go wrong. Its built-in LED flashlight, for example, allows you to see around 10 feet in the dark. Plus, you can use its 5-LED as a reading light.
The KA900 is one of the few shortwave radios with bluetooth capability in terms of entertainment. Its two 1.5-inch speakers provide crystal-clear music with no distortion.
By adding a 32GB SD card, you may connect your smartphone to the emergency radio through Bluetooth or use it as an MP3 player.
The only drawback of the KA900 radio is that the solar power charging may take some time, and the radio case is thin. But overall, this shortwave radio has the right features to be the best shortwave radio.
By the way, getting a ham radio can also be very useful, although you would have to get a ham radio license first.
4. TECSUN PL880
Tecsun PL-880, the best premium shortwave radio, is jam-packed with functions and has a strong build quality that’ll exceed your expectations.
With the vast range of bandwidth filters available, you can search for and tune into signals that other similarly priced radios can’t. It can receive all bands, including AM radio, FM, longwave, shortwave, and single sideband.
If you enjoy a radio station, you can utilize its Auto Tuning Storage (ATS) feature to discover and save the stations across all bands. It stores 25 pages and includes 100-150 memories per page for each band. Now, how cool is that?
Aside from that, there’s an alarm clock and a sleep timer on this portable shortwave radio. If you’re a radio person, you may enjoy the excitement of uncovering secret features such as activating the dynamic noise reduction feature and calibrating medium waves.
Lastly, Tecsun PL880 runs on a rechargeable 18650mAh battery, a significant upgrade over the standard AA batteries. If you use it often, it will last at least 15 days; it will last longer if you use it less frequently.
Plus, its backlit digital display may be left on without depleting the batteries because of the extended battery life.
5. RETEKESS V115
The Retekess V115 made it to this list for its top value and because of its no-frills AM FM shortwave radio making it the practical and economical choice.
This shortwave radio automatically saves all the stations after scanning AM, FM, and SW bands.
With merely the exterior antenna, it has a very extended range, picking up stations hundreds of miles away. You may also use the keypad to enter your chosen frequency with no problems.
For an emergency radio, Retekess V115 has an excellent recording capability. It records straight to an SD card and preserves the quality of the recording. The audio reproduction is clean and rich.
You can also record from the radio, voice, or an external source through the USB connector, making this capability very flexible.
As for the audio quality, this emergency radio surpasses all expectations, particularly for a low-cost AM FM shortwave radio. Its surprisingly strong speaker produces crisp music with remarkable aural depth.
Furthermore, it can manage its volume range without distortion, hissing, or cracking at high and low levels.
The sole drawback of the Retekess V115 is the antenna’s shorter length. Consequently, shortwave reception isn’t great, with stations picked up sounding choppy at times. It is, however, readily remedied with the use of a feedline.
What To Look For In An Emergency Shortwave Radio
When shopping for an emergency shortwave radio, you should look out for a few key components.
Firstly, it is important to find one that is an NOAA Weather Radio, as this provides live weather updates and public alerts in the event of emergencies such as natural disasters or man-made hazards.
It will also be beneficial if your chosen model features other useful functions like a built-in LED flashlight and SOS alarm, which can help signal distress during sudden crises. Additionally, consider the power source.
Invest in models with multiple ways of powering up, including solar panels so that even when batteries run dry, there are still options available.
Lastly, make sure all these elements come together without sacrificing portability. Lightweight designs mean less hassle carrying them around just in case they become necessary on any given day!
Shortwave radios may be beneficial in rural regions or as a learning tool. It serves as a doorway by allowing you to access essential and intriguing news and music from across the globe.
The most outstanding shortwave radios are those that suit your requirements and circumstances. Whatever you’re searching for, one of these high-quality shortwave radios will undoubtedly meet your needs.
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