Is your search for the best beach radio coming up blank? Have you been searching through your local department store asking for this and the salespersons are only giving your blank stares? Then that is because there are no real beach radios, at least that is not what they are called.
Beach radios are just outdoor radios that have specific features that make them perfect for use at the beach. For instance, the radio has to be at least water-resistant. If it is waterproof then all the better. There are times when you might accidentally drop the radio in the water, so it is best if you can still salvage it after that.
Although sound quality is not the primary objective, it would be great if you find a beach radio that sounds great while still being tough and durable. It is all about finding that happy medium between durability and sound quality. To help you during your search for the best waterproof radio for the beach, here are the top choices that I want to recommend.
Best Beach Radio Reviews
1. Panasonic RF-2400D AM/FM Radio
The first on the list of the best portable beach radio is the simple yet still very functional Panasonic RF-2400D. Although this unit looks simple and rather dated, there is no denying that this is one incredible option for the best outdoor radio for the beach that you can find these days.
Powered by 4 AA batteries, this radio is so energy-efficient that you will not need to replace the batteries until after a week or so of regular use. If you will not be using it on the beach or outdoors, you can use the included power cord for uninterrupted listening pleasure.
Regarding sound quality and volume, I could not find anything to complain about with this radio’s 10cm front-facing speaker and telescoping ferrite antenna. Although finding a good reception will depend on the location of the radio, I have not found any difficulty tuning to my favorite stations.
This radio is extremely easy to operate. You do not even need to read the instructions to understand how it works. You just flip on the switch, choose which band you want to listen to, and then turn the knob on the side to select your station. You may need to pull the antenna up to make it easier for the radio to get a clear signal.
2. Avantree Portable FM Radio
Next on our list is the sleek-looking 3-in-1 player. This is not just a radio but also a Bluetooth speaker. It can also play MP3 files through an SD card reader. This makes it great because you have multiple choices on your music sources. If your radio can’t provide clear reception then you can just link your phone and listen to your saved MP3s.
Even though it has multiple uses, I liked that this radio is so small and compact that it can fit in the palm of my hand. I do not need to allocate space for this in my day bag. I can just put this portable radio for the beach in my pocket. I also like the included hand strap. This unit is so small that I sometimes forget that I am holding it.
I also love the neat little quick search and save feature of the FM radio. Searching for available FM stations just takes a simple push of a button. This will enable the radio to scan all the frequencies and then save the ones that it finds. There is no need to fiddle around with knobs.
Even though the speaker was quite small, I found that it delivers crystal-clear sounds. The radio did not have a lot of bass though, which can be expected. However, for casual listening and running soundtrack in the background of the beach, this is a perfect choice.
3. Hydro-Beat Bluetooth Waterproof Shower Radio
Although the HB Illumination is technically a shower radio, this still works great when used on the beach. This works as a waterproof beach radio, which is rated IPx7. This means that you can submerge it in up to a meter of water for thirty minutes while it is still running. I find this great for taking my tunes in the water with me.
I just need to slap it on a raft or stick it at the side of a paddleboard to enjoy music everywhere. Aside from working as a waterproof portable FM radio or speaker, I like that it is also dust-proof. I have dropped this radio on the sand numerous times and not even a speck of dust or sand made it inside. I also found it useful that it floats. This means that one can easily retrieve it when dropped in the water.
I loved that it uses Bluetooth 4.0, which has a long 24-feet range. I can connect the radio to my smartphone and play my favorite tunes. I can then just leave my phone in my bag on the shore so it will not get wet and just bring the waterproof radio and speaker with me in the water. It is the perfect setup.
The ten included mood lights also added a little coolness factor to the unit. Because the radio lights up, you can use it when swimming in the pool during those warm summer nights. Aside from helping in setting the mood, the lights can also help you find the radio when you accidentally drop it into the water.
4. Sangean TB-100 Toughbox AM/FM Radio
At first glance, the Sangean TB-100 does not resemble any other radio that I have ever seen but that does not mean, it does not look cool. If you are like me and you are enamored by anything that even remotely looks like it came from a military surplus store then you will love this unit.
The thing about this radio that I liked is that it looks like how it performs. It is tough and rugged. The shell of the radio is made of high-grade ABS plastic and the entire thing is wrapped by a metal roll cage wrapped in hardened black rubber.
The TB-100 is water-resistant, which means you can leave it out running in the rain. It can also survive getting doused by water in every direction. You can toss it around and nothing of importance will get damaged or broken. This is one of the most durable radios I have ever seen.
It is also pretty easy to use as I have discovered. The built-in PLL tuner always guarantees the clearest FM and AM reception. There are also ten channel presets – 5 for FM and 5 for AM, so you do not have to search for the channels manually every time you use it.
5. ION Audio Tailgater Express
The first thing I thought of when I first saw the ION Audio Tailgater Express radio is that it will also look good in my living room. This is one of the most beautifully designed beach radios that I have come across until now. If you are looking for a multi-purpose radio then the ION Audio Tailgater Express is a good choice.
Aside from its looks, I was impressed by the sound quality coming from its multi-directional speaker and the sub-woofer. Although it is not a requirement for a beach radio to sound great, it still does not hurt if one, like the ION, sets the bar quite high for the others.
Another feature of the Tailgater Express that I found impressive is the large-capacity rechargeable battery that can provide enough power for 30 hours of continuous radio use. This also makes it an excellent emergency radio that you can use at home.
This radio also provides two ways for you to wirelessly connect with smartphones. The first is through Bluetooth connectivity and the other is through NFC. One just needs to tap an NFC-enabled device against the radio gently for the two to connect automatically.
6. Sangean PR-D7 BK AM/FM Portable Radio
Although this is not technically a beach radio (the PR-D7 is more for home and emergency use), you should still take note that if used carefully, it can provide more than enough crystal-clear music and sounds. This is possible whenever you are chilling out with your friends or family on the beach.
I was pleasantly surprised that this small radio has excellent reception even when in a rather remote place with lots of obstructions around. This is all thanks to this radio’s telescoping ferrite antenna. It just needs to be extended fully and positioned properly to get a lot of clear stations.
This radio has a neat feature that I like. You can power it up either by AC adapter or six AA batteries. Alternatively, it can also use rechargeable batteries and you can recharge the batteries in the radio itself just by plugging in the AC adapter into a wall outlet.
This unit also doubles as a bedside radio. It has a sleep timer so one can sleep to the sounds of music, news, and talk shows. It will turn off after a preset time. This also has two alarm settings – using either the radio or the HWS buzzer.
7. UZOPI 5-watt Outdoor Wireless Speakers with FM Radio
There is a lot to love in the UZOPI FM radio – one of which is that it is full of extremely useful and cool features. There are many ways for you to play music through this device. Regardless of where your music is stored, this music player can handle it.
I loved that one can play MP3 files stored in a USB thumb drive or an SD card through this unit. It also has an auxiliary jack, making it possible to connect your smartphone or MP3 player and play your preferred music through its powerful external speaker. Another neat feature is that it has Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming.
This radio also surprises with its awesome sound quality. This has a 52-mm driver with a built-in bass. This can produce full-bodied bass notes and clear high tones. This is quite surprising considering the small size of this speaker.
Another thing that I liked about this media player is that it has a large 2200mAh rechargeable battery. This allows it to run for several hours on medium volume. When it starts to run low on power, you can plug it into a power outlet via an AC adapter.
8. Vondior AM/FM Battery-Operated Pocket Radio
What I immediately liked about this small and simple portable radio is its impeccable battery life. This radio runs on 2 AA batteries, which is more than enough to power it for a couple of weeks of regular use. This makes it different from the modern smartphone that you have to charge several times during the day.
This radio is also easy to use. One does not even need to read the owner’s manual to operate it straight out of the box. Just place the batteries into the compartment, slide the volume to turn it on then tune into one’s favorite AM or FM stations.
Another feature I liked is the long, telescoping ferrous antenna that has incredible reception. I can easily tune into my favorite radio stations even when I am surrounded by all sorts of signal obstructions like tall houses, trees, and buildings, among many others. It also comes handy during a power outage.
9. ASIYUN Shower Radio with Waterproof Speaker
The next product I would like to suggest is the ASIYUN Shower Radio with a waterproof speaker. I was pleasantly surprised that the ASIYUN shower radio is more than just that. You can also use it as a Bluetooth speaker. With that, it allows you to play audio files from any Bluetooth-enabled devices, like laptops, desktop computers, and smartphones, among many others.
This radio has an impressive water-resistance rating at IPX7. This means that you can submerge it under a meter of water for an hour. You can do that even if this appliance is running. You do not have to worry about it getting damaged in any way when you do that.
This specific feature makes it perfect not just for the shower but also for the beach or the swimming pool. The wireless Bluetooth speaker can float, so if it is accidentally dropped into the water, you can still easily find it.
This feature also makes this device the perfect floating speaker for pool parties. You just have to take it out of the water and dry thoroughly after every hour or so. This speaker uses Bluetooth 4.2, which means it has an effective range of around 33 meters. This lets you leave your smartphone in your bag and just take the speaker with you near the water.
10. Studebaker SB2000TS Portable AM/FM Radio
Lastly, I will introduce the Studebaker SB2000TS Portable AM/FM Radio to most beach radio lovers out there because this unit is something you can truly depend on. It is refurbished but I discovered that it underwent rigorous testing and earned authorized certifications for it to function properly.
I am so pleased with this AM/FM radio’s versatility. It is so versatile that I found out that it perfectly fits various parts of my home, including the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. It is a user-friendly AM/FM radio. Expect to be able to fiddle with it and operate it without hassle.
What is even more impressive about this portable unit is that it lets you tune to the radio stations you love. This means not missing anything from your favorite stations even if you are not at home. It is also equipped with an auxiliary input, which you can use in playing any music found in your music library.
All you have to do is to use this auxiliary input to hook up either your iPod or MP3 player. The fact that it is battery-operated, allowing you to use 4 C batteries to make it work also means that you can bring it anywhere.
The overall design of this AM/FM radio is also amazing. Many even found out how great this AM/FM radio looks, motivating or encouraging them to bring it anywhere and use it every day.
The simplicity of this unit is also unquestionable. It is so simple that you will not have problems using and managing its controls. Even with its small size, it also produces decent sounds while also having a good signal to let various stations come in.
What to Look for When Buying a Beach Radio
Are you in the market for a beach radio? If you answered yes then one thing that might confuse you along the process is what specifically constitutes a great one. To give you a helping hand on your quest, here are some of the qualities that you need to keep your eyes peeled for.
Waterproofing and dust-proofing capability – This is the most important aspect that you need to watch out for when shopping for a beach radio. If there is anything that beaches have an ample supply of, it would be water and sand.
This means that you need to find a radio that can survive getting wet while also being sealed up tightly so that sand cannot get inside and wreak havoc on its circuitry. You do not technically need a waterproof radio, as it is very unlikely that you will be taking it out into the water as you swim.
However, the radio has to be splash-resistant. The most likely way that a beach radio can get wet is if someone who came from the water accidentally drips all over it or if someone clumsily spills his drink on it. The dust-proofing feature is also a necessity as you will most likely place the item on the sand.
Sound volume – You will be using the radio in an already noisy environment. This especially true if you are taking your family to a public beach, in the middle of summer. You will want a radio with speakers that can drown out the noises coming from the other beach visitors when pointed at you.
However, it should not be so loud that they will annoy your beach neighbors. The sound should only be contained within your area. Now, if you will be having a party in a private area, like a pool party in an exclusive village, get speakers that can crank up tunes at full volume. This is to let anyone on the premises know that there is a party currently underway.
Portability – Pick a beach radio that is both light and compact – one that you can quickly toss in your bag at the spur of the moment. You should not be inclined to sacrifice the luggage room just so you can fit it in. It should be small enough that you can put it in a small pocket.
Music quality – It is not enough that your beach radio is loud enough. If the quality of the sounds coming out of the speakers is horrible then it is not even worth using at all. The very reason you bought it in the first place is to enjoy music. If it fails to deliver your music the way you want it, then that is a failure on both you and the unit.
If possible, test out the radio before you buy it. If it sounds good to you then it is good enough. When buying online, take the time to do your research. Find video reviews or written reviews about your choices and base your decision on their opinions.
Reception quality – You will immediately know that you are getting a good radio if you do not need to fidget too much with the antenna just to get a good reception. When you set the station, all you should hear is clear audio and minimal to no static. Although this usually depends on your location, some radios are still better at gathering even the weakest of signals.
There is no way to check out this feature when you are shopping for a beach radio. However, you can browse through the customer review sections of online retail sites. These are great places to find out what other people thought of the product.
Additional features – Although having just a radio to listen to on the beach is enough for most people, many would rather jam to their tunes while enjoying the sun, sand, and surf. If you are one of them then you need a radio with other audio inputs, like a CD player or MP3 file playing via a USB port.
Other features that you should look for if you want more listening choices are an auxiliary jack and/or Bluetooth connectivity. These will let you connect your smartphone to the beach radio then play your MP3 collection or stream your favorite podcasts or online music streams.
Price – Even though you will be using this radio primarily for going to the beach, you should also be able to find it useful at the home. For instance, you can take the speaker with you while you shower so that you have something to sing along with while you get yourself clean.
Also, you can use the outdoor radio indoors, like in your garage so that you will have a nice soundtrack going while you are working on your latest project. This means you should not worry about spending too much money on an outdoor radio.
You will be having quite a lot of fun with it anyway. Besides, these radios are not that expensive at all. You can get a fairly decent sounding speaker and radio for just a little less than a hundred bucks.
Battery life – You will not see any electric outlets when you are on the beach, so your beach radio should have an independent power source. Most beach radios, or at least the smaller ones, run on alkaline batteries. Although small, these radios can stretch out the life of their batteries, usually able to last a week on 2 AA batteries alone.
However, they are pretty small and not loud enough for crowded beaches. You can find radios that have built-in, rechargeable batteries. These are batteries that are often large enough to power a decent-sized radio for an entire day on a full charge. Some can even serve as a power bank so you can charge your smartphone.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is Beach Radio?
A beach radio is just as what its name means – a radio that is fit for use at the beach. The more general term used to describe this type of device is “outdoor radio”. It is because it does not only works well on the beach but also in all kinds of outdoor conditions. One thing that makes beach radios different from the regular and traditional ones is their construction.
Beach radios are made in such a way that they are protected well against water and dust. For instance, their ports have rubber covers to prevent water and dust from getting inside and causing all sorts of damage. Some even have rubber gaskets in between every casing to make it waterproof and survive being submerged underwater.
Who is the Beach Radio for?
You may be thinking that this radio is only for those who live on the beach but you are sorely mistaken. Outdoor radios are for those who like spending most of their free time in the great outdoors. If you like to go camping on the weekends or enjoy hiking up and down mountain trails and you like to have a soundtrack playing in the background, then this radio is for you.
In that case, you can use it not just to break the silence but also to protect yourself against the local wildlife. Outdoor radios are also great for people who usually work outside, like fishermen, lumberjacks, and the like.
How does the Beach Radio Work?
Beach radios work the same way as regular ones. The only difference is that beach radio is more optimized for outdoor use. Most of them are rated water-resistant. Some can even survive getting dropped into shallow water. However, when it comes to basic functions, outdoor radios share the same ones as home tabletop versions.
When it comes to sound quality, beach radios are a far cry from the ones that you use at home. On the other hand, when you are at the beach, you can care less about the sound quality of the music. As long as there is an entertaining sound playing in the background then you are good.
That does not mean, though, that there are no beach radios that sound nice. Some brands and models sound excellent. Some Bluetooth speakers have two-directional speakers for stereo sounds while others have tiny bass speakers, too.
What are the Different Types of Beach Radios?
So what are your specific options when trying to find a dependable radio you can use at the beach? Here are the most popular types that you can choose from:
Portable outdoor radios – These are your regular transistor radios that have been built to handle anything that Mother Nature can throw at them. The seams joining the panels together have rubber gaskets and the ports have rubber covers when they are not in use.
These are mostly used as emergency outdoor radios because of their long battery life. They usually come with other survival tools, like a flashlight. Some of them also have the capability of being used as a power bank for charging your electronic devices.
Bluetooth speaker – Although technically not a radio, you can use it as a loudspeaker for your smartphone, so you can still listen to an FM radio if you want. However, it is when you use them as Bluetooth speakers that they truly shine.
The great thing about these units is that you can easily link them to any smart device. Furthermore, once you link the smart device and the music player starts to work, you can use the speaker to control the music player remotely. This means you do not have to take out the smartphone to skip tracks or adjust the volume.
Why Do You Need a Beach Radio?
Although it is sometimes nice to just sit on the beach and listen to the sounds of the waves and the wind, having a soundtrack playing in the background will make the experience a whole lot better when you are with a group. Music sets the mood and makes the whole experience much better.
Having lively music pumping through your beach radio will set the mood, making your stay at the beach all the more fun and enjoyable. Having a great sounding radio and the right choice of music or radio station will guarantee an unforgettable day at the beach for you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted beach radio brands?
Different brands and models of beach radios and speakers are in the market at present. Many of them are pretty decent-sounding. This is why it is quite difficult to choose just one. Even coming up with a list is difficult enough.
Fortunately, there are a couple of brands that you can trust to supply you with the best beach radio available, like Panasonic, Avantree, Hydro-Beat, Sangean, ION Audio, U UZOPI, Vondior, ASIYUN, and Studebaker.
How to set up and use the beach radio brand?
The great thing about most beach radios is that they are easy to set up and use. With the radio, you just need to turn on the unit, pull out the antenna then tune into your chosen station. If the beach that you visited is in a remote location, it might take a bit of tweaking of the antenna to get a clear signal.
The Bluetooth speaker is a bit different but still simple nonetheless. First, turn on the Bluetooth speaker. You should then turn on the Bluetooth on your smartphone. Check the list of Bluetooth devices that will appear on your smartphone and pick the name of the speaker.
When the connection is successful, you will hear an audible confirmation that the speaker and smartphone are connected. Open up the music app on the phone and start playing your favorite music and the sound will play through the speaker.
Once the speaker and the smartphone are connected, you can use the control buttons on the speaker itself to control the playlist. You can use it to rewind, fast forward, and skip through the tracks.
This is great in case you are on the beach because you can just hide your smartphone in your bag and just let the speaker outside but still within the proximity of the Bluetooth connection.
How to care and maintain the beach radio?
Beach radios are supposed to be tough and durable. However, you still need to take good care of them so they will last for as long as they can. Fortunately, cleaning beach radios is not an overly complicated task. You just need to take a clean rag, soak it in a bit of water then wipe away all of the dust and dirt accumulated on the surface.
If you want to clean the holes in the speakers, you need a can of compressed air. Set the nozzle at an angle from the speaker and give it a couple of short, sharp bursts. This will be enough to blow away any loose dirt in the speaker holes.
If you are using a portable radio, remove the batteries from the compartment when you will not be using it for a while. This will prevent the batteries from corroding and leaking battery acid all over the unit’s interiors.
Now, if ever some battery acid has leaked and covered the terminals, just clean them using an old toothbrush and some cornstarch mixed with a bit of water.
What is the warranty?
The warranty that covers beach radios is almost the same as the ones given along with other electrical appliances, which is around one to two years. This means if without user error, the radio suddenly conks out on you, then the manufacturer will replace your broken unit or provide you with a full refund on your purchase, no questions asked.
However, some warranties cover damages because the product failed to live up to expectations. For instance, if the radio was advertised to be water-resistant yet it was unable to turn on when it got a bit wet, you are still eligible for a complete refund or replace the unit with a new (quality assurance passed) one.
Some of the rugged outdoors radio manufacturers know when to put their money where their mouths are, so they provide their loyal customers with a limited lifetime warranty. This kind of warranty just shows you how much pride the manufacturer has with their product.
Where to buy beach radios?
You can find decent models of beach radios in your local electronics stores, especially now that Bluetooth speakers have become super popular. However, when it comes to trustworthy brands, it can be a bit tricky. When you shop online, you will be treated to hundreds, if not thousands, of different brands and models of beach radios.
To say that you will be spoilt for choices is an understatement. You will be swimming in them. It will help if you already have a particular brand or maker. At least, this will narrow down your search quite a bit.
You should also check existing customer reviews and give more importance to the ones that have more positive reviews than negative ones. Your experience will likely be the same.
Are beach radios waterproof?
Not all of them are. Most of the beach radios that you will find on sale are water-resistant, which means that you can only splash them with water not submerge them. This means that you can safely operate them even when the person just came out of the water and directly pressed the buttons. This will do nothing to the unit.
However, some radios can be submerged under three feet of water for around thirty seconds. This is great if you are a bit on the clumsy side and tend to drop anything that you are holding. Although they are not usually waterproof, they should be dustproof at least. If there is something that beaches have plenty of, it is sand.
If the beach that you frequent has particularly fine sand, then chances are that the small bits of sand might find their way into the radio and cause all sorts of damage.
How long do the batteries last?
This will depend on the size of the battery and how loud the music is being played. Some need 4 AAA batteries to run and if you will be using premium batteries, the radio can run for around 8 hours max. Some also have built-in batteries and depending on their size, they can last around six to ten hours of continuous music.
The neat thing about Bluetooth speakers is that they usually have a micro-USB charging port. This means you can charge these little speakers using a power bank, thus extending the battery life almost indefinitely.
How loud can beach radios get?
Again, this will depend on the size and quality of the speakers. If you will be using a handheld transistor radio, then you will not be getting that much volume. However, some Bluetooth speakers only have small speakers but can still deliver powerful sounds. Some even have deep bass notes.
These smaller speakers are ideal for busy beaches because they can pump out music that can only be heard within a few yards and that is at full volume. The neat thing about Bluetooth speakers, the high-quality ones at least, is that even when the volume is set to maximum, the sound quality does not wane.
The smaller ones, when cranked up to the max, sound like they are coming from a tin can.
A beach radio is technically just an outdoors version of the unit, so you do not have to search directly for it because you will most likely not find anything. I do hope that the guide and reviews above helped give you an idea of what to look for when shopping for the best beach radio.
Keep in mind that beach radios do not need to be crystal-clear sounding. They just need to be clear enough that the people who came with you on your beach trip also enjoy the music that you are playing.