As you have visited this page, I'm pretty sure that either you are interested in knowing about weather radio and its uses, or you may be looking forward to purchasing one for yourself and doing some extra research - either way, you've reached the right place! When shopping you'll come across endless choices, which is why choosing the ultimate weather radio is quite confusing. To make it easier, I have created some guidelines for you.
In this page, you'll read a lot of information about weather radios that you ought to know, and maximum ideas about purchasing the device. On my site, not only you'll get necessary information but also learn the best way to select the ultimate weather radio, suitable for your own needs.
If You Have Limited Time for Research
I tend to offer an in-depth insight when I write about these products, but many of you might not have the time to go through everything I've poured my heart into. For this, I have created a "List of Best 15 Picks" in which I have penned down a brief overview of the top rated and best-selling weather radios, on the basis of their performance, features and price.
However, if you have a handful of extra time, then please feel free to read "Ultimate buying guides for choosing best weather radio".
Factors to Consider While Buying a Weather Radio
Firstly, you should decide the actual purpose of the weather radio that you're buying; whether you require it for indoor or outdoor applications like camping or hiking. If you need a weather radio for home or office, then a desktop weather radio with SAME technology is an ideal choice. But if you require a weather radio for outdoor use or emergency purposes then portable weather radios or emergency radios are perfect.
- Notifications: The type of warnings that a weather radio can provide is very important. Some devices only offer emergency weather announcements while some provide both emergency weather as well as other public announcements.
- Channels: The number of weather channels that a weather radio can broadcast is another important factor. Also, the number of bands must be considered if you wish to have some entertainment.
- Alert: This is one of the most important features in many weather radios like the desktop weather radios. This feature allows the device to remain silent and go off whenever an emergency weather warning is broadcasted. Basic weather radios, however, have a different function as they constantly play all sorts of weather broadcast.
- SAME: It allows the user to set the radio to receive warnings of a specific county instead of the entire location that the broadcasting weather station serves.
- Receiving Antenna: Some areas might be challenging for receiving the NWR. So make sure that the radio you choose either has a good reception antenna or an external port for an additional antenna.
- Audibility: You should consider a weather radio that provides audible alerts. Some high-end models offer multiple tones.
- Durability: Everyone wants a device that can last throughout the long run. Especially for those who are purchasing an outdoor device, durability is very important. You can also find a few portable weather radios that are weather-proof and precisely reliable.
4. Power Source
Weather radios are designed to run on batteries or AC adapter. There are some portable models with hand-crank features that come with built-in generators. Having many power backup options is always a good choice. If you are buying an outdoor weather radio, a model that provides battery volume indication is an ideal choice.
5. Advanced Functions
Apart from the basic features, there are some cutting-edge weather radios that are designed with some advanced features for user conveniences, such as in-built mobile charger, emergency lights, easy-access tuning and special alert feature for individuals with disabilities. These features could be very useful during the emergency.
6. Cost and Warranty
The cost of basic weather radios ranges from several tens to hundreds of dollars. It’s not necessary for the costliest weather radio to be the ultimate choice; in fact, it depends on your requirements.
From 1 year to 2 years or more, all-weather radio manufacturing brands offer some period of warranty with their product. It's always recommended to choose the product that comes with the maximum warranty so that your investment on the particular device is secured down the road.
My Best 15 Picks
1. Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank
- Multiband radio includes AM, FM and all the 7 NOAA channels, literally giving you all types of news.
- Can be charged in 5 different ways including AC, Crank, USB, Solar, and DC. A crank of 2 minutes makes the radio work for more than 20 minutes.
- Comes with a built-in flashlight that allows you to see in the dark. Also, it has a cell charging port so that you can charge your phone during the emergency.
- The device is water resistant and has the rugged construction.
- It misses some basic features like the battery level indicator and SAME technology.
- The unit comes with many accessories and it has no built-in room for storing those, some might feel it messy.
2. RunningSnail Solar Crank
- Offers AM, FM and 7 NOAA weather channel tuning, and has SOS alarm with red light LED indicator.
- Can be charged by hand crank, USB and Solar. Also it can work on AAA batteries for backup.
- 4 LED reading lamp and 1W LED flash with zoom adjustable feature allows you to read in the dark. It's ideal for camp trip.
- The device is water proof, so you can use it even during rainy weather.
- This unit also lacks battery level indicator and SAME.
- It has an analog tuning, so some might consider it primitive. However, you’ll be able to tune the most powerful stations.
3. Kaito KA500 5-way
- Five power options include dynamo crank, solar, batteries, USB, and AC.
- The device has a battery level indicator LED that keeps the user updated about the battery.
- Receives multiple bands including FM, AM, SW, and NOAA.
- Has integrated lamp and flashlight for user convenience. It also has a cell phone charging port.
- Tuning mechanism of this device is quite primitive due to analog design.
- Cell phone or other USB devices connected to the radio cannot be charged through the solar panel.
- It doesn’t have SAME feature.
4. Midland WR120/WR120EZ NOAA
- Receives 7 channels of NOAA, along with various warnings such as flood, tornadoes, and thunderstorms.
- Has SAME technology that activates the alarm only when the specific county is threatened.
- You can set up to 25 counties. It has 90 dB siren and voice alert feature. Also, LED flashes warning system for individuals with hearing conditions.
- It has been designed for indoor application as its power requirement is not suitable for outdoor use.
- Doesn't have alert-blocking feature, so some might feel the warnings unnecessary and annoying.
- It's not designed to receive other bands like FM or AM.
5. Horizons Tec HT-747.2
- Receives multiple bands including AM, FM and most importantly NOAA warnings, which keep you alert about all life threatening events.
- Can be charged in three different ways; solar panel, crank, and USB, so there is minimal chance of power crisis.
- Consists some advanced features such as LED flash, cell phone charging port, fire starter whistle and a paracord survival kit with a compass, which also makes a 11 feet long rope if unbraided.
- Lacks the SAME function
- The radio might have trouble receiving signals in remote areas. Also, the Antenna is a little fragile.
- Its flashlight is not as bright as may be expected.
6. Kaito KA101 EZ-weather
- All 7 NOAA weather channels pre-set for 24*7 instant updates, with just a finger touch. It’s precisely user convenient.
- You don't have to do any manual adjustments as the intelligent circuit design scans and picks the local weather channel with the superior signal automatically.
- The device is stylish and has a water resistant construction.
- The unit is compact and small in size.
- It can't receive bands other than NOAA, so you can't enjoy other channels except the weather.
- It lacks other additional features like SAME, flash light and charging port, so it's not an ideal choice for outdoor use like camping or hiking.
7. Kaito Voyager Pro KA600
- Receives multiple bands including FM, AM, SW, LW and NOAA weather channels, literally providing you all sorts of alerts.
- It can be charged by dynamo cranking, solar power, USB, DC or AC source.
- 4 tuning methods that include manual, ATS, direct digit entry and memory tuning. It has memory for 335 signals for easy access of your all time favorites.
- Consists of the 5-LED lamp, flashlight and Smartphone charger. Also includes calendar, alarm clock, sleep timer, temperature and humidity sensors.
- It doesn’t have SAME.
- Construction of the unit is not too rugged, so it might not be a great idea to expose it to rough conditions.
- It's more expensive than other weather radios of the same category.
8. VonHaus Premium NOAA
- Multifunctional weather radio receives AM, FM and 7 NOAA weather channels, offering you updates of all emergency events so that you can prepare yourself for challenging situations.
- Has 2200 mAh battery capacity, with 4 charging ways including dynamo crank, solar panel, USB, and mains adapter.
- LCD backlit display for easy tuning. It also has clock feature and the built-in speaker and 3-LED flashlight.
- It misses the SAME function.
- Lacks battery level indicator, so you won't know the battery is low until the radio goes blank.
- Construction is not so rugged, so rough use could damage the product.
9. iRonsnow IS-088+
- Can be used as both AM/FM radio and emergency radio for receiving weather alerts. You can tune to 7 NOAA weather channels.
- Very convenient to use as it features small size and is also relatively light in weight.
- Can be powered in three ways including crank, USB, and solar.
- Featured with powerful LED flashlight and power bank for charging your iPhone or Android Smartphone.
- Not capable of fully charging a Smartphone. The phone can be charged at maximum for a 10-minute call when the cranking is done for the longer period.
- Lesser charging options than other weather radios with the same capacity.
10. Sony SRF-M37W Walkman
- Features digital tuning of FM, AM and weather bands.
- It has 20 stations preset memory with easy one-button tuning for 10 FM bands, 5 weather bands and 5 AM bands.
- It runs on just 1 AAA battery for several hours.
- Digital clock and battery indicator allows the user to keep an eye on the time and the amount of battery remaining.
- Doesn’t consist of any emergency kit like flashlight or cell charger.
- Can tune to only 5 weather channels instead of 7, unlike in other weather radios.
- If you don't have a spare battery, the radio will literally stop working once the battery is drained, as it has no rechargeable battery or other backup option.
11. Sangean H201 AM/FM/Weather
- Comes with digital tuning for AM, FM, and weather, with 10 stations presets and auto-seek feature for easy-use.
- The device is completely waterproof, with the water resistance of up to JIS7 class. So, you can also take along the radio while having a shower.
- Featured with a large and easy-to-read backlit LCD for user convenience. Also has an easy-to-apply hanger and bracket to hold on.
- Comes with many other features like LED Flashlight, clock, emergency buzzer and battery level Indicator.
- The size of the radio is quite large and is heavier in weight as compared to other weather radios of similar category.
- Runs on alkaline batteries and has no power backup option other than this.
12. Midland WR300
- You can tune to FM, AM and 7 NOAA weather channels and stay updated with the important weather updates and events.
- SAME technology with 23 programmable counties allows the user to set the weather radio to a specific county or nearby counties, in order to receive the warnings that can affect a particular area.
- Volume of the siren can be adjusted and also can be set for silent programming. It also has color-coded alert indicators for people with hearing disabilities.
- It has all-hazard warning feature.
- It lacks important features like the flashlight or Smartphone charger.
- Not particularly designed for an outdoor purpose.
13. Midland ER200 Emergency
- Multi-band feature allows the user to access FM, AM and NOAA weather channels.
- Multiple power sources include hand crank, rechargeable battery and solar, with long lasting battery capacity of 2000mAh, which can generally last up to 25 hours.
- Features LED flashlight with high and low adjustable button. Also, it has a USB port for charging portable devices like Smartphone and tablet.
- SOS Flashlight Beacon that activates Morse code to assist during the emergency.
- It doesn't have water resistant feature.
- Average of 2 minutes of cranking only gives around 2 minutes of battery life.
- Although weather channels can be easily achieved, but AM and FM bands could be hard to receive at times.
14. Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio
- Has 7 preset weather channels for emergency purpose and receives NOAA severe weather warnings.
- Automatic alert system turns on during life-threatening weather conditions and civil emergencies.
- It’s water resistant and highly recommended for outdoor purpose. It also has a 6-inch telescopic antenna that receives crystal-clear signals.
- Auto scan function helps in picking the local weather channel easily on start-up.
- Doesn’t have multi-band feature and can't receive AM or FM bands.
- Lacks flashlight and charger.
15. Sangean DT-400W
- Other than weather channels it also receives AM and FM bands. It Alerts about extreme weather conditions and other events like police emergency and child abduction.
- Even when your radio is off or if you are listening to another station the weather alert monitor constantly monitors the NOAA channels for any emergency warnings. However, to save battery life you can set the time when you want the alert to be active.
- Other features include lock switch, 90-minute auto shutoff option, built-in speaker, auto-seek function and a removable belt clip for easy-use.
- Lacks some important features like the flashlight, cell phone charger, and the SAME function.
- It's not water resistant.
Other Additional Information
If you are keen to know more about weather radios then please proceed below;
Size and Weight
Size and weight are very important aspects of weather radios. If you are buying a device for indoor application, it doesn't bother much, but in case you want a weather radio for outdoor use, it's best to get a device which is small in size and light in weight. There are many pocket-size weather radios that are specially designed for this purpose. Portability is quite important in such cases.
Night Vision Feature
A weather radio with night vision feature will allow you to see it clearly even in pitch dark. This technology is very useful during emergencies. A few high-end weather radios come with night vision feature. However, this type of device is mostly preferred by law and enforcement officials.
Weather Shield Feature
Sometimes you may need a unit that not only has rugged construction but also has some kind of weather shield against natural elements like ice and water. For example, if you reside in an area with extremely freezing temperature then you'll need a weather radio which is ice-proof. So in case you are likely to face this type of extreme weather situations, a weather proof device is the ultimate choice.
Alert-blocking feature in a weather radio allows the user to turn off the alarm system of non-life threatening warnings. At times unnecessary warning could be annoying. This feature will let you set the alarm only for selected and specific broadcast.
This website was created by me not because that I am into some weather business, but my intentions are more sensible. I have come across many buyers who ended up regretting their purchase after investing so much on a particular device, only because they made the wrong choice. I know how it feels as I have faced this type of disappointment myself. This is the reason why I decided to do some research on weather radios so that I don't make any mistakes again. Then I learned that I can do a lot more.
After doing enough studies and gathering much knowledge, I felt I must share my knowledge with other weather enthusiasts like you. And finally, I decided to create this website. In the following pages, you'll get all sorts of important information and honest reviews that are much more understandable, with very less technical information. This will not only help you learn more but also help you in making the right choices.
I have tried to keep everything simple, to the point, honest and easy to understand. Hope you enjoy reading and find what you are looking.