As we have learned by now, shortwave radios are really delicate and special devices used widely even today. We have also learned that there are two types of shortwave radios available for purchase. The first type is the portable shortwave radios, while the second type is the one that we will be discussing here today, the tabletop radio.
In this article, we are going to be presenting you with 7 tabletop shortwave radio models that are literally the best ones that you can find on the market. As you well know, there are many different brands that are manufacturing shortwave radios, and in this list, we have included many of the most popular and best ones. This is, in other words, a list of the best tabletop shortwave radios that you could possibly find!
Let’s meet the models which you will be introduced to today:
- Best overall: Sangean WR-16SE a special edition wooden cabinet radio
- Best affordable: Sangean WR-22WL Bluetooth Tuning receiver
- Best additional features: Sangean HDR-18 wooden cabinet tabletop radio
What are some of the advantages of owning the best tabletop shortwave radios?
The shortwave tabletop radios are real gems, especially for us radio nerds! They possibly have everything that any of us want and are seeking for in a radio! If you have never been a proud owner of one of these tabletop shortwave radios, you might wonder what is the advantage of owning a model or why you should purchase it. Well, let us tell you straight away friend, there are many advantages! Unfortunately, as much as we would love to talk about it all day, we can’t, so, we’ll just pick some main ones.
- An endless source of music
Since tabletop radios are usually being used on indoor occasions, you will always have access to music. Usually, these radios have awesome loudspeakers and the ability to keep the reception stable at all times. That is why you will basically have music whenever you want or need it!
- Staying informed is always a good choice
It’s a good thing to have one of these bad boys lying around your house because you never know when you might run out of power, and since most of these models always have a backup battery, you will know what’s happening in your environment. Basically, you will always have access to both music and news channels, from all around the world!
Reviews on our top pick 07 tabletop shortwave radios
1. Sangean WR-22WL Bluetooth Tuning receiver
The first radio that you will be introduced to here today is no other than one of the best Sangean tabletop shortwave radio models. This model costs around $140 dollars which is very much affordable having in mind that it has many of the most wanted and popular features.
For example, you will be able to find and set 10 radio station presets on this model. But, besides that, this is actually a radio that has Bluetooth technology built into it. As you well know, Bluetooth technology will enable you to connect this radio to one of your other devices, for example, a smartphone, and play any kind of song that you want.
When it comes to the hardware of this radio, you will be able to notice that it contains one rotary bass which is pretty loud and is able to give off a strong, powerful vibe. While it also contains a 3-inch 7W full-range speaker with an enlarged magnet that is able to produce very powerful sounds.
- This radio has 10 stations presets
- It contains built-in Bluetooth technology
- It has an easy to read LCD display
- There is even a clock available at the display
- It is equipped with a rotary bass and a 7W full-range speaker
- It works on 12V batteries, but it also comes with a DC power supply
- This is one of the best models with an awesome design
- It can easily be used
- This radio comes with a full-function remote controller
2. Kaito KA500 powered solar emergency weather alert radio
If you are a person that is more into weather alert radios and is always tending towards having one lying around somewhere in the house or in your bedroom, then this is the model which you should definitely check out. This is one of the best rated models and the one with many satisfied customers.
Namely, the price and the quality are really amazing. This radio costs around $50, but it definitely has many features that are worth more! For an example, we will tell you that it is able to work as an emergency mobile battery charger in case you need to charge your smartphone’s battery right away.
Besides that, you could just sit down and relax knowing that you will be safe as long as you have this radio next to you. Since it has awesome reception (and a telescopic antenna that is able to be extended) you will always be updated with all of the latest weather alert news.
One of the best things about this model is that it is made out of strong impact and water-resistant ABS materials, which means that you can easily store this radio either on the inside of your home or take it outdoors. Actually, this is both a travel and a tabletop shortwave radio, and we love it!
- This radio contains a 15-inch telescopic antenna
- It has a LED signal strength indicator
- It is made out of weather-resistant materials
- This radio is able to charge a mobile phone in case of an emergency
- This is an NOAA weather alert radio that can receive all 7 weather alert radio stations
- It comes with both an AC and a DC output
- It can work on 5V batteries
3. Portable shortwave radio PRUNUS J-15
This is yet another transistor that contains a long telescopic antenna that is only there to improve its performance and reception. One of the best features of this radio is that it contains a flashlight that can be used in the dark. And, since we live in a modern age, it certainly isn’t bad for radio to have the ability to charge your phone in case of a desperate need, right?
Once again, this is a model that can be used both indoors and outdoors, and the choice is completely yours! If you choose to use it indoors just know that you will be able to connect it directly to a power source and therefore always have the ability to turn it on and listen to anything that you want. On the other hand, if you choose to use this model outdoors, you will have to purchase 3D batteries which will be able to last for a while. No need to worry, your batteries won’t run out fast, and you will be even notified on time if there is a need to charge or change them!
If you are a person that enjoys listening to some music privately, then this is a model that you should be choosing. Since it contains a 3.5mm standard earphone jack, you will always be able to insert your headphones and listen to your favorite tunes privately without being disturbed by others. Who does not like to occasionally wander off of the real world and enter a carefree peaceful one?
- This radio contains a headphone jack
- It has a super long telescopic antenna attached to it
- There are big tuning knobs and buttons available for easy usage
- This transistor is perfect for older people
- It works on 3D batteries
- It can be directly connected to a power source through an AC or a DC adapter that comes with it in the box
4. Sangean WR-11SE tabletop radio
We have yet another one of Sangean’s tabletop radios prepared for you. This one is also from the WR line, but this is, to be more precise, the WR-11SE radio model. This model actually is an upgrade of Sangean’s 40-year-old, classic shortwave radio. It has been upgraded and has a few extra features that could use any of us. Let’s see what it has to offer.
Some of the most important things that people are seeking for in a shortwave radio are some extra connections and outputs. Luckily, this model has many! The AC-in, DC-In, Aux, REC Out, and even headphone jacks are all of the connections already built into this device. This means that you will have many different choices to choose from if you would like to connect an extra device.
When it comes to the sound quality, this radio contains a three-inch full-range speaker with an enlarged magnet and a deep bass compensation creating a wonderful, clear, and loud sound which you will definitely remember.
This model is perfect for those old souls that like older-looking items. This model in particular is very simple and has a perfectly made-up design that combines simplicity and uniqueness.
- This radio contains a three-inch full-range speaker with abas
- This radio contains a headphone jack, as well as the aux in and AC/DC adapters
- It has a very simple, older design
- Its design consists of a wooden cabinet and a display
5. Sangean HDR-18 wooden cabinet tabletop radio
Our fifth model is the Sangean HDR-18 wooden cabinet tabletop radio. This one is very similar to the previous model that we have shown you, but also very different. With this radio by your side, you will be able to discover the experience of a crystal clear sound and an excellent constant reception without any kind of interruptions.
This model is able to be tuned digitally or manually, and you can basically tune into both AM and FM radio stations. There are 20 radio station presets, ten of each for both signal types. When it comes to some extra features, this radio actually has plenty. There is a real-time clock with two alarms available, a sleep and a snooze function are also there to make sure you wake up in the morning, as well as the whole human wake system.
The display of this model is pretty big and easily readable. All of the information is being displayed directly on the display that includes the call sign, some radio text, the signal quality and the clock. One of the best things about this model is that it can actually be used via a remote controller that comes with it inside of the box. This remote controller will work even if you are a little bit far from the actual unit.
- This radio comes with a remote controller
- You can tune it digitally or manually
- This radio is able to receive both AM and FM radio signals
- There are 20 radio station presets available
- This is a radio that comes in a wooden cabinet box
6. Sangean WR-15WL wooden radio
Again, we have another one of perfect models for older souls that like some kind of old, vintage-looking devices. This WR-15WL radio is a cabinet radio that comes with a walnut veneer finish. There are soft and precise tuning knobs available on its display, and, you should know that this radio can only be tuned manually.
From extra connections, this radio contains an AC input, as well as the AUX-in, the REC out and a headphone jack. The good thing about this radio is that it can actually be connected to a smartphone or to an MP3 player due to the AUX-in the connector.
When it comes to the music, and the actual sound quality, there is a three-inch full range speaker available. With the help of the bass compensation, the user will be experiencing a whole other experience with this radio. No need to worry about its reception, it will be amazing and stable the whole time you are using it!
As you can see, the overall design of this radio is very impressive. It looks attractive and it definitely gives off a vibe such as those old radios in the 50s and 60s.
Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that the AC adapter with a power output of 100-240V will be coming in the box with this unit.
- This radio contains a lot of different connectors
- The user can connect an Mp3 player to it or a smartphone due to the AUX-in connector
- It can be connected to headphones
- Its design is very retro
- This is a wooden cabinet radio
- This radio is very much lightweight
- It can also serve as a portable radio
- This model is only available in walnut color
7. Sangean WR-16SE a special edition wooden cabinet radio
Sangean decided to spice things up a little bit with this model. Namely, this model, even though it is an analog one has Bluetooth technology built into it. This means that connecting this model to your smartphone or any other device with Bluetooth is enabled. You can easily play anything that you want with the help of this special technology!
But, if you decide that you would rather listen to the regular radio music, there is a soft and precise Vernier tuning system built into this model. There is no need to worry if you have not used an analog radio before with the help of these tuning knobs you will find a crystal clear radio station fast!
This model also comes with a three-inch full range speaker and a full bass compensation. But, we mostly love its ability to charge smartphones. Unlike previous models that we have shown you today, this one has a USB port. Yes, it also has an AUX, DC and AC port, but the USB one is pretty special!
- This radio contains a USB slot
- It has AUX, AC and DC outputs
- There is a vernier tuning system available for precise tuning
- This radio contains Bluetooth technology
- MP3s can also be connected to it
- It has a three inch full-range speaker with a bass
How to choose the best tabletop shortwave radios for yourself?
Choosing a good radio can sometimes be hard, we for sure know that it can cause quite a few headaches. You probably do not know which things you should pay attention to, what’s your priority, which kind of brand you should purchase. These are basically all of the questions that all of us ask ourselves when we are about to purchase some important item, and not just a tabletop shortwave radio.
Luckily, we have a ton of experience in choosing the best shortwave radio and have a few tips on what you should pay attention to and what is not that important. Of course, we will be sharing our wisdom here with you in this small buyer’s guide.
- Does it have Bluetooth technology?
When you are looking for a new tabletop radio to buy, you should definitely check out if it has built-in Bluetooth technology. Unless you are a person that would rather have a radio without it, then do not pay attention to this point.
But, if you do like modern things, and the idea of you connecting your smartphone to your powerful radio’s speaker and you playing any kind of music you want; well, then you should definitely look for radios with this technology.
- Analog, digital, or both?
As you could have noticed from our review, most of these radios are both analog and digital. Again, if you are fond of only one or the other, then you should look for only one or the other. Our recommendation is to look, and eventually purchase a shortwave tabletop radio that has the ability to be tuned both manually and digitally.
- Does that model have a DC or an AC adapter?
If you are looking for a tabletop shortwave radio that you will be using in the comfort of your home, then you should definitely make sure that the radio which you are about to purchase has either an AC or a DC adapter. Some of these radios are only able to work on batteries, whose power will run out fast, especially if you use it frequently So, a radio that can be directly connected to a power source is perfect for at-home usage.
Finally, we can say that we have really enjoyed testing out, and even better presenting these models to you. Each and every single one of them is special in their own kind of way, and it’s definitely up to you which one you will pick. Our job was to test out and find the best tabletop shortwave radios that we could possibly find, and we are glad to say we did it!
Hopefully, with the help of our mini buyer’s guide, you won’t be having any kind of issues while making a decision on which one to purchase. We wish you luck and cannot wait to hear all about your experience with these models!
- Are tabletop radios heavy?
Not necessarily. These radios do not have to be heavy, but some of the models are. On the other hand, some other models are a combination of both tabletop and portable shortwave radios so they are just the perfect size and weight.
- Where should I buy my tabletop shortwave radio?
Tabletop shortwave radios are available for purchase in a lot of places. You should definitely first search for them at some of your local tech stores and then look online if you do not find the model that you want.