What Are the Benefits of an Outdoor Radio Over a Regular Radio?
Some people may be inclined to use a regular radio for their outdoor adventures, but this is typically a mistake. Regular radios are usually designed exclusively for indoor use, and they won’t last very long if used on the trail or at the beach.
However, most outdoor radios come with a few important features that make them well-suited for use outside your home. These include the following:
Anytime you take an electronic device outdoors, moisture is a concern. After all, it only takes a little bit of rain or splashing water to ruin even the best-built radios that are designed for indoor use.
Most outdoor radios will resist splashing water and high humidity levels, and the best outdoor radios can even be submerged (briefly) without ruining the components inside.
No matter how careful you intend to be with your new radio, it’ll certainly suffer some wear and tear while being used outdoors. Accordingly, most outdoor radio manufacturers enclose their radios in very durable housings. Some even include roll cages to provide further protection.
If you go to the trouble of buying an outdoor radio, you’ll want to make sure you select one that is easy to carry with you. Fortunately, most outdoor radios are lightweight, and they typically weigh less than 10 pounds or so.
In addition to being lightweight, most outdoor radios have carrying handles to make it easier to lug them around. Some of the best outdoor radios also include carabiners, clips, suction cups, and other types of mounting mechanisms that’ll attach to your belt, bag or bike.
How Do You Choose a High-Quality Outdoor Radio?
Now that you understand the value outdoor radios provide, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the things you want to look for when picking out a specific model. Some of the most important things to seek in an outdoor radio include the following:
Look for models with a warranty or guarantee.
Because outdoor radios are subjected to more wear and tear than their indoor-oriented counterparts, warranties and money-back guarantees offer additional value. Just be sure to review the warranty carefully before considering it a selling point—some warranties won’t cover radios that get wet, for example.
Select a radio with additional built-in features.
All outdoor radios come with a built-in radio tuner, but most of the best also have other features. This includes things like flashlights, microphones, auxiliary inputs, and USB charging ports. These features all increase the value of a radio, and they’ll make the radio more fun to use, too.
Whenever possible, select a radio with rechargeable batteries.
Some outdoor radios require an AC power source, but the best ones also work with battery power. However, it is usually wise to select a radio that utilizes rechargeable batteries, as disposable batteries will end up costing you quite a bit of money over the long run.
Consider the specific features you need.
Try to avoid the habit of spending more money than you must by picking a radio with features you don’t really need or want. There’s nothing wrong with picking a radio that comes with USB charging ports that you won’t use—unless you end up paying more money for the radio than you otherwise would.
Top Outdoor Radio Brands
It is often helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the leading outdoor radio brands when starting your search. This will help you narrow your focus and concentrate on the brands that are most likely to appeal to you.
We’ll discuss three of the leading outdoor radio brands below.
Sangean manufactures a wide variety of radios and other audio equipment, ranging from travel speakers to digital recorders to clock radios. Their products are often designed to be feature-rich, and although they’re not prohibitively expensive, they’re often priced at the high end of the category.
For example, we recommend two different Sangean outdoor radios above, and they both cost more than $60. This is approximately three times as much as some of the more affordable options we recommend.
A lot of Sangean products come with innovative or unusual features that aren’t commonly available. For example, one of the Sangean radios discussed above comes with a protective roll cage, and several of their radios come with features like the Humane Wake System (HWS) or Dynamic Loudness.
Most Sangean radios (as well as the rest of their product lineup) earn great reviews from users who purchase the products. Most people find their products work well and are worth a little more money than similar products made by other manufacturers.
iFox Creations primarily focuses on manufacturing high-quality, affordable travel speakers with built-in FM radios. Most of their products are water-resistant, and a few (including the iFox Creations radio we recommend above) can even be submerged without suffering any damage.
They only make a handful of products, which allows them to focus on and dominate their chosen niche. They’re not a particularly large company, so they fly under the radar a bit, but this will likely change in the future as more consumers become familiar with their products.
The iFox Creations radios don’t come with a ton of features, and they aren’t really designed to do many different things. Instead, the company focuses on making products that truly excel in their category. They’re typically priced at the low- to mid-level for the applicable category.
Most people who try iFox Creations radios and speakers find that they work very well and provide excellent value. Generally, their product line is well-rated by consumers, and most of their products are backed by an extended warranty.
ION Audio is an established electronics company that makes a wide variety of audio devices. This not only includes outdoor radios, such as the Tailgater Express recommended above, but also old school audio devices, such as turntables and cassette players.
However, a large portion of their focus is centered around Bluetooth speakers and radios—including waterproof options.
Their products are characterized by their quality and relatively high price points, and many of them include impressive features.
Their speakers are generally rated highly by people who purchase their products, and most of their portable devices feature impressive rechargeable batteries, which typically retain their charge for longer than competing products do.
Because of their dedication to making high-quality audio products, ION Audio radios and speakers are typically most popular among customers looking for products that produce very high-quality sound.
No matter how you like to enjoy the great outdoors, music will generally help you have more fun. With that in mind, consider picking up a high-quality outdoor radio for your next barbecue, camping trip, or tailgate party.
Just be sure to pick a model that suits your needs and has the types of features you want. Do that, and you’ll be enjoying tunes in the outdoors in no time.
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