Weather radios are designed to receive emergency broadcast signals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) weather radio network.
In fact, all homes and households are advised to at least have a weather alert radio available in case of urgent situations.
Although emergencies would often affect us off-guard, having a means of knowing about severe weather or national emergency watches would be beneficial.
In this article, we will list down some of the top weather radios for sale today. We’ll likewise briefly highlight some of their best features to better help you in your buying decisions.
Read on to learn more about the top-selling weather radio brands.
Sangean H201 is a reliable, yet cheap weather radio that you can use in various types of weather conditions. It is solidly-built, thus you’ll not feel anything flimsy. Thanks to its well-thought design, you can also easily hang it securely from the towel bar or even in the shower curtain rod.
The signal reception of this weather radio is likewise as excellent as its sound. Its frequency detail for both FM and AM stations is high, while its volume is loud with lesser distortion.
Just in case you would want to save some of your favorite stations, there are five digital presets available for both AM and FM.
Among the other helpful features you can also take advantage are the auto-off sleep timer, clock, and LED flashlight.
iRonsnow IS-088 is a rugged weather radio that you can rely on anytime of the day. It has a small size and lightweight design that makes it easy to carry whenever or wherever you are.
It can be set to AM, FM, or WB for weather reports. You’ll know if you’re properly tuned in or engaged to a station, because a small green light would turn on. Its sound quality is also crisp and clear, thus listening to people or to any station is very much comfortable.
One if its best features is its charging capability. Unlike most weather radios that can only be charged through cable, iRonsnow IS-088 can also be charged via solar energy or hand-crank. Although solar charging takes a while, it’s a good thing to have in case of emergencies.
For its price and beautiful features, this inexpensive weather radio is highly-recommended.
One of the most dependable weather stations you can use is the Midland WR120. It can be easily and quickly programmed to alert you on some weather emergencies in your area.
Just like an alarm clock, Midland WR120 would automatically broadcast alerts during urgent situations. Note that it can give you real-time alerts 24 hours a day, thus you can be assured that you’re never left behind in terms of weather information.
Moreover, Midland WR120 has three alarm settings you can choose from: tone, display, and voice. “Tone” is loud enough to be heard all over a regular house, while “display” is merely programmed to provide a glowing blue light. The “voice” alarm may be more useful to many as it makes a loud tone for five seconds before going into the radio broadcast.
Kaito KA500 is a multi-functional weather radio which can be powered in a couple of ways. Aside from the option to use three AA batteries, you can use an AC adaptor or take advantage of solar power. You can also either crank the Ni-MH battery pack or connect the unit to a USB port.
This Kaito KA500 weather radio also offers a couple of signal sources such as FM, AM, SW1, SW2, and NOAA weather channels. Note that the channels it captures have very good reception, thus their sound quality is good.
Some other features you can get from the Kaito KA500 weather radio are the red flashing LED emergency signal light, five LED reading light, and the earphones.
This Epica weather radio is an easy-to-use weather radio that’s capable of broadcasting NOAA-certified weather alerts. It rotatable antenna picks up radio signals very well and gives excellent reception. You can therefore be guaranteed of a very good sound quality that’s similar to that of the old transistor radios.
The weather radio can be charged either through a hand crank, solar energy, or USB. The hand crank may be a lot faster as you can enjoy over 20 minutes of charge in just two minutes of cranking. In case of emergency, you can also use this Epica weather radio to charge a dead phone.
The built-in flashlight of this Epica weather radio is definitely not the brightest, but it’s enough for you to get by in the dark.
NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) All Hazards Logo
Make sure your new weather radio bears a Public Alert or NWR All Hazards logo. Weather radios with this logo have been tested to meet the National Weather Service’s standards in terms of ease of use and performance.
Weather Alert or Weather Band
Weather alert radios automatically make a warning sound whenever an alert is sent by the NWR. It overrides all other functions whenever it receives an alert. Those powered by a battery backup can even alert you during power outages.
Weather band radios, on the other hand, need to be tuned in to a local weather station so that you can hear an alert. This means you won’t get any lifesaving warnings in the event that you’re tuned in to your favorite FM station.
Multiple Power Sources
Most weather radio brands come with a battery backup in addition to the AC power. Still, those models with extra power sources are much better than the standard ones which only have one or two sources.
Check for affordable weather radios that also offer a car charger, solar panel, or hand crank as alternative power sources.
These are a must if you’re a hardcore outdoor hobbyist who loves hiking, camping, and hunting.
Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) Technology
If you only care about getting warnings that are intended for your area, make sure your weather radio has the SAME technology.
Weather radios are important because they are meant to broadcast important weather information or imminent national emergencies.
It just makes sense that your radio’s capable of emitting a very loud tone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be deafening, but it should be audible enough for many to hear.
Selective Alert Blocking
Getting alerts may sometimes be nerve-wracking. Why not set your weather radio to only notify you for life-threatening weather events?
Of course, this is only possible for those with the selective alert blocking feature.
Desktop, Portable or Emergency-Crank Models
Desktop weather alert radios are perfect for homes and offices, while the portable ones are ideal for those who want something always available outdoors.
Moreover, emergency crank models are beneficial for people who have to be away from their homes or electrical power sources for an extended period of time.
Picking a good weather radio deal mainly depends on your needs and lifestyle. The important consideration you should take is it should be informational and useful in times of an emergency.
Additional features such the AM/FM stations, design, and auto-off sleep timer are nice additions, but they’re not entirely necessary.
If you have the money to have all these features, it would be a lot better.