Best Vintage Shortwave Radio – Top Selling & Popular Models

With the emerging influence of retro and millennial trends, vintage radio is getting back its long-lost charm. People are getting interested in retrieving this source of entertainment.

Some of you may question the utility of the best vintage shortwave radio in this era of technology. Nevertheless, hoarders will get it anyway. Also, this is a tool that will not frivolously lay on the shelf.

Rather than collecting dust, it will let the user listen to the news and other forms of entertainment from around the planet. Moreover, one can chase aircraft and marine signals too! That can be quite a thrilling task.

You might be quite intrigued to know about some shortwave radios by now. Well, let us set forth our collection of the 5 top-notch vintage shortwave radio then!

ImageProduct NameEditor's RatingPrice

Sangean WR-11SE Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Stable Signal │ AM/FM
Sangean WR-11SE Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Stable Signal │ AM/FM

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C Crane Skywave Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Mobile │ Dual-band
C Crane Skywave Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Mobile │ Dual-band

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Retekess V115 Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Multiband │ MIC
Retekess V115 Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Multiband │ MIC

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PRUNUS J-160 Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Bluetooth│ Feasible
PRUNUS J-160 Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Bluetooth│ Feasible

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TECSUN R-9012 Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Easy Charging
TECSUN R-9012 Vintage Shortwave Radio │ Easy Charging

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Best Vintage Shortwave Radio Reviews

Below are 5 of the most premium shortwave radios that are currently available in the market. Keep on reading to dope out the best score for you.

1. Sangean WR-11SE AM/FM Table Top Radio

Simple yet elegant- the perfect way to define Sangean WR-11SE radio. This special edition shortwave radio stands out for so many good reasons.

Radio tuning becomes an experience in itself. There are three separate rotating knobs for easy and smooth tuning and volume control. The easy and fast function makes it feasible for all.

You might think the tuning facilities end there. But there is more. LED indicator in it shows the chosen band to assure stable signal reception with each rotation.

Sangean is known for its AM/FM signal receiving. You won’t be disappointed with this model anyways. Precise and clear reception of signal over any frequency will catch your sight with no fail.

A three-inch 6.5-watt speaker is there for audio. Deep bass compensation and an enlarged magnet are installed within the speaker to enhance the sound quality furthermore. Overall, the clarity is competent of other home stereo systems.

Among the rare connections available, AC-In, Aux-In, DC-In, REC Out, Headphone, and FM Antenna are worth mentioning. For a link to i-pod and other audio sources, there is an auxiliary input.

The walnut wooden exterior adds an overall retro essence to the radio. Grab this fantastic radio now for a discount price.

Key Features

  • Easy tuning
  • Auxiliary input system
  • Clear output
  • LED indicator

2. C Crane CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable

Amongst all, this is the most lightweight and easy to carry shortwave radio. Nevertheless, there are many more features that make it worth buying.

Firstly, the built. There is a rotary knob for tuning and adjusting volume. For compatible sound production, the efficiency of the 5-watt speaker is praiseworthy. And the lighted LCD shows the channel that your tuned channel with other details.

Secondly, let us discuss the signal. The C Crane Skywave is a dual-band shortwave radio. It covers shortwaves within the range of 2.3-26.1 MHz.

Also, the radio is capable of reducing signal interference to a more considerable extent.

There are multiple media options that this radio offers. Some of these are AM/FM, Shortwave, and Airband. You can easily tune into any shortwave radio stations and enjoy the program.

Have you ever listened to an Aviation band? You can listen to nearby air traffic controllers when using this radio. Besides, you get a choice of 400 different presets that is already installed in the memory. Plus, C Crane also has a one-year warranty facility for this radio.

Besides being lightweight and compact, it can also forecast the weather and has a travel clock with an alarm. All over, it will be the best shortwave radio for preppers and anyone who travels a lot.

 Key Features

  • Portable
  • Comes with bright LCD
  • 400 available presets
  • Reduction of signal interference
  • One year warranty

3. Retekess V115 Digital Radio AM FM, Portable Shortwave Radios

Multilingual people will enjoy and benefit the most using V115 shortwave radio by Retekess. Russian, Spanish, and Chinese – three languages are built on the radio with English as default.

In continuation of this feature, the transistor has a bass sound. Along with that, there is a mic with three modes for recording purposes. You can record anything you want, even programs broadcasted from radio stations.

Frequency configuration ranges are 87-108MHz, 520-1710KHz (9/10K), 4.75-21.85MHz for FM, AM, and SW, respectively.

Among these, FM has the best performance with easy tuning. Also, there are 100 presets available to enjoy.

About the receiver, this radio is of multiband type. That means the radio can receive frequency from a wide array of bands at the same time. The network band opens up to a broader range of entertainment.

To ramp up the entertainment, you can always connect MP3 and other external audio devices with the help of 3.5 mm AUX input.  It also has a hardware interface for microSD cards and headphones.

But good things have their drawbacks. This vintage radio receiver is no exception. The weather highly influences AM reception, and hence, it is unstable. However, this doesn’t overshine its good aspects.

Key Features

  • Recording options
  • It can operate in 4 different languages
  • Multiband
  • Supports headphone and SD cards

4. PRUNUS J-160 Portable Transistor Radio AM FM Small Retro

If your choice is a low-cost shortwave radio with additional multimedia features, then look no further. The J-160 model from PRUNUS will be efficiently meet all the ends.

Simplicity is the most attractive feature of this radio. Everyone can use this without facing any issues. Just turn on the radio and tune to your favorite channel, and you are good to go.

Tuning to shortwave radio stations in the dark is quite a task. The LCD exhibits the station you are currently tuned to with a softer light to address this issue. This way, it does not seem irritating to the eyes.

For an additional source of play, this radio has wireless Bluetooth facilities. The transistor can connect to any other Bluetooth device and use its speaker to play music.

The uniqueness of design always creates an impression of the device. This shortwave radio features a retro design with a pop of color. The bright red color will grab your attention.

The fantastic factor is, this radio will not cut to your pocket. The price tag is a good deal compared to the features that this radio offers. Considering all the aspects, the PRUNUS J-160 will be the best vintage shortwave radio for your parents’ or friends’ gifts.

Key Features

  • Easy to use
  • Impressive vintage design
  • Great for music
  • Wireless Bluetooth facilities
  • Copper antenna for stable signal reception

5. TECSUN R-9012 AM FM SW 12 Bands Shortwave Radio

In the case of this radio, what attracted us the most is its receiver. The shortwave radio receivers are 12 in number. Operating SW, AM, and FM shortwave radio stations band cannot get easier than this.

Easy operation is another mentionable trait of this elfin transistor. There are only four buttons- power, band selector, volume controller, and tuning knob. You can get all the chores done with these four.

Another facility that you get with this radio is its flexibility to fit. Engineers have designed this radio with less weight and a small structure.

It is so petite that you can easily carry the radio in your pocket. The utility should not stop on the go.

An entire kit with a user manual comes in the pack with TECSUN R-9012 Shortwave Radio. You will need to get either a DC-IN 5V cable and 2 AA-sized batteries for charging purposes.

TECSUN also offers an impressive array of post-purchase services. You will get free servicing for an entire year with your purchase. For minor issues, you can contact customer service. All of these will ensure your satisfaction as a customer.

Key Features

  • Portable
  • Two-way charging
  • Available customer service
  • One year warranty

Things to Consider Before Buying Vintage Shortwave Radio

Best Vintage Shortwave Radio

The wrong choice of shortwave radio will be a waste of money. Nonetheless, considering the following factors will make your hunt for the best shortwave radio for preppers a lot easier.

Signal Reception

The functioning of radio depends entirely on receiving signals.  So, the capability of receiving calls properly even under severe weather conditions is essential.

Before buying, check on if the radio has a selective ability. By that, we mean the ability to differentiate between strong and weak signals and pick the stronger one. It should also be able to connect with distant radio stations.

Look for the metal used in the antenna as well.  A copper-built antenna will receive signals and maintain stability too. You may also like some of the HAM radio for satellites from our list.

Media Options

Most of the radios come with multimedia options. That means you can connect it with devices and use the radio for purposes other than listening to FM radio only.

There is an option to link external sources like microSD cards, i-pod, MP3, and other recording devices with the transistor. Generally, there is an adapter or a connector that comes with the radio kit. However, you can easily purchase these linkers online.

Before connecting the device with the shortwave radio, make sure there is no virus or malware in the machine. Elsewise, the radio performance will fall off day by day. You would appreciate having some of the 2 way radios for construction, so take a moment to check them out.

Radio Bands

Radio bands are the number of bands used by the radio to receive signals. There are radios with various bands, like- dual-band, tri-band, pentaband, depending on the number of bands.

It would help if you chose a radio that has more than one band for this purpose. Multiple rounds will make the network comparatively more stable. It will also open up stations with various frequency ranges. The benefits are endless.

Check the manual that comes with the vintage radio. It will show the details and the ways of getting maximum use out of the radio bands.


Some radios operate with batteries and some with internal power sources. In the case of others, it is possible to recharge the used batteries.

It is always good to have both the options, i.e., use of battery and recharging, available. You don’t know which will be the more convenient way of charging while you are traveling.

Also, carry some batteries and a USB cable with you. It will make everything much more accessible.


Other than that, some additional features of the radio will make your daily chores easier.

It is always preferable that the radio has a compact structure and is portable. Navigation, alarm, sleep timer, and the weather forecast will surely be helpful during travels.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. How can I tune to different shortwave radio stations?

It is effortless. You can either rotate the knob or press the button to reach your desired radio station. The LCD screen shows up the current frequency. You can follow that while turning.

2. What is preset?

Presets are the radio channels selected for quick access. A user can choose his/her set of tracks based on personal choice.

3. Can I record on this shortwave radio?

Many shortwave radios have a mic. You can easily record with them. Elsewise, you can connect a recording device and use that.

4. Which connectors should I use for the best shortwave radio for preppers?

You may use various connectors for this purpose, like USB, AUX, and other cables available for use. You can choose either of them. But first, check the input connector.

5. What are signals received by these radios?

There are two signals that the radio one generally receives is AM, and the other is PM. In most cases, the radio gets both the signs.

Final Words

While selecting the radio, consider when and how you will use it most of the time. Also, keep an eye on the pricing.

A varied range of products is available nowadays in the market. Explore this diverse range and connect them with your set of requirements. Don’t forget to compare the prices!

You are sure to find the best vintage shortwave radio for yourself.