(Last Updated On: May 4, 2021)

Factors to consider before buying radio headphones and our six best picks to start with.

NameForm FactorAM/FM AvailabilityRadio Station PresetsPrice
3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM Best OverallOver-earBoth50 stations BUY
Zihnic Bluetooth Headset Strong Runner-UpOver-earBothN/A BUY
Hanwis Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones Best BudgetOver-earFm Only1 station BUY
Flyoukki Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones Most PortableOver-earFM only11 stations BUY
Howard Leight by Honeywell Sync Best for Safety and VisibilityOver-earBoth10 stations BUY
Retekess V112 Best Earbuds w/ Pocket RadioEarbudsBoth29 stations BUY

How to Choose the Best Radio Headphones

Despite the prevalence of music streaming, many still prefer the ease of radio. And who can blame them? It’s free, easily accessible, and you don’t need to rely on an internet connection.

Radio offers a lot of variety and is an excellent source of entertainment, information, and music. It’s great for those who want to beat the boredom of routine. It’s especially useful for those who work in isolated places without access to the internet.

AM/FM channels can usually be accessed on standalone radio transistors or in-car radios. But those who prefer more mobility can also access them through AM/FM radio headphones.

Choosing which radio headphones isn’t exactly a straightforward process. Aside from factors like build quality and comfortability, you’ll also need to consider what type of radio headphones to opt for, what connectivity features it has, and whether to prioritize AM or FM tuning.

Man enjoying radio headphones (From: Pexels)
Man enjoying radio headphones (From: Pexels)

To guide you, we’ve compiled some important factors to consider before making a purchase. So, let’s get started!

Types of radio headphones

Common mediums for radio are standalone transistors or in-car receivers. However, neither of these options is handy nor discreet. Radio headphones, on the other hand, are portable and can be stored easily. Plus, you can listen to your favorite stations without disrupting others around you.

AM/FM radio headphones come with a few other advantages depending on what type you purchase. Here are the different types of radio headphones available today:

  • Hearing protection devices: As the name suggests, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are designed to block out excessive noise to protect your ears. Many HPDs have built-in AM/FM radio tuners to eliminate the need to stay within range of an audio source for added safety. If you do a lot of lawn mowing, shooting sports, or work in industrial plants, having an HPD with a built-in radio is a great way to hit two birds with one stone.
  • Bluetooth headphones with radio tuners: Some headphones come with both Bluetooth connectivity and AM/FM tuners. These headphones are more versatile because you have the option of listening to music from your phone.
  • Regular radio headphones: These types are strictly for radio listening only and don’t have any extra features.

Signal reception

Signal reception refers to when a radio antenna picks up radio waves in the air and transmits them to a radio receiver to be amplified. Basically, the better the signal reception, the better the audio clarity.

Good signal reception is dependent on the quality of the following factors:

Antenna

Antennas are responsible for intercepting radio signals in the air. Without a good antenna, you’ll lose the radio function of your headphones.

The main difference between regular AM/FM radio and AM/FM radio headphones is in the antenna. AM/FM radio headphones come with much shorter external or internal antennas. Regular AM/FM radios, on the other hand, have longer antennas. This gives them greater range and better signal reception.

Internal antennas are recommended for AM radio. AM radio waves travel long distances along the ground’s surface, making them easier to pick up. On the other hand, FM radio waves travel in a straight line from their source and at shorter distances. As such, longer external antennas are recommended to intercept them efficiently.

Radio receiver

A radio receiver converts radio waves into their listenable form. Ideally, you’ll want a receiver with greater sensitivity and selectivity. Radio receiver sensitivity helps pick up and transmit even the weakest of signals. Radio receiver selectivity allows your radio headphones to tune into a specific frequency with better accuracy. This makes it less susceptible to interference from other frequencies.

Location

Location is an essential factor when it comes to good signal reception. To illustrate, a mediocre antenna placed in a good location can give you the same reception that an excellent antenna placed in a bad location can. This is especially true for FM radio. As said, FM radio waves travel in a straight line. So they can be easily obstructed by physical structures such as buildings, trees, etc.

AM/FM availability

Theoretically, you’ll want a pair of headphones with both AM and FM capabilities to get the most bang for your buck. Most radio headphones, however, usually come with either one or the other.

AM tuning is often characterized as sounding “staticy” and less clear. As such, talk radio is what typically dominates this broadcast frequency. In contrast, FM tuning has higher fidelity making it ideal for broadcasting music.

If you enjoy news updates, discussions, and other talk programs, you’ll get more from AM radio. Those who enjoy music and want an alternative music source will appreciate FM tuning.

Since the popularization of internet radio and AM/FM apps, headphones with this capability are slowly being discontinued. As such, AM/FM radio headphones are becoming increasingly rare. And this, in turn, significantly raises the prices of any remaining models that do have both AM & FM functions.

Preset options

A handy feature to look for when buying radio headphones is a preset option.

This is a great time saver as it allows you to save your favorite stations for quick and easy access. The number of stations that can be saved will vary by brand or model. Some offer just one preset, while others offer as many as 50 presets.

Build quality

Good build quality is an important feature to look out for if you want a product that’ll last you a long time. Build quality depends on the following factors:

  • Materials used: A good build involves the use of heavy-duty plastics and high-quality ear padding. You’ll also want sturdy hinges that won’t easily break, thicker cables, and the like.
  • Overall design: This focuses on how well the headphones are assembled. Ideally, you’ll want to look for elements such as metal-reinforced headbands, fewer joints that could become weak points later on, and the like.
  • Product feel: Durably-built headphones tend to feel more solid and weighty in the hands. In contrast, cheaper headphones tend to have a rickety, flimsy feel to them.
  • IP ratings: IP or “Ingress Protection” ratings indicate how well a product’s internal circuitry is protected against foreign bodies like dirt, dust, and moisture. This is especially important if you intend to use your headphones outdoors.
The warranty is an additional factor to look out for when it comes to durability. Typically, products come with a standard one-year warranty. Other times, you’ll come across products with longer warranties lasting 2-3 years. These are good indicators of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.

Other connectivity options

Most radio headphones are simply just meant for AM/FM radio listening and nothing else. Others come with a variety of connectivity options, such as Bluetooth, AUX cable, and SD card slot.

Having additional connectivity options gives you more flexibility. If you can’t get good reception, you can simply listen to music on your phone via Bluetooth or an AUX cable. An SD card slot also lets you listen to songs saved on an SD card.

Comfortability

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to ensure your radio headphones are comfortable. These types of headphones are typically used for extended periods of work. This can include factory work, fieldwork, home improvement, and similar activities. As such, it’s important to have a comfortable pair of headphones that won’t get in your way.

When choosing a pair of headphones for comfort, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Weight: Heavy headphones can feel bothersome after prolonged wearing. They can fatigue the neck muscles or develop pressure points around the head that can eventually feel painful. To avoid this, try going for lighter headphones that weigh 0.55lbs at the most. Headphones above 0.75lbs are already considered heavy.
  • Breathability: Some padding materials can feel hot over the ears after extended use. To ensure better breathability, try to choose headphones padded with fabric, such as velour or microfibre. Thick foams or plastic materials can hinder airflow, leaving your skin feeling stifled and sweaty.
  • Adjustability: Adjustable segments also add to comfortability. Features like extendable headbands and rotatable ear cups allow the headphones to adapt to the unique contours of your head. This gives you a more natural fit so you can wear your headphones longer.
  • Materials and Padding: Padding is designed to help distribute pressure from the clamping force equally. Sometimes, the quality of the padding can affect this, especially if it’s too thin and doesn’t offer much support. To avoid this, try to pick out headphones with thicker and softer padding.

6 Best Radio Headphones [2021]

3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM

Best Overall
Close look at 3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM (From: Amazon)
Close look at 3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Reduction Rating: 24dB
  • AM/FM Availability: Both
  • Type: Over-ear
  • Weight: 0.85 lbs
  • Station Presets: Up to 50 stations
  • Battery: 2 AA batteries (not included) or optional lithium battery pack
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5mm AUX cable
  • Other Features: Bass Boost option, Safe Volume Control, Audio Assist Technology, integrated microphone.

The 3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM has AM/FM capability with a Bass Boost option. This allows you to enjoy music and radio programs with better dynamic clarity. It also comes with extra audio features and connectivity options, making these radio headphones our best overall pick.

Bluetooth capability allows you to connect these headphones to your mobile phone. This helps you stay entertained even during instances of poor radio reception.

You can also rest easy knowing your hearing is fully protected. The headphones’ noise reduction capability lessens the need to turn up the volume in loud working environments. The Safe Volume Control also automatically adjusts the audio volume to keep it at a safe level of 85dB max.

Moreover, you can save up to 50 of your favorite radio stations into the headphones’ memory. And you can access them easily through a handy button control panel on the side of the ear cup. The Audio Assist Technology provides voice guidance for device set up. This makes it easier to operate them without taking them off or fiddling with manuals.

Lastly, the 3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM headphones also feature an integrated microphone. This makes hands-free calls quick and hassle-free.

3M WorkTunes Connect + AM/FM is a slight step up from its predecessor, the 3M WorkTunes Connect, which is featured as the best overall on our list of the top bluetooth hearing protection devices. The only difference between the two is the addition of AM/FM radio capability in this latest version. Aside from that, both models are essentially identical in the features offered.

Unfortunately, the headphones’ Bluetooth performance may fall short for some users. Sound quality is average at best, even with the bass boost feature. You may also experience a few audio dropouts if you wander too far away from your audio source.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Zihnic Bluetooth Headset

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at Zihnic Bluetooth Headset (From: Amazon)
Close look at Zihnic Bluetooth Headset (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Reduction Rating: N/A
  • AM/FM Availability: FM only
  • Type: Over-ear
  • Weight: 0.62 lbs
  • Station Presets: N/A
  • Battery: 1 built-in lithium-polymer battery
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX Cable, SD Card
  • Other Features: High-Definition stereo sound, Fast Charge battery, integrated microphone.

The Zihnic Bluetooth Headset offers better portability with a streamlined, foldable design. It also comes with 4-in-1 audio functions and a built-in rechargeable battery, making these radio headphones our strong runner-up pick.

These headphones are outfitted with high-definition stereo speakers that provide immersive sound quality. Its passive noise reduction capability blocks out ambient sounds so that you get clear audio without turning up the volume.

With Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, you can easily connect your headphones to any Android and iOS device. It provides a stable connection of up to 33 feet, so you won’t have to worry about audio dropouts, giving you greater freedom of movement. When combined with the integrated microphone function, you can also seamlessly switch from music mode to call mode.

The headphones provide 4-in-1 audio functions with AM/FM radio, Bluetooth, an AUX cable, and an SD card slot. These extra options provide flexibility in how you can access and listen to your music. It’s also especially helpful if you’re in an area where you can’t get good radio reception or internet.

A 450mAh rechargeable battery further adds to the convenience of these headphones. It offers 14 hours of listening time on a single charge, which is enough to keep you entertained throughout the day. It also only takes 2.5 hours to fully charge, thanks to its fast charge function.

Last but not least, the Zihnic Bluetooth Headset is designed for comfort. The combination of a foldable design and protein leather ear pads gives you a more natural, cushioned fit so that you can wear them as long as you like.

One of the main reasons that the Zihnic Bluetooth Headset isn’t our best overall pick is due to the lack of station presets. This knocked off a couple of convenience points because it means that you’ll have to keep manually tuning your favorite stations every time you use the device.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Hanwis Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones

Best Budget
Close look at Hanwis Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Hanwis Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Reduction Rating: N/A
  • AM/FM Availability: FM only
  • Type: Over-ear
  • Weight: 0.48 lbs
  • Station Presets: 1 station
  • Battery: 2 AA batteries (not included)
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm AUX Cable (not included)
  • Other Features: External metal antenna, LCD display, Auto and Manual Search.

The Hanwis Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones offer decent specs at an extremely affordable price, making these radio headphones our best budget pick.

These headphones offer digital FM radio, supported by an extendable metal antenna with high reception sensitivity. This ensures you get good reception no matter where you are. If you want to change things up, you can switch to an AUX cable and listen to music on your phone.

Locating your favorite radio stations is easy with the combination of an Auto and Manual Search function and a handy LCD screen. The channel memory function also allows you to save one station for one-touch access.

You can expect a comfortable listening experience with these headphones. The ear cups and adjustable headband are padded with soft protein leather, giving you a comfy, secure fit. They’re also one of the lightest headphones on this list, which ensures long-wearing comfort so that you can keep them on all day.

The limited memory capacity of these headphones may be inconvenient for users who want to save multiple stations. The earpads may also be a bit small for those with larger ears. This may cause the earpads to sit on the ears rather than over them, which can get uncomfortable with extended use.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Flyoukki Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones

Most Portable
Close look at Flyoukki Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Flyoukki Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Reduction Rating: N/A
  • AM/FM Availability: FM only
  • Type: Over-ear
  • Weight: 0.43 lbs
  • Station Presets: 11 stations
  • Battery: 2 AA batteries (not included)
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm AUX Cable (included)
  • Other Features: 15-level Volume Control, Auto and Manual Search, Enhanced Bass.

Weighing less than half a pound, the Flyoukki Portable Personal FM Radio Headphones are the lightest headphones on this list, making them our most portable pick.

The headphones are outfitted with a thin, lightweight adjustable headband. This allows for better airflow, which is helpful if you’re working outdoors or in hot conditions. The foldable design makes carrying and storage easy so you can take them anywhere.

The Flyoukki Radio Headphones come with an FM radio function and crystal clear reception. You can cycle through the available stations with the Auto and Manual Search function, and save up to 11 of your favorite stations for easy access.

The headphones have good sound quality that’s further improved by an enhanced bass effect. You can also be assured your hearing will be protected in noisy environments thanks to the headphones’ passive noise reduction and 15-level volume control.

If you want to listen to music on your phone, you can do so easily with the AUX cable included with the headphones.

The power-off button can be faulty at times. This often necessitates taking out the batteries just to shut off the headphones, which in turn may wipe out your saved stations.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Howard Leight by Honeywell Sync

Best for Safety and Visibility
Close look at Howard Leight by Honeywell Sync (From: Amazon)
Close look at Howard Leight by Honeywell Sync (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Reduction Rating: 25dB
  • AM/FM Availability: Both
  • Type: Over-ear
  • Weight: 0.94 lbs
  • Station Presets: 10 stations
  • Battery: 2 AA batteries (included)
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm AUX Cable (included)
  • Other Features: Patented Air Flow Control Technology, LCD display, digital antenna.

The Howard Leight by Honeywell Sync comes in a high-viz neon green color, which makes it ideal for use in situations where there’s poor visibility or lighting.

The addition of a padded reflective headband increases the safety benefit and adds to comfortability as well. It also comes with a great hearing protection system that keeps you safe from excessive noise exposure. For these reasons, these headphones are our top pick for safety and visibility.

The earpads are built with a Patented Air Flow Control Technology, which optimizes airflow in the earcups and helps reduce unwanted noise across all frequencies. This, in turn, eliminates the need to turn up the volume to unsafe levels. A digital antenna also sees to it that you’re getting clear radio reception. The combination of both ensures good sound quality that isn’t at the expense of your hearing.

Moreover, an external LCD display makes searching for your favorite stations hassle-free. You can also save as many as 10 stations to the headphones’ memory for quick access.

The batteries are located on the outside of the earcup, which makes replacing them quick and easy. You can also get up to 140 hours of playback from a new pair of AA batteries, which is more than enough to keep you entertained throughout multiple workweeks.

Replacing the batteries may erase your saved radio stations, so you will have to reset them each time you switch out the batteries.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

Retekess V112

Best Earbuds with Pocket Radio
Close look at Retekess V112 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Retekess V112 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Noise Reduction Rating: N/A
  • AM/FM Availability: Both
  • Type: Earbuds
  • Weight: 0.94 lbs
  • Station Presets: 29 stations
  • Battery: 1 built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm AUX Cable (included)
  • Other Features: LCD display, Lock Switch.

The Retekess V112 has some of the best ratings when it comes to AM/FM frequency and connection stability. It also has a decent amount of station presets, making this our best earbuds with pocket radio pick.

Some people may not feel comfortable with the bulkiness of a headset. And others may work jobs that entail wearing headgear that cannot accommodate headphones. For these reasons, a pocket radio can be very helpful.

This pocket radio is thin and lightweight and is about the size of a credit card. You can easily slip it into your back pocket, making it very handy for all types of activities. It also comes with a lock switch so that you don’t accidentally switch stations if you happen to press any buttons while it’s in your pocket.

It has a relatively large, clear LCD display that shows what frequency you’re on, volume, and battery level. A simple control pad allows you to toggle between AM and FM frequencies, adjust volume, and scan for stations. You can also save as many as 29 stations in its memory for convenient access. This makes Retekess V112 very user-friendly, even for older individuals.

The built-in battery takes about 3 hours to fully charge and provides up to 10 hours of use, which is perfect to get you through a full workday and then some.

The Retekess V112 has no IP rating, so it may be susceptible to moisture damage from sweat, particularly if you often keep it in your shirt or pants pocket.

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON