Need AM radio solution to drown out the silence!
June 8, 2012 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for a portable AM radio and earbuds.

The office that I work in is incredibly quiet. The silence makes my ears ring and drives me crazy. Many people seem to be using their phones or iPods for listening to music. I don't want to listen to music. There is no wifi and I cannot use my computer to stream NPR. I am looking for a solution involving a "pocket type radio" and a decent set of earbuds or unobtrusive headphones. I want to be able to listen to live talk radio on the AM dial. Any other ideas or solutions are welcome.
posted by futz to Technology (8 answers total)
There’s a selection of them at Radio Shack, as well as other places. There’s a good chance the local Goodwill has one.

There are thousands of talk podcasts, including many from NPR that you could listen to on an ipod.
posted by bongo_x at 12:09 PM on June 8, 2012

Sony still make these. Here's one with a speaker. Here's one without.

You should be aware that computers output an enormous amount of crap onto the MW band. Ideally, borrow an AM radio and try it first, because you may receive nothing but noise.
posted by Mwongozi at 12:10 PM on June 8, 2012

First be sure that an AM radio will even work in your building - test with any AM radio you already have. Some buildings are so well shielded and full of building stuff that AM won't work.

For AM radios, C.Crane has all the best, and designs some special radios for their exclusive sale.
posted by caclwmr4 at 12:17 PM on June 8, 2012

The Sony ICF-S10MK2 Mwongozi points to is a good pocket transistor-type AM/FM radio, maybe about the best of its type ever. Has pretty good battery life. Runs on two AA batteries only, no provision for AC adapter. However, the earphone jack is mono. At least mine is (over 10 years old). With modern ear buds, you'll have to do with either one functioning ear bud, or use a mono-to-stereo adapter.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:06 PM on June 8, 2012

Yeah, the fluorescent lighting in most workplaces will turn all but the strongest AM signals into an annoying buzz, but if you can get reception you might like this Sangean -- I got one a year ago and I'm very pleased (although I use it for the FM, it does an adequate job in the MW band).
posted by Rash at 2:03 PM on June 8, 2012

I have this one (Memorex MR4402BK Armband Radio) to listen to baseball games and I like it. Takes two AAA batteries (rechargeables are your friends) and has 10 slots each for saving AM/FM stations.

Yeah, the fluorescent lighting in most workplaces will turn all but the strongest AM signals into an annoying buzz

Just a data point here but I haven't found this to be the case with the above radio and we've got plenty of fluorescent lights in my office. I've also used it in other standard workplaces (doctor's lobbies, etc) without a problem. The worst reception I've gotten has been in large supermarkets (spotty) and Costco (nothing-but-buzz).

I do agree with testing out AM reception in your workplace before buying.
posted by moxiequz at 2:17 PM on June 8, 2012

I tried a few different cheapo kinds to listen to White Sox games on my evening walks, and none could get more than half-game / half-static. I now use my Android phone with an app called TuneIn Radio, and it works great!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:23 PM on June 8, 2012

Got one of these, plus a headphone splitter so two can listen for when I'm at Nationals' games. Works like a charm. I've found MLB blocks most internet game broadcasts so Tune-In doesn't always work.
posted by umberto at 8:31 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

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