Looking for beach-friendly rugged analog radio under $75
June 10, 2016 12:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a father's day gift - a durable, water-resistant radio with a long battery life. Analog radios are a thing of the past, so my choices are really limited....

Bluetooth capability is not a necessity, but would be nice. You would think I'd find a million choices on Amazon, but everything over $100 is gigantic and meant for worksites. I was looking at this but it seems like it's a pretty poor quality from the picture. It did get good reviews, but for $30 I'm hesitant to buy it as a gift. Any suggestions are much appreciated!
posted by onecircleaday to Shopping (5 answers total)
I don't have specific recommendations, but C. Crane is a good company, and they have a decent sized selection of analog radios that seem to fit all your requirements except Bluetooth.
posted by ernielundquist at 1:24 PM on June 10, 2016

Honestly, my mind has totally changed on these. i used to recommend the brand name ones i knew would provide Nice Sound, but

1. those don't have FM
2. the cheapo off brand ones are so good now.

The knockoff ones are probably like, 75-80% as good as the $100 brand name ones. Basically anything with decent reviews from an amazon search for "speaker fm" that's just some bluetooth cracker-box shaped speaker will probably be pretty good.

I have a jambox, and one of the bose soundlinks, and a couple big boomboxes i randomly pull out i thrifted. The three freaking dollar hunk of junk speaker i got on clearance sounds nearly as good as the originally $200 jambox(the small one, not the "big jambox").

Buy whichever cheap one has good reviews, FM, and is IPwhatever water resistant rated. That $3 one had enough battery to blast music for an entire afternoon and evening, and charged with any bog standard phone charger.

The caveats are that the cheapo ones don't store favorite stations, glitch out sometimes(like refusing to sync with a phone until you power cycle them), and have weird design fails like the mode select beeps ALWAYS being too loud and such... But who really cares? They sound good, and the battery life is solid.

The only one i like more that i own is well, one of those huge jobsite-style ones. And yea, it sounds awesome, but it also weighs like... 25lbs. And it's the size of a huge fire extinguisher.
posted by emptythought at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2016

The Tivoli PAL is great but pricey (thought not as much as that article says, about $160)
posted by bongo_x at 2:57 PM on June 10, 2016

If you Google Red Cross Radio, you should find one for $50 or so which looks like it could be from the 1959s, but it has some neat features like being able to charge it by cranking. I don't know if it sounds good enough for listening to music, though, or whether it will bring in marginal stations.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:24 PM on June 10, 2016

I've been using the digital version of that Sony Radio since I bought it for a trip to Cuba about 15 years ago. It still works great, I use it for the beach and camping, it runs on 3 'AA' batteries for ages. I'd almost prefer the analog tuner at this point, so don't necessarily dismiss the Sony one.
posted by furtive at 4:34 PM on June 10, 2016

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