Best AM/FM Radio Headsets 2018
Complete Buyer's Guide
It may sound like a blast from the past to mention radio as a form of entertainment, considering that was the industry which kept our grandparents and, to an extent, our parents informed of the latest news and on top of the latest musical trends. However, as it turns out, radio is still very much alive, in part thanks to a wide fanbase who decides to keep kickin’ it old school and tuning into their favorite stations. The truth of the matter is, some folks genuinely enjoy listening to radio as opposed to carrying their own music in an MP3 player. In this manner they can still enjoy a wide variety of music while keeping informed of the latest happenings around the globe. Furthermore, radio is still a solid entertainment experience for those that want a little background noise while they work out, do chores around the house, or simply lounge around in their living rooms.
Regardless - and this might come as a surprise for our younger readers who own smartphones - every modern device nowadays comes equipped with its own radio app, which functions thanks to the very same antenna used by the phone to connect to the mobile network. This feature makes it very easy to tune into your favorite stations at any given time. This much is practically common knowledge by now; but did you know that there is also a special type of headset, designed exclusively for listening to radio on the go? These devices function as standalone radio tuners which, when used on a full charge, guarantee at least 10 hours of continuous radio use. Some radio headsets even go as far as to offer up to 100 hours of playback on a full charge! Amazing, right?
However, like with everything else on the market, there are tons of radio headsets available for purchase, so it's hard to choose which one should you get. If you’re reading this article, it’s because you’re interested in finding the absolute best of the best. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile the very best products in the category, so you can worry less about which AM/FM headphones to purchase, and more about enjoying tuning into your favorite stations. Furthermore, we will also briefly address the most important things to keep in mind when browsing the market for a pair of radio cans.
That being said, let’s get started!
Best AM/FM Headsets 2018
As we’ve been mentioning throughout this article, there are a very large variety of radio headsets available on the market, which makes choosing the right pair a complicated ordeal, especially if you’re new to the industry and don’t know what to look for. For these reasons, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks of devices in this category. Even if you’re not sure which one to get, if you decide to invest in any of the following products we promise that you’ll receive your money’s worth in sheer quality and performance.
1. 3M WorkTunes Best AM/FM Headsets
The 3M WorkTunes, also known as the TEKK WorkTunes, has garnered widespread fame and it’s all thanks to its ample amount of features combined with its sturdy build and quality. Right off the bat, you can really tell that this is one pair of headphones designed to last even through the harshest environments. Don’t get me wrong, despite their ruggedness and durability, it’s evident that this pair of cans was designed to produce top-quality sound to complement its tough exterior. What’s more, with a good pair of AA batteries, you can squeeze out up to 140 hours of continuous use, making these headphones one of the most energy-efficient on the list.
In terms of design, you could say that these leave a lot to be desired if you’re looking for the latest in fashion accessories. The WorkTunes were designed to fit well into any industrial environment. So, unless you really dig the industrial look - or need a pair of cans that can withstand a whole lotta punishment -, these won’t likely be your first choice as far as looks are concerned. Furthermore, these headphones were designed to provide ultimate comfort even through the longest sessions; they are equipped with cushioned ear pads as well as an cushioned adjustable headband, which allows them to be adapted to any and every user.
The only downside we can find in the 3M TEKK WorkTunes is that they don’t have either Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack, which means that they are designed for use solely as a radio headset. If you want a headset that can provide top-notch audio, and is able to pair with other devices as well, then you’d need to look for another one. Other than that, the WorkTunes features 3 levels of bass adjustment to achieve that immersive audio experience. Among other features that help this product stand out, we can find programmable radio stations, an auto scan function, the possibility to configure it via voice commands for a truly hands-free experience, and an onboard antenna for better reception in any setting.
As we mentioned above, Howard Leight is famous for their highly-ergonomic headsets, designed to protect the ears of their users above all things. The 1010390 Sync is no exception to this premise, as it includes all the features you’d ever want to see in a pair of radio headphones. At simple glance, we can already tell that, like the WorkTunes above, this product is clearly designed for use in an industrial setting: its neon-green casing paired with a reflective headband make this product highly visible when worn, which is ideal for work in dim environments. Furthermore, it includes a small LCD screen on the right earmuff, along with 10 station presets for easy tuning to your favorite shows.
The sound quality of these headphones leaves little to be desired, as it can drive audio in very high volume without any hint of distortion. Furthermore, it’s also very energy-efficient, as a single pair of AA batteries grant you roughly 140 hours of continuous playback. Additionally, unlike the WorkTunes above, this product has a 3.5mm jack which can be used to connect via an aux cable to any other device with a similar port. This means that, even when you don’t want to listen to the radio, you can still hook these cans up to any media player - or even your smartphone - and play your favorite songs as you work the day away.
Besides the features already mentioned above, these headphones are also very comfortable: their cushioned ear pads and headbands allow them to be adapted to any user. Overall it’s a very good product; a bit on the pricey side, but definitely worth it.
This particular pair of headphones is special, given that, even with more than a decade on the market, they still manage to surpass our expectation, even when compared to newer models. This just goes to show you the type of quality we’re dealing with when it comes to RadioShack products. Even with the generic name, the RadioShack AM/FM Stereo Radio Headset certainly has nothing generic about it. Their comfort level is off the charts thanks to their composite cushioned adjustable headband, coupled with swivel ear pads which easily adapt to any shape of head.
The very best part about this headset actually comes from its simplicity: it comes in a conservative black and silver design which doesn’t stand out, which is ideal to avoid drawing unwanted attention such as in the workplace, or when walking down the streets. They’re also very easy to use; as soon as you flick the ‘on’ switch, this stereo headset can tune into 10 predefined stations - which can be reprogrammed at any time - and offers a small LCD screen on the right earmuff so you’ll never have to guess which station you’re listening to. The sound quality of the RadioShack Stereo Headset is very good, as it’s complemented with the company’s proprietary E-Bass function, which allows it to create a wider soundstage with deeper lows and crisp mids and highs.
4. Pyle Sound 7
Yet another pair of awesome radio headphones, this time from the hands of Pyle Audio. Pyle is one of those brands that has made a name for itself by steadily delivering products of good quality. The Sound 7 Headphones are one of said good products which combine affordability with quality, the result being a pair of cans which anybody can easily enjoy. This product offers all of the features we’ve now grown to expect from any given radio headset, and then some. It offers AM/FM tuning capabilities, with a built-in antenna for better reception in most areas. Additionally, it also boasts Bluetooth connectivity so it can easily pair with any compatible device and stream music from your smartphone or media player. Furthermore, if Bluetooth connectivity is not an option for you, this device can also connect via 3.5mm jack to any other player which, while sacrificing the ‘wireless’ component of the headset, allows it to connect to a wider range of media players.
A nice feature that’s not present in any other radio headsets so far is this product’s capability to act as a headset receiver, allowing you to easily receive or make calls when your pair it with your smartphone. That way if you’re walking down the street, you don’t have to pull out your phone to receive calls since you can just pick up, have a conversation, and hang up with the single press of a button on the headset’s control panel. In terms of audio quality, this device can actually get pretty loud without a hint of distortion. So, if you enjoy blasting music at high volumes and are looking for pair of stylish headphones, then look no further; the Sound 7 headset is for you.
With all the great models of radio headsets mentioned so far on this list, it’s only fair that we end it with the best one yet. It only takes a single glance at this product out of the box to tell that we’re in the presence of real quality. The Turbine T2s is the result of over two years of R&D by the Bluedio team, in order to bring you the very best listening experience you’ll ever get from a wireless headset. For starters, the design is very modern and looks not unlike any other professional pair of headphones. The headband is segmented and is made with a cushioned fabric for maximum comfort. The earmuffs are fixed on a swivel which can rotate up to 195°. When not in use, the headset can be folded for easy transportation, and this same foldability allows it to adapt easily to any user’s dimensions.
In terms of sound, these headphones are very powerful. Their sound is driven by two 2.24 inch drivers, which are able to produce Hi-Fi audio at even the highest volume levels with no distortion at all. Furthermore, this headset is equipped with a Bluetooth 4.1 transmitter with Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), which increases the quality of all content transmitted by this method. This translates to near-lossless levels of quality when using these headphones to stream media from any device paired via Bluetooth. These features are all complemented with the headset’s very efficient energy consumption, which grants up to 40 hours of continuous use on a single charge. The batteries can be easily recharged through its USB port.
And you know what the best part of these headphones is? All these amazing features, coupled with top-notch sound quality, near-lossless Bluetooth performance, and the ability to listen to your favorite radio stations anywhere come with a very affordable price tag. The Bluedio T2s are a pair of headphones that anybody can enjoy, without having to break the bank.
Best Radio Headset Alternatives
We limited our above list to the absolute 5 best pairs of radio headsets we had the honor of trying out. However, this isn’t to say that there aren’t more products worth your attention out there. If you’re still not sold on any of the products mentioned above, then feel free to direct your gaze towards the following 5 alternatives:
AM/FM Headsets Buying Guide
As effective as brand quality may be when it comes to choosing a good device for your needs, sometimes we just can’t afford to place our hard-earned savings on a pricey product. In times like these, it really pays off to know exactly which features to look for in a radio headset. That way, even if can’t afford the products from the most prestigious brands, we will still be able to acquire a device which will be able to satisfy our requirements.
That said, be sure to keep an eye out for the following features as they can, in most cases, help even the cheapest devices stand out among the rest, and offer performance similar to that of a high-end product:
I believe it goes without saying when it comes to headphones, but I’ll say it again just in case. The absolute most important factor of any headphones is that they should be comfortable to wear at all times, even after several hours of continuous use. Even if the headphones have cutting-edge drivers which can produce the best quality sound, this is all rendered moot if the headphones become cumbersome and start to hurt your ears after a few minutes of use. Keep in mind that over-ear headphones don’t always translate to comfort, as there are quite a few of in-ear monitors which can provide a very comfortable listening experience. Likewise, there are also over-ear headphones which can feel bulky and uncomfortable from the very beginning.
For this purpose, always make sure that headphones are equipped with various features to improve their comfort factor such as cushioned earpads, adjustable headband, and an ergonomic design.
We know that the whole point of radio headsets is that they can be used as standalone devices, so that even if you don’t have a media player at hand you will still be able to tune into your favorite stations. However, a nice feature to have in every pair of radio headphones is the capacity to connect to other devices, either via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so that, if you ever decide to listen to your own music, you could easily pair your radio headset with your smartphone or media player and listen to your personal tunes anywhere you go.
This feature is very important, as it is the main difference between a great listening experience and a lackluster one. While the vast majority of radio headsets can’t be compared to professional-grade headphones, the sound quality they provide should still be as good as possible, so that you’re able to enjoy your tunes to the fullest. If possible, try to go for a model that includes bass adjustment capabilities or onboard equalizers, so that you can personalize your listening experience with crispier highs or booming lows.
An important part of noise-canceling radio headsets stems from their ability to regulate their output volume to drown out external noises. Some radio headsets come equipped with the ability to automatically regulate their volume and set them to a safe level at all times, which really comes in handy whenever we’re working with loud external noise, so we don’t hurt our ears after the noise subsides.
Like with all wireless devices, their functionality will be limited by the capacity of their batteries. Luckily, most radio headsets nowadays come with rechargeable batteries, which also offer many hours of use before having to recharge. The cheapest models, however, will require AA or AAA batteries to power their drivers, which can make them a real hassle to use, since you’ll have to carry around spare batteries in case the old ones run out of juice. That said, if you’re looking for the best experience, you should look for a radio headset that comes with a Li-Ion battery, as these can provide the longest use with little downtime needed for recharging.
The Different Types Of Best AM/FM Headsets
As you might’ve guessed by now, there are several types of radio headphones available for purchase. However, in stark contrast with traditional headphones, they are not divided into closed-back and open-back. Instead, radio headsets are divided into two distinct categories:
- Standard Radio Headphones: Your average, run-of-the-mill radio headphones allow you to tune into any given radio station in the general area. This makes them a very convenient product considering that, if you’re not able to afford a high-end music player, you’d have to swap out the songs in it every so often so that you don’t hear the same tracks on repeat over and over again. Radio headphones circumvent the annoyance by allowing you to tune into radio stations, making the listening experience a truly unique one each and every time you use your headphones. Additionally, these devices are standalone, which means that you won’t need to hook them up to a media player in order to listen to your favorite songs. This extra portability makes radio headphones the go-to choice for many individuals, including those that need a lightweight and wireless alternative to listen to music while the workout, or go about their daily lives.
- Radio Headphones With Ear Protection: The go-to choice for construction workers, or for those that dabble in heavy labor on a daily basis. This type of radio headphone has built-in noise canceling capabilities, so you can enjoy your music while working heavy machinery, or while simply mowing the lawn in your yard. Furthermore, they can also protect your ears from these sources of noise by filtering out harmful external sounds, keeping your ears safe, and allowing you to partake of your favorite tunes simultaneously.
The Different Brands Of Best AM/FM Headsets
Just like there is a wide variety of radio headphones, there are a similar variety of companies which specialize in the manufacture and sale of these products. We all know that with brand loyalty comes quality and, for this reason, we decided to list the organizations that produce the best radio headphones in the market. That way, even if you’re new to this industry and don’t exactly what to look for in a radio headset, you’ll still be able to acquire a product of great quality if you invest in the following brands:
This American firm 3M, which receives its name from the abbreviation of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is a multinational company based in the United States that is dedicated to the research, development, manufacture, and commercialization of diverse types of technologies. They mostly offer products and services to diverse markets, with a focus on the industrial equipment and technology market.
Their products are renowned for being market leaders in whichever category they belong to; whether they be office supplies, public image services, electronic articles, public services, health, medicine, industrial equipment, and much, much more. They hold a significant presence in more than 100 countries and have a workforce of over 88,000 employees worldwide.
A subsidiary of the Honeywell conglomerate, Howard Leight is an industry leader when it comes to in-ear hearing protection. This company offers one of the largest varieties of protection devices to safeguard the hearing of construction workers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and other professionals who interact with noisy equipment and environments on a daily basis. Furthermore, this company is continually on the vanguard of technology in order to design and manufacture products who not only ensure the safety of the user’s ears but also manage to deliver extreme comfort even through the longest work sessions.
Howard Leight is also the founder of several initiatives for the conservation of the worker’s hearing capacity. For over 30 years, this company has been striving to ensure the prevention of hearing loss of occupational origin through their extensive research programs which allow them to create protective equipment with cutting edge design, comfort, and performance. Most of their products come equipped with their proprietary technologies such as the Air Flow Control technology, QuietDose personal in-ear dosimetry, and the VeriPro ear plug fit testing system.
The RadioShack Corporation is an American company which oversees a chain of stores that deal mainly in office supplies and a wide variety of electronic components and equipment. They have significant presence in Both Mexico and the United States, and deal mostly in items from the Sprint brand, though they also have their own RadioShack brand of products which encompasses everything from simple office supplies such as staplers, to a wide variety of electronics, such as universal remotes, Wi-Fi routers, Wi-Fi extenders, radio headphones, and so on.
Founded in the 1960’s, Pyle started out as a manufacture of car subwoofers. For many years, they specialized in refining and improving their proprietary Pyle Driver; their original creation. As time went by, the company expanded to work on car audio equipment in general and, in recent years, they have grown to also include LED-lighting and anti-car theft systems to their repertoire. Nowadays, besides producing high-end car audio systems, Pyle also specializes in the manufacture and sale of speakers, amplifiers, DJ equipment, audio accessories, and much more.
The Chinese company Bluedio has taken it upon themselves to provide the very best quality in wireless radio headsets the world has ever seen. For years, users were complaining about how these wireless products provided only that: wireless entertainment, but with a significant tradeoff in audio quality. Bluedio knew this and revolutionized the market with their UFO line of Bluetooth headsets. Their products are simply amazing from the get-go, even the packing leaves nothing to be desired. Furthermore, their products make for awesome devices for casual listeners, as they can provide top-quality sound in any place, at any time.
The best pair of radio headphones can be really hard to come by, especially if you don’t actually know what qualities and features to keep an eye out for. With the facts and tips contained in this guide, you should now be able to browse the market on your own and make the very best purchase that will give you the most bang for your buck. If you still have any doubts, then feel free to purchase any of the products listed in this article, as we’ve verified for ourselves that they’re some of the best exemplars of devices in this category. We assure you that, no matter which one you choose, you’ll receive a product that will serve you faithfully for years to come.