What is a weather radio

Last Updated: 25.05.19


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Top rated weather radios in 2019


If you are short on time and can’t afford read all the reviews and excellent buying advice written by our team of researchers, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best weather radios. In determining the best products we have looked at product popularity, expert reviews and last but not least feedback straight from the users. We discovered that the ER-Radio KA600 is the best you can get for the money right now. The model is designed to work with all kinds of frequencies, NOAA alerts and regular radio stations, so you can use it for entertainment purposes, as well. A versatile unit, this model works with different power sources, such as AA batteries, solar energy, regular AC/DC sources and it can be hand cranked for recharging. Its several other functionalities truly make this one a great buy: it comes with a thermometer, an incorporated flashlight and a hygrometer, too, so you will find it really handy when you find yourself in an emergency situation. If the ER-Radio KA600 is unavailable, you can confidently choose the Motorola MWR839 as it offers similar performance.


1.1 KA600 BLACK


The top features of a fully functional weather radio 

What is a weather radio and why should you get one? If you’ve been trying to figure out what such a device does, we’re here to give you a helping hand. We’ve put together a short yet informative buying guide, to help you understand some of the core features of weather radios. Remember to read as much info as possible before deciding to pick a certain model. Here’s what you should know.


Situations where a weather radio can save your life

If you live in an area that is prone to severe weather, be it hurricanes or extreme storms, a weather radio can actually save your life and the lives of your loved ones.


Irrelevant alerts

If possible, pick a unit that features selective alert blocking, particularly if you live in a state where weather hazards are a common thing. Too many irrelevant alerts may convince you to turn off the radio, so it’s important to get a unit that doesn’t end up bugging you.


Power sources

What can you do in the unlikely event something goes wrong and you’re incapable of powering up your weather radio using standard electricity? If you choose a hand crank model, you’ll be able to power it up thanks to good old hand power. Some modern units can be charged with the help of a small power panel.


Our top choices


In the hopes you found an answer to the question “What is a weather radio?”, we’ve selected three of the most acclaimed models we’ve come across. If you’re still prospecting the market, you might want to have a look at the following devices, as they’ve gathered positive user reviews from all over the world.



ER-Radio KA600


A.1 What is a weather radioThe KA600 is probably the best weather radio money can buy nowadays. It comes packed with all the features one might ever be looking for. The model is capable of working with AM/FM, Longwave, Shortwave and NOAA frequencies.

Unlike some other products we have analyzed, this one is extremely versatile. Considering that it can be charged using 5 power sources, we say it might be worth taking into account.

The KA600 can be powered up via hand crank and solar panel and via standard AA batteries. Moreover, it can be charged from a PC using the model’s USB port, and also works with a regular AC/DC adapter.

Yet the really neat thing about the KA600 is that it is not only a weather radio. It’s a flashlight, a thermometer and a humidity meter as well.

Over 70% of the buyer opinions we have consulted think that this product is worth a 5-star rating. Most of these consumers claim that it offers amazing value for the price.



This model receives signals from all the NOAA stations, as well as AM and FM channels so that you can use it both as a weather radio and as a regular radio.

You can get the unit powered up by using the available AC/DC adapter, batteries, USB port, solar panel, and a hand crank conveniently installed on the radio.

You can use tuning, as well as direct digit entry, manual, and ATS, to identify the channels broadcasting in your area.

The unit comes equipped with a 3-LED flashlight that will help you when you need to navigate through the dark and a 5-LED reading lamp that will give you some light when the power grid collapses.

The radio also has a thermometer and a humidity indicator, to let you know of local conditions.



Some buyers comment on the fact that the instructions are not very clear and that they needed a while to figure things out.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.98)




Motorola MWR839


2.Motorola MWR839While it might not win your heart at first sight, the Motorola MWR839 is definitely capable of doing what it is supposed to do and does it well.

It’s considerably more affordable compared to other radios that are now being sold. As if the price advantage were not enough, the manufacturers have included a wide array of features in a compact device.

The Motorola MWR839 detects 7 NOAA weather channels and SAME, and allows users to store up to 20 alert messages. In addition, the 3 LED indicators provide useful info regarding the warnings, advisories and watches.

The Motorola model can be used as a traditional radio alarm clock in the morning, and the surprising detail about it is that it even features snooze.

According to the product description and to the ratings it has gathered the Motorola detects 76 types of alerts, ranging from civil emergencies and child abduction alerts to hazards. It goes without saying that the alerts a user does not require can be disabled.



This model comes equipped with Specific Area Message Encoding that allows you to receive alerts for your location, without disturbing you with warnings for weather events that are far away from you.

You will be able to introduce up to 25 different codes in the memory of the receiver, so you can get alerts on inclement weather when you travel.

The available storage for alert messages can hold up to 20 entries, for the same purpose.

The three available light indicators are for different stages of alert: advising, watching, and issuing warnings, allowing you to plan and follow the necessary steps for taking you and your family out of harm’s way.

The weather radio comes with an alarm clock. This has a snooze function and two alarm settings.



The display brightness can be a problem for people with light sensitivity.

Navigating through the menu options can be a little tricky, as some reviewers mention in their comments.

Click to see the price on Amazon!




Sangean CL-100


You will stay informed on all the possible weather hazards reaching your area if you use a weather radio. If you are interested in getting more than just a simple weather radio, the Sangean CL-100 may be right up your alley. You will receive information related to civil emergencies, weather disasters and details regarding evacuation proceedings broadcast by the authorities.

This model takes care of everything. Using SAME programming, it will not annoy you with alerts that are not directly related to your county and nearby areas. You can use its jack socket to connect it to an MP3 player or another device. Another output jack allows you to easily hook up other accessories that will enhance the overall excellent performance of this weather radio, such as a flashing light or a siren.

As a standard radio, this unit does a good job, and one unique advantage is that its five available presets for each band will let you pick and store in the memory of the radio your favorite stations. The high-quality display will allow you to read important information, such as SAME information in text format that will scroll on the screen during emergencies.



This Public Alert Certified model ensures that no emergencies will be able to put your life in danger, as it will always let you know ahead of time of extreme weather conditions.

You will receive broadcasts from NOAA related to the weather evolution, as well as information on how to evacuate in a case of emergency.

The weather radio can be used to listen to your favorite stations and its five available presets for each band will help you store the channels you want.

It also serves as a table top radio, and it comes equipped with a clock to let you know the time.

The SAME programming allows you to receive information for up to 25 different counties.



The fact that this radio works with replaceable batteries only makes it a not so great choice for some buyers who say they prefer the convenience of a rechargeable battery instead.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($56.88)




Unavailable products


Eton NFR160WXB Microlink


3.Eton NFR160WXBEton has been developing weather radios for quite a long time now, and it comes as no surprise that the company has acquired a respectable reputation over the years. As it is to be expected, the Eton NFR160WXB raises up to par, as it is both versatile and convenient. Furthermore, it is remarkably affordable compared to other radios, including the ones we have showcased above. Some retailers, including Amazon, sell it for less than fifty dollars.

So, why is the Eton NFR160WXB convenient after all? To put it bluntly, the device can be used as a flashlight, a mobile phone charger and a regular weather radio. This gives a lot of freedom to users who, for example, might want to contact their relatives in the case of an emergency but have no more battery on their phones.

As for power sources, the device can be charged by solar power or by dynamo. Both of these give juice to the internal Ni-MH battery.



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