Best NOAA weather radio

Last Updated: 15.11.19

 

Top rated NOAA weather radios of 2019

 

If you are here just to find the best NOAA weather radio and don’t have time to go over the in-depth information provided in the buying guide we have prepared, this paragraph should tell you everything you want to know. After doing much product research and comparison based on reviews and ratings and actual owner feedback, we have found what we believe is the top choice in this category, the Midland HH50 Pocket. It receives NOAA broadcasts to ensure around-the-clock severe weather information to keep you prepared for any eventuality. The automatic alert system turns on when dangerous weather or civil emergencies threaten your specific area. To help you make sure the alert function is working properly at all times, the radio features a test button for safety. If the Midland HH50 Pocket is unavailable, we highly recommend the second best option, the VonHaus Weather Channel Radio.

 

 

Comparison table

 

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The top features of a NOAA weather radio

A weather radio offers more than your standard AM/FM radio frequencies. While most weather radios do transmit both AM and FM radio signals, they also pull in the 7 NOAA weather radio frequencies. They receive emergency alerts for unexpected events such as natural disasters, dangerous weather events and civil emergencies like terrorist threats. The US and Canadian governments broadcast such alerts over special high-frequency radio networks. What distinguishes the best weather radios from the less stellar models?

A.1 Best NOAA weather radio 1000

Versatile power options

Some portable models are powered just by triple-A batteries. This enables use during power outages. Other larger units offer versatile power options, giving you the freedom to use a standard AC socket or alkaline, lithium, standard or rechargeable batteries. The best weather radio to buy is the premium quality type that features a solar panel to power up, in addition to a hand crank that you turn to juice up the internal battery or generator, or through USB input to a computer, or via a supplied mains adaptor. You can choose the type of power source based on what you believe is most convenient in your case. If the main power source is batteries, go for models that provide good battery life or that are at least supplemented with AC power options for extended use.

 

Highly valuable emergency radio features

Weather radios with a Public Alert and/or NWR All Hazards logo are designed to meet the standards of the National Weather Service on reliable weather alert performance. A few models boast SAME technology, which allows you to program the unit to transmit an alert only when the warnings are specific to your local area.

You want the radio to give off an audible alarm or a loud tone when it receives an alert, even when the audio is off or on low level. You may also go for a NOAA weather radio with alert capability that lets you choose to turn off alerts thanks to selective alert blocking, which allows you to sleep at night by filtering unwanted alerts or by limiting the ones that are not relevant to your area. Some large emergency radios employ power dumping capacity to enable emergency charging of your cellphone. Some hand crank models let you plug in your portable device and can charge it sufficiently for you to make a quick call or send a text message.

 

Versatility in use

During emergencies when electric power is cut off, a weather radio that comes with a LED flashlight can be useful for signaling or illumination. Some models offer a clock function so you can keep track of the time of day. Top quality models boast digital (LCD) tuning while the less pricey ones feature analog tuners. Color-coded warning lights enable you to distinguish between the more severe and the less severe weather alerts at just a glance. Red notifies you of a weather warning, orange indicates a watch is in effect, while yellow tells you an advisory is being transmitted. Radios equipped with a rescue alarm can help searchers find you.

A built-in, extendable antenna enables you to pull in the more difficult stations. An external antenna may be needed if National Weather Service broadcasts are a challenge to capture in your area. An external antenna jack allows you to set up a larger antenna outdoors or indoors. Strobe lights or bed shakers can be installed in some models to enhance their built-in alarm and facilitate use by people with disabilities or in institutions, i.e., people hard of hearing or visually impaired.

 

Our top choices

 

Buying an emergency radio is not an easy task. We hope the buying guide above can help you make an easier shopping decision. We have also showcased the best products below for even more help.

 

 

Midland HH50 Pocket

 

1.Midland HH50The durable and compact Midland HH50 Pocket can receive NOAA broadcasts, ensuring that you get severe weather information round the clock so you can be better equipped to handle the extreme situation. It features an automatic alert system that switches on during extreme weather conditions in your area as well as civil emergencies such as terrorist threats.

The test button is a revolutionary safety feature that tells you if the alert function is working as it should. This water resistant device is perfect for outdoor adventures so don’t go camping, hiking, boating or backpacking without it. Lightweight at only 4 ounces, this portable device measures a diminutive 2 inches by 1 inch by 5 inches, making it handy enough to place in your backpack or pocket.

The automatic scan function will do its job once the radio is switched on. It will start searching out to find the most robust weather channel signal available so you won’t have to do the guesswork, providing you with the information relevant to your specific area.

 

Pros

The model has an automatic alert system that turns on as soon as an emergency broadcast is transmitted, making sure you never overlook a disaster heading your way.

The unit has a test button which you can use to see if the alert system works as intended and you are not dealing with a faulty machine.

This weather radio is water resistant which can be very handy seeing that many natural disasters are accompanied by rains and thunderstorms.

A telescoping antenna that measures 6 inches helps with receiving very clear reception.

The automatic scan function helps with quickly locating the strongest signals for NOAA broadcasts in your area.

 

Cons

Some buyers comment on the fact that the unit could have used a LED indicator to let the user know the radio is on.

Volume control is less than ideal, and the buttons seem stiff when you try to operate them.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.94)

 

 

 

VonHaus Weather Channel Radio

 

This model from VonHaus is among the most versatile ones we’ve come across during our research. We’ve taken the time to look at the performance and capabilities of hundreds of units, and this one has shown up on our radar due to the fact that it has garnered mostly favorable reviews. In short, the device is a compact and portable weather radio that does the trick under most circumstances, whether you’re hiking, camping, organizing a barbecue, or just relaxing in your garden.

As is the case with many other units in the line, this one is entirely capable of doing what it’s supposed to, in that it broadcasts both AM and FM bands, as well as all the 7 NOAA frequencies. The antenna is easy to utilize and won’t advance any technical difficulties even to less tech-savvy users.

In addition to all of this, it’s worth noting that this unit has been outfitted with a large capacity battery that enables it to keep functioning for a good deal of time. Besides, even if the battery does run out, you’ll have no trouble powering the model as it comes with a solar panel, a USB input, as well as a crank handle.

 

Pros

This model is multi-purpose as it can be used for emergency, as a weather radio, as well as an AM/FM radio when you just need it for information and entertainment purposes.

Due to its compact size, it is ideal for taking along when hiking, camping, or tailgating; you will easily find a place for it in your backpack.

The radio has more functionalities; it can be used as a flashlight due to its three bright LED lights, and it also has a compass function.

You can use it for recharging your phone if your battery is running low, another great plus in emergency situations when you need to contact others or the authorities.

The radio can be recharged using solar energy, the hand crank it comes along with and via USB from a power outlet or another device.

 

Cons

The only gripe customers seem to have with this product is that the antenna could have been larger for better reception.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

La Crosse Technology 810-163TWR

 

3.La Crosse Technology 810-163TWRTruly the best choice among emergency radios, the La Crosse Technology 810-163TWR offers the convenience of choosing which alert mode you prefer so you won’t be kept awake with unnecessary or irrelevant alerts during the night.

You can use the easy one-button functionality to choose between Active All Alerts or Tornado Only Alert. The easy mode choice button limits the irrelevant alerts without requiring complicated programming. There are no complex codes to use. When the AC cord is plugged in, the weather radio locates the first available weather band channel according to the location of the radio itself.

Offering efficient performance, the radio pulls in signals from the AM and FM frequencies. It features a state-of-the-art USA IC Chip to deliver premium quality digital audio radio signal for fantastic reception. The radio also rides on low power consumption LED to ensure maximum battery life. Power sources can either be through three triple-A batteries or the supplied 6-volt AC adapter plugged into your standard socket.

 

Pros

The USA IC chip is a guarantee that the quality of the reception the radio delivers is up to par with what you would expect from a device used for emergencies.

By just pressing one button you can choose between receiving all the alerts related to the evolution of weather, or only tornado warnings.

The 3 LED lights installed on the unit will change from blue to red depending on the severity of the warning; there are three stages: advisory, watch and full-fledged alert.

The built-in flashlight will surely come in handy in a case of emergency, as its bright light will help you find your way, even in the dark.

The rugged construction is another positive point for this model.

 

Cons

A belt clip would have increased the value of this weather radio, as well as its portability.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($46.29)

 

 

 

RunningSnail MD-090

 

The RunningSnail MD-090 is a multifunctional crank radio well adjusted for various situations, from listening to music in your kitchen to camping or surviving critical.

You can receive the radio signal from AM, FM, or NOAA weather channels in your area, and get notifications for hurricanes and tornadoes or severe storm alerts.

It has an SOS alarm with flashing red light for exactly that type of emergency situation and can be used as a flashlight or table lamp thanks to its 1W bright adjustable LED. The item also turns into a 4 LED reading lamp, practical while camping or locked down by severe weather.

If you run out of standard AAA batteries, you can power your efficient RunningSnail MD-900 by exposing the solar panel to direct sunlight or by hand cranking.

One minute of cranking will be enough to support 25 minutes of light or 10 to 15 minutes of radio, and the total capacity of the lithium battery is meant to cover 12 hours of LED flashlight or 4-6 hours of radio.

When you want to charge your radio, there’s always the USB port you can turn to, which is also very useful when you need to power a phone or any other device during a power outage.

 

Pros

This NOAA alert radio can be used as a regular AM/FM radio, as it comes equipped with all the needed functionalities.

There are four different ways to recharge the radio, with the help of solar power, using batteries, using a hand crank, and via USB.

It can be used as a reading lamp when you do not have any need for it as weather radio or as a regular radio.

The 2000mAh battery can be recharged, and just one charge allows using the radio functionality for 4-6 hours, or, as a source of light, for up to 12 hours.

The SOS alarm comes accompanied by a flashing light, helping others find you in the dark.

 

Cons

Audio quality could have been better, according to some buyers who, however, say that they still feel that the unit is worth the price.

There is no battery indicator, except for a red light when charging and a green one when completely charged.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.9)

 

 

 

Unavailable products

 

VonHaus Premium

 

2.VonHaus Premium NOAA Weather ChannelEasy to carry at just 1.2 pounds and with its compact 8.4-inch x 3.9-inch x 3.3-inch dimensions, the VonHaus Premium provides a handy means of getting valuable information during critical times including civil and weather emergencies.

This is a weather channel emergency radio that offers multiple functionality to make it indispensable in any emergency preparedness kit or during outdoor journeys. Pulling in not just the standard AM and FM stations, this device also receives transmissions from the 7 NOAA weather alert channels to ensure your and your family’s safety. It comes with an emergency LED flashlight to provide illumination when the power is out. It can also charge your cell phone using its power dumping capability so you can make an emergency call or send a text to family or friends in case you need help or just want to find out how they are.

You can have easy viewing of which station you’re on thanks to the LCD backlit display that also provides a clock function.

 

 

 

Read the following articles to be prepared when facing difficult weather conditions:

What to do when you’re snowed in

 

 

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