What Are Shortwave Radios?

When considering a new radio, it’s important to know what features they have and what your options are. We’ll go over the different types, from Tecsun to Sony, and what features they have to offer. Then we’ll go over some shortwave radio basics and how they can benefit your listening experience. If you’re considering a shortwave receiver for emergencies or warzones, here are some important considerations.


The Tecsun shortwave radio has an impressive range of features, including the ability to receive aircraft band frequencies, single band frequencies, and shortwave signals. The company has been manufacturing radios for over two decades and continues to innovate, offering its customers high quality products. Tecsun is an official member of the CCC, RoHS, and FCC, and has an excellent track record for delivering a great product at a reasonable price.

Tecsun shortwave radios are highly popular and available in stores around the world. The radios are relatively cheap and can be used for many different purposes. Tecsun’s range of shortwave radios is particularly useful if you are interested in listening to international broadcasts. You can also tune into shortwave radios to listen to local and distant radio stations. However, the brand has a reputation for high quality and durability.

For those who need extra power, a Tecsun 501x radio has two 18650 lithium batteries and a five-volt double USB A charging cube. It has a mini-to-mini cord and wired earphones. The PL-990x has a similar IC, but the H-501 uses a different IC to achieve the same results. Despite the limited capacity, the H-501 is a highly capable and sensitive radio for home use.


If you are interested in getting an Eton shortwave radio, then you have come to the right place. These compact, global shortwave radios have everything you need to tune into any radio station worldwide. The Eton Elite mini compact radio features an LCD screen with backlighting for easier viewing, alarm, and search capabilities. It has both shortwave and AM/FM bands. The Eton Mini AM/FM/Shortwave radio has an internal antenna and can be tuned to any local station or world station.

The Eton Elite Traveler shortwave radio is an excellent option for camping or long road trips. It is very portable and has an alarm and sleep timer. It also has a LCD display to aid digital tuning. Another advantage of the Eton Elite Traveler shortwave radio is its FM telescopic antenna. You can use this radio while you are traveling because it will allow you to listen to local news, weather, and sports channels in different locations.

The Eton Elite Executive radio is a more expensive option than the Radio Shack radio. At $230, it’s priced roughly the same as the PL-880. But at least the Eton has solar panels that charge the radio while you’re away. The radio can also be charged from an AC source. Eton customers have been using solar radios for years. If you are not interested in solar panels, then consider the Radio Shack radio instead.


The Sony ICF-T46 shortwave radio is a pocketable and highly effective shortwave receiver. The sensitivity of the radio is good for both FM and AM stations. This radio is also analog tuned. It is a lightweight device with excellent audio quality. This model is also considered to be the best shortwave radio by Sony. Compared to other models, the Sony ICF-T46 offers excellent audio quality. The battery life is very long. It also features a battery indicator that can be set to stay on for several seconds or turn off completely.

The Sony ICF-SW7600GR AM/FM Shortwave Receiver is one of the most popular models made by Sony. Its grey color and simple design give it a sophisticated look. It requires four “AA” batteries and comes with an AC adapter. Its frequency range is 100 kHz to 3.6 GHz. It has a high-quality microphone, a large LCD display and a wind-up antenna.

The S-meter, band name, and UTC timing are missing from the Sony receiver. The time is set with two buttons on the back stand. The Timer A and B can be used to set the time for the radio audio to be played. The left hand is used to adjust the volume. In addition, there are no rotary encoders or sync. This model is the cheapest and most popular shortwave radio on the market.


A shortwave radio from Eton looks like a bigger version of your mobile phone, so it’s easy to slip in your pocket. Founded in 1978, Eton makes a number of custom-designed models. Prices for the Eton models are affordable at around $35, which puts them in the best shortwave radio under $500 category. There are some differences between the two brands, though. Here are a few of the differences you should note.

The Eton Elite 750 shortwave radio is able to receive signals from all wavelengths, including VHF aircraft frequencies and AM radio signals. The AM antenna rotates 360 degrees, improving its ability to pick up weak signals. It supports AM, FM, SW, LW, SSB, and aircraft band frequencies, and comes with a built-in MP3 player. The Eton Elite 750 also has a built-in speaker for crystal clear sound.

The Eton Elite Mini’s shortwave radio offers excellent audio clarity and portability. At less than 4 inches long, it’s easy to take anywhere. Its 4″ x 6″ dimensions make it easy to carry around. It also has the ability to transmit up to 50 watts. Compared to other shortwave radios, the Eton Elite Mini is smaller, making it a great choice for traveling.

Sony ICF-S2

The Sony ICF-S2 shortwave radio is a smaller, lightweight, digital frequency-tuning device with a small, four-centimetre dial scale. The radio also comes with a nylon carrying case, and a sheet explaining shortwave receiving techniques. The radio’s manual recommends that you keep two AA batteries in the unit to retain the time and date/time, as well as the memory bank data.

The shortwave radio has a memory capacity of 3050 stations, and has fine-tuning knobs for SSB tuning. The radio’s memory capacity is impressive, and its audio quality is quite loud for its size. It also comes with a three-watt, 40-mm speaker with a 4 Ohm impedance. It produces a clear sound from this speaker, and is a great choice for quiet settings or household environments. You can also use headphones if you prefer.

The ICF-2010 is the last version of the Sony ICF-S2 shortwave radio. Introduced in 1985, this radio costs $319 and was discontinued in 2004. It had impressive DXing capabilities and has a dedicated fan base. It has over 2,600 members in a Yahoo group, and has thrived on eBay. You can pick up a used Sony ICF-2010 for about $200-$400 depending on its condition.

Sony ICF-S3

The Sony ICF-S3 shortwave radio is the heir apparent of the ICF-S3 ham radio. Released in 1985 for $319, it boasted impressive capabilities for DXing hobbyists and gathered a large following. There is even an active Yahoo group dedicated to this model, with over 2,600 members. It continues to thrive on eBay, selling for $200-$400 depending on its condition.

Sony ICF-S4

This compact, general coverage portable shortwave and FM receiver features a multifunction LCD digital readout and direct access tuning. Its automatic scan tuning and 22 memories allow it to tune from 150 to 29995 kHz. The built-in battery provides up to four hours of listening time. This Sony shortwave radio also has an external antenna adapter, making it compatible with most types of shortwave transmitters.

The ICF-S4 is very compact and lightweight, measuring 7.5 by 4 inches and weighing 22 oz. It also has three white buttons for enabling scanning, while 11 keys allow you to enter the frequency directly. Unlike other shortwave radios, the ICF-S4 has no built-in antenna. It works on three AA batteries. Sony also distributes this model in Japan.