Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024

Best Weather Radio Reviews

Severe weather can strike at any time, and when it strikes, your power might go out, and communication networks may go down. It’s not wise to assume that our modern technology will work no matter what. If your computer, TV and mobile phone stopped working in a disaster situation, who would warn you of an incoming tornado or hurricane? Where would you go for information? And, how would you communicate with the authorities? Most people would be left in the dark during a serious weather event. Don’t be caught off guard—be prepared with an NOAA weather radio in your home and workplace.

A weather radio with a backup power source is the only truly reliable medium to receive weather and disaster alerts so you can stay in touch with what’s going on around you. These special radios receive alerts as soon as they’re issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The best models are equipped with technology that automatically turns them on when alerts are broadcasted, so you’ll be ready in case of any severe events, from tornadoes and hurricanes to fires and chemical spills.

Our team of editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you navigate when shopping online. This post contains compensated links, and if you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission. To learn more, read our disclaimer.

Quick Summary: Our Top Picks for Weather Radios in 2024
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 1
Midland WR400
  • Large clear display
  • Public Alert certified radio with a customizable alerts feature
  • Good reception and excellent sound quality
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 2
Midland ER310
  • 2600mAh capacity rechargeable battery
  • Included flashlight with strobe light SOS
  • Best model for your emergency kit or outdoor adventures
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 3
Midland WR120EZ
  • It can display alert messages on its screen in three languages – English, Spanish, and French
  • Has a loud 90dB siren and flashing LED warnings
  • Reception and audio quality are impressive
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 4
  • 2000mAh capacity rechargeable battery
  • Water-resistant and drop-proof case
  • Large hand crank for easy charging
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 5
Sangean CL-100
  • Audio jack included so you can connect an external audio source
  • High-quality speakers and great reception
  • Can store up to five presets for both the AM and FM bands
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 6
Eton Scorpion II
  • Lightweight and weatherproof hand-crank emergency radio
  • Can charge the internal battery via the solar panel or the hand crank
  • Has an LED flashlight and USB charging capabilities
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 7
Sangean MMR-88
  • Can be powered by either solar or crank power
  • Includes a DSP digital AM/FM/WX tuner for superior audio quality
  • Flashlight has several lighting options
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 8
RunningSnail NOAA Weather Radio
  • Has an integrated flashlight and reading light
  • The battery can be charged either by the hand crank or the included solar panel
  • It includes an SOS alarm with flashing red lights for times of distress
Best Weather Radio Reviews in 2024 9
FosPower Emergency Weather Radio
  • It incorporates a 2000mAh power bank capable of providing emergency power to any small tablet or phone.
  • The emergency crank radio can also provide light.
  • The radio will dependably receive up to the second emergency weather forecasts and emergency news broadcasts from NOAA and AM/FM stations.

Dimensions: 5.5 x 7 x 2.2 inches
Weight: 1.6 pounds
SAME Technology: Yes
Public Alert Certified: Yes
Power Source: AC, 4 AA Batteries

By far the Midland WR400 is the best NOAA weather radio available. It doubles as an AM/FM alarm clock too, which makes it a great replacement for your current alarm clock. A large, bright screen displays the time, battery life, and current alerts. The device also has four radio presets for easy tuning.

Since this is a Public Alert certified radio, you’ll be able to connect an external alerting device, but one of our favorite features here are the customizable alerts. Say you live well inland in a county facing the water. Marine warnings are irrelevant to you, and the WR400 can filter them out. Or perhaps you only want to be alerted to warnings, and not watches. You could set up the WR400 to alert you only to issued warnings, limiting the amount of times the device goes off during severe weather events.

Sound quality is commonly cited as one of the WR400’s top features, with good reception being the main contributor. That’s often an issue with other models, and clear signals are necessary for the SAME alert system to work.

We could see however that the WR400’s screen may make it impractical for the bedroom of some users. One customer review did say the screen was too bright even on the “dim” setting.

Click here to check the price of our #1 recommendation: the Midland WR400 on Amazon

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Large clear display
  • Good reception
  • Customizable alerts
  • Display might be too bright for the bedroom of some users

2. Midland ER310: Best Emergency Radio

Dimensions: 9.6 x 3 x 6.8 inches
Weight: 1 pound
SAME Technology: No
Public Alert Certified: No
Power Source: Rechargeable Lithium Ion 2600mAh Battery, Hand Crank, USB, Solar, 6 AA Batteries

Midland has also produced the best emergency radio on our list, the ER310. This model has a 2600mAh capacity rechargeable battery that can be charged three ways, via the hand crank, solar power and USB. The radio may also be powered by 6 “AA” batteries as a backup. The Midland ER310 has support for AM and FM radio as well as the NOAA weather radio band.

The ER310 has a built in 130-lumen flashlight and even a USB port to allow you to charge your smartphone or other USB powered devices. With a 2600mAh internal battery, regular use will net you about 32 hours of radio time. The company says that even from a dead battery, just an hour of sunlight should be enough to power it for 45 minutes.

Other useful features include a strobe light SOS feature (flashes S-O-S in Morse code), and an ultrasonic dog whistle to assist search teams in finding you if you get lost. We think the Midland ER310 is the best model for your emergency kit or outdoor adventures as it’s reliable, robust and includes all of the essential features to help you survive any disasters.

Customer reviews often cite impressive sound quality from the speaker and ease of use as high points of the ER310. You simply can’t go wrong here.

Click here to check the price of the reliable and robust Midland ER310 on Amazon

  • Great audio quality
  • Multiple charging options
  • Large battery capacity
  • Included flashlight with strobe light SOS
  • Compact size
  • Lack of memory buttons
  • No waterproofing

3. Midland WR120EZ: Best Cheap Radio

Dimensions: 5 x 4.5 x 2 inches
Weight: 1 pound
SAME Technology: Yes
Public Alert Certified: Yes
Power Source: AC, 3 AA Batteries

The WR120EZ desktop weather radio gets high marks because of its affordable price and strong feature set. It can display alert messages on its screen in three languages – English, Spanish, and French, and has a loud 90dB siren and flashing LED warnings to let you know whether the alert is an advisory, watch, or warning.

It is Public Alert certified so even at this price you’ll still be able to filter out unnecessary alerts, and attach external warning devices to the radio. Reception and audio quality are impressive, however not as robust and clear as the WR400. 3 AA batteries give you backup power options if the power goes out, and the device can scan other channels while you’re listening to one so that you never miss an alert. We’re impressed with all the features they could fit into this device for such an affordable price.

There are some negatives that are to be expected for an entry-level model. The WR120EZ isn’t as durable as the WR400, and the screen isn’t as informative. It also sits with its display facing upward rather than outward like the WR400. You’ll need to walk up to the device to physically read any alert messages.

  • Value for money
  • Text alerts
  • Easy to program
  • Cheaper construction
  • Upward facing display

4. Eton FRX5BT: Best Hand Crank Radio

Dimensions: 5.8 x 7.1 x 2.3 inches
Weight: 1.375 pounds
SAME Technology: Yes
Public Alert Certified: No
Power Source: 2000mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

The Eton FRX5BT is similar to the Midland ER310 in functionality, but in a bigger overall package with a few additional features. Charge the FRX5BT via solar, the hand crank or with the included micro-USB cable. A 2000mAh rechargeable battery even gives you enough battery capacity to charge an electronic device. This is the best hand cranked radio for emergencies as the actual crank is the largest of every model we have reviewed—making it much easier to turn over and charge the device.

We’re intrigued by the Bluetooth functionality, which allows you to connect the device to your smartphone to use it as a Bluetooth speaker for entertainment purposes. It does have the capability to receive SAME alerts—however, the display doesn’t show the type of alert like other models we’ve listed here.

Also included in the device is a LED flashlight and red emergency beacon, as well as a separate dimmable ambient light. The rugged casing is also excellent, giving the FRX5BT a good deal of durability. In fact, the unit is drop-proof from a height of 3.3ft and water-resistant to the IPX4 specifications.

One area where the Eton isn’t as good as our top picks is reception. The US has the most tornadoes in the world, and rural areas are vulnerable to tornadoes. Some reviews cite issues with receiving alerts in rural areas, although the sound quality is fairly decent when an adequate signal is available. The internal rechargeable battery is also smaller than some other competing models, which may be an issue for some depending on how you’ll use it.

  • Water-resistant and drop-proof case
  • Bluetooth for music playback
  • Large hand crank for easy charging
  • SAME technology
  • No option for disposable batteries
  • Small buttons which are hard to read as they are hidden under the handle

Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.2 x 2.5 inches
Weight: 1.1 pounds
SAME Technology: Yes
Public Alert Certified: Yes
Power Source: DC, 4 AA Batteries

Sangean is known for making high-quality shortwave radios, and their AM/FM-RBDS/Weather clock radio the CL-100 is no different. This desktop radio is the only one we know of that does FM-RBDS (those text messages that appear on your car radio telling you the station or song that is playing), and it even includes an audio jack so you can connect an external audio source.

The CL-100 is SAME capable, and alert messages appear on the device’s upward-facing display. Digital signal processing makes the audio quality top notch, and you can store up to five presets for both the AM and FM bands.

The clock radio is handy and features something called HWS, or Human Wake-Up System. Essentially, alarms and music can be set to gradually get louder to gently wake you up versus the traditional alarm which can sometimes be harsh on your ears.

Our only concerns are poorly written directions and the display. This seems a bit awkward for a clock radio since you must be on top of it to view the screen. Some users also reported difficulty in receiving RBDS signals correctly.

  • High-quality speakers
  • RBDS functionality
  • Great reception
  • Upward facing display

Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.5 x 1.9 inches
Weight: 0.66 pounds
SAME Technology: No
Public Alert Certified: No
Power Source: 800mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB

The Eton Scorpion II is a lightweight and weatherproof hand-crank emergency radio. It includes a half-watt LED flashlight and USB charging capabilities, along with AM, FM, and NOAA Weather band support. You can charge the internal battery via the solar panel or the hand crank, and you should be able to get a full day’s use out of the included 800mAh battery.

One area where the Eton Scorpion II seems to do better than the Midland ER310 is its ruggedized casing that is also IPX4 splash proof. This particular model is probably much more suited for the outdoor enthusiast, and an attached carabiner will allow you to attach this easily to your hiking bag.

There are a few disadvantages here, first and foremost being a much smaller battery than most emergency radios with only an 800mAh capacity. While it does make the Scorpion II light in weight, we wouldn’t recommend this if you also want a radio that can give a quick charge to your electronic devices—even though the Scorpion II can just manage to do it. Other customers point to a small screen and average audio quality as downsides to an otherwise pretty solid device.

  • Lightweight
  • Rugged construction
  • Included carabiner
  • Average audio quality
  • 800mAh rechargeable battery
  • Small display screen

Dimensions: 6 x 2.7 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 0.86 pounds
SAME Technology: No
Public Alert Certified: Yes
Power Source: 850mAh Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, USB, Solar, Hand Crank

Sangean’s second model on this list is the public alert certified MMR-88. This radio can be powered by either solar or crank power and includes a DSP digital AM/FM/WX tuner for superior audio quality. You can have up to 19 AM/FM presets, and an included USB cable allows you to charge standard USB powered devices.

850mAH batteries should give you enough power for all-day use, and an adjustable high/low/blinking/SOS light on its side should be plenty powerful enough for emergency situations.

There are a few potential disadvantages to this particular model which may make another radio on this list a better bet. If you’re looking for a radio that is comfortable to hold when using as a flashlight, this one might be a bit too bulky. Others point to reception issues in areas where radio signals are weaker. Otherwise, just like any other Sangean, the audio quality is superb—as long as you have a good signal.

  • Preset station feature
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Flashlight has several lighting options
  • No option for disposable batteries

Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.1 x 2.9 inches
Weight: 0.68 pounds
SAME Technology: No
Public Alert Certified: No
Power Source: 2000mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Hand Crank, Solar, USB, 3 AAA Batteries

RunningSnail gives you a lot of bang for your buck with a 2000mAh battery, AM/FM/WX band support, and an integrated flashlight and reading light. The company says you’ll get up to 12 hours of light from the device, or 4-6 hours of continuous radio time.

The battery can be charged either by the hand crank or the included solar panel, although USB charging is, of course, the fastest. You can even power the device using 3 AAA’s.

For times of distress, the RunningSnail includes an SOS alarm with flashing red lights. However, the device does not have weather alert capabilities (where the radio self-activates for broadcast alerts), there's no digital display and reception may not be the best as the antenna construction lags other options.

Still, at its price point, the RunningSnail offers quite a bit of functionality.

  • Portability
  • Reading light and flashlight
  • Affordable price
  • No weather alert functionality
  • Cheap construction
  • No digital display

Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.9 x 2.1 inches
Weight: 10.9 ounces
SAME Technology: No
Public Alert Certified: No
Power Source: Rechargeable Lithium Ion 2000mAh/3.7V, Solar, Hand Crank, USB

Compact yet powerful, the FosPower A1 model has all the essential features you need in an emergency weather radio for a reasonable price.

The FosPower’s star feature is its powering versatility, so if one method fails, you have others:

  1. Solar panel
  2. Hand crank
  3. Lithium-ion battery
  4. 3AAA batteries
  5. Micro-USB charging

To avoid draining the battery source you want to conserve, choose either the 3AAA or the lithium battery for power by adjusting the designated selector switch.

To conserve the more powerful 1W flashlight for emergencies, the FosPower A1 has a discrete set of 4 LED reading lights under the solar panel. To further preserve its compactness, the antenna folds up and stashes inside the device so it can’t break off accidentally in a stuffed backpack. 

The FosPower A1 relies on manual tuning into AM/FM and NOAA frequencies for the latest weather updates to save energy. This device has no auxiliary input or cord to pipe in tunes from another source. 

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use emergency radio with all the essential functions at a reasonable price, the FosPower A1 is your best bet.

  • Loud SOS siren with red strobe light (switch on bottom)
  • IPX-3 water resistant
  • Adjustable wrist lanyard with carabiner
  • Short crank handle
  • No alarm clock
  • Can’t replace Li-ion battery

Types of Weather Radios

How do you choose the best weather radio? Let’s first talk about the difference between a desktop radio and an emergency one, and who they’re most suitable for. Then we'll get into the best weather alert radio reviews where I'll reveal the models that you can rely on during a severe weather event.

Desktop Weather Radios

Desktop Weather Radio

Midland WR400 Desktop Weather Radio

Desktop weather radios are exactly what the name suggests—they sit on your desk plugged into an AC outlet for power. They broadcast weather alerts when they’re issued in your area, and they can even double as a bedside alarm clock. They can also run off batteries as a backup alternative but are not designed to be portable. Most models here come with a display that highlights the threat level of the alert (warning, watch, advisory) along with the type of emergency event that is active (hurricane, tornado, blizzard, thunderstorm, flooding, etc.).

Emergency Radios

Emergency Radio

Midland ER310 Emergency Radio

Emergency radios, on the other hand, are designed to be more portable as they run primarily on internal power and are typically weatherproof and shockproof. They have a robust construction with a rechargeable battery instead of having to plug them into AC power. The best emergency models can be charged by using a hand crank or solar power, which makes them great for ‘off the grid’ situations, outdoor adventures or times where the power is out for an extended period.

Some models have extra functions, such as a built-in flashlight and a reading light. They also include the capability to give your phone a quick boost of power to make an emergency call.

Don’t think you just need to be a survivalist or ‘prepper’ to own an emergency radio. Every home should have some type of emergency kit just in case and it is a vital piece of equipment to have in that kit—being prepared and informed can save your family’s life.

Do You Need a Desktop Weather Radio or Emergency Radio?

An outdoor enthusiast would find an emergency radio more versatile, as it can be used both indoors and outdoors on camping and hiking trips.

My recommendation is to have a desktop radio at home beside your bed ready to alert you of any incoming threats and then have an emergency one packed away ready to go in your survival/emergency supply kit for incidents where the power might go out or if you need to leave your home in a hurry.

Features to Consider When Shopping for a Weather Radio

There are a lot of options available when it comes to purchasing a weather alert radio. With that said, some are not as reliable as others, and some models don’t include important features. Below we have listed the features we think you should look for to get the best model for you.

NOAA Weather Radio Broadcasts

Public Alert and NOAA All Hazards Logos

A weather radio is exactly that first and foremost. Any that you choose should have the “Public Alert” or “NOAA NWR All Hazards” logo (some will have both, which is even better). These are third-party standards used to certify weather radios, and both programs were developed in conjunction with the NOAA and the National Weather Service.

Public Alert radios, in particular, meet a stricter technical standard. These must be able to receive area-specific alerts such as isolated or scattered thunderstorms risk and be able to turn off non-relevant ones (like coastal flood warnings for those that live inland). They must play a tone before an alert is broadcast, and include an external jack to power notification devices such as a strobe light.

Weather radios will be able to tune to the following seven frequencies which the National Weather Service broadcast through.

  • 162.400 MHz
  • 162.425 MHz
  • 162.450 MHz
  • 162.475 MHz
  • 162.500 MHz
  • 162.525 MHz
  • 162.550 MHz

These stations are not accessible with a standard radio.

SAME Technology

The best NOAA weather radio models support SAME, short for Specific Area Message Encoding. This feature allows the radio to ignore weather alerts that are not for your area. Most people will only want to hear the alerts that are for their county, not the whole state or country. This also minimizes the risk of any “false alarms” from events that are a few counties away from where you live.

Power Source and Battery Life

Your typical desktop weather radio always comes with an AC power cord. However, these also have batteries as a backup, so they will still run for a short period of time after power is lost. This will work for most people but aren’t practical in emergency situations where power can sometimes be out for days or even weeks.

Those that need more portability or options to power the device without AC power or changing batteries might be better served by an emergency radio. These devices have an internal rechargeable battery, and all you need is either sunlight or the turning of a hand crank to give it enough power to operate (most can be quickly charged via USB ahead of potentially hazardous weather).

In any case, look for a weather radio that also has a battery life indicator, so you’ll be notified before the device runs out of power. Additionally, only consider an emergency radio that has a rechargeable battery with at least a 2000mAh capacity so it can stay operational for longer periods.

Audible Alerts and Flashing LED Warning Systems

Make sure your weather radio has a loud audible alert that you will hear. If you have hearing difficulties, get a Public Alert certified radio. These have a jack to attach an external warning device, like a strobe light.


Durability is an especially important quality to look for in emergency radios. You will want a solidly constructed device with a shockproof case, as it will be knocked around quite a bit when you’re on the move in an emergency situation. A waterproof case is also nice to have so it can survive any wet weather.

With desktop radios you will want a bit of durability—these units are intended to give you years of service, so purchase a unit with a robust construction and not something cheaply made.

Size and Weight

Your size and weight considerations when choosing a desktop or emergency radio are going to be something you’ll need to judge for yourself. Small and portable models are easier to carry around and are better for emergency kits, but are typically a bit more fragile and aren’t as loud. Larger radios give you better sound and are usually more durable, but they can be awkward to carry around.

Flashlight & Reading Lamp

Kill two birds with one stone in your emergency kit and get a radio with an integrated flashlight and reading lamp. If the power’s out, these features will come in handy. An integrated flashlight does seem to be a standard feature on most emergency radios. However, desktop models will not have this luxury so keep that in mind when making a buying decision.

Smartphone Charging

Top emergency radio devices now come with a USB port to provide a quick charge of your mobile phone. I caution you not to expect your phone to get a full charge from them, but it will be enough to make an emergency call at least.

Additional Advice

Before we wrap things up, here are a few things to keep in mind after you purchase your desktop weather or emergency radio. Make checking the batteries and the functions of the radio part of your regular housekeeping routine, just like checking the smoke alarms in your home. If you don’t use your device for an extended period, the batteries can become depleted, and batteries can potentially leak causing damage to the whole system. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to use the radio and find out that it doesn’t work properly anymore. It’s also important to make yourself familiar will all of the functions of the radio beforehand.

Lastly, make sure you program the radio correctly if it is SAME capable! If you don’t, you could end up getting every alert, not just the alerts that apply to you inside your county. Watch the video below or read our instructions to learn how to set up and program a Midland weather radio.


In emergency situations, power is sometimes the first thing to go, and you will need a reliable device that can run off internal power to warn you of any incoming severe weather and keep you connected to the outside world.

The best emergency weather radios have good reception to the NOAA weather channels, have at least a 2000mAh rechargeable battery and include different options to charge the unit such as a hand crank or solar panels.

Not all desktop weather and emergency radios are built the same, and that’s why we chose the Midland WR400 desktop radio and the Midland ER310 emergency radio as our top recommendations. Midland was one of the first companies to produce weather radios and has rightfully earned a reputation as a leader in the market due to building quality products that consumers can depend on when disaster strikes.

Published: July 18, 2020

Comments (3)

  1. Avatar Richard March 24, 2018
  2. Avatar G. Robert Pole March 26, 2018
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