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What is a Portable Radio?

By Phil Shepley
Updated May 16, 2024
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Once the radio was invented, it didn’t take very long for the portable radio to follow since it takes relatively few materials to build one that works. A portable radio is any device that is designed to receive, decode and sometimes transmit radio signals, which also happens to be portable and easy for one person to transport from one place to another. There are many different types of portable radios that each have different features and functions.

The most common type of portable radio is the is designed simply to receive and amplify AM and FM signals for radio stations, and there are many different varieties of stations to listen to. Many different sizes and styles of this basic type of radio exist, which range from tiny personal stereos that use headphones up to large radios, such as the boombox, which can carry many more features and be used to play radio stations for a larger group of people. The use of these portable devices to solely receive radio stations declined with the invention of devices that are used to play different media such as tapes, CDs, and now digital music in forms such as mp3s and more.

Another common type of portable radio is the weather radio, which is designed with durability in mind, along with the ability to receive radio bands that carry weather forecasts and warnings. Weather radios are used mainly in emergencies and for people whose jobs are dependent upon the weather, so it is essential that they are lightweight and portable. An important key feature for some of these is there ability to run on man made power, such as with a hand crank or solar power, for extra reliability. Some weather radios even have built-in flashlights and other emergency devices for extra security.

Other portable radios use specific frequencies and feature the ability to communicate with other radios with a microphone. A good example of this type of portable radio is used for communication between troops in the army, so they are built with endurance in mind. Similar radios and scanners are built for personal use and can be used to receive transmissions from local police and fire departments, ham radio bands and thousands more types of signals.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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