There are many different makes and models of shortwave radios, and they vary greatly in cost, features, size, complexity, and other factors. There is no one "right" shortwave radio for everyone. On our "How to Listen
" page, there is a list of places you can find a shortwave radio. Inclusion in this list is not an endorsement or recommendation, but it does give you a point of reference to start. The best shortwave radio for you depends primarily on your listening interests. However, there are some features and specifications you should look for in any shortwave radio you consider. They are:
• Frequency coverage. Shortwave frequencies are usually considered those from the upper end of the AM broadcasting band, 1700 kHz, up to 30 MHz. The minimum frequency coverage you should look for is 540 kHz to 30 MHz. Most shortwave radios sold today also tune down to 150 kHz, covering the longwave band.
• Frequency readout. Most shortwave radios sold today have a digital display showing the frequency the radio is tuned to. A few radios, usually less expensive models, have an analog "slide rule" frequency readout that does not indicate the precise frequency the radio is receiving. It can be very difficult and frustrating to find a station on a specific frequency without a digital display, so a digital frequency display should be a "must" for any shortwave radio you’re considering. However, an analog readout shortwave radio can make a good, inexpensive "spare" radio for traveling, etc.