Sometimes referred to as a transistor radio, a pocket radio is a small portable receiver that – you guessed it, can fit in a pocket. The capabilities and coverage will vary depending on the manufacturer and the price, but usually a pocket radio will receive the AM and FM bands at a minimum. Some models include more bands like NOAA Weather or Shortwave. Features might include built-in speaker, digital displays, clocks, sleep timers, and memory presets, while others are more basic with analog tuning and earphone operation only. The transistor radio forged the way for today’s personal music players, proving that technology can be made smaller and designed for individual use.
One thing many people don’t realize is that size does matter when it comes to reception, especially on the AM band. Generally, we wouldn’t recommend a pocket radio when you’re trying to get a weak signal. There are some things that no amount of technology has been able to solve (yet) and one of those things is the radio waves as they relate to the ferrite antenna. This is the internal antenna that receives the AM signal. No matter how you dice it, the longer ferrite antennas will provide better AM reception. FM Reception can also be impacted by length, but in this case it’s the length of the telescopic whip antenna. Most pocket radios do not have a whip antenna, but the cable for your earphones or an FM wire antenna that plugs into the earphone jack can significantly improve FM Reception.
C. Crane has carried some form of pocket radio for over 20 years. Pocket radios become personal companions for many radio listeners; the simplicity and ease of use are often cited as reasons people own one. You will see them on delivery driver’s vehicle dashboards, with people at sporting events (so they can actually hear the play by play action of the radio announcer), or combined with noise-reducing headphones by gardeners and equipment operators. The most common usage seems to be folks out walking or going for a jog. A lesser known popular use of pocket radios is as a bedtime radio. Many people like the auto shutoff or sleep timer features often found on pocket radios. This prevents the drain of batteries with the radio playing after they have fallen to sleep. Many people have sleep issues, so a pocket radio combined with a pillow speaker is the only thing that brings them relief.
It is certainly understandable why these radios continue to be a customer favorite given their ease of use, desirable features, versatility, and compact size.