20 Best AM/FM Radio Headphones of 2020

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Radio broadcasting may seem like an ancient technology but there are still millions of enthusiasts all over the world who prefer doing things the old way. Our article on 20 best AM/FM headphones is dedicated to all those radio enthusiasts. In this article, we will talk about different types of AM/FM radio headphones, discuss their purpose and their advantages, and talk about things you should consider when buying them. In case you are looking for some nice suggestions, we’ve made a comprehensive selection of 20 best AM/FM radio headphones. Hopefully, you’ll find something that suits your budget and your needs.

AM transmission was first carried out in 1870 and it became highly popular during the 1920s and 1930s. That period is often called the golden age of radio. In the 1930s, another way of transmission was established. This new way was named FM transmission. FM transmission offered better sound quality (higher bandwidth) and clearer reception (less interference). During the 70s and 80s, FM radio became extremely popular, and a lot of radio stations, especially the stations broadcasting music switched from AM to FM. It’s probably safe to say that radio lost the battle against the TV and internet, but it’s far from being dead. The number of radio stations decreased significantly over the past few decades but, according to statista.com, there are still more than 15,000 radio stations in the US (4500+ AM stations, 6500+ commercial FM stations, 4000+ educational FM stations). Due to lower sound quality, AM stations are usually used for talk shows, news, weather forecast, and traffic reports. FM stations are used for music but can be used for all sorts of things (including news, talk shows, etc.). So, to conclude, the radio is more alive than you would assume. It’s just a little bit forgotten.

If you are one of those old-school guys who love to listen to the radio while getting ready for work or if you want to try something new (or rather, something old), check out our article on the best AM/FM headphones and try some of these interesting headphone models.

Our Top Choices

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Why Should You Choose Radio Headphones Instead of The Old-School Radio?

A few things come to mind. First, you will never miss a word. The thing with those old-school radio devices is that you don’t really move them wherever you go, even if they are portable. It’s different with headphones. You can take them on the moment you wake up and have them on your head throughout your morning routine (just remember to take them off when showering). You can listen to your favorite radio station all the time and never miss a traffic report or some important weather update.

Furthermore, if you are working in a loud environment (for example, if you are a construction worker) or just visiting some loud event (like NASCAR race), and you are looking for something affordable to protect your ears but also to enjoy some music or sports show, AM/FM radio headphones could be the best choice. Noise-canceling headphones are a great solution in all these situations but there’s one important advantage of radio headphones – they are much cheaper.

Different Types of AM/FM Radio Headphones

There are many different radio headphones on the market but you can divide them all into two groups – radio headphones with hearing protection (noise reduction radio headphones) and regular headphones with a built-in AM/FM tuner (without hearing protection).

AM/FM radio headphones with hearing protection usually feature some kind of noise reduction technology and are meant for industrial workers, construction workers, and all the people looking for a way to protect their ears and attenuate loud ambient noises. AM/FM tuner is a nice bonus feature and it’s going to make any activity, even those really difficult jobs, a bit easier. These headphones are always over-ear and closed-back. Some of the most reputable manufacturers of AM/FM radio headphones with hearing protection are 3M and Honeywell.

On the other hand, you have a bunch of regular (wired and wireless) headphones with a simple AM/FM tuner (sometimes only FM tuner) as an additional feature you can use in case you don’t want to listen to your old playlists anymore.

There are only a few radio headphones (like the Sony SRFH4) that are exclusively made for listening to the radio and have no additional features (only AM and FM tuner). They can’t be connected to your phone and they don’t offer any significant level of noise isolation.

ProductPriceOverall RatingReview
GranVela A809Under $303.6Read Review
RetekessUnder $304.0Read Review
ELEGIANTUnder $303.8Read Review
Pyle Sound 7Under $503.9Read Review
3M WorkTunesUnder $504.3Read Review
Walker’sUnder $503.0Read Review
ZOHANUnder $503.8Read Review
DEWALT DPG15Under $503.8Read Review
RadioShack SportUnder $603.4Read Review
Howard LeightUnder $604.2Read Review
Elvex COM-660Under $603.9Read Review
EARMUFFUnder $604.1Read Review
RadioShackUnder $604.1Read Review
3M PELTOR WorkTunes ProUnder $804.0Read Review
ION Audio ToughUnder $803.4Read Review
Honeywell SyncUnder $803.9Read Review
TactixUnder $803.6Read Review
3M Worktunes WirelessUnder $804.3Read Review
PROTEARUnder $803.4Read Review
Sony SRFH4Over $1003.8Read Review

Now that you know some basic things about AM/FM radio headphones, we can move onto the reviews. There are 20 radio headphones on the list and they are divided into 5 groups – Best Under $30, Best Under $50, Best Under $60, Best Under $80, and Best Over $100. We are pretty sure you will find something you like.

This is our selection of 20 best AM/FM radio headphones.

Best AM/FM Radio Headphones Under $30


GranVela A809

GranVela A809

Editor’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Looking for something really cheap? GranVela is a generic brand and their A809 headphones are one of the cheapest on the market (priced under $20). They have so many features packed inside but they don’t offer amazing performance.

Impressions

GranVela A809 headphones come in a simple box. The color of the box matches the color of the headphones. Besides the headphones, you’ll get a detachable AUX cable, micro USB charging cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

What we really liked about these headphones (besides the price) is the fact that they come in many different colors (9 available colors at the moment).

The headphones look and feel cheap which is not a surprise. The frame is made of plastic and some kind of spongy material was used for paddings. We don’t expect these headphones to last for years. One year is probably their maximum.

When it comes to comfort, there are some good and some bad things. First of all, these are rather on-ear than over-ear headphones (unless you have a really small head and small ears). Also, they are rather made for kids than for grownups. The headband is adjustable and the earcups can swivel. We have no major complaints regarding their weight but they can be a bit too tight even for people with average heads.

The control buttons and input ports (AUX and micro USB port) are located on the earcups.  We are not fans of multifunction buttons and these have quite a few – volume dial is also used for EQ settings and forward/backward/play/pause knob is used for FM tuning. It takes some time to get used to these buttons and knobs.

You can choose one of three modes – FM radio, SD card, and 3.5mm (there’s a mode switch on the left earcup). The built-in battery is used in FM and SD card modes and the advertised playtime is 18 hours. In our case, it was less than 11 hours at 50% volume. The battery supports fast charging – charging the headphones for 3min will deliver up to 45min of playtime. It takes up to 3h to fully charge the battery. The battery is not active in AUX mode. Also, you are supposed to turn off the headphones in AUX mode (ON/OFF switch is supposed to be in OFF position). These headphones are wireless only in FM and SD card modes. They don’t feature Bluetooth and if you want to connect them to your phone, you have to use the included AUX cable.

FM reception is far from great – we have managed to get 15 stations but only 9 of them were perfectly clear. In order to search for radio stations, you can press the EQ knob (auto tuning) or use forward/backward knob (manual tuning).

The sound quality is decent at best. It’s probably safe to say that it’s on par with the price. There’s a substantial amount of distortion at high volumes, especially with bass-heavy songs.  You can play with different EQ presets in AUX mode and try to find the preset that suits your taste (there are 9 different presets).

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Available in many different colors
  • Satisfying build quality
  • Adjustable headband, swiveling cups, lightweight
  • Three modes – FM, SD card, AUX
  • Wireless in FM and SD card modes
  • The built-in battery can deliver up to 11hours of continuous playtime and supports fast charging
  • Decent FM reception
  • Satisfying sound quality + 9 EQ presets

Disadvantages

  • No Bluetooth
  • Comfort issues – the headphones are a bit too tight for grownups (made for kids and people with small heads)

Retekess FM Stereo Headset

Retekess FM Stereo Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Retekes FM Headset is another cheap model. It offers much better reception than the previously mentioned GranVela headphones and that’s their biggest advantage. There are some obvious flaws like the lack of Bluetooth, lack of AM tuner, and poor build quality.

Impressions

Inside a simple box, you will find your headphones and user manual. These headphones have AUX input but our package didn’t come with an AUX cable – you will have to buy it separately.

The build quality is pretty much on par with the price.  Everything is made of plastic and, to be completely honest, they don’t look very durable. On the other hand, you can’t expect anything better for less than $20. The same goes for comfort. There are some things we didn’t like – there is no headband padding (only two arches connecting the earcups) and the earcups can’t swivel or rotate. They are not the most comfortable headphones but they are also not too tight or too heavy.

The control buttons are all located on the right cup. There are 9 buttons and they are clustered and hard to use. You will have to take the headphones off if you want to search for stations or adjust the volume. Eventually, you will get used to the buttons but it will be really hard at first. Right above the buttons, there’s a simple 4-digit screen.

Retekes headphones can work in two modes – FM and AUX. They are completely wireless in FM mode. The battery compartment is located inside the left cup. The headphones use 2 AA batteries and can deliver up to 30 hours of playtime.

FM reception is pretty good. You can use the autotune button and save up to 10 favorite stations (presets). You can also tune the stations manually. There is no AM tuner.

The sound quality is pretty good for the price. They won’t rock your world but they are pretty loud and quite bassy (in AUX mode).

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Great value for the price
  • Satisfying build quality and comfort
  • Two modes – FM and AUX
  • Pretty good FM reception
  • 10 FM presets
  • Wireless in FM mode (uses 2 AA batteries)
  • Decent sound quality (loud and bassy in AUX mode)

Disadvantages

  • No Bluetooth
  • Clustered control buttons – you will need some time to get used to the controls

ELEGIANT Headphones

ELEGIANT Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

If you are looking for versatile and cheap headphones with a built-in FM tuner, you should check out these ELEGIANT headphones.

Impressions

Inside the box, you will find your headphones, user manual, charging cable, and AUX cable.

ELEGIANT headphones definitely look better than the previous two models. They are made of plastic but still feel quite solid and durable.

The first thing we didn’t like about these headphones is the comfort. The paddings are a bit too stiff but that could be improved over time. The biggest issue is the clamping force – these are really tight and, even if you have a regular-sized head your ears will become sweaty after one hour of use. These headphones are a good choice for people with smaller heads and for children.

The control buttons are located on the right earcup (along the rim). There are 5 buttons and they are all multifunction buttons, which is not something we like. It takes some time to get used to and you will need to read the manual (which is crappy) to figure out how to activate different modes or tune FM stations. On the cover of the cup, there’s a simple LCD display (it shows mode, FM frequency, and battery status) and a handsfree button.

ELEGIANT headphones have 4 working modes – AUX, FM, Bluetooth, and SD card. They can be used wirelessly in FM, Bluetooth, and SD card modes.

They feature Bluetooth 4.0 and can be paired with any Bluetooth-enabled device (no compatibility issues – works with iOS and Android devices). In Bluetooth mode, you can use the headphones to answer calls. The built-in mic doesn’t work in other modes.

In order to activate FM mode, you have to press the M button for 3sec after you turn on the headphones. After that, you have to press it once again to search for stations. You can also tune stations manually by pressing the volume buttons (shortly). If you press the volume buttons for more than 2sec, you will increase/decrease the volume. FM reception is not the best thing about these headphones. We’ve tried to search for stations more than once and they were unable to find more than 5 completely clear FM stations.

The battery is rechargeable and it delivers up to 7h at 50% volume (less than 3h at full volume).

The sound quality is quite satisfying considering the price. It’s far from perfect (distortion at high volumes, bassy sound, too bright highs) but you can’t expect a $200 sound from $30 headphones.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Good build quality
  • Four work modes – AUX, Bluetooth, FM, and SD card
  • Built-in mic
  • Rechargeable battery – up to 7h of playtime at 50% volume
  • Decent sound quality

Disadvantages

  • Comfort issues – these headphones are too tight, even for people with regular heads
  • Mic works in Bluetooth mode only
  • Poor FM reception

Best AM/FM Radio Headphones Under $50

Pyle Sound 7 Headphones

Pyle Sound 7 Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pyle Sound 7 is another versatile headphone model. It’s very similar to the previously mentioned ELEGIANT headphones but there are some minor improvements that make them just a little bit better and pricier.

Impressions

Along with the headphones, you will get a charging cable, AUX cable, and user manual. The headphones are foldable but you won’t get a carrying case (sold separately).

In many terms, Sound 7 headphones are very similar to ELEGIANT. They are on-ear and entirely made of plastic. The build quality is not impressive but it’s on par with the price. The comfort is slightly better compared to ELEGIANT headphones but they are still a bit too tight (too strong clamping force) and if you have a larger head, don’t buy these.

There are buttons on both cups. On the left one, you’ll find the on/off switch, LED indicator (battery status), and charging port. On the right one, there are the mode button, play/pause/call button, and two multifunction buttons for volume and track management. Having multifunction buttons is not a great thing but, the button layout is pretty simple and you will get used to the controls in no time.

There are 4 work modes – AUX, Bluetooth, FM, and SD card (up to 16Gb). There’s also a thing called dual listening feature which allows you to connect two pairs of headphones together (via AUX cable) and share the music with a friend.

The headphones use Bluetooth 2.1 which is the oldest Bluetooth version still in use and it’s less capable and reliable than the newer versions. So, occasional signal loss is possible. The advertised range is 30ft but it’s smart to stay within a 10ft range in order to avoid signal dropouts.

The built-in battery offers up to 9h at 50% volume (less than 4h at full volume). The battery is rechargeable and it takes up to 3h to fully charge.

The built-in mic is a useful feature but it works only in Bluetooth mode.

FM reception is slightly better than with ELEGIANT headphones but it’s far from impressive. The headphones were able to detect up to 10 stations (the number of available stations is highly dependent on your location). Also, we have noticed a slight improvement in reception when AUX cable was connected. It’s probably fair to say this is a decent reception considering the price.

The sound is a bit more balanced than on ELEGIANT headphones. The headphones can get pretty loud. Unfortunately, they also leak a significant amount of sound at high volumes and they don’t really isolate ambient noise.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Decent build quality considering the price
  • Simple and easy-to-use control buttons
  • Four work modes – AUX, Bluetooth (V 2.1), FM radio, and SD card (up to 16Gb)
  • Built-in rechargeable battery – up to 9h at 50% volume
  • Decent FM reception (considering the price)
  • Satisfying sound quality – balanced with punchy bass, clear mids, and bright highs

Disadvantages

  • Comfort issues – too small for people with larger heads, stiff ear cushions
  • Sound leakage and poor noise isolation
  • The mic works only in Bluetooth mode

3M WorkTunes Hearing Protector

3M WorkTunes Hearing Protector

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

If you are looking for the best AM/FM radio headphones with hearing protection under $50, this is a clear winner. 3M (abbreviation for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) makes all kinds of products including personal protection equipment, health care equipment, cleaning equipment, school supplies, office equipment, sports equipment, etc. One of their products are 3M WorkTunes Hearing Protector headphones. This specific model supports only AM/FM and AUX modes but there’s also the upgraded model with Bluetooth connectivity (priced under $70).

Impressions

The headphones come with an AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headphones are not the best-looking on the market but, after all, they are not meant to be pretty or attractive. Their primary purpose is hearing protection. They are not indestructible but they are quite sturdy (much sturdier than the price implies). Comfort is also great – the headband is adjustable and well-padded. The ear cushions are not very thick but they are still comfy. Also, the cups can swivel.

There are only two buttons (AM/FM and Mode) and two knobs (TUNING and VOLUME/POWER knob). They are all multipurpose buttons but they are not that hard to use – you have everything nicely explained in the user manual. Also, you have some nice voice prompts that will guide you through the setup process.

3M headphones offer decent noise isolation and can attenuate up to 24dB. They will not eliminate all the noise but they will make your working environment much more tolerable.

There are 2 work modes – AUX and AM/FM.

AM/FM reception is surprisingly good, much better than with any of the previous models. You can memorize up to 25 stations. You can scan stations automatically (press the tuning knob) or manually (rotate the tuning knob). Memorizing the stations is not exactly self-explanatory but it gets much clearer once you read the manual.

When used in AM/FM mode, you don’t need any wires. The battery compartment is located inside the right cup. You need 2 AA batteries (not included in the package). Two batteries can deliver 50+ hours of playtime. You don’t need batteries if you are using the headphones in AUX mode.

Sound quality is quite impressive. It’s balanced with clear vocals, nice highs, and without too much bass but you can boost it if you want (there are 2 bass boost options).

All in all, this is the best AM/FM radio headphone model under $50, especially when it comes to AM/FM reception. The only downside is the lack of Bluetooth connectivity.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Great value for the price
  • Very good build quality and satisfying comfort
  • Good noise isolation (up to 24dB)
  • Two modes – AM/FM and AUX
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode
  • 2 AA batteries can deliver more than 50h of playtime
  • Great AM/FM reception
  • Pretty good sound quality + 2 bass boost modes

Disadvantages

  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity

Walker’s AM/FM Radio Headphones

Walker's AM/FM Radio Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

These Walker’s AM/FM hearing protection headphones look a lot like the previously mentioned 3M WorkTunes but they don’t offer the same kind of performance. Our unit was fine, but it seems that there’s something wrong with the manufacturer’s quality control – quite a few customers complained about different durability issues and poor AM or FM reception.

Impressions

The headphones come with an AUX cable, user manual, and one-year limited warranty.

They do look like 3M WorkTunes but they are not as sturdy. Still, our unit looks like it can withstand at least a year of use. Comfort is satisfying but we didn’t like the headband padding. Also, the headphones are a bit on a heavy side.

Just like the 3M WorkTunes, these headphones are primarily designed as hearing protectors. They are supposed to attenuate up to 25dB of ambient noise.

The control buttons (4 buttons + 1 knob) are located on the left cup. They are easy to reach and simple to use. You can use the buttons to scan stations automatically or you can do that manually. On the face of the earcup, you will also see a simple digital display (it shows mode, battery status, and frequency).

You can choose between two modes – AUX and AM/FM. If you want to connect them to your phone or mp3 player, you have to use the included AUX cable. The headphones are wireless in AM/FM mode (you have to use two AA batteries). The batteries can deliver up to 30h of playtime which is not bad but it’s not amazing.

AM/FM reception is good but not as good as it was with 3M WorkTunes. We’ve had some issues with AM stations – there was a lot of static noise on every station. FM stations were perfectly clear. You can memorize up to 8 presets.

Sound quality is, as always, better in AUX than in AM/FM mode. You will get perfectly clear vocals and punchy but controlled bass in FM mode. In AUX mode, the bass gets stronger (even overpowering). All in all, the sound is pretty good considering the price.  

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Decent durability and comfort
  • 25dB noise attenuation (NRR25)
  • Simple controls
  • Two work modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required)
  • Up to 30h of playtime in AM/FM mode
  • Good FM reception
  • Good sound quality (considering the price)

Disadvantages

  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
  • Poor AM reception
  • Some previous customers had issues regarding (broken battery compartment cover) and AM/FM reception

ZOHAN Digital AM/FM Radio Headphones

ZOHAN Digital AM/FM Radio Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

ZOHAN headphones look like someone dismantled 3M WorkTunes and Walker’s radio headphones, took a few parts from each model and made one new pair. These are a bit more expensive but still quite affordable. In case you are wondering, they are not as bad as that Adam Sandler’s movie. There’s nothing worse than that movie.

Impressions

The package contains your headphones, AUX cable, a simple carrying bag, user manual, and 1-year limited warranty.

In terms of design, ZOHAN headphones look like a slightly upgraded 3M WorkTunes. Like all the previous models, these are mostly made of plastic with some metal reinforcements. The comfort is really impressive. The earmuffs are not thick but they are quite soft. The headband padding is very thick and comfortable. They are even comfier than the 3M WorkTunes. The only problem, at least for some people, could be their tightness.

The controls look more like the controls on Walker’s headphones. There are four control buttons and one volume knob. All the controls are located on the left cup. Above the buttons, there’s a simple LCD display (it shows AM/FM frequency). The buttons look cheap but they are responsive and work fine.

Just like the previous two models, ZOHAN headphones are hearing protection headphones. They can isolate up to 22dB (NRR22).

There are two work modes – AM/FM (wireless) and AUX (wired).

AM/FM reception is pretty good, especially the FM reception. There was a lot of static noise on AM stations. You can memorize up to 10 favorite radio stations (presets). The headphones can be used as wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required). We were not impressed by the playtime in wireless mode – they can deliver up to 20h at 60-70% volume.

Sound quality is pretty good for the price. The sound is clear and loud. There’s just a little bit brightness in the treble. The bass is punchy and strong, especially in AUX mode. The vocals are perfectly clear. The max volume is limited in order to protect your hearing (you might not like this feature).

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent comfort
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Two work modes – AM/FM and AUX
  • 22dB noise attenuation (NRR22)
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required)
  • Good FM reception
  • Pretty good sound quality (for the price)

Disadvantages

  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
  • Poor AM reception

DEWALT DPG15 Digital AM/FM Hearing Protector

DEWALT DPG15 Digital AM/FM Hearing Protector

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

DEWALT DPG15 is another 3M WorkTunes lookalike. These are also hearing protection headphones with AM/FM feature and they offer very similar performance to 3M WorkTunes.

Impressions

The packaging contains your headphones, AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headphones look almost exactly the same as previously mentioned ZOHAN headphones with a slightly modified button layout. The construction quality is satisfying considering the price. They are mostly plastic with some metal reinforcements (headband and hinges).

The comfort is pretty good. The ear cushions are a bit too stiff at first but they will get softer over time. We’ve had no other issues – the headband is adjustable and nicely padded, the earcups can swivel, and the weight is not a problem.

There are four control buttons and one power/volume switch, all located on the left earcup. There’s a small LCD status/frequency display screen located right above the buttons. The buttons are not perfectly intuitive but you have everything explained in the manual.

Like the previous three headphone models, DEWALT DPG15 headphones are primarily designed for hearing protection and they can attenuate up to 25dB of ambient noise (slightly better than the 3M WorkTunes).

There are two work modes – AUX (3.5mm input located at the bottom of the left cup) and AM/FM mode. When used in AM/FM mode, they are completely wireless but you will have to buy 2 AA batteries (not included in the package). You can use either rechargeable or regular AA batteries and you can get up to 15h of playtime per one charge.

You can scan for AM/FM stations automatically or manually and you can memorize up to 8 favorite stations (presets) per band. The AM/FM tuners are digital.

AM/FM signal reception is pretty good, especially when used outdoors. The reception is weaker and the number of available stations is noticeably smaller when the headphones are used indoors.

If you want, you can connect your phone, mp3 player or any other source to the headphones but, in that case, you will have to use the included AUX cable (no Bluetooth).

The sound quality is pretty good for the price, especially in AUX mode. We’ve had some issues with some AM stations (static noise) but that’s perfectly understandable. In AUX mode, the bass is quite punchy but not overpowering. The vocals are clear and the highs are a bit dull.  

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Durability and comfort are on par with the price
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls + LCD display
  • They can isolate up to 25dB (NRR25)
  • AUX and AM/FM work modes
  • Can be used as wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required)
  • Up to 15h playtime (at 50% volume)
  • Pretty good AM/FM signal reception
  • 8 radio presets per band
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • The headphones lack Bluetooth

Best AM/FM Radio Headphones Under $60

RadioShack Sport AM/FM Stereo Headset

RadioShack Sport AM/FM Stereo Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

This RadioShack AM/FM headset is made exclusively for radio listening. These headphones are much lighter and comfier than the previous models but they don’t have any additional features like hearing protection or 3.5mm input.

Impressions

Inside the box, you will only find your headphones, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headset looks cheap and a bit fragile. It doesn’t seem as rugged and sturdy as the previous models and we are not optimistic when it comes to its durability. On the other hand, we were quite happy with the comfort. The headset is super-light and has dual headband which improves stability. The clamping force is moderate and not fatiguing at all.

The controls are simple and perfectly intuitive. On the right cup, you’ll find the AM/FM selector and tuning dial. On the left cup, there are the power switch, bass boost switch, and volume knob. Everything is pretty much self-explanatory. We didn’t like how plasticky and cheap those switches feel. You can get a much better build quality at this price.

The headset is completely wireless and it requires two AAA batteries (not included in the package).

FM signal sensitivity is quite impressive. The headset is quite capable when it comes to FM reception and delivers a perfectly clear and loud sound.

AM reception is not that great. The headset can find quite a few stations but they all have that annoying static noise. The situation might be different in some other area.

The sound quality is far from exceptional. This headset is all about mids and highs. The vocals are perfectly clear and comprehensible. There’s practically no bass. The situation gets just a little bit better when the bass boost feature is active.

Advantages

  • Satisfying comfort and great stability
  • Simple controls
  • Wireless (2 AAA batteries required)
  • AM and FM tuner
  • Very good FM reception
  • Decent AM reception
  • The sound quality is fine but far from great for the price

Disadvantages

  • Poor construction quality
  • The volume is lower in AM mode
  • No radio presets
  • Considering the performance, this RadioShack AM/FM headset is overpriced

Howard Leight Headphones by Honeywell

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Howard Leight by Honeywell could easily be the best pair of radio headphones in this price range and it’s definitely one of the best when it comes to price/value ratio. Like the 3M WorkTunes and many other radio headphones on the market, these are primarily designed for hearing protection but they also feature AM and FM tuners and can be connected to different audio sources through 3.5mm input.

Impressions

Howard Leight headphones come with an AUX cable, 2 AA batteries, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headphones are well-made. Everything seems solid. Most of the parts are made of plastic. The headband and the hinges are made of steel. In terms of build quality and shape, these are quite similar to 3M WorkTunes. Nice additional details are neon green cups and reflective headband. This can truly improve your visibility if you are working in a low-light environment.

The comfort is above-average for this kind of device. They are a bit bulkier but the headband and earpads are soft and pleasant. The weight is equally distributed across the head, the headband is adjustable, and the cups are swiveling.

Controls are super simple. The button layout allows easy and intuitive use. You have four buttons and one volume knob. You may need to read the manual in order to figure out how to scan stations and memorize them but you will get used to these buttons in no time. Above the buttons, there’s a simple frequency display. It’s a useful addition and it’s quite accurate.

As we have said, these headphones are primarily designed for hearing protection and they feature NRR25 rating (they can attenuate up to 25dB of ambient noise). Noise reduction is very effective.

The headphones can work in two modes – AUX and AM/FM. In AUX mode, you have to use the included AUX cable (wired connection). In AM/FM mode, you don’t need any wires (you will need 2 AA batteries). One set of batteries can deliver up to 140h of playtime (the actual playtime depends on the volume).

AM and FM tuners work great. They are both digital and you can scan stations automatically or manually. The reception/sensitivity is very good. Most of the AM stations are perfectly clear without any static. You can memorize up to 10 radio presets.

The sound quality is not premium but it’s very much on par with the price. If you are into AM talk shows, you will be happy to know that the vocals are clear and articulate. The bass is present and punchy. The treble not exactly consistent and it can be just a little bit brighter than it should be.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Great price/value ratio
  • Pretty good durability and above-average comfort
  • Simple and intuitive controls
  • NRR25 (they can reduce ambient noise by 25dB)
  • Two modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode
  • Up to 140h of playtime at 50% volume (2 AA batteries required)
  • Great AM and FM reception
  • Clear and loud sound

Disadvantages

  • The headphones lack Bluetooth connectivity

Elvex COM-660 QuieTunes AM/FM Stereo Headset

Elvex COM-660 QuieTunes AM/FM Stereo Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Elvex COM-660 radio headphones are the first hearing protection headphones on this list with an analog tuner (dial). They are very good when it comes to sensitivity and signal reception. This could be a great choice for people living far away from AM and FM radio towers (rural areas, for example).

Impressions

The packaging contains your headphones, AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

In terms of design, there’s nothing that would differentiate these headphones from other hearing protection radio headphones. Two things that make them recognizable are the color of the cups (burgundy) and those 3 knobs on the right cup. Unlike all the previous headphones, these feature analog tuners.

Both durability and comfort are above average. They are a little bit tighter but, other than that, we haven’t noticed any issues or anything that would make them less comfortable than some other radio headphones.

These are also hearing protection headphones and they can isolate up to 22dB of noise (NRR22). They are not as good as Howard Leight headphones but they are pretty close.

Like all the other hearing protection radio headphones, Elvex COM-660 headphones have two work modes – AUX and AM/FM. In AM/FM mode, they can be used as wireless (2 AA batteries required and they are not included in the package). When battery-powered, the headphones can deliver up to 150h of playtime. The headphones will turn off after 4h of inactivity in order to preserve battery.

Both AM and FM tuners are very sensitive and can pick up many stations. Their sensitivity and the ability to finetune stations is the best thing about these headphones. On the negative side, the separation between weak and strong signals is quite poor which can be a problem in large urban areas with many radio stations around. One thing that could be easily improved is some kind of frequency indicator or at least reference marks around the dial. The current model doesn’t have any kind of frequency indicators which makes it harder to find your favorite station. Also, there’s no way to save presets.

The sound is clear, especially the midrange. The bass is present but lacks impact. We have noticed a significant drop in volume in AM mode.

Advantages

  • Satisfying construction quality and comfort
  • Simple controls
  • 22dB Noise Reduction Rating
  • Two modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required)
  • Up to 150h of usage in wireless mode
  • Auto-off feature
  • Analog AM/FM tuner
  • Great AM and FM tuner sensitivity (it can pick up a lot of stations)

Disadvantages

  • The headphones lack Bluetooth connectivity
  • Volume is decreased in AM mode
  • Introducing some kind of reference marks around the tuning dial would be an improvement
  • Selectivity is not so great (poor separation between strong and weak radio signals)
  • No radio presets

EARMUFF Ear Defender Radio Headphones

EARMUFF Ear Defender Radio Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

In a way, EARMUFF headphones look like a black version of DEWALT DPG15 headphones. They have exactly the same control button layout but there are some important differences. DPG15 headphones have much thicker and softer headband padding which makes them comfier. On the other hand, EARMUFF headphones have a higher noise reduction rating (they isolate ambient noise better). Also, EARMUFF headphones are $10 pricier.

Impressions

Along with the headphones, you’ll get an AUX cable, user manual, and 2-year warranty. Batteries are not included.

The build quality is slightly above-average for the headphones in this price range. They are a bit bulkier and their weight (378g) could be a problem. We were not impressed by the comfort. The headband padding is almost nonexistent and the ear cushions are kind of stiff. On the other hand, the headband is adjustable, the weight is nicely distributed, and the earcups swivel. So, it’s a mixture of good and bad.

The controls are simple. There are 4 buttons, one volume knob, and a simple LCD status/frequency display. The controls are not the most intuitive but they are fairly easy to use.

EARMUFF headphones are one of the best on the market when it comes to hearing protection. They feature 31dB noise reduction rating which makes them better (in terms of noise reduction) than any of the previously mentioned models. This is one of the biggest highlights of these headphones.

Like all the other hearing protection headphones, EARMUFF headphones have two modes – AUX (you can use the included AUX cable to connect them to different audio sources) and AM/FM.

The headphones are wireless in AM/FM mode but you will have to buy two AA batteries. The batteries are supposed to deliver up to 200h of playtime which is quite impressive.

AM and FM tuners are digital. You can scan stations automatically or manually. Sensitivity is pretty good, especially in FM mode. The headphones were also able to pick up a few perfectly clear AM stations. You can memorize up to 8 presets. All in all, the reception is pretty good but we would still pick Elvex COM-660 or Howard Leight headphones rather than these.

The sound quality is satisfying. The midrange is perfectly clear and detailed. The bass is present but not actually impressive and the highs are just a little bit brighter but not fatiguing.

Advantages

  • Average build quality
  • Simple controls
  • Great noise reduction (NRR31)
  • Two work modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode
  • Up to 200h of playtime when used as wireless (2 AA batteries required)
  • Great FM reception and decent AM reception
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • Comfort issues – weight, headband padding, stiff ear cushions
  • The headphones lack Bluetooth connectivity

RadioShack AM/FM Stereo Headset

RadioShack AM/FM Stereo Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

This is the second pair of RadioShack AM/FM headphones and it’s much better than the previous one. Unlike many other radio headphones, these are not made for hearing protection. Since they are closed-back headphones, they will definitely reduce the noise level to some extent but they don’t have an official noise reduction rating.

Impressions

The headphones look cheap and quite plasticky. We can’t really compliment their design or build quality. The majority of those hearing protection headphones look sturdier and more durable than these. On the other hand, these RadioShack headphones are comfier than many hearing protection headphones. They are light (or at least lighter than hearing protection headphones), the ear cushions are not extremely thick but they are soft. The clamping force is not too strong. All in all, they are definitely comfier than hearing protection headphones.

RadioShack headphones also offer more control over the playback than other headphones. There are 5 radio buttons (tuning, memory, band selection, mode selection). You also have separate volume controls (for the left and right earcup), master volume knob, source button, and bass boost button. The button layout is not the best but the controls are still quite intuitive. On the right cup, there’s also a small LCD display (shows frequency, mode, battery status).

There are two available modes – AUX (use the included AUX cable) and AM/FM. In AM/FM mode the headphones are wireless but you need to buy the batteries (2 AAA batteries required). The headphones will deliver up to 42h of playtime in AM/FM mode.

AM and FM tuners are digital. Signal reception is pretty good in FM mode but not impressive in AM mode. We were able to pick up 8 AM stations but they all had a small but still noticeable amount of static noise. The reception is definitely better outdoors than indoors. You can memorize up to 10 AM and 10 FM presets.

The sound quality is not exactly on par with the price. You can definitely find better-sounding headphones for the same money. The best thing about these headphones is the midrange reproduction – it’s clear, detailed, and articulate. The bass is not that present but it gets better when the bass boost feature is activated. The treble is bright at moments.

Advantages

  • Above-average comfort
  • Simple and intuitive controls (separate volume controls, LCD display)
  • Two modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AAA batteries)
  • The batteries can deliver up to 42h of playtime
  • Pretty good FM reception and decent AM reception
  • You can memorize up to 10 AM and 10 FM stations
  • Decent sound quality (perfectly clear vocals)

Disadvantages

  • Below-average build quality
  • No external antenna
  • No Bluetooth

Best AM/FM Radio Headphones Under $80

3M PELTOR WorkTunes Pro AM/FM Radio Headset

3M PELTOR WorkTunes Pro AM/FM Radio Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

These are the second 3M hearing protection radio headphones on the list and they are basically the upgraded version of the previously mentioned 3M WorkTunes. The biggest improvements are built-in antenna instead of external antenna and better noise reduction.

Impressions

Just like the previous 3M headphones, PELTOR headphones come with a detachable AUX cable, 2 AA batteries, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

In terms of build quality, these headphones are not much different than the 3M WorkTunes. The color selection (black instead of bright yellow) makes the PELTOR WorkTunes Pro headphones more stylish (if you really care about that). The cups are made of thick plastic and feel quite sturdy and durable. The headband is made of stainless steel. Compared to 3M WorkTunes, PELTOR has thinner padding and it’s helmet-friendly.

When it comes to comfort, we have no major complaints. The headband is a bit bulky and heavy but the weight is nicely distributed and tolerable.

The control buttons are super simple but the explanation on how to use them is not great. Like the previously mentioned 3M WorkTunes headphones, PELTOR headphones feature very helpful voice prompts but we still feel that having a simple LCD screen would be a great addition.

PELTOR WorkTunes Pro headphones offer better noise reduction than the previous 3M WorkTunes model. The noise reduction rating is 26dB.

PELTOR headphones have two work modes – AUX and AM/FM. The headphones are wireless in AM/FM mode (you have to use two AA batteries). The batteries can deliver up to 40h of playtime at 50% volume. The headphones will turn off automatically after 4 hours of inactivity in order to save battery.

We were quite skeptical about AM and FM reception since there’s no external antenna on this model but we were proven wrong. The reception was more than satisfying, especially in FM mode. In AM mode, the headphones were able to pick up 5 perfectly clear stations and a few more with a little bit of static noise. The headphones can memorize up to 5 presets.

The sound quality is surprisingly good. The bass is punchy and the mids (especially vocals) are sweet and clear. The headphones are not the loudest on the market but they still offer above-average performance (compared to other available radio headphones with hearing protection).

Advantages

  • Good build quality
  • Satisfying comfort
  • Simple controls
  • Good noise reduction (26dB NRR)
  • Two modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required)
  • Up to 40h playtime + auto-off feature
  • Good AM and FM reception
  • You can memorize up 5 presets
  • Above-average sound quality (compared to other radio headphones)

Disadvantages

  • The headphones lack Bluetooth

ION Audio Tough Headphones

ION Audio Tough Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

The next headphones come from the ION Audio. ION Audio is more famous for making large, rugged, and affordable speakers (like tailgate speakers, party speakers, karaoke speakers) but they also make headphones. Just like many others on this list, these are hearing protection radio headphones. What makes them special and different from others is the fact that they have a built-in rechargeable battery (you don’t have to buy AA or AAA batteries). Also, these are the first Bluetooth-enabled hearing protection headphones.

Impressions  

The box contains your ION Audio headphones, charging cable, AUX cable, user manual, and a warranty card.

The headphones are rugged and feel sturdy. Most of the parts are made of hard plastic and the headband is made of steel. Build quality is definitely on par with the price.

The comfort is not an issue. The manufacturer tried to make them as comfortable as possible. They are a bit bulkier than regular headphones but the weight is nicely distributed across the headband. The only problem could be their tightness – they will cause some discomfort after 2-3 hours of wearing and you will have to take them off occasionally.

Controls are simple and intuitive. The only thing that could confuse you is the SRC button which is basically the mode button (press it to select Bluetooth, AUX, or AM/FM mode). All the control buttons are located on the right cup (tuning buttons, volume knob, play/pause/call button). AUX input is on the right cup and charging port is on the left cup.

ION Audio headphones are, just like the majority of headphones on this list, hearing protection headphones and can attenuate up to 25dB of noise (NRR25).

Besides the standard two modes (AUX and AM/FM) you can find on other AM/FM headphones, ION Audio headphones are also Bluetooth-enabled which is a big plus. Bluetooth works fine and it’s compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth-enabled devices.

The headphones are completely wireless in AM/FM and Bluetooth modes thanks to the built-in battery. The advertised battery life is 20h of playtime at 50% volume but that’s too optimistic. We’ve managed to get up to 6h at 50-60% volume. This could be the biggest deal breaker.

In Bluetooth mode, you can not only listen to music but also answer phone calls thanks to the built-in mic.

AM and FM receptions are pretty good (especially FM reception). You can scan stations automatically or manually. Also, you can memorize up to 20 presets.

The sound quality is far from great. The headphones lack bass but the vocals are clear and undistorted. They are also not very loud. You can find many better-sounding Bluetooth and wired headphones at this price but you should have in mind that these are primarily hearing protection headphones. So, it’s probably fair to say that the sound quality is satisfying.

Advantages

  • Very good build quality
  • Satisfying comfort with some minor issues (weight and tightness)
  • Simple and intuitive controls
  • Good noise reduction performance (NRR 25dB)
  • Three work modes – AUX, Bluetooth, AM/FM
  • Wireless in Bluetooth and AM/FM modes (built-in rechargeable battery)
  • Built-in microphone
  • Decent AM reception
  • Very good FM reception
  • You can memorize up to 20 stations (presets)
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • The actual battery life is significantly shorter than advertised (only 6h at 50-60% volume)

Honeywell Sync Digital Radio Earmuff

Honeywell Sync Digital Radio Earmuff

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

In many ways, Honeywell Sync headphones are exactly the same as the previously mentioned Howard Leight by Honeywell. They offer the same kind of hearing protection (the same NRR rating) and the same AM/FM reception. Honeywell Sync offers longer playtime and that’s probably the only important difference between the two models.

Impressions

Inside the box, you’ll find your headphones, an AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The construction quality is satisfying (metal headband, plastic cups, foam earpads). The headband padding is just a little bit thicker on Honeywell Sync than on Howard Leight but that doesn’t make a huge difference. They are both quite comfortable but can be a bit too tight for people with large heads.

Just like the previous Honeywell headphones, Honeywell Sync features the same button layout (4 buttons + LCD display + volume dial). It’s not the most intuitive button configuration but it’s easy to get used to.

Honeywell Sync feature NRR 25 rating. They are pretty good when it comes to noise reduction.

You can choose between two modes – AUX and AM/FM. They can be used wirelessly in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required). One set of batteries can deliver up to 111h of playtime which is pretty great. There is also the auto-off feature – the headphones will turn off after 4h of inactivity.

The headphones offer above-average AM and FM reception. The sound is slightly quieter in AM mode but the voices are pretty clear and without any static noise. You can memorize up to 10 favorite stations.

The sound quality is not the greatest but, after all, these are primarily hearing protection earmuffs. Like with many other models, the bass is weak and the emphasis is on the midrange. The volume output is limited to 82dBA which is not that great, especially if you like your music loud.

Advantages

  • Good construction quality and satisfying comfort
  • Simple controls
  • Good noise reduction (NRR25)
  • Two work modes – AUX and AM/FM
  • Wireless in AM/FM mode (2 AA batteries required)
  • Very good AM and FM reception
  • You can memorize up to 10 presets
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • The headphones lack Bluetooth (there’s a Bluetooth version but it will cost you more)
  • The max volume is limited to 82dBA

Tactix Bluetooth Safety Earmuffs with FM Radio

Tactix Bluetooth Safety Earmuffs with FM Radio

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Tactix is the second pair of hearing protection earmuffs with a built-in Bluetooth. They are pretty good when it comes to noise reduction, Bluetooth connection reliability, and FM reception. The only obvious flaw is the lack of AM tuner.

Impressions

Along with the Tactix earmuffs, you’ll get a charging cable, AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty. The rechargeable/replaceable Li-ion battery is also included in the package and you are supposed to insert it on your own (which is a simple procedure).

Tactix earmuffs are not exactly the strongest and most durable out there, but they do look and feel robust and sturdy. The comfort is not a big issue but there is some space for improvements (better headband padding, for example). The earmuffs can be a bit tight (especially if you have a large head) but that’s kind of expected since they are supposed to seal around your ears and protect you from the noise.

The controls are quite simple. On the left cup, you have a small LCD status display surrounded by four buttons (mode, forward, rewind, and call/play/pause). On the bottom end of the left cup, you have the volume/power dial, AUX input, and charging port. The battery compartment is on the other cup.

The earmuffs can reduce up to 23dB of ambient noise (NRR23) which is not bad and it does make the noisy working environment much more tolerable. Still, there are many radio headphones with a higher noise reduction rating.

You can choose between three modes – AUX, Bluetooth, and FM. In Bluetooth and FM modes, the earmuffs can be used as wireless thanks to the included rechargeable and replaceable battery (800mAh, 3.7V). The battery delivers up to 12h of playtime per charge.

Everything works perfectly fine in Bluetooth mode. We haven’t encountered any compatibility issues. The range is approx. 30ft.

The muffs can pick up quite a few FM stations without any static noise or interference.

Tactix earmuffs have a built-in mic and you can use it to answer calls in Bluetooth mode. The call quality is not perfect but you can still communicate with the person on the other end without difficulties.

The sound quality is decent. You can find many better-sounding regular headphones at this price point but most of them are not hearing protection muffs. Still, it’s not all that bad – the mids (especially the vocals) are clear and the highs are a little bit brighter but tolerable. These headphones lack bass and volume (the max volume is limited).

Advantages

  • Good build quality
  • Satisfying amount of comfort (there’s a room for improvement)
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Good noise reduction (NRR23)
  • Three work modes – Bluetooth, AM/FM, and AUX
  • Wireless in Bluetooth and AM/FM modes
  • Rechargeable and replaceable battery – up to 12h at 50% volume
  • Built-in mic (you can answer calls in Bluetooth mode)
  • Good FM reception
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • No AM tuner (only FM)
  • Limited max volume

3M Worktunes Wireless Hearing Protection with Bluetooth

3M Worktunes Wireless Hearing Protection with Bluetooth

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

3M WorkTunes wireless earmuffs are the upgraded version of the previously mentioned 3M WorkTunes. The most important upgrade is the Bluetooth connectivity but there are a few more differences regarding the headband design and control button layout.

Impressions

The package contains your earmuffs, an AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty. In order to use them without cables, you’ll have to buy 2 AA batteries or an optional rechargeable Li-ion battery (not included in the package).

In terms of build quality, these are quite similar to all the previous 3M hearing protection earmuffs. They are sturdy and seem solidly built (mostly hard plastic with steel reinforcements).

The design is slightly improved (compared to 3M WorkTunes) in order to provide better comfort. There is no padding on the headband but there are ventilation holes which are supposed to allow your head to ‘’breathe’’. We have no major complaints regarding comfort. Like the majority of other hearing protection headphones, these can be tight but that’s expected since they are supposed to provide a good seal in order to block the noise.  

The controls are simple. The buttons are not perfectly intuitive but you can figure everything out in 10 minutes (or you can read the manual – all the instructions are perfectly clear and easy to follow). You have two buttons – source and function, and two knobs/buttons for tuning and volume. Another useful feature that could help you control the headphones are the voice prompts (Audio Assist feature).  They will definitely make the usage much easier.

3M WorkTunes wireless earmuffs are pretty good when it comes to noise reduction – they can reduce the noise by up to 24dB.

There are three work modes – Bluetooth, AM/FM, and AUX. In Bluetooth and AM/FM modes, the headphones can be used without any cord. You can use regular AA batteries or buy a rechargeable battery pack. The batteries can provide you with up to 60 hours of music playback in AM/FM mode and 20+ hours in Bluetooth mode. When battery-operated, the headphones will turn off after 2 hours of inactivity.

We haven’t experienced any problems with Bluetooth. It’s compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices and it has the range of up to 25ft.

AM and FM tuners are digital but they are quite sensitive and offer good selectivity without interference. This is one of the best models when it comes to AM and FM reception. It allows you to memorize up to 50 favorite stations.

Sound quality is satisfying but nothing more than that. You won’t be blown away, that’s for sure. The sound is clear and the emphasis is on the mids. The bass is present but lacks impact. Unlike some other hearing protection headphones, these don’t have max volume limitation. Instead, they have a more advanced ‘’safe volume control’’ feature which basically does the same thing – it limits the volume. It’s advertised that you can somehow override this feature but, to be honest, it doesn’t really work.

Advantages

  • Good build quality
  • Improved comfort (compared to the previous 3M WorkTunes model)
  • Simple controls
  • Good noise reduction of up to 24dB – NRR24
  • 3 work modes – Bluetooth, AM/FM, and AUX
  • Wireless in Bluetooth and AM/FM modes (2 AA batteries or rechargeable battery pack)
  • The battery can deliver up to 60h in AM/FM mode and 20+ hours in Bluetooth mode
  • Auto shut off feature (after 2 hours of inactivity)
  • Great AM and FM reception
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • The earmuffs lack built-in mic (you can’t use them to answer calls in Bluetooth mode)
  • Limited max volume

PROTEAR Headphones

PROTEAR Headphones

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

PROTEAR headphones are also hearing protection headphones with AM/FM tuner and Bluetooth connectivity. What makes them different and recognizable is the boom mic (it’s not built inside the headphones) which is supposed to improve communication in loud environments.

Impressions

The headphones come with a simple multipurpose clip (for hanging the headphones), cheap AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The headphones seem solid and durable. The headband is made of steel and nicely padded and the earcups are plastic with thick ear cushions. Besides the tightness (which could be a problem for people with larger heads) we’ve had no other comfort issues.

The controls are located on the right cup. The button layout is pretty familiar – 4 buttons (up and down for tuning and playing next/previous song, mode button, and preset button), one small LCD status display, and volume/power knob. The right cup also features an AUX port for connecting the boom mic.

PROTEAR headphones can eliminate up to 25dB of noise (NRR25) which is pretty good. In reality, we’ve had an impression that the previously mentioned 3M WorkTunes headphones isolate more noise even though they have lover NRR rating (NRR24 VS NR25).

PROTEAR headphones can work in three modes – AUX, Bluetooth, and AM/FM. In Bluetooth and AM/FM modes, the headphones can be used without any wires. You will have to buy 3 AAA batteries. The biggest flaw of these headphones is the battery life. We’ve been able to get up to 15 hours at 50% volume (less than 8h at higher volumes) which is not even close to 3M headphones or Honeywell headphones.

We haven’t experienced any issues with Bluetooth connection. It works as advertised and it’s compatible with iOS and Android devices. It is advertised that you can use the microphone to answer calls in Bluetooth mode. Unfortunately, our experience wasn’t great. The mic is very bad and it muffles your voice a lot. The person on the other can barely hear you, especially if you are in a loud place. Our suggestion – remove the mic and use the headphones for music.

The headphones also feature digital AM and FM tuners. The reception is quite good, especially in FM mode. You can memorize your favorite stations but all the presets will be erased if the battery dies or if you remove the batteries.

The sound quality is satisfying for this type of headphones but you can find so many better-sounding and louder headphones at this price point. In our experience, PROTEAR headphones are just a little bit louder than others but they also have volume limitation.

Advantages

  • Good construction quality and great comfort
  • Simple controls
  • Good noise reduction (NRR25)
  • Three work modes – AUX, Bluetooth, AM/FM
  • Wireless in Bluetooth and AM/FM modes (3 AAA batteries required)
  • Very good Bluetooth performance – no compatibility issues
  • Good AM and FM reception
  • Satisfying sound quality

Disadvantages

  • The presets will be deleted when the battery dies
  • Poor playtime – up to 15 hours
  • The boom mic can be quite obtrusive and annoying

Best AM/FM Radio Headphones Over $100

Sony SRFH4 Analog Tuning AM/FM Headphone

Sony SRFH4 Analog Tuning AM/FM Headphone

Editor’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Unlike the majority of headphones on this list, these Sony headphones (and all the other Sony headphones from the SRF series) are made for listening to the radio and nothing else. They look a lot like the previously mentioned RadioShack sports radio headphones but there’s one huge difference – Sony SRFH4 are much more expensive (priced over $200). These headphones are pretty good when it comes to AM and FM reception and have analog tuners which will be appreciated by the radio enthusiasts but, to be completely honest, these headphones (and all the headphones from the SRF series) are extremely overpriced. The reason for such a high price is probably the fact that they are all discontinued. When these headphones first appeared (more than 10 years ago), they were priced at $20. Unless you are crazy about vintage analog radio equipment, you shouldn’t buy these.

Impressions

Inside the box, you will find the SRFH4 radio headphones, user manual, and 1-year limited warranty.

The construction quality is really poor. These headphones are all-plastic and feel very fragile. It’s not the build quality you would expect from a $200+ product.

Comfort is not a problem. They are very light and don’t cause any fatigue or fatigue. They are also perfectly stable thanks to a dual adjustable headband.

The controls are perfectly simple. On the right cup, there are AM/FM selector and tuning dial. The volume dial is on the left cup. Inside the left earcup, there’s a small battery compartment (one AAA battery required).

SRFH4 headphones have only one working mode – radio mode. You can only choose between AM and FM. The headphones are completely wireless and one AAA battery delivers up to 60h of usage.

AM and FM tuners are both very sensitive and can be tuned accurately to many AM and FM stations. We were quite happy with the reception. A negative side of analog tuners is that you don’t get to memorize presets. So, there’ll be a lot of tuning.

The sound quality is below-average. The sound is tiny and without any bass. The voices are clear and that’s probably the biggest highlight. In our opinion, almost all of the previously mentioned models sound better than these Sony radio headphones.

Advantages

  • Very comfortable
  • Wireless (one AAA battery required)
  • Up to 60h of playtime
  • Very good AM and FM reception
  • Great midrange clarity

Disadvantages

  • Extremely overpriced
  • Very fragile (made of cheap plastic)
  • No radio presets
  • Poor sound quality (no bass)

This is the end of our list but we have a few more things to tell you about AM/FM radio headphones before you go away. It’s important to read this part if you are planning to keep searching. We will discuss some important features you should look for when buying AM/FM radio headphones.

Buyer’s Guide – Things to Pay Attention to When Buying AM/FM Radio Headphones

Price

As always, the first step is setting the limits. The good thing is that most of these AM/FM headphones are affordable (or even cheap). The majority of radio headphones on the market are priced under $100. We don’t really think that you have to pay more than $80 to get great performance (and great hearing protection). You can even find some models for less than $20 or $30 and they offer satisfying performance and FM reception for the price. In case you are wondering what’s the optimal amount of money you should spend on these headphones our answer would be $50-$70.

Comfort and Durability

This is something you should be looking for in every pair of headphones. You can’t expect anything indestructible at $50 price tag but you can find some pretty durable models that could last you for years. Comfort, on the other hand, is a much trickier thing and it doesn’t entirely depend on the price. Some really expensive and great-sounding headphone models are, at the same time, extremely uncomfortable. Also, some cheap headphones are really comfy. Comfort depends on multiple factors – earpad and headband paddings, headband and earcup adjustability, etc. Comfort also depends on some things you can’t change or choose like your head and ear shape and size. Since there are so many factors, the best thing you can do is to try the headphones you like and see if they fit your head. Most of these headphones are closed-back over-ear headphones and they will (eventually) make your ears sweaty and cause some fatigue and that’s the thing you can expect from any pair of closed-back over-ear headphones.

Connection versatility

As we’ve said, only a few models on our list are made only for listening to the radio. If you want something more versatile, there’s plenty of options. Some of these headphones have 3.5mm input so you can connect them through AUX cable to your mp3 player, to your phone, or any other audio source. Other headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity. Some headphones feature both – Bluetooth and AUX port. A few models even have micro SD card slots (usually the cheapest models). It’s not a secret what to look for – better versatility is always a plus. In our opinion, Bluetooth + AM/FM + AUX is the best combo and you can find it on at least 5 models.

Battery Life

Most of these AM/FM radio headphones are battery-operated, but they don’t use the same kind of battery. Some of them work on AA or AAA batteries while the other headphones use rechargeable Li-ion batteries. It’s always better to have something with rechargeable batteries since you won’t have to bring spare batteries with you. The headphones using AA or AAA batteries usually deliver more than 30h of music playback (in some case, more than 100h) while the headphones using rechargeable Li-ion batteries usually deliver up to 10h or 15h of playtime per charge. You can always buy rechargeable AA or AAA batteries but that would be an additional cost.

Ease of Use – Volume Controls, Digital/Analog Tuner

Having all the necessary buttons at your fingertips is not the most crucial thing but it’s still an important convenience. It’s always better to have easily reachable volume controls and tuning buttons/dials located on your earcups. Digital or analog, buttons or knobs, it entirely depends on your taste. Some old-schoolers prefer analog knobs, which is perfectly fine. Analog tuning doesn’t have to be worse than digital. In fact, analog tuner could give you more control and allow you to fine-tune some weak radio signals.

Reception Quality

People often forget about this feature. The reception is really important for radio headphones and it’s pretty obvious why. It would be best if you could try them but, if you don’t have a chance, you can be pretty assured that headphones with external antennas offer better reception. There are a few headphone models with built-in (internal) antennas offering pretty good reception but, the general rule is, external antenna = better reception.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is the reason why you are buying a certain headphone model and not some other. Sure, you will never get a great sound quality when listening to the radio, especially when listening to AM stations. When it comes to radio headphones, sound quality will never be awesome and it’s highly dependent on the reception quality. Some headphones offer great sound quality in AUX or Bluetooth mode but they won’t deliver the same kind of quality in AM/FM mode.

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