The future of terrestrial radio continues to look grimmer and grimmer as podcasting continues to dominate the "airwaves." In fact, most of us have already declared the medium dead. But is it really? Not even close. According to Pew’s State of the Media report, at least 91 percent of Americans ages 12 and up listened to the entertainment medium at least once per week in 2013. In other words, people are still tuning their FM dial.
So as public interest in traditional radio remains steady—the industry’s most reputable audio manufacturers are creating new and updated offerings that bear the presence of their older models, while possessing the modern capabilities of new ones. From digital tuners to tabletop receivers, check out these beautiful radios keeping FM from going extinct.
Tivoli Model One AM/FM Table Radio
Beautiful craftsmanship combined with remarkable sonics makes this one of the hottest tabletop FM radios out there. Despite lacking streaming features, the Model One keeps things practical with an FM/AM tuner that connects to an iPod and other MP3 players. Audio performance proves to be its greatest attribute, as the radio houses a powerful driver mated to a frequency contouring circuit engineered to deliver room-filling sound at high clarity. Tivoli offers the model in seven different colorways.
Pure Evoke D6
Gorgeous looks, sweet features, and warm sound quality engineered to stimulate your eardrums—this DAB radio bears all the necessary facets to replace your hi-fox box. Core functions such as media streaming and menu toggling operate seamlessly. Bluetooth connection is just as impressive. The Evoke D6 comes equipped with three tuners (FM, DAB, and DAB+) and a 20W digital amp backed by a stereo speaker drive to emit great audio output. Pure’s touch-sensitive SnoozeHandle only adds to the radio’s premium value.
McIntosh MR88 Tuner
McIntosh’s line of radio tuners has long been revered as the “gold standard of the industry.” So if money is no option, then consider cutting a four-figure check for this luxury broadcast-quality audio component. The MR88 is powered by HD Radio Technology to generate top-notch fidelity no matter the radio band or channel, plus comes XM/Sirius Satellite-ready to accommodate the wide variety of radio play. Though it’s in the minor details where the tuner shows its high-end value—welcoming 20 stations presets, permanent memory for all settings, and both a coaxial and optical digital connections to enhance your home entertainment center.
Consider yourself more of an international audiophile? Say no more. The SuperConnect is programmed to stream over 16,000 stations from the Web. Besides connecting to your WiFi for access to online radio channels, Revo’s audio box also supports traditional radio bands like AM, FM, DAB, and DAB+. The gorgeous walnut finish parades a 2.7-inch OLED display and aluminum front panel that hides a 3.5-inch BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) driver and 15W amp to promote a solid soundstage.
Ruark R1 Mk3 Deluxe
Labeled the “Aston Martin of DAB radios,” Rurak’s tabletop receiver flaunts a stylish design that complements the machine’s full-bodied sound and phenomenal functionality. An upgraded OLED screen is plastered on the front to display stations at a sharper resolution, whereas the internals consist of a new chipset with improved DAC that produces stereo-like sound quality. The R1 comes with DAB, DAB+, FM (with RDS), and aptX Bluetooth to stream online radio stations as well. Additional accessories like the CarryPack hand-stitched leather case transform the bookshelf receiver into a portable speaker.
Roberts Revival iStream 2
A throwback to the 1950s era, the iStream 2 melds the company’s vintage design with contemporary features present on most of today’s Internet radio models. One can only admire the gorgeous retro aesthetics of this box, draped in synthetic leather and furnished with a classic metal speaker grille. However, connectivity proves to be its biggest selling point: supporting DAB, DM, FM RDS, media streaming, Wi-Fi, and a traditional line-in output. Well, that and portability with the radio taking 4 D batteries.
Cue Acoustics Cue Radio Model R1
Dock conformists who refuse to give up their iPod Classic can find solace in Cue Acoustics sleek tuner. The Model R1 is a gorgeous tabletop radio fixed with an AM/FM antenna, monochrome LCD display, and three dials for system control that include mode selection, menu navigation, and radio tuning. Still, sound quality is where the R1 excels, as Cue pairs its 50-watt bi-amplified woofer/tweeter with the D2Audio DSP chip to convey remarkably clear audio.
Crosley CR3022A-BK Ranchero
Crosley’s been responsible for constructing some of the most iconic table radios over the past century. To the surprise of many, the company’s managed to adapt with the times and maintain its signature look by integrating the latest wireless technologies into its latest line of products. Here we have a nostalgia-inspired digital tuner that boasts a smooth cabinet and exhibits a crisp, loud soundstage highlighted by great detailing. It keeps listening simple with an AM/FM tuner, headphone jack, and input for mobile devices and MP3 devices. That’s what you call retro-active!