What are Different Types of Radio?

Radio is a mass communication medium that continues to be very present in our homes despite the digital technologies actively entering our lives. However, the term radio can be used extremely broadly these days as there are analog, digital, and internet-based radios these days. 

At the same time, the adoption of mobile applications (Apps from your radio station that you download from the Apple store or the Android Play Store) has putten an immense pressure on conventional, small-size radio receivers. 

On the market, there are home, office, and pocket digital radios for walking. Gone are the 2000s when MP3 and MP4 players had an integrated radio to appeal to the broader audience. At the same time, the functionality and use of the traditional and latest radio technology go beyond being used purely for entertainment. Our world and markets are flooded with different types of radio gadgets, so before venturing out and buying them, consider checking all types of radio reviews and comparisons out there to make sure our opinion is unbiased and objective.

1. Portable Digital Radios

For a few years now, radio has been able to be listened to over the Internet, and digital radio receivers have even been created that play stations through an Internet connection without the need for a PC, but with digital quality.

The combination of radio and the Internet has given rise to “podcasting”, which is the downloading of radio broadcasts (podcasts) from the Internet to create personalized radio.

2. The Conventional Portable Radio

In the portable radio system, the cable or battery-powered radio receiver is an electronic device with which signals transmitted by a transmitter using electromagnetic waves are recovered.

A conventional radio incorporates an electrical circuit that filters an electric current that is generated in the antenna, by the effect of electromagnetic waves that are transmitted through the air, and then amplifies that current and sends it to a speaker that transforms it into sound.

3. Radio Alarm Clocks

In many bedrooms, on the nightstand, we are reluctant to give up having a digital clock radio. Although they are a bit anachronistic and rigid in their functionality in front of the mobile alarm clock, these small and cheap devices (you can find them for 20 euros) allow you to see the time with large digits in 12 and 24-hour formats. You can also select its brightness in the dark or set an alarm that turns on your favorite radio station.

Among the drawbacks highlight that the power is usually by cable, although they have a compartment for AA or AAA batteries. On the other hand, if you are one of those who do not want to disturb, find out before buying if they have a jack (jack) for headphones since the cheapest models will not.

4. Internet Radio

If you have a computer with a broadband Internet connection, you can already listen to around 20,000 radio stations from more than a hundred countries, and the number is increasing.

There are both free and paid stations on the network. Some broadcasts may appear to be like a traditional radio station being broadcasted through the Internet, through the system called “webcasting”.

The webcasting is radio broadcasts (and television) over the Internet using the system of “streaming” to broadcast live from a central station and do not allow you to record the contents.

Other stations broadcast “on-demand” and one can choose which program to listen to and at what time (” Listen Again ” option).

And finally, for some years now, we have had online services based on listening to unlimited paid music (the user pays a monthly fee and can listen to music unlimitedly) or not (with advertising). We are talking about paid music services like Spotify.

In the payment method, Spotify Premium, you can download up to 3,333 music songs on various devices (basically mobile) that you can enjoy without an Internet connection.

As for audio files, there is no standard format, so each station or download app is adapted to the most popular audio players (Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, WinAmp, iTunes, KMPlayer, AIMP, etc.).

5. Digital Terrestrial Radio

Digital terrestrial radio, also called “DAB radio” (“Digital Audio Broadcasting”), allows a radio signal to be transported digitally using a single frequency for the entire national territory.

This technology has not yet taken off in Spain because analog receivers (conventional radios) are not prepared to receive the digital signal and it is necessary to have a special receiver, which is compatible with analog radio by including FM support.

The sound quality of digital terrestrial radio is similar to that of a CD, but the reception is free from interference.

In addition to the audio signal, data that is displayed on the digital receivers in the form of textual information complementary to the broadcast (such as the station, the song title, related news, etc.) are sent.

Another difference from analog radio is the single frequency: digital radio will not produce “analog blackout” because digital radio uses different frequencies than analog.

6. Satellite Radio

Satellite radio offers CD sound quality and good ad-free programs using electromagnetic waves, but for now only in the US.

Satellite radio stations are paid, you have to subscribe to a service provider (XM or Sirius) and pay a monthly fee, and you need to have a special receiving device that must be compatible with the provider.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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