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For some radios, portability and versatility are key. The Avantree SP850 checks both of those boxes as a contender as the best tabletop radio when it comes to one that fits in your pocket and can be used in different ways. It also goes well with some of the best speakers in the market.
The Avantree SP850 is a high-quality, portable FM radio with some great added functionality. It may look like a transistor radio, but it doubles as a great portable Bluetooth speaker, so you can listen to your favorite music — or FM radio — anywhere.
The Avantree SP850 performs in all the ways you want it to: it’s ultra-portable, gets FM reception, and has good sound for a small radio. It outperforms by also working as a portable Bluetooth speaker, which is completely unlike the Altec Lansing InAir 5000 speaker. You can easily switch between radio mode and use it as a wireless speaker for pretty much any device that can connect via Bluetooth. For radio, it has an auto-scan function to easily find your favorite stations and save them as well.
Related: If you like the performance of this radio, you should check out our Beats Pill + Speaker review.
Unlike the Aether Cone, the SP850 Portable FM Radio succeeds in its design to be much more than a radio. Even its pocket size emits quality sound. In fact, the radio has six equalizer modes to tailor the sound to the type of music you’re listening to. If you think these features are nice, you’ll want to check out the Grace Digital+ Mondo, which has vintage look.
It’s conveniently powered by a rechargeable battery, which makes it easy to take on the go. It also has inputs for a USB cable, micro USB, and a Micro SD card. For more designs to compare to, you can read up on the Yamaha YAS-108 review.
Bluetooth speakers don’t usually have radio and SD card functionality, so if you want those features, this is a great option. The sound quality won’t blow you away, but at the same time, the ones that do won’t fit in your pocket (looking at you, Soundance SDY019). This is more comparable to the Panasonic RF-2400D, which doesn’t have Bluetooth and won’t fit in your pocket. For the price, you should definitely tune in.
This Avantree has something for everyone. It’s a great family radio to take to the park, camping, or even the backyard. The fact that it fits in your pocket is more useful than you expect, and the radio overall has a quality build and good sound. While it isn’t the best for a full Mozart symphony (let’s leave that to the Sangean WR-11 Wood Cabinet radio), it’s a great portable radio and speaker all in one small device.