Under counter radios have been quite popular for some time, mainly due to their convenience, their space-saving design, and their affordable pricing.
Today, there are various types of under cabinet radios, which are much more than simple radios, and offer multiple connectivity options and different types of media options available.
In 2020, you can find under-counter radios with Bluetooth connectivity, with capabilities like playing CDs, mp3 files, built-in microphones, so you can use them for handsfree calls, and other useful features such as digital clocks and kitchen timers.
The most distinguishable characteristic of these types of players is the fact that they are designed to be as slim as possible so that they can be mounted underneath the kitchen cabinet without taking up countertop space, within easy access and away from the messy ingredients you use for cooking and prepping food and beverages.
The features to look for when buying an under-counter radio
Even though they are relatively simple appliances, under cabinet radios and players come in different types, sizes and with different functionalities.
Here are the main features to keep in mind when choosing the best under counter radio for your needs:
The size and design
You most probably would like to install an under-cabinet player that will look good in your kitchen – the designs can differ, so choose one which is aesthetically pleasing for you, and which will fit well in your kitchen décor.
More importantly, you should make sure that you measure the available space you have allotted for it so that you choose the right sized one, and the one with the most suitable thickness.
Most of them are very sleek, in order to take up as little space as possible, and leave you sufficient space to use your countertop and kitchen appliances for food prep and cooking.
The connectivity types
Depending on your preferences, and the devices you are used to using for listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks and other audio content, you should choose an under counter radio which offers these specific connectivity options.
For example, if you prefer using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or mp3 player, you may want to opt for an under cabinet player with seamless and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
If on the other hand, you prefer to download your audio files on a USB flash drive, you should choose a player with a USB input.
The radio function
If you want to listen to your favorite radio programs, to the local news or weather or traffic news while you are in the kitchen, then you should choose an under-counter radio which has a radio tuner. Most of them come with digital FM tuners and have preset options so you can save your favorite stations for easy access and quick switching from one to another.
Some of these appliances also have AM radio tuners, so make sure you check out the frequencies of your preferred radio stations when shopping for the best under counter radio.
If you have a massive collection of CDs you would like to listen to while preparing food or spending time in your kitchen, then you should choose an under counter radio with a built-in CD player. This will save space and the hassle of having to connect a CD player to it.
Some of the under cabinet radios can only play original CDs, but others can play CD-RWs and CDs which you have burned on your computer as well.
The ease of mounting and the mounting options
As their name suggests, these appliances are designed to be installed underneath a kitchen cabinet or counter, in order to save space on the countertop for your kitchen appliances, and food prep.
You should pick the most suitable shelf or cabinet where you will be mounting your radio. It is recommended that it is installed at eye level, and is easy to access, especially if it doesn’t come with a remote control.
Most of the high quality under counter radios come with all of the mounting equipment and kits you will need to install them easily by yourself.
The speaker grill and the sound quality and volume
Since you will be installing the player right beneath a cabinet or shelf, the speakers will need to be located somewhere where the cabinet above the unit won’t block the sound.
Plus, make sure you get an appliance that has speaker grills that are easy to wipe and clean because all kinds of splashes and messes can happen when you are cooking.
The sound quality and the volume of the player depends on your preferences, but keep in mind that if you tend to use noisy appliances like blenders or mixers, you will need a radio which you can hear even when those kitchen tools are in use.
Most under-counter radios have clocks, as well as kitchen timers which you can easily see from anywhere in the kitchen. Some of them even come with nifty remote controls as well as other extras to make the controls easier to access and use, no matter how busy you are.
Some come with battery backup in case of power failure or for use in RVs.
Some of the latest under counter radios even have screens so you can watch TV or other video content.
The best under counter radios for 2020
If you want to enjoy deep bass tones when listening to music even when you are cooking, then the Sony ICFCDK50 Under Cabinet Kitchen CD player could be the best choice for you.
This is a sturdily built under counter radio which can play all kinds of CDs, even burned CD-RWs, so you can make collections of your favorite tunes, audiobooks or other audio files you want to listen to while prepping your meals, or having breakfast in the kitchen.
The radio also has an FM/AM digital tuner and has 15 presets, so you can easily find and save your preferred radio stations for easy access.
The Sony Under Cabinet Kitchen CD also comes with an integrated audio cable that you can use to connect any kind of music player.
It even has a remote control, which has a nifty magnet, so you can attach it to the fridge so you will always know where to find it.
The top-quality under counter radio has a digital clock, and an easy to set kitchen timer.
Overall, this music player is very easy to use thanks to its user-friendly control panel on the front of the unit.
It is slim and is only 13.7 x 3.4 x 12.2 inches in size, and weighs 6.4 lbs., so it will fit under any cabinet without taking up any of your valuable countertop space.
If you want a Bluetooth enabled under counter radio, then the iLive iKB333S is an excellent option for you.
Thanks to its wireless connectivity, you can easily pair it to your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or any other Bluetooth enabled device or music player.
It supports Bluetooth v3.0 for a reliable connection and seamless music and audio listening.
In fact, you can pair it to a number of devices and switch from one to another.
It also has a built-in FM radio tuner with 20 preset options to save your favorite stations, and to access each one with a single press of a button.
The under-counter radio also has built-in stereo speakers.
It is only 9.1 x 7.4 x 2.5 inches in size and weighs a mere 1.61 lbs. Plus, it comes with all of the mounting hardware, screws and spacers you will need to install it even under the smallest of cabinets easily.
It also has a backlit digital clock and timer for cooking.
It is reasonably priced, and its only flaw is that it doesn’t have an AM tuner if that is what you are looking for.
It has two 4 watt built-in stereo speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity, which allows for easy and wireless pairing with any Bluetooth enabled player or device, including smartphones, tablets, computers, music players, and many more.
The affordable kitchen radio has an FM tuner, which you can use to save up to 20 of your favorite radio stations thanks to the preset options.
It also has a large LED display with a clock, and a 90-minute countdown timer, so you can see what the time is and how your cooking process is progressing at any moment while you are in the kitchen.
The RCA SPS3688B is space-saving and has a slim design. Its size is 7.7 x 12.6 x 1.9 inches and it weighs just 2.2 lbs. all of the mounting hardware is included in the package, which comes at a price of less than $30.
It has a built-in CD player as well as Bluetooth v.2.0 connectivity, so you can listen to your preferred CDs or stream your playlist or any other audio content with a paired smartphone, tablet, laptop, or music player without needing wires and cables. The Bluetooth has a range of up to 33 feet and offers automatic pairing for seamless streaming.
The under-cabinet music player also has an integrated FM radio with 20 preset options allowing you to save your favorite stations.
The slim under counter radio has a slim design, which will save space and a large LCD display with a clock and a useful kitchen timer function.
It is powered by an included AC/DC adaptor, and has an option of battery backup with 2 AA batteries, in case of power failure.
The size of the radio is 13.5 x 3.8 x 12.5 inches, and it weighs 3.75 lbs.
It comes with a mounting kit and is very easy to install, without the need for hiring and paying for a handyman or electrician.
You can forget about getting your phone, radio, or music player all covered in flour, grease and other messy foodstuffs and get this sleek and space-saving under counter radio by iLIve for your kitchen instead.
The iLive player can play your favorite CDs, or you can plug in a flash drive with your mp3 playlist directly in the SUB drive of the appliance.
It also has an FM radio to listen to the news, the weather or traffic information, as well as Bluetooth v2.0 connectivity for wireless streaming from your phone, music player, tablet, computer, or another device.
Thanks to the Bluetooth setting, and the built-in microphone in the radio, you can use it as a hands-free speakerphone when you need to take or make a call but are busy prepping the food for the family.
The slim and sleek under counter radio also comes with a remote control so you can switch to the desired setting or to your favorite track without getting up.
The FM radio has 20 preset options so you can save all your preferred stations.
It has an easy to view digital clock, and a nifty kitchen timer setting to make sure your meals are always perfectly cooked.
It is powered via an AC/DC adapter, but also has an option of adding 2AA batteries for backup just in case of a blackout.
It also has an Aux in 3.5mm port for audio input.
The radio is 13.2 x 12 x 3.5 inches and weighs 3.75 lbs.
With its radio, CD, mp3, Aux-in, built-in microphone, and Bluetooth connectivity it is definitely one of the most versatile under counter radios you can find in 2020.
FAQs about under counter radios
Q: How is it installed?
A: Most under counter radios come with all of the mounting fasteners, brackets and other hardware and detailed instructions you will need to DIY install the under the cabinet radio of your choice.
Q: Can it be removed easily?
A: An under counter radio can be removed as easily as it is installed, you will just need to reverse the process of the installation.
Q: Where is the antenna of the under-counter radio?
A: for safety reasons as well as for space-saving ones, the antenna for the radio tuner of this type of appliance is usually built-in the radio itself. This helps save space, as well as incidents with protruding antennas in tight spaces.
Q: Can I get an under counter radio with a remote control?
A: Yes, there are various models that are offered with remote controls. We have added some of them to our list. One even has a magnetic remote control that you can keep stuck on the refrigerator door, so it doesn’t get misplaced in the kitchen.
Q: Can I use the under counter radio to listen to a weather band?
A: Usually, these appliances have FM tuners, and you can listen to your local radio stations. The weather band frequencies are not within this broadcast range so that you can listen to your local weather forecasts instead.
Q: Will there be annoying static if I use the radio to listen to AM broadcasts?
A: Some radio stations and shows still use AM frequencies, which can cause the distracting static, if you mount your AM under counter radio too close to an AC source.
Last update on 2020-09-20 at 10:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API