Six of the best portable radios
There are hundreds of portable radios on the market. The best ones fit in your pocket and recieve FM, AM, and better still, multiple SW. Apart from size and price, the main thing to consider is whether you want digital tuning (push buttons and digital read-out) or

analogue (knob-twiddling and moving pointer on dial). Digital offers better reception, but it costs more and can be complicated. But all the digital models here are comparatively easy to use - five minutes' twiddling at most. Robert Hanks conducts the test transmissions

1 Mini FM Radio (from Innovations: 01793 514666). This is the ultimate in no-frills listening: FM only, no volume control, no way of telling where you are on the dial. The digital tuning method is fiddly and the on-off button awkward; but the size, the price (pounds 12.99), the digital reception and the surprisingly good (mono) sound make up for all that. 8/10.

2 Aiwa CR-AO5 Not as tiny as the Auto-tuner, but still pretty damn small, and with the advantages of AM and stereo. The disadvantages are a tiny tuning wheel, and over-sensitive AM reception (you have to stand very still facing in the right direction). Good sound, with a booming superbass facility, if you like that sort of thing, and still quite cheap at pounds 26.99. 6/10.

3 Aiwa CR-DS15 Not as nice to operate as the Roberts, thanks to fiddly rubber push buttons. But the reception is as good, and it does offer you the option of listening on a speaker. The CR-AS25 is basically the same thing with analogue tuning, and only costs pounds 19.99. 6/10.

4 Sony SRF-X90 Sports It's a radio. No, it's a telescope. Hey, it's a radio and it's a telescope. Well, it's a radio with a lens built in, allowing you to watch as you listen. In theory, this is ideal for sports fans; actually, the field of vision is annoyingly narrow and it's not much of a radio for pounds 64.99. 3/10. You'd be better off with a pair of binoculars and the superior SRF M43 (pounds 44.99).

5 Roberts PR1 The best value of any of the digital models, at pounds 39.99, and by far the simplest to use. You can programme in up to 19 stations, and reception is excellent. A nice bonus is that the usual precarious in-ear headphones will slot on to the optional headband. 9/10.

6Sony ICF-SW100E The ultimate travel radio, with fantastically good reception on FM, AM, LW and multiple shortwave bands, clock, alarm, light, telescopic aerial, 50 station presets with digital display to tell you what the stations are. Three tiny hitches: the earphones fall out (common with Sony; maybe they test their equipment on employees with small earholes), the sound is a light for music and it's horribly expensive (pounds 219.99). But God uses a radio like this. 10/10.

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