Apart from when people are traveling, the most common locations for listening to the radio are either in the kitchen or in the garage/shed. Having an under cabinet radio frees up desk space, along with keeping the area clean and tidy.
Now you can jam to your favorite radio tunes or listen to an audiobook while cooking, cleaning, or enjoying your hobbies. There are models that offer radio, CD, Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary ports in different combinations.
So let’s go through the very best under cabinet radios currently on the market and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 8 Best Under Cabinet Radios In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 iLive IKBC384SMP3U – Best Wireless Under Cabinet Radio and MP3 Player
- 1.2 2 Sony ICFCDK50 – Best Premium Sound Under Cabinet Radio
- 1.3 3 Sylvania SKCR2713 – Best Under Cabinet CD Player with Radio
- 1.4 4 Tyler TKS2-WH – Best Sounding Bluetooth Cabinet Radio
- 1.5 5 RCA SPS3688B – Best Budget Under Cabinet Radio
- 1.6 6 Jensen SMPS-628 – Best Value for the Money Under Cabinet Radio
- 1.7 7 iLive IKB318S – Best Long Distance Bluetooth Under Cabinet Radio
- 1.8 8 iLive IKBC384S – Best Basic Under Cabinet Radio and CD
- 2 Best Under Cabinet Radios Buying Guide
- 3 So, What Is The Best Under Cabinet Radios?
Top 8 Best Under Cabinet Radios In 2021 Reviews
1 iLive IKBC384SMP3U – Best Wireless Under Cabinet Radio and MP3 Player
First up is this attractive design from iLive. The neutral gloss black and aluminum-look is sure to match with any surroundings. Information on the LCD screen lights up in a bright white color, which is easy to read without being distracting.
Power is supplied using the included AC/DC power adapter, along with battery backup from two AA batteries. Battery backup will not power the device but will save the clock and radio presets in case of a power outage.
Range of listening options…
There are many different options for listening to audio. The built-in FM tuner can save up to 20 station presets. There is also an MP3 compatible CD player for those who still have some discs in their collection.
For more modern listeners, Bluetooth is supported so you can stream from a smartphone or tablet. A USB port is located on the rear of the device making a wired connection possible too. Last of all is the auxiliary input, compatible with a 3.5 mm audio cable.
Control from across the room…
A remote control is included that can provide full functions from anywhere in the room. We were particularly impressed with the remote being magnetic. That makes it easy to keep accessible at all times by attaching it to the fridge or tool chest.
There are built-in speakers that are of decent quality. You won’t be receiving any noise complaints from the neighbors, but the sound quality is fine. Even though the volume level isn’t huge, the sound is clear without that tinniness usually associated with cheaper devices.
- Attractive neutral design.
- Multiple listening options.
- Magnetic remote control.
- LCD is difficult to read from sharp angles.
- No external antenna for radio.
2 Sony ICFCDK50 – Best Premium Sound Under Cabinet Radio
Next up in our best under cabinet radios may be the star of the show. If you are after a radio with premium sound quality, then Sony has stepped up to, well, under the table. While it lacks some of the connection features offered with other devices, nothing else can come close to the sound quality achieved here.
Bass reflex technology provides rich, deep bass tones that simply cannot be matched. Plus, the device’s neutral silver color helps it blend into any environment that you choose to install this device.
A blast from the past…
While there is no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or any wireless option for listening to audio, there is one option that the others lack. Not only do you have a built-in FM radio, but this device can also receive AM signals.
You can store up to 15 presets from both the AM and FM radio frequencies. There is also a clock and cooking timer, which is handy if you install this device in your kitchen. The time is automatically set to EST, and all you need to do is select your timezone.
Other audio options…
Besides the radio, there is a CD player that is compatible with CD-R/RW discs. If you do wish to play audio from a smartphone, tablet, or PC, there is an audio input jack that can plug into a 3.5 mm headphone port.
All of these listening options can be controlled using the included magnetic remote control from anywhere in the room. This is, by far, the most pricey model. However, if you value superior sound quality, frankly, there’s no competition.
- Best sound quality available.
- AM radio available.
- Magnetic remote control.
- No wireless compatibility.
- Most expensive option.
3 Sylvania SKCR2713 – Best Under Cabinet CD Player with Radio
Sylvania has managed to produce this feature-packed unit at an affordable price. This product can be easily mounted under any cabinet or desk and provides quality audio playback from a range of options.
The device itself is constructed from high-quality plastic in a neutral tone. A silver color is used for the body, with a gloss black display panel along the front. An easy-to-read LCD shows the time or selected radio station.
Listen your way…
A built-in FM radio tuner allows users to easily switch between radio stations. You can use either the control panel located along the front or with the included compact, full-function remote control.
Along with the radio tuner, is a built-in CD player. It is capable of playing CD-R/RW discs and MP3 formats. You can also easily connect a Bluetooth device with the touch of a button for wireless playback.
A mounting kit is included with this product. Simply use the template provided to measure where the holes require drilling. The screws can then be used to mount the device under any cabinet or desk.
One thing to be aware of is that the antenna is internal. If you live in a city area, radio reception shouldn’t be a problem. If you live in a more rural area, you should check the reception before committing to an installation.
- Affordable option.
- Neutral design.
- Bluetooth connection.
- No AM radio tuner.
- Internal antenna.
4 Tyler TKS2-WH – Best Sounding Bluetooth Cabinet Radio
For people that no longer use discs, this attractive and compact product from Tyler is worth checking out. One of its great features is a built-in bright LED light underneath the device. This is great for lighting up your kitchen or workbench.
Sound comes from three speakers, including a small subwoofer. For such a small footprint, the sound quality is surprisingly good. The curved and rounded edges give a futuristic yet minimalist look that will suit most areas.
Sound without wires…
Connecting via Bluetooth is easy, enabling you to listen through your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Additionally, you can also answer calls with the speakerphone function if you are connected to your smartphone.
All the features you would find on a clock radio can be found on here as well. An external antenna can assist in tuning the FM radio with up to 20 station presets. You can also set an alarm with snooze or even a sleep timer.
Great for kitchens and workshops…
Installing the device is easy and can transform any kitchen or workshop into an entertainment zone. The compact design leaves plenty of space while providing a rich and full audio experience.
Programming the device is intuitive and straightforward. The controls along the face of the device can select the desired function. A wheel on the right side makes changing volume, tuning stations, or setting the time or alarms a breeze.
- Attractive and compact design.
- Built-in LED light.
- External antenna.
- No CD player.
- Controls are not backlit.
5 RCA SPS3688B – Best Budget Under Cabinet Radio
Those on a budget can also purchase an under cabinet radio with great features at an affordable price. All thanks to RCA, who have produced this slim device with built-in speakers and a large clock display.
The design is streamlined with a silver body. The front panel contains the controls and is a dark gray color. Within the center, you will find the easy-to-read clock, which is displayed using a red LCD screen.
FM tuner and Bluetooth…
Listen to the radio using the built-in FM tuner. Up to 20 station presets can be saved and quickly scrolled through. The internal antenna means no messy wires and can still detect all your favorite radio stations.
Bluetooth pairing can be set easily using the pair button on the front of the device. You can then listen to music, streaming services, or podcasts. Just connect your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
That’s not all…
Sound is provided with dual stereo speakers with an output of 4 Watts. The sound quality is reasonable and would exceed most expectations at this budget. Volume levels can produce a sound that can be heard above most regular kitchen or workshop noise.
A timer can be set for up to 90 minutes, along with a countdown function and alarm. This feature is great if using the device in the kitchen as a cooking reminder. No more excuses for overcooked meals.
- Affordable option.
- Slim design.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Sound quality is lacking.
- No remote control.
6 Jensen SMPS-628 – Best Value for the Money Under Cabinet Radio
Luckily if you are after an affordable option, there are other options available. This product from Jensen also represents great value. With a range of different audio options available for your listening pleasure.
The design is an acquired taste, with its sharp edges and extruding extremities. The predominantly silver design will help it blend in. Only the control buttons are a different color, being a matte gray.
Underneath the device, in front of the dual stereo speakers, is a bright LED light. A useful inclusion for an item that is generally mounted under a cabinet. The useful inclusions don’t stop there either.
Connecting various external devices such as smartphones or tablets can be achieved in one of two ways. Either you can pair using Bluetooth, including NFC, or by using the auxiliary input via the 3.5 mm headphone port.
But wait, there’s more…
Utilizing a built-in microphone allows hands-free phone calls via speakerphone. Along with all this wireless wizardry is the original wireless itself. The good old FM radio tuner, which can save up to 20 preset stations.
Power is supplied by the included power adapter. If you wish not to have to reprogram the clock and radio presets, battery backup is also available. Particularly handy if you use the alarm function and there is a disruption in the mains power supply.
- Bright LED light under the device.
- Hands-free speakerphone calls.
- Bluetooth includes NFC.
- Unattractive design features.
- No CD player.
7 iLive IKB318S – Best Long Distance Bluetooth Under Cabinet Radio
Our second product here from iLive is essentially the same, but without the CD player. If you have moved on from discs and have already digitized your audio collection, this may very well be the perfect device for you.
Almost identical in design, however, slightly slimmer and compact thanks to not needing the extra space for an optical drive. Mounting and installation of the device are just as easy, leaving more available space.
Same great functions…
Thanks to Bluetooth 2.0, you can wirelessly connect your devices from up to 33-feet (10-meters) away. Your smartphone or tablet can easily be paired to the iLive with the single press of a button.
The built-in FM tuner can store up to 20 stations using the preset function. All the functions can be controlled via the control panel or using the magnetic remote control. Along with the clock is an alarm function that includes a timer and snooze function.
Saves all your settings…
By inserting two AAA batteries into the device, a backup power supply is supplied. While it won’t power the unit itself, it will save your clock settings, radio presets, and alarms. We know how easy it is to turn off the wrong switch on the wall socket!
Direct power is supplied using the included AC/DC power adapter. Even during general use, the device will remember the last setting used and return exactly the same as when it was powered off, which we quite like.
- Easily mounted and installed.
- Magnetic remote control.
- Battery backup power.
- No CD player function.
- Does not have an AM tuner.
8 iLive IKBC384S – Best Basic Under Cabinet Radio and CD
Finally, we have a third product from iLive. Once again, only a slight variation on the other models. While this product does contain a CD player, this one does not play MP3 format discs and is not rated for CD-R/RWs.
There is one other function that this device cannot perform, and that is the hands-free speakerphone function. While Bluetooth connectivity is still available, there is no built-in microphone to provide the call feature.
Still, great value to be had…
If missing these features does not bother you, this means you can purchase a great device at a more affordable price. The MP3 functionality definitely won’t work on the CD player; however, there was some success with playing copied CDs.
So if you have already digitized most of your audio collection, this product could be worthwhile. Who doesn’t like making some savings, right?
Still a great performer…
As mentioned, you still retain the functions such as Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary input, and full clock radio functions. All this can be controlled using the handy magnetic remote control too.
This is our final product on our list. Join us next as we put together a buying guide for you to see the key differences between these products.
- Significant savings available.
- Magnetic remote control.
- Range of audio connectivity options.
- Limited CD player functions.
- No hands-free calling.
Best Under Cabinet Radios Buying Guide
We’ve now come to the part where we help you decide which of these great products will best suit your needs. We achieve this by explaining the main differences between these products, so you can have a better understanding before making a purchase.
We will ask the questions that you usually forget to ask yourself. After our buying guide, if you are still unsure which way to go, we will reveal which we think is the best product overall and why.
Disc Or Digital?
One of the main differences between these devices is the inclusion of an optical drive. If you still have a fantastic CD collection, then you will need to select a device that contains a CD player. Most are compatible with copied discs; however, not all can play MP3 format.
If you have already digitized your collection, or perhaps never even updated from vinyl, there is no need for a CD player. All the devices offer both an FM radio and auxiliary input. This gives the option of playing via an external device such as a smartphone or PC.
Other Things To Consider
Besides the Sony device, all the others include wireless Bluetooth connectivity. The iLive MP3, Tyler, and Jensen all have hands free calling in addition to Bluetooth, which some may find handy.
What do they mostly lack?
Unfortunately, AM radio seems to be neglected these days. Only the Sony offers an AM radio tuner, and there is a high premium to pay for the privilege. You do, however, gain that vastly superior sound quality with the Sony device, too, though.
The sound quality of all the other products is very much on par, apart from the Tyler, which is slightly improved due to the inclusion of a small subwoofer.
You might also be interested in our Best Alarm Clocks with Radio Review, our Best Internet Radio Reviews, our Best USB HGTV Tune Reviews, our Best Portable CD Players Review, or our Best Battery Backup Reviews.
Back to the best under-cabinet radios…
So, What Is The Best Under Cabinet Radios?
For us to decide which product takes the title of overall best radio for under cabinets, we have taken the following into consideration.
Features, design, and value for money. The product we feel performs best across all these areas is the…Sylvania SKCR2713
With its full functions of CD, Bluetooth, radio, alarm clock, and the inclusion of remote control, this product represents great quality and value.