How Do I Choose the Best under Cupboard Radio?

Patti Kate

When shopping for your new under cupboard radio, determine which features you require. You'll be able to choose from basic models, as well as units that offer options such as a docking station for your digital music player. Also, decide if you want the option of playing compact disks (CDs) or simply want to listen to AM/FM stereo. Look for a model that easily mounts under your kitchen cabinet, while coordinating with your room's decor. A remote control would be a convenient feature as well.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Choosing the best under cupboard radio can be accomplished by comparison shopping. Don't limit yourself to one source, such as a department store's audio department. If you don't mind ordering online, you may have more of a selection to choose from. An under cupboard radio may match your kitchen cabinets perfectly, but it may be too bulky for the space you have. This may be an important factor if you mount your radio directly under the sink or in another area where you do work or tasks.

If you live in an area that has poor reception, be sure you choose an under cupboard radio that has good signal strength. An inexpensive off-brand model may not give you the best reception. Consider how many preset radio stations the under cabinet radio has. A radio that has 20 preset stations will allow more choices than a model that only has five presets each for AM and FM.

Consider an under cupboard radio that also features a battery backup. Battery backup will power your radio in the event of a power outage. This is a convenient feature and often necessary in areas that experience frequent electrical storms.

When selecting your under cupboard radio, look for a model that offers easy installation. Read the packaging or inquire if the mounting will require drilling. If so, be certain you have the necessary tools to install your radio.

Some models will also have added features such as an alarm clock and kitchen timer. The timer can come in handy for cooking tasks. Features that allow you to play your music CDs and digital music may be of interest, especially with an option to charge your music player. Other options may include a small television screen. The television may add extra bulk unless it has a flip-down display.

There are various other features you may prefer as well. Some under cupboard radio models have an optional back light. This can be helpful for viewing the digital display, especially in a dimly lit room. Also, look for a magnetic remote control that attaches to your refrigerator. If you're buying a refurbished under cupboard radio, be sure a mounting kit is included.

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Discussion Comments


@Scrbblchick -- That's cool. I'm remodeling my kitchen and was thinking about a radio, but a satellite version never crossed my mind for a second. That's a great idea. Thanks!

If I can find one, I'd also like one with a clock on it and battery backup, in case the power goes out. I like having a battery-operated radio around if we lose power. I learned that lesson during the April 2011 super tornado outbreak. We lost power for four days, and the radio was the only way we knew which gas stations were open, for instance. And that was a real help.


Honestly, if I were going to get one of these radios, I'd get a home satellite radio. The reception is good, no matter what, and yes, you have to pay a small fee every month, but it's not that much, and you get so much great programming.

I have a Sirius radio in my car, and I have their Mostly Music package, which is a heck of a lot cheaper and gives me all the music I want, along with some news or whatever, if I want to listen. Mostly, I listen to the music. It's worth every penny.

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