How many hours do you spend in the kitchen? It can get boring in there, but music helps. And for that, you can put a radio right under the cabinet to keep it out of the way.
The best under cabinet radio can provide the right kind of music for you, and also give you a constant reminder of what time it is.
In some homes, the kitchen (and not the living room) is where people actually gather to talk and socialize with guests. Music can certainly help make such a gathering livelier and more enjoyable.
Best Under Cabinet Radio – Comparison
Best Under Cabinet Radio Reviews
We’ve picked the best options in the market for you. Read our under cabinet radio reviews to find the most suitable unit for your needs without wasting too much of your time (and money).
1. Sony ICFCDK50 Under Cabinet Kitchen CD Clock Radio
It’s not surprising that Sony is part of this list. The brand sets the standard for sound system excellence, and they also offer one of the best under cabinet radio CD player around.
You will immediately notice how the sound here is much better than your smartphone speaker. That’s because of the bass reflex sound.
This plays all your CDs, including your CD-R/RW discs. You also can go with FM music with 10 presets, or AM station news with 5 presets. There’s an aux-in jack option for your mp3 player, along with a convenient holder for your music player.
This can display the time, and you even get the Eastern Standard Time by default. If that’s not your time zone, resetting the time is easy enough. The built-in lithium battery will then keep the correct time even in case of power interruption.
This comes with a cooking timer, which makes it handy in your kitchen. Even the remote is magnetic, so just stick it to the fridge door.
- Slim model at just 3.4 inches thick
- Plays CDs (including CD-R/RW)
- FM/AM, with 15 presets
- Built-in cooking timer
- Aux-in jack
- Bass reflex sound
- Built-in lithium battery maintains the correct time
- Attachable holder for digital music players
- Magnetic remote for easy placement on the fridge door
2. iLive Bluetooth Under Cabinet Radio (FM) CD Player
If you really want music in your kitchen, this is a great option. It plays FM stations and lets you save up to 20 fave stations to memory. You can play your CDs too. In fact, your CD can have mp3 files instead of CD tracks and this player can still play the songs. Finally, you have a USB slot here so you can put in a USB stick filled with mp3 files.
With Bluetooth, you can also just connect your smartphone wirelessly and play streaming music. The range is 10 meters for Bluetooth, so you can walk around the whole kitchen without breaking the connection.
This comes with a remote, which then lets you change stations, play certain music tracks, and adjust the volume wherever you are in the kitchen. The clock LCD display tells you the time. It also offers kitchen timer functions, so you can set an alarm for dishes that need specific cooking times.
- FN radio with 20 presets
- Plays CDs (even CDs with mp3s)
- Has USB slot
- Bluetooth allows for smartphone connectivity
- Clock display on LCD screen with kitchen timer functions
- Has 2 AA battery backup to maintain correct time
- Remote control with full features
3. Tyler Bluetooth Under the Cabinet Universal Wireless Music System
This isn’t your regular under cabinet radio, not by a long shot. Of course, as a music player it’s great. You can get FM stations and set 20 favorite stations into the memory slots. You can also connect your smartphone via Bluetooth and play your streaming music.
However, this also works as a clock, with lots of timer functions. In fact, you can set 2 alarms here—and you even have the snooze function. This is actually helpful when you’re using the timer for cooking, and you find that your food needs a few more minutes of cooking time.
This has LED lights so the area below it is properly illuminated. Finally, you can also answer phone calls if you’ve connected your smartphone to this and both your hands are working. This has a built-in microphone to let you answer the calls.
- 2 built-in speakers
- Bluetooth allows for smartphone connectivity with streaming music
- FM radio with 20 presets
- Clock with timer, sleep, dual alarm, and even snooze timer
- LED lighting to brighten up the workspace underneath
- Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
4. JENSEN SMPS-628 Under Cabinet Universal Bluetooth Music System
You can choose to install this anywhere, but with the mounting hardware you really should just install this in your kitchen. The clock LCD display can then give you the time at a glance, while it also offers kitchen timer functions that can alert you when certain dishes are done. Your purchase comes with a 120V AC adapter, but you should put in 2 AAA batteries for backup.
This comes with an FM stereo receiver with PLL digital tuning for terrific FM reception. You have presets here, so you can find your favorite stations more easily.
But this also has Bluetooth, and connecting your smartphone is super-easy. This supports A2DP and NFC for sure connections. This then allows you to play streaming music or the mp3 files you have in your smartphone memory.
Don’t worry about answering calls when both your hands are busy working. The radio has a built-in mic so you can continue working while you answer your calls.
With this, you also light up that dark area under the cabinet. This under cabinet kitchen radio has 4 LED lights to illuminate that space. The clock tells you the time at a glance, and you can set its timer for specific cooking times.
- Mounting hardware
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- Aux-in jack for old-school mp3 players
- FM radio
- 4 LED lights to illuminate workspace underneath
- Clock with timer
5. iLive Wireless Under Cabinet Bluetooth FM Radio
This looks very cool and modern, and it offers a lot of features that you’ll like to make your kitchen less boring. This starts with the radio’s appearance, and continues on with its great features. Installing this is easy, and some people don’t even need 15 minutes to finish the job.
The “negative” LCD display is a nice touch, as it makes the readout of the time a lot easier to read. The background is dark and the numbers are bright, and you have a white backlight to make sure you can read it. There’s a dimmer control so you can set the brightness of the LCD display. The digital clock also comes with a timer and an alarm.
You can listen to FM music with this, and you get 20 memory presets for your favorite stations. In addition, you have Bluetooth to connect your tablet or smartphone to this as well. You can then stream music from the internet or play your mp3 files using the speakers on this radio. The wireless range here is astounding at 60 feet—that means you can even go into the next room and your Bluetooth connection won’t fail.
- Easy installation
- Easy-to-read negative LCD display
- Has timer and alarm
- FM radio with 20 memory slots
- Bluetooth connectivity with range of 60 feet
- Uses 2 AAA batteries for backup
6. Auna KR-140 Kitchen Radio with FM PLL Radio Tuner
In many cases, the audio quality in under cabinet radios aren’t exactly audiophile-quality. Sometimes even the volume can be a problem, especially when you have lots of noisy gadgets operating in the kitchen.
But you won’t have that sort of issue with this under cabinet kitchen radio. That’s because this comes with two 10W speakers—the audio is terrific. It does help that the radio also features 2 woofers that enhances the bass considerably. After you get used to this, you simply won’t settle for your smartphone speakers anymore.
You can opt for FM radio, which lets you use up to 40 memory slots for your favorite stations. But this also has Bluetooth, which lets you use your smartphone with this as well. Use your smartphone to play mp3 files or streaming music, but listen to the music using these speakers. This is Bluetooth 4.1, which comes with the Low Energy protocol. This means a longer Bluetooth connection without draining your smartphone battery.
This comes with a clock, along with a sleep timer, dual alarm settings, and even a snooze function. That’s useful if you put this in your bedroom. But if you put this in the kitchen, you can also use the handy egg timer.
This also comes with a built-in microphone. That lets you answer incoming calls without stopping your cooking. It also has LED lights to light up the space below the radio.
- Two 10W speakers with woofers
- FM radio with 40 memory slots
- Bluetooth 4.1connectivity
- Egg timer
- Sleep timer, dual alarm, with snooze
- Built-in microphone
- LED lights for the workspace underneath
7. Sylvania SKCR2810BT Under Cabinet Clock Radio with Bluetooth
This is a great under cabinet clock radio, because it virtually eliminates any potentially annoying issue that you may encounter. This starts with the mounting kit, which comes with instructions that are easy to follow.
This has FM radio, and with the LED display you can set the station and volume easily enough. With this LED display, you won’t have to squint to see the time or the station ID. It’s large and easy to read.
This also allows you to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can play streaming music or your mp3s. It’s basically a 1-button process, and you have a wireless connection.
The sound is fantastic for this type of radio as well. The volume should be loud enough that you can still hear the music whatever kitchen or garage gadget you may have going.
- Easy to install mounting kit
- FM radio
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Nice sound from hi-fi speakers
- Large LED display for time
- AC adapter with battery power backup
8. DPI The Highest Quality Under the Cabinet Radio/CD/Bluetooth
This looks sleek and cool, and it seems much more expensive than it really is. It’s actually a bargain, considering the features.
This lets you play music in the kitchen from a variety of sources. This works as an FM radio, so you can listen to your favorite stations all day. Better yet, you can dust off the CDs in your attic as this is also a CD player.
Better yet, you have Bluetooth connectivity. Connect your smartphone to this and you can listen to Spotify or to your saved mp3 files.
This is also a clock radio, so it gives you the time at a glance. All in all, this is a simple clock radio that you can rely on.
- FM radio
- Plays CDs
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Nice boom-y bass
- Displays time
9. RCA SPS3600 Kitchen Radio with CD Player and MP3 Docking Station
This under cabinet kitchen radio offers a lot of space-saving benefits, and that’s not just because you install this right under your kitchen cabinet. This lets you connect to an mp3 player or your smartphone via the aux-in jack, and there’s a handy docking station for your digital music player.
There’s a handy remote as well, which means you can change stations or adjust the volume without having to go to the radio. This remote has a magnet so you can just stick this to the fridge door when you’re not using it.
For music, you can always just go with FM radio. This has 10 presets, which should be more than enough to store your favorite FM stations. You can also just plug in your smartphone or mp3 player to the radio, and enjoy the music. The audio quality is significantly better than what you get from your tinny smartphone speaker.
This even plays CDs, which is great for many of us who have accumulated a CD collection over the years. Now you can play them again, instead of letting them gather dust in the attic.
- FM with 10 presets
- CD player
- Connects with mp3 player or smartphone (with docking station)
- Nice sound
- Remote with magnet
10. Sylvania SKCR2713 Under Counter CD Player with Radio
This gives you FM radio, but it also plays CDs so you can take out your compact discs right out of the attic. The sound is obviously much better than what you get with your dinky smartphone speaker.
Best of all, it connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can stream music all day long. Connecting via Bluetooth is a cinch, and you get a nice confirmation beep each time you pair this with your smartphone. If you have an old-school mp3 player without Bluetooth, you can still just use the aux-in jack instead.
This comes with a mounting kit, and you should install this in a spot where you can easily see it. That way, you can tell the time at a glance. This comes with a full-feature remote, so you can play particular tracks on your CDs or change radio stations without having to move from your spot.
You do need to install this near a power outlet for the AC adapter. However, if that’s not possible then you just pop in your battery backup.
- Connects to your smartphone with Bluetooth 3.0
- Plays CDs
- FM radio
- Easy-to-read LED for time or radio station ID
- Comes with full function remote
- AC adapter with battery backup
- Aux-in jack
Overview of Under Cabinet Radio
An under cabinet radio is great for small spaces, such as cramped apartments, tiny bedrooms, and especially small kitchens. They’re also suitable for your home if you’re going for the homey and simple interior design.
Best Under Cabinet Radio – Buying Guide
Your under cabinet radio should have the following features:
Most of the better radios of this type offer the standard 4 spacers and 4 screws. But it’s nice if the radio also comes with clear-cut instructions for installation. That’s especially true if you’re not really into DIY.
Before you buy under cabinet radio, try to see if you can download the installation file. Better yet, check for videos on how to install it.
If it sounds as tinny as your smartphone, you’ve just wasted your money. Go with larger speakers, especially the ones that offer a nice bass sound. What’s the point of getting a radio if it’s just going to sound like your smartphone?
Multiple Music Sources
Under cabinet radio often offers FM radio. Check that you have good reception. It’s also nice if you have several memory slots for your favorite stations. This lets you find your favorite music more easily.
It’s also better if you have an aux-in or Bluetooth connection. An aux-in jack should work to let you connect your mp3 player or smartphone, though a docking station would be nice. A Bluetooth connection is more convenient, though you should check the range. The Bluetooth connection should be maintained wherever you go in the kitchen.
Some under-cabinet radios can play CDs, which is great if you have a CD collection. You may also want to go with a radio that can play mp3s. You can then just stick in a USB stick filled with your favorite mp3 files.
This is a very convenient feature, since you won’t have to go to the radio every time you change the settings. It’s even nicer if you have a magnetic remote you can stick to the fridge door.
Often, the space under the cabinet is not properly illuminated, with the cabinet blocking the overhead lights. With this feature, you can see what’s under the kitchen cabinet. These lights illuminate the area underneath so you can work on it or see what you have in that space.
Easy to Read LCD
This type of under cabinet radio often has a clock display for the time. The LCD display should be easy to read so you can tell the time at a glance. That way, you know when you have to hurry so you can make dinner on time.
It’s nice if it has egg timers and other similar functions. Many recipes may require specific cooking times, so timers can help make sure you don’t overcook your food.
Benefits of Under Cabinet Radios
So why can’t you just use a regular radio for your kitchen? In fact, why not just use your smartphone for music?
Buy the best under cabinet kitchen radio, and you’ll realize the following benefits:
You Save Countertop Space
This is crucial because most kitchens don’t really offer too much countertop space these days. Space is at a premium, so it’s great to have the under cabinet radio just “floating” over the countertop instead. That leaves more space for your toaster, microwave, and coffee machine.
Your Under Cabinet Radio Doesn’t Clash with the Interior Design
The way the radio is installed under a kitchen cabinet leaves only a very subtle impression. It doesn’t take away much from the overall look of your kitchen. If you’re going with a minimalist or homey look, the out of the way installation of this radio will fit right in.
It’s Out of the Way
This means you won’t have to risk bumping into the radio while you’re working in the kitchen. That’s one worry you can eliminate.
The Sound is Better
The sound won’t be audiophile-quality, obviously. But it’s generally much better than what you get from your smartphone speaker. That’s because the speakers on these radios are larger. The volume is often louder, and the bass is enhanced. Usually, its placement under the kitchen cabinet also improves the audio quality.
It’s a Clock
The LCD display can just tell you the time, so there’s no need to install another clock in the kitchen.
Depending on the model you get, you may enjoy the following benefits:
- A remote controller that lets you change stations and adjust the volume wherever you are in the kitchen
- LED lights to illuminate the space under the cabinet
- Alarms that notify you when you’ve cooked your food long enough
- A CD player to go with your FM radio
- Bluetooth connection or aux-in jack so you can use your smartphone as your music player
FAQs on Under Cabinet Radio
Is it difficult to install under cabinet radios?
In general, not really. You just have to follow the simple directions, and you’ll probably only need a screwdriver. You may even go online and find helpful installation videos made by the manufacturer or by some owners.
Why is the FM reception poor?
Usually, this is because the under cabinet radio only has an internal antenna. You may want to turn on the radio first to check out the reception where you want to put the unit. Some people tend to use their digital mp3 players with these radios (using Bluetooth or the aux-in jack) to play digital music instead.
Can’t I just use my tabletop radio or CD player instead?
You can, but then you’re going to use up valuable countertop space. Kitchens are getting smaller these days, and there’s not much space to spare. Modern kitchens are already crowded with microwave ovens, juicers, coffee machines, and blenders.
Some people use this type of radio for their garage, or even for their bedroom. But they really fit in well in the kitchen. Their placement right under the cabinet gets them out of the way, while they display the time and play the music you want.
With the best under cabinet radio, working in the kitchen won’t feel too much like drudgery. It can be a lot more fun, and that’s something you can get with such a sensible purchase.