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7 Best SW Radio Stations [Complete 2023 Shortwave List]

Best SW Radio Stations List

Do you want to tune in to stations beyond the basic AM/FM radio?

But you’re unsure of which shortwave radio stations you should listen to?

Then fret not. As you’ve found the right person to ask.

Let me introduce you to the best shortwave frequencies you can tune in to.


Continue reading to find out: 

  • The 7 best SW radio stations in the world. 
  • What types of content you can expect from SW radios. 
  • An easy way to find out when and how you can listen to your favorite SW stations. 
  • And much, much more… 

What is SW on a radio?

SW on a radio stands for Short Wave. It’s a frequency that can be broadcasted over huge ranges. Unlike other signals like Frequency Modulation (FM), SW can reach areas beyond continents. And this makes it an ideal way to listen to radio stations from other countries. 

7 best SW radio stations (shortwave radio stations list)

Before you start your journey to listen to the best SW radio stations, understand that…

Note: Shortwave radios aren’t similar to AM/FM radios.

For 1 thing…

While the local radio stations you’re used to hearing usually focus on:

  • Latest music.
  • Local and international news.
  • Entertainment and information.

Most shortwave radios, on the flip side, aren’t meant for these types of content. 

Well, of course, music and entertainment stations still exist on SW radios…

But bear in mind that stations like these are rare to find.

Now, you might be wondering…

If they don’t play music, what do they broadcast?” 

SW radios are primarily used to relay:

  • Utility alerts. 
  • Travel information.
  • Religious services.
  • Objective news coverage.

It’s also worth noting that…

Listening to SW stations isn’t as easy as dialing a specific frequency on regular radio. 


Because you need to either have a ready-to-use Shortwave radio or make 1 yourself using DIY kits.

But if you want, you can also go with the unconventional yet easiest route… 

Which is to listen to shortwave radios online using SW websites or apps. 

Now, once you’ve decided how you want to listen to shortwave radio stations… 

You can proceed to the 7 stations that top the list. 

And with that, let’s start with… 

#1: World Music Radio

I’ve mentioned earlier that most SW stations don’t focus on music…

But this is 1 of the rare instances when they do.

So as a music fanatic… 

I’ve listed this as 1st in the list. 

And World Music Radio has been airing since the 1960s. 

During that time…

It was the most popular shortwave station among the SW enthusiasts in Europe. 

And now, decades later… 

Its popularity has expanded from Europe alone to most countries worldwide.

And WMR remains as 1 of the best shortwave radio stations you can tune in to… 

If you want to hear fresh combinations of songs and music from all over the world… 

You can listen to World Music Radio on these frequencies: 

  • 927 kHz.
  • 5930 kHz. 
  • 15700 kHz. 
  • 25800 kHz. 

#2: Vatican Radio (Radio Vaticana)

1 of the main functions of SW radios nowadays is to spread religious beliefs and practices. 

So it’s not surprising that the radio station managed by the Catholic Church HQ themselves… 

Is currently 1 of the most popular SW stations people tune in to. 

You see, Vatican Radio was established in the 1930s.

And since then, it has relayed the Roman Catholic teachings to different parts of the world… 

That’s through different programs that are available in at least 39 languages.

Moreover, Vatican Radio has at least 200 journalists from all over the world… 

Which keeps it up to date with all the latest events concerning the Catholic religion.

Really, it’s not surprising that this radio station is 1 of the best ones out there.

Since not only is it accessible, but it’s also credible and incredibly up-to-date. 

You can listen to the Vatican Radio from frequencies:

  • 7305 kHz. 
  • 7360 kHz. 
  • 9595 kHz. 

#3: Radio Free Asia (RFA)

Funded by the US government…

Radio Free Asia’s mission is to provide accurate news and information to Asian countries…

Especially to those forbidden by their government access to a free press. 

But bear in mind that although this is funded by the United States…

Even the US government isn’t allowed to meddle with the information RFA is broadcasting.

And this makes Radio Free Asia 1 of the most reliable source of Asian information and news. 

May it be for people within Asia…

Or for anyone who wants to know more about what’s currently happening on the continent. 

What Asian countries do they focus on?”

RFA mainly relays information to and about:

  • Laos. 
  • Tibet.
  • China.
  • Burma. 
  • Vietnam.
  • Cambodia.
  • North Korea. 

So if you’re interested in filter-free news about these countries… 

Listen to Radio Free Asia on these frequencies:

  • 7470 kHz. 
  • 7520 kHz. 
  • 9930 kHz. 

#4: Voice of America (VOA)

While the previous SW station focused on press concerning specified Asian countries… 

The Voice of America covers news from all over the world… 

It’s also known as the most significant and oldest international broadcast station.

Like the RFA, this SW station is also funded by the US government.

But although this is the case, the VOA staff made it extremely clear that…

They don’t tolerate any interference by the US government in their freedom of the press.

This allows them to maintain:

  • Fairness.
  • Accuracy.
  • Factualness. 
  • Objectiveness. 

Those are applied in all of their broadcasted information and news. 

Not to mention, with their weekly audience of at least 311 million… 

No more words are needed to prove just how popular and reliable this SW radio station is. 

So if you want to listen to an unbiased viewpoint of international issues…

You should also tune in to the Voice of America on these frequencies: 

  • 909 kHz. 
  • 7125 kHz. 
  • 11655 kHz. 

#5: The Planet (WBCQ)

The Planet (WBCQ)

This international shortwave station is located in Maine, United States. 

And unlike other radio stations on this list…

The Planet doesn’t focus on 1 specific theme.

Instead, it’s a platform that allows different individuals or groups to express themselves freely. It can be through any of the following ways of expression:

  • Music.
  • Talk shows.
  • Commentary.
  • Religious beliefs.
  • Spiritual teachings.
  • Commercial programming. 

This wide array of selection makes The Planet 1 of my personal favorite SW stations.

Because you never really know what you’ll get and hear from it…

Unless you actually tune in to the frequency. 

Now, if you’re worried about hearing violent programs or those containing propaganda…

You can rest assured that you’re safe listening to this radio station. 

Because although hosts are free to choose how they want to express their beliefs…

Any harmful content is immediately cut off by the station’s moderators. 

So now… 

If you want to listen to The Planet, dial 1 of these frequencies:

  • 7.490 MHz.
  • 9.330 MHz. 
  • 6.160 MHZ. 

#6: Voice of Hope (KVOH)

This shortwave radio station aims to:

Broadcast the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the globe in a language they understand.”

And with that advocacy in mind… 

This radio station from California has successfully reached millions of individuals worldwide. 

Now, like the previous SW radio “The Planet”

The Voice of Hope also lets different individuals use the station to relay their beliefs. 

So unlike most SW radio stations…

There aren’t any regular hosts in their programs. 

Interested in tuning in to this station?

The Voice of Hope can be heard in frequencies: 

  • 9975 kHz.
  • 17775 kHz. 

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#7: Alt Universe Top 40

Really, it’s harder to find SW stations that focus on music…

Than finding ones that talk about the latest events worldwide. 

So to save time for those who prioritize entertainment and songs…

I included this gem-like radio station for you. 

This “Alt Universe Top 40” focuses on playing songs from all over the world. 

And is very good at providing fun to their listeners while doing so. 

Now, if you’re wondering… 

What kind of music do they play?”

This station broadcasts songs that top the major American and British charts. 

And on top of that…

They also give attention to those that aren’t on the charts but deserve to be. 

So if you love music…

You can never go wrong with listening to this SW radio station. 

Because although it sticks with the mainstream…

It still values those that have quality even if they fall short in the aspect of popularity. 

Alt Universe Top 40 is broadcasted in frequencies:

  • 6950 kHz.
  • 6070 kHz.
  • 9670 kHz. 

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Bonus: How to quickly find the frequency of SW radio stations

As you probably know by now…

SW radio stations are trickier to tune in to than you’re local AM/FM radio stations. 

Because not only do you need special equipment…

You must also be incredibly specific about the frequencies you’re dialing in to.

Bear in mind that some stations only broadcast during specific hours…

And some change the frequency they use every couple of months. 

This makes keeping track of when and how to listen to SW radio stations hard for beginners. 

But fortunately, I know a trick that can help you quickly tune in to your favorite radio stations.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Head to this shortwave schedule website

Step 2: In the search bar, type in any SW station you’re interested in. 

Step 3: You’ll see all the information you need to know to listen to the station.

This includes :

  • The language of the program.
  • The frequency the station plays in.
  • The time and date of future broadcasts. 
  • Which days of the week the radio station is active.

By doing this, you can easily tune in to any SW stations you want.

And also discover new stations that might interest you. 

Now, if you’re finding it hard to tune your shortwave radio, this video may be of help: 

People also ask:

Is there anything to listen to on shortwave anymore?

There are still radio stations you can listen to on shortwave. Despite being less popular than AM/FM radios, millions of people around the globe still use SW radios. Because for some, shortwave is the only radio wave accessible. And for others, they provide the most unbiased news and information. 

Who still uses shortwave radio?

Individuals who want to listen to unbiased news still use shortwave radio. It’s also a convenient way to communicate in an emergency as it’s a long-range frequency you can use offline. The military also uses shortwave radio to communicate secretly across vast areas.