Top 5 Best Kaito Emergency Radios

What happens when SHTF and the entire electrical grid pops? How will you tap into critical broadcasts and frequencies to know what’s going on around you? NOAA radios like the ones Kaito makes provide the durable hardware required to pull in information about the weather and other emergency situations happening around you.

Kaito has a number of products on the market with different features. Let’s explore some of┬áthe core features of the models and then crack straight into the products themselves.

Multiple power methods

Any quality emergency radio is going to boast a number of ways to charge the device. It doesn’t make sense to rely on a single source. In case of emergency, that source can go out and now what are you going to do? All Kaito radios can be charged via hand crank, batteries, USB, AC, and solar. Meaning even if all you have is the sun you can still use your radio!

You should also note that the AC adapter for the Kaito radios is sold as a separate unit.

Multiple radio bands and NOAA frequencies

As a radio, the primary method of use is tuning into radio frequencies. Aside from your standard run-of-the-mill AM/FM stations, Kaito radios can tap into both shortwave and all 7 of the NOAA emergency weather service channels. The NOAA stands by 7 days a week / 365 days a year to broadcast emergency weather conditions. In places like Katrina and the surrounding areas, an NOAA radio broadcast could have saved your life if your power went out and you lost your television connection.

Not all radios can tap into the NOAA frequencies so having a radio like a Kaito is a crucial consideration.

Other features

Classic to all Kaito models is a built in LED flashlight and USB port to charge USB powered devices like your smartphone. This can come in real handy especially for camping trips and situations where you don’t have an AC outlet to charge your phone. You could be only one call away from saving yourself if only your phone had a charge! Not to mention a flashlight that doesn’t have to rely on batteries going dead is an absolute dream. The flashlight is very high quality and charges up faster than other hand cranked light on the market.

Unique differences between each model

As you’ll see below, each Kaito radio has a few differences when you compare them to the last. As you progress through the models you’ll see some have enhanced batteries while the higher end models like the KA700 have some true bells-and-whistles items like built in Bluetooth. At the core of each model however is to relay critical information from the NOAA and provide multiple powering options for both the radio and your devices like phones and electronics. Very cool stuff indeed!

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the models.

1.) Kaito KA500 Voyager


Perhaps the all time classic Kaito radio is the KA500 model. This model features a full band radio and ability to tap into all 7 NOAA channels for emergency information. It features a number of design elements including:

  • 5 methods of power (hand crank, solar, batteries, USB, AC)
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH internal battery
  • 11.1 x 5.8 x 3.3 inches
  • 1.6 pounds
  • Multiple Signals (AM, FM, NOAA, Short Wave)
  • LED Flashlight
  • Red Flashing LED for emergency signaling
  • Low level Red LED for reading
  • Cell phone charger

The KA500 is a durable and versatile radio. It’s one of the cheaper models with only the emergency survival features built in. In fact, few other radios can rival the KA500 when it comes to raw reliability and quality signals. You can check out my full review of the KA500.

2.) Kaito Voyager Pro KA600


The popular successor to the classic Kaito KA500 is the KA600 model. This model has features seen in the KA500 but includes beefier hardware and a digital display, making it easier to program and tune into what you need. Tests have found the KA600 charges quicker and receives higher quality signals. Here’s what you’re looking at with the KA600 Pro in addition to all the original features of the KA500.

  • 180 degree adjustable solar panel
  • Digital display
  • 4 tuning methods with memory programming
  • Auxiliary input jack for headphones or auxiliary audio devices

3.) Kaito KA700

Note the SD card slot and the built in Bluetooth on this model!

Kaito went all out with this one. Including the features from the previous 2 models, the KA700 supports MP3 playback from an SD card and contains an internal bluetooth speaker. If the power goes out you can use the supplied USB charger to charge phone while listening to music via the bluetooth connection. This is the radio for the ultimate nerd who demands the best. Sure, these are not required features of an emergency radio but some people want the core product with the bonus stuff baked straight in.

  • Built in Bluetooth
  • MP3 player via SD card
  • All the classic features of the original KA series radios.

4.) Kaito KA550

Same as the KA500 except with a better battery

It took me a while looking at this model to understand what the difference was between the Kaito 500 vs the Kaito 550. It appears the Kaito 550 has an enhanced internal battery which is longer lasting and also self charging. At a $10 dollar difference you must ask yourself if this higher quality battery is worth the extra money. The thing is, for a little bit more than the 550 you can get yourself a KA600 or 700 which has a lot more features and value, as I’ve demonstrated above.

However, at the heart of any electronic device is the battery so don’t pass up splurging a little extra for a better one.

5.) Kaito KA500IP-RED


Same exact model as the KA500 except in a red color and slightly smaller dimensions profile. Same price. Same exact features and configuration. Many requests to Kaito prompted them to offer the same classic model in a more popular color. I for one prefer the original black and green models but some of you might prefer the red.

Just to reiterate the features of the radio:

  • 5 methods of power (hand crank, solar, batteries, USB, AC)
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH internal battery
  • 8.3 x 2.3 x 5.3 inches
  • 1.2 pounds
  • Red color
  • Multiple Signals (AM, FM, NOAA, Short Wave)
  • LED Flashlight
  • Red Flashing LED for emergency signaling
  • Low level Red LED for reading
  • Cell phone charger

Which model to choose?

Honestly, the core model that is the KA500 showcases everything you need in an emergency radio. It’s the least expensive of all 5. You must ask yourself if the bonus features in the other models are worth the extra money. The KA550 for example has a better internal battery. The KA600 has a digital display. This display is both easier to use and you can program your radio stations easily. The KA700 is the top model. You’ll be paying an extra $30 bucks on average but you’ll get all of the features in the other models plus Bluetooth connectivity.

The choice is yours my friend! Just know that Kaito radios are best in class and you aren’t going to find a better brand on the market especially for emergency radios


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