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50 Best Radio Stations to Listen to Right Now

Here's our list of the 50 best radio stations to listen to right now. From breaking news to underground tunes, there's something for everyone.

Lucy Rowe

by Lucy Rowe in Review

Last updated 18.12.2023

50 best radio stations header

Nowadays, we're spoilt for choice of what to tune into. And to complicate matters, a few favourite radio stations have closed over the past couple of years. So, if you fancy some help deciding or need something new then look no further. We've put together this list of the 50 best radio stations to listen to right now.

Please note, the following 'best radio stations' are in no particular order and were hand-picked based on personal opinions. Other than that - dive right in 🏊

1. Refuge

Genre: Talk/Underground, alternative and independent music

Starting life as a fundraising platform, Refuge Worldwide was launched last year to amplify social issues and music that is important to their team. Broadcasting from Berlin, they pair activism with underground music and culture.

2. NPR

Genre: News/Talk

At over 50 years old, NPR is quite rightly an American institution. While established, it's certainly not behind the times. NPR it continues to remain relevant and inform its listeners on news, current affairs and culture.

3. Foundation FM

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

The female-led radio station that has made one big splash on the radio scene for showcasing the best underground music. All whilst redressing the unbalance of women and under-represented groups in radio broadcasting.

4. Soho Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

As the name suggests, this station broadcasts street level from London's Soho region, as well as New York City. Soho Radio gives their presenters complete freedom and boasts an eclectic roster with shows from UNKLE's James Lavelle and Metronomy's Anna Prior.

5. Pie Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Music

Pie Radio is Greater Manchester's number 1 youth-led online station, with the programming and the social media to back it up. Listeners can hear the freshest UK rap, drill, amapiano, afrobeats & R&B, as well as keep up with news, entertainment, music and events.

A Radio Presenter behind decks and microphone at Soho Radio. The female presenter is showing another woman something on her phone.
Soho Radio's cafe front and radio studio.

6. Worldwide FM

Genre: World music

While Worldwide FM sadly had to pause it's regular schedule in 2022, Gilles Peterson and Thris Tian's station still goes live on an ad-hoc basis. And when that's not happening, it repeats previous shows from its big back catalogue. The station lives up to its name, as its music policy is worldwide sounds. No matter what niche you're into, chances are you'll find something for you here.

7. WNYU 89.1FM

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Student radio station of New York University serving up eclectic music with utter broadcasting professionalism. For 20 years WNYU was the home of the legendary Beats in Space show and now its schedule includes West African disco and to anti-facist power electronics noise music.

8. Dublin Digital Radio

Genre: Talk/music

Cultural, political and social happenings of Ireland and beyond. Entirely volunteer-led alternative to Ireland's traditional broadcasting.

9. The Lot Radio

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

The Lot Radio is a not-for-profit, independent radio station broadcasting from a shipping container in NYC. The Lot stream their live radio mixes on YouTube featuring big name DJs including Louis Vega, Octa Octa and Shanti Celeste.

10. Times Radio

Genre: News/talk

Created in 2020 and owned by News UK, Times Radio is a talk-based radio station with a strong emphasis on the serious side of the news. Given The Times and The Sunday Times both have paywalls, Times Radio is a good, free option to access the paper's journalism.

A male radio DJ speaking in a microphone.
Nothing beats a live DJ doing their thing.

11. Reform Radio

Genre: Talk/Underground, alternative and independent music

Reform Radio is dedicated to providing opportunities to young people from DJ sessions to podcasting course, while boasting impeccable shows from local legends like DJ Paulette.

12. NTS

Genre: Underground music

An undeniable stalwart on the internet radio scene, starting off in London, NTS now broadcasts from Manchester and LA aswell. Jump in and delve in to a world of sub-sub-genres from taste-makers, established DJs and more alike. For the music fans to the heads.

13. Reprezent Radio

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music/Youth culture

Reprezent Radio consistently delivers forward-thinking underground music while making us mere mortals aware of the next, hugely talented generation of broadcasting and DJ talent.

14. Nightride FM

Genre: Synthwave music

We love a radio station with a cool interface, so are pleased to include Nightride FM in this list. It's a curated playlist-based group of stations for different subgenres of synthwave. And the theme of the website is different for each subgenre radio station. Great for feeling like you're in the drive soundtrack.

15. Radio Paradise

Genre: Music

Fully supported by their big listener base, Radio Paradise provides alternative tunes all mixed harmoniously by their two hosts - and with no ads. Radio Paradise has 3 channels: 'Main mix', 'mellow mix' and 'world/etc' mix and is unique radio station in that you can skip songs you don't like.

Two men in a radio booth. One man is mixing on the decks and the other is standing behind him and playing on his phone.
Spinning some tracks.

16. Rinse FM

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent dance music

It's a London thing. The legendary London station that went pirate to legitimate. And responsible for pushing forward the culture and sounds of garage, grime, drum and bass, jungle, and footwork.

17. Hong Kong Community Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

The radio station that champions the vibrancy of the Hong Kong music and cultural scenes, whilst spotlighting East Asian artists. Hong Kong Community Radio remedies the lack of coverage from western media that only makes space for the politics of the region.

18. Café Del Mar

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

The radio station from the iconic Ibiza sunset bar, broadcasting Balearic to the rest of the world. Tune in and transport yourself to sunnier and happier times.

19. Seoul Community Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Broadcasting sounds from the Seoul's underground and from friends across the globe. Alongside their live webpage, Seoul Community Radio streams on Facebook and Twitch. As a result, they pay due diligence to the both the visual aspects and audio aspects of their video streaming to give them an added layer of creativity.

20. Gen X Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Local radio/music

Local radio in the UK has been degraded over the years. But ex-BBC presenter James Hazell is bringing it back. Introducing Gen X Radio, the radio station broadcasting from and about the UK county of Suffolk. Featuring great songs without the repeats you'll get on traditional commercial stations.

21. Brooklyn Radio

Genre: Music

Quintessential Brooklyn (or so I Imagine, because full disclosure: I haven't had the opportunity to visit) this radio station feels Brooklyn through and through by showcasing the rich musical tapestry that NYC is known for from hip hop to house.

22. dublab

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

dublab is another great station where the worlds best DJs and creatives have full control of the airwaves. Originating in LA over 20 years ago, dublab has nurtured many cultural ecosystems like the LA beat scene. It now has sister stations in Germany, Brazil, Japan and Spain. When a lot of the music scene is guarded in revealing samples or track IDs, fans and musicians alike are indebted to dublab's openness.

23. Melodic Distraction

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Broadcasting from Liverpool, Melodic Distractions is a radio station, bar, coffee shop and it runs an online magazine. It proves itself invaluable to the North West of England as its amplifies sounds and stories from the region with it's 150+ monthly shows.

24. Radiooooo

Genre: World music

Radiooooo is a fun music discovery station where one picks a country and a decade and the "station" generates a song. Every wondered how 1950s Bangladesh sounded? Or how about 1970s Azerbaijan? This station is for you.

A vinyl turntable with a slip mat that reads
Can't beat the raw quality of good vinyl.

25. HÖR

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent dance music

HÖR is the radio station that gives the rest of the world a window in to Berlin's underground music scene. No need to get past notoriously tricky doormen, HÖR lets anyone access electronic music picked through the Berlin lens.

26. Totally Wired Radio

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

The new online radio station brought to you by Acid Jazz boss Eddie Piller focusing on 'left-field and progressive music ignored by mainstream media'. The last 2 hours of each day the host presents in their first language thus giving Totally Wired more of a global reach.

27. Oroko Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Music

A big emphasis on the Accra community alongside championing artists and ideas from Africa and the African Diaspora, this is our content producer Lucy's pick.

28. Balamii

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent dance music

Balammi’s dedication to underground music and culture has cemented it as an essential part of the music ecosystem. As an example of this, rappers Dave and Central Cee featured on the Victory Lap show, not long after their single “Sprinter” was released. Sprinter rocketed to number 1. And we reckon the viral clips of them rapping in the Balammi studio might have helped.

29. BBC Radio 6 Music

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Emerging in 2002 before the boom of internet radio, BBC Radio 6 Music offered listeners across the UK a refreshing alternative to mainstream music. It quickly became a fan favourite but did struggle for a few years with a bias towards indie and rock bands. It's overcome this to now offer a great mix of music and presenters alike.

30. Cheddar News

Genre: News/Talk

An American news network with a keen focus on financial affairs, including stock trading coverage. However, Cheddar News spans much more than that as its original programmes cover history, science and cultural happenings. Cheddar News doesn't discriminate on topics that could traditionally be considered low brow or high brow, but offers a nuanced analysis of the world today.

Image shows a stand alone radio booth, with one door and one window and a presenter in the booth speaking in a microphone.
Sound booth to keep that pesky noise out.

31. X-RAY FM

Genre: News/Talk/Independent & alternative music

X-RAY FM is a real gem for showing radio broadcasters how to do it, as it's a reputable information source without commercial music. The Portland based station brings informative and entertaining talk shows alongside the music and tastes of the city.

32. WYCB - Cybercrime Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Technology

With cyber crime increasing each year, Cybercrime Radio is committed to informing listeners on both the threats and how to protect themselves.

33. Geek Life Radio

Genre: Technology/Culture/Alternative music

Geek Life Radio does what it says on the tin and provides its listeners programming on all things considered traditionally nerdy. From comics to gaming, Geek Life Radio is the one stop shop for audio content of the geek persuasion.

34. CNN

Genre: News/talk

Rolling global news coverage, major headlines and interviews from one of America's major broadcasters.


(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Music & Talk

iLLANOIZE is a black-owned radio station in Chicago, featuring conversations and music from key artists across the hip hop, drill and R&B scenes to name just a few! iLLANOIZE's radio hosts are all incredibly talented interviewers, who can seamlessly curate insightful, deep and refreshing conversations with their guests.

36. Cinemix

Genre: Soundtracks

A great soundtrack is often synonymous with the quality of the film or TV series itself. Their curation is undoubtedly an art form in its own right. Cinemix is for those that appreciate this art form, as it's a station dedicated to only playing soundtracks from film and tv.


Genre: News/talk

KQED-FM is NPR member station, broadcasting from San Fransisco. This is another great talk-based radio station that delivers shows on themes such as politics, arts, science. KQED-FM also includes popular podcasts like This American Life and has syndicated BBC World Service shows.

38. Fun Kids

Genre: Kids entertainment

One for the real young un's amongst us. Keep your kids entertained without the need for screens with Fun Kids entirely suitable for children audio content. And they might even develop a lifelong passion for radio!

39. Spiritland

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Spiritland has a few audiophile bars in London all complete with bespoke sound systems. Naturally, they invite vinyl-heads to choose the music. With Spiritland radio, you can tap in to the wondrous selections of the collectors, selectors and DJs that know their musical onions.

40. KEXP

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

KEXP is Seattle's station with incredible listener support and for good reason. The station boasts the best in independent, alternative and left-field music and regularly schedules exclusive live performances from musicians that are up and coming or already revered.

41. Radio FM

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Slovakia's music station that provides an alternative to the commercial music station heard on private radio stations. There's something for all music heads as Radio FM's shows span genres including hip-hop, nu-jazz and heavy metal, to name a few.

42. WWOZ 90.7 FM

Genre: Jazz and heritage

WWOZ is the radio station for broadcasting New Orleans musical heritage. The station routinely broadcasts the live gigs happening in the birthplace of Jazz, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

43. kutx 98.9

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Broadcasting from University of Texas, kutx 98.9 is committed to bringing the sounds and history of Austin to the rest of the world. Delve in to hear the rich musical history of this Texan city.

44. Shady Pines Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Talk/Music

In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, video production company Shady Pines Media was after a way of connecting Portland's creatives. So they established Shady Pines Radio, and watched the station's involvement snowball. Now it hosts over 75 shows and has built a highly supportive, creative community.

45. Openlab Radio

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

Openlab FM was founded in 2013 by the legendary electronic music composer Robert Miles and broadcasts online and on FM from Ibiza. The station brings together visual artists, architects, DJs, producers, musicians to deliver its visions of a future world.

46. Primavera Sound Radio

(Hosted by Radio.co)

Genre: Talk/Music

The radio station of the Barcelona music promoters and festival, Primavera Sound. The station stays true to its roots in broadcasting in Spanish, as well as acknowledging its place on the global stage with shows in English.

47. Tsugi Radio

Genre: Talk/Underground, alternative and independent music

Paris' Tsugi Radio brings listeners an exciting mix of left-field music and cultural programmes. Highlights include Perds Pas Ma Page where musicians and guests are invited to talk about their favourite books and Année Lumière where each episode is dedicated to talking about the cinema of one particular year.

48. Nomad Radio

Genre: Underground, alternative and independent music

This not-for-profit community station is centred on broadcasting the sound of Australia's underground music scene from 12pm - 10pm (AEDT). Right from its HQ in Sydney.

49. Legacy 90.1

Genre: Talk/Music

Manchester's community radio station that elevates and spotlights presenters, DJs and music with African and Caribbean heritage. Legacy 90.1 also delivers important projects, such as their recent Let's Talk series which explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Manchester's African and Caribbean communities.

50. Gaydio

Genre: Music/News

One of the biggest LGBTQ+ platforms in the UK, Gaydio broadcasts upbeat music and community news that is omitted from mainstream media.

To Wrap Up...

That's our list of 50 of the best radio stations to listen to right now. But what do you think? Have we made some glaring omissions? Let us know in the comments below. And as a bonus, here are our top 10 radio station highlights.

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