A radio toaster is an electrical appliance that combines two items — a toaster and an AM/FM radio. An unusual kitchen appliance, it allows consumers to do two different things at the same time — make breakfast and listen to music or the news. This kind of toaster features a special built-in radio, which is insulated to protect the wiring from damage due to overheating. These kitchen accessories come in different styles and designs but may have the general appearance of a regular toaster, styled in a retro, contemporary, or futuristic shape. A radio toaster may also offer an auxiliary input so that consumers are able to hook up to other electronic systems to play music selections.
Although most kitchens have a toaster, a radio toaster is often considered a collector's item, which is usually reflected in the style of the product. Some of these toasters are designed in the shape of a spaceship with elongated oval shapes, antennas, and wide slots. Others are more antique looking, offering cathedral style radio shapes, with oversized amber dials, a rounded top, and two bread slots. Of course, more conservative, traditional-looking radio toasters are available, too, made from stainless steel, silver brushed metal, and plastic. These toasters look very much like their single-function counterparts, except that upon closer inspection, the toaster has speakers, radio dials, or a digital display.
This type of kitchen appliance usually offers a standard radio with both AM and FM frequencies. Some toasters have radio knobs and a large dial, while others offer lighted digital displays, built in graphic equalizers, and the ability to pre-set channels. Some toasters provide an auxiliary input for devices such as iPods and mp3 players.
Usually, the toaster offers many of the same functions that regular toasters do. A radio toaster may have slide out crumb trays, extra wide slots for bagels, and defrost settings. Some of them also offer cord storage, extra high lift levers, and cool-to-the-touch exteriors that protect users from getting burnt. This kind of electronic appliance tends to appeal to consumers who enjoy multi-tasking and don't have a lot of counter space in their kitchen.