Best of Phoenix

The Seven Best Radio Stations in Phoenix in 2016

The 2016 Best of Phoenix issue is on stands now. That means that we're giving you our authoritative take on what's good in the Valley of the Sun, and here are the best radio stations to tune into when cruising the freeways of the vast city of Phoenix.

Best Hip-Hop Radio Station101.1 The Beat FM

Home to reliable morning programming like The Breakfast Club (billed as "the most dangerous morning show in the world," but don't worry, it's actually pretty tame) and Nina Cruz's The Gello Show, 101.1 The Beat leans heavily on '90s West Coast — big on Biggie, Snoop, and Tupac — but there's a good chance you'll hear a great jam you've forgotten all about, like Diddy and Usher's "I Need a Girl" or Ja Rule and Ashanti's fantastic and sweet "Mesmerize."

Best Rock Radio StationKWSS 93.9 FM

No station is dedicated more passionately to the breaking of new music than KWSS. Tune in on any given afternoon, and you might hear classic alternative tunes from the Dandy Warhols or Blur, but you'll quickly hear it followed up by younger bands carrying on those traditions, groups like the electronically tinged Ghostland Observatory or English rockers Bastille.

Best Oldies StationOldies 92.7 FM/KAZG 1440 AM

We were pretty nervous when "AZ Gold" KAZG relaunched early in 2016 as Oldies 92.7, but luckily for us, there's still plenty to love. The new station, which still simulcasts on the AM frequency we know and love, leans much heavier on the '70s than before, but the tunes are guaranteed winners, like Carole King's gently funky "I Feel the Earth Move" and Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)"; plus, the new format still allows for slips back to the '60s with songs like Gene Chandler's classic "Duke of Earl."

Best Classic Rock Radio Station
KCDX 103.1 FM

We'll freely admit that some of the attraction to KCDX is the mystery. Broadcast from the desert, there are no DJs, only a long, endless stream of free-form music. You might hear prog rock crashing into country rock, or gentle folk rock colliding with chiming power pop, but you'll rarely hear the same song more than once for weeks.

Best Country Radio StationKNIX 102.5 FM

No offense to the fine rock stations of Phoenix, but if you really wanna hear music about partying — stuff in the tradition of Bon Jovi and Motley Crue — you should turn your dial to KNIX. Modern country has its detractors, but it's hard to deny the cold-beer, boot-stomping swagger of KNIX's playlist, stacked with the likes of Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, and Uncle Kracker — country artists unafraid of a little hip-hop inspired low end or arena-rock crunch.

Best R&B Radio StationMega 104.3 FM

Walking the tight rope between old-school soul, funk, and the Quiet Storm program with selections from contemporary artists, Mega 104.3 is the kind of station that knows how to draw the connecting line between Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" to Earth Wind and Fire's "Shining Star." Things stay consistently funky, whether said funk's coming from the Bee Gees or Parliament-Funkadelic or Janet Jackson, and like its sister station 101.1 The Beat, the grooves here seem custom-engineered for smooth, languid listening.

Best Internet RadioRadio Phoenix

An all-volunteer, community-centered station, Radio Phoenix features a diverse blend of talk, politics, and entertainment. There's music, and lots of it, from soul to blues and rock, but also a wide-ranging selection of political and social programs, like Soul Star Live, which examines culture and current events from a black viewpoint and the Budcoach Radio Show, a podcast focused on cannabis and weed culture.
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