DAB is the place to be. If you’re using an old FM radio, you’re missing out on a huge range of extra stations, better reception and sound – plus sometime soon the old radio spectrum is going to get turned off, and DAB will be all there is. It’s not just about the sound either, some radios are now internet-enabled and can double-up as speakers to play your own music on. We’ve had a listen and judged devices on the audio quality and clarity, as well as features that made them particularly portable - from models with carry-cases to water-resistant gadgets - to bring you the pick of the options out there.
1. Goodmans Oxford: £49, amazon
Packed in an authentically-recreated 1960s box, but with all modern features, this is the best of both worlds: old radio style but digital through-and-through. It’s got great sound, a bright LCD panel to show what’s playing, can be used either on its long battery life or plugged in – and it has an FM receiver.
2. Spectrum: £60, John Lewis
This good-value option from John Lewis looks like a huge Lego brick (choose from bright spearmint green or watermelon pink). It also packs in great sound, can work on either battery or mains power, and with DAB or FM radio.
3. Sony XDR-S60DBP: £70, amazon
Much more modern and metallic looking than many of its competitors – but still plenty retro – Sony’s portable digital radio is light and small, but sturdy. A bright screen gives you all the information you need, and a big speaker ensures high-quality sound.
4. Sony XDR-S40DBP: £45, amazon
Tiny enough to fit easily in a small bag – but still a portable rather than pocket digital radio – this little thing takes rechargeable batteries, has a built-in speaker, but is still big enough to be used on a work surface. Batteries last for up to
5. Geneva Sound World Radio DAB: £150, amazon
This does everything you’d expect: DAB, Bluetooth, an alarm mode – all of that is controlled through a touchscreen on the front, in a beautiful design that also holds a superb speaker. You get what you pay for in this case.
6. Revo SuperSignal: from £180, John Lewis
This has a strong, industrial look that you’ll either love or hate – but it sounds and works like a charm. As well a clear, grate-like speaker on the front, it also streams music at great quality, has a big screen and buttons to see all the information from and a remote control to charge it up from afar.
7. Roberts Revival iStream 2: £200, John Lewis
Hidden inside Roberts’ beautiful retro metal and leather case — available in black, duck egg or cream — are all the latest technologies: as well as DAB, it has Spotify, can stream from your computer, and sounds great.
8. Roberts Splash: £86, amazon
If you want to be truly portable, you need to go waterproof. This can withstand rain and showers, and takes two big batteries that will last for about 60 hours. It also has Roberts’s classic design and big, bright screen.
9. Ruark Audio R1: £200, plus £40 for CarryPack, John Lewis
Little more than a beautiful block of curved wood, some metal and a speaker, the R1 is simple but wonderfully designed. Great DAB sound, and Bluetooth streaming. The matching “CarryPack” with handle and protective case will keep it safe on the move.
10. Pure Evoke D4: £130, John Lewis
Here’s a sleek, wood and metal package. The speaker and superior audio technology mean music and speech are crystal-clear. A big snooze handle on top makes it a perfect alarm clock, and a remote control and optional extra battery are winners for outside listening.
The Pure Evoke D4 is a beautiful radio – modern design, great sound, and all the functionality you need – without the hefty price tag that can attach to other, similar kit. If you want something a bit more portable, then the Sony XDR-S40DPB will do the trick. And if you want to go all out with full internet-enabled functionality, then the Roberts Revival iStream 2 has similarly stunning design but with much more technology.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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