The best dab digital radio

DAB radio has now overtaken FM to become the UK’s most popular format. To meet all that demand, there are countless models for consumers to choose from. But with all that choice comes one big problem: how do you know which model is right for you? Not to worry, though- liGo are here to make that choice a little easier. We’ve scoured the world of best DAB digital radios and road-tested a huge range of products to come up with our Top 10 list. Read on, and discover which ones really made us sit up and listen.

Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Here are brands of the best dab digital radio

1. Majority Little Shelford

If you’re looking for a rival to Roberts’ retro radios at a third of the price, then you might want to adjust your expectations. The Majority Little Shelford does a decent job of capturing that fifties vintage look, but the gold plastic doesn’t look as good in the flesh and there are some minor issues with usability. Perhaps the biggest niggle is that the Mode button for switching between DAB, FM and Bluetooth modes also doubles as the on and standby, and holding it for long enough to go to standby rather than switching modes seems to be a touch-and-go affair. The menus aren’t clear or intuitive, and audio streamed over Bluetooth sounds horrifically weak and tinny.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

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2. Roberts Revival RD70BLK FM

The Roberts Revival RD70 combines classic British design with the very latest in audio technology to create a truly timeless DAB radio. Hand-crafted from real wood and with a gorgeous leather casing available in a wide range of colours, this is one radio that’s sure to impress. It also provides top-of-the-range sound quality for both music and speech content, meaning it sounds great all the way across the dial. With built-in Bluetooth connectivity, you can also listen to your own choice of music and podcasts. And if you like to listen on the go, the Revival RD70 can even be made portable simply by popping some AA batteries in- perfect for the garden or a picnic!

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

3. AZATOM Multiplex D2 

AZATOM might not be the most well-known DAB brand in radio history, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out if you’re looking for the top digital radio under £100. The Multiplex D2 is an elegant DAB+ and FM radio, with a built-in alarm clock, stereo speakers, and an impressively large rechargeable battery.

Available for just over £50, this reliable radio provides both premium sound and an attractive design, with a smooth walnut finish and a sophisticated grey face. As well as a Bluetooth output for streaming the tunes you already have in your collection, AZATOM also designed this radio with USB mobile phone charging, a headphone output, and more. There’s even a 3-year warranty included for peace of mind when you purchase this kit.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

4. VQ Hepburn Mk II DAB

This stylish VQ radio, clad in Emma Bridgewater’s “marmalade” print, is simply begging to brighten up your kitchen. From its creamy handle to its silver buttons and dials, it’s a thoroughly pleasing piece of design. Looks aren’t everything, and we were impressed to find the Hepburn mkII has a nice dynamic sound to it, too, shifting a fair amount of air out with its 20 watt stereo speakers.

Exceptional to look at, good to listen to, and available at a fair price, we’d rate this as one of the smartest digital radio purchases you could make.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

5. Geneva Touring S+ Portable

The Geneva Touring/S+ is a portable DAB radio and Bluetooth speaker that’s the perfect travelling companion for music lovers. With precisely tuned sound quality and volume that can go up to 100dB, it provides room-filling sound from a remarkably small body. With a built-in rechargeable battery, too, it’s ideal for listening at home and on the move. Whether you’re using your Touring S+ at home or on the move, it’s sure to become a real talking point thanks to its stylish, timeless design. Available in a choice of colours and engineered in the way that only the Swiss can, it is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminium for added durability.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

6. Pure Evoke C-F6

The Pure Evoke C-F6 marries modern connectivity options with old-school CD playback, and is just about the best DAB radio and stereo system you can buy today.  Easy to set up, a delight to listen to, and featuring just about every bell and whistle you could need from a single-room audio device, this is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a one-stop audio box. With 3-inch stereo speakers and a 20W output, too, it can crank up to party levels while maintaining a rich, balanced sound.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

7. Ruark Audio R1

This stylish model is a great choice if you like to tweak the treble and bass. It sounds good – the audio is rich and warm, while the volume reaches a powerful level for such a small device. It doesn’t have wifi connectivity, so you can’t stream internet music stations, but you can play your own music through it using Bluetooth, the 3.5mm audio input or a USB.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

8. Goodmans OXFORDBLU

Retro radios often come at a significant price premium, but the Goodmans Oxford bucks that trend. At this price you’re not going to see high-end materials. There is some metal, but the main part of the body is moulded plastic and has none of the heft of more expensive sets. It even feels cheaper than some of the lower-end plastic sets.

There’s more to this radio than its superficial looks, though. The Oxford uses old-fashioned control wheels rather than knobs. These give the radio a rather different feel to other budget DAB sets. Controls are simple, too, with three preset buttons on the top plate. The Oxford is not well-suited to those with sight issues, as the screen is fairly tiny.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

9. Pure Elan BT3 Portable 

Elan BT3 is the contemporary portable home radio from Pure, with DAB/DAB+ and FM. The vivid colour display and simple controls makes accessing stations and using Elan BT3 a smooth and effortless experience. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream your favourite music from smartphone and tablet devices in crystal clear quality. Elan BT3 is adaptable to a variety of spaces, with the option of being powered by mains or battery, you can listen at home or on the go. Available in a range of minimalistic colours, Elan BT3 will blend seamlessly into your living environment.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

10. Sony XDR-S41D

If you’re looking for something a bit more reminiscent of a portable radio from the 70s or 80s, Sony has a really interesting and impressive little radio that fits the bill with some obvious updates to the 21st Century’s standards. Light enough to be really portable, and available in a range of jazzy colours outside the black pictured above, it’s battery-powered.

That means you can move it around with you or throw it in a bag for when you need it. It won’t exactly blow you away on the sound front, but if you’re looking for a simple radio that can be used in a variety of settings, Sony’s made just that in the XDR-S41D.

The best dab digital radio
Top 10 the best dab digital radio

Buy Now on Amazon

How to choose the best dab digital radio?

There are lots of extra digital-only stations, which an old-style analogue radio can’t receive, such as BBC 6 Music, Talksport and some extra local and niche music stations. The signal will either be brilliantly crisp and clear or it won’t be there at all. Only rarely do you hear anything in between: a rough DAB signal sounds like a Dalek gargling.

Critics are divided as to sound quality, though most admit that if you can find a strong FM signal, it will sound better than DAB as most DAB stations transmit using limited bandwidth. Some new models include a new standard, called DAB+, but there are no UK transmissions yet, so it’s not something you need worry about.

As the DAB signal isn’t perfect, it’s worth considering a radio with an FM tuner, too. if choice is important to you, then DAB will give you a greater range of stations to tune into  –  and tuning digitally is easier and more precise than analogue tuning. Before you buy your radio, though, check that DAB is available in your area  –  go to ukdigitalradio.com and enter your postcode. Some DAB radios, though not the pocket models here, include a recording option so you can pause the radio if the phone rings or save programmes to memory cards like those in a digital camera.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a hi-fi system that does it all, or a portable model for listening on the go, we have included something for everyone on our list. Our audio experts have carefully analysed every model in the Pure range, judging them on sound quality, usability, and additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity. Whenever a new model hits the market, we test it out for ourselves and update our top 10 list accordingly- so you can be sure that it’s fully up-to-date. We hope our recommendation will provide you with enough information and guidance to let you confidently pick out the best dab digital radio.

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