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In these uncertain times, we cherish the original ‘wireless’ – the radio. In this day and age, we have a plethora of options for listening to music and getting news, but there are times when turning on the radio in the kitchen just can’t be beat. The humble radio has come a long way since its bedside clock integration, thanks to the introduction of DAB, internet radio, and Bluetooth streaming.
What follows is our pick of the best portable DAB radio we’ve reviewed. They all give you access to hundreds of digital radio stations, as well as a number of useful features such as Bluetooth and live recording. Our round-up includes budget and premium options, from dependable brands such as Pure and Roberts. Learn the names of these top DAB radios now and be first in line to snap up a deal when discount events roll around.
Top 10 Choices For The Best Portable DAB Radio
We choose the best products for the best portable DAB radio from all of these reviews to feature as listed below.
1. Pure Evoke H6 Portable DAB Radio
This model, one of the most expensive in Pure’s DAB radio lineup, has a rich, warm sound and is incredibly simple to use. Along with the usual controls, there’s a new back button that makes it easier to change stations and adjust settings. We love the digital radio slideshow on its colour screen, which allows you to view album artwork and other information. Our only complaint is that the footprint is quite large – it won’t fit on a bedside table – and you’ll need to invest in an optional battery if you want to use it on the go.
2. Pure UK Move T4 DAB Digital Radio
Most personal DAB radios have limited features and poor sound quality, so it’s nice to see Pure get it right with the Pure Move T4. It’s small and portable, and it has a toughened glass screen to protect it while you’re out and about. Its built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 22 hours of listening time through headphones, making it the ideal travel companion. The Move T4 is not only a great personal DAB radio, but it also has a speaker with an impressive 4W output, putting it on par with much larger models. Put the radio on its retractable stand and you can listen to it anywhere—perfect for the garden or kitchen! The Move T4 truly does it all, with Bluetooth and an aux-in connection.
3. Roberts Stream94i DAB Internet Radio
Although Roberts is best known for its retro-style radios, we are most impressed by its more modern devices, particularly the Stream 94i, which takes our top spot. It’s a fantastic radio that includes Bluetooth and Spotify Connect, putting it on the verge of being a smart speaker with a built-in radio. The two front drivers are supplemented by a subwoofer on the back, resulting in excellent sound, and the carrying handle makes it easy to move around, especially if you add an optional battery pack to make it portable. We believe this is the best radio you can buy right now based on the combination of functions it provides and its clean design.
4. Sony XDR-P1DBP Pocket DAB Radio
The Sony XDR-P1DBP is a small but dependable radio that will automatically scan and save your favourite radio stations, allowing you to access each one via five preset buttons (if you’re using batteries, the presets will be erased when the battery dies). We like the design of this one, and it’s small and light enough to carry around easily. It doesn’t have the best sound quality, but it’s adequate – music fans may want to spend a little more if they want something that will get them dancing around the living room. The installation is simple, and the backlit display is a nice touch.
5. Majority Little Shelford DAB Radio
If you’re looking for a competitor to Roberts’ retro radios at a third of the price, you should temper your expectations. The Preponderance Little Shelford does a good job of recreating that 1950s vintage look, but the gold plastic doesn’t look as good in person, and there are some minor usability issues. The Mode button, which switches between DAB, FM, and Bluetooth modes, also serves as the on and standby buttons, and holding it long enough to go to standby rather than switching modes appears to be a touch-and-go affair. The menus aren’t clear or intuitive, and Bluetooth audio sounds horribly weak and tinny.
6. Pure Evoke C-F6 DAB Radio
The Pure Evoke C-F6 combines modern connectivity options with classic CD playback, making it one of the best DAB radio and stereo systems available today. This is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a one-stop audio box because it is simple to set up, enjoyable to listen to, and has just about every bell and whistle you could want from a single-room audio device. It can be turned up to party levels with 3-inch stereo speakers and a 20W output while maintaining a rich, balanced sound.
7. Tivoli Audio ART DAB Radio
The Tivoli Audio ART has been on the market for a while, but its recent update with Bluetooth for wireless streaming brings it right up to date. It was £199 at the time of review (now £175); it’s debatable whether any mono speaker-equipped DAB radio can justify such a high price, but the PAL+ BT makes a compelling case. Not only does its built-in 16-hour battery make it completely portable around the house, but its weather-resistant casing makes it ideal for bath time and outdoor excursions, and a big, bold sound from both DAB and music streamed over Bluetooth gives it all-around appeal.
8. Pure Siesta Charge DAB Digital Radio
The Pure Siesta Charge is looking ahead. Pure, a long-time supplier of alarm clock radios, has expanded its product line with a sleek and stylish piece of audio kit priced at £129.99. What distinguishes the Pure Siesta Charge is – you guessed it – its charging capabilities. If your smartphone or phablet supports QI wireless charging, you can leave it on top of the Siesta Charge while it charges your battery. QI is the market’s leading wireless charging standard, thanks in large part to Apple’s adoption of the technology. So, does the Pure Siesta Charge become a must-have alarm clock radio as a result of this, or do its other features complicate matters?
9. Revo Super Signal Deluxe DAB Radio
The fact that Revo have devoted so much of the Supersignal’s face to the speaker should hopefully give a good indication of what this DAB radio is all about. This is the best digital radio for sound quality alone that we tested. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the big speaker grill, the Supersignal looks really good. You can get a variety of designs but the wooden one I tried is my favourite, with a pleasingly retro vibe. On top you’ll find a big volume knob which feels precise with each turn. The whole unit is compact enough to avoid taking up a huge amount of space, but still feels chunky and significant. It’ll be a real presence on your kitchen counter.
10. AZATOM Pro Sports S1 DAB Digital Radio
AZATOM is a brand that we reference quite frequently in our reviews of the top 10 DAB radios and other audio devices. Usually, AZATOM stands out in the radio marketplace as a brand that offers high-quality products at a very low price. The AZATOM Pro Sports S1 is one of the mini DAB radios on the UK market today that was specifically designed for athletes and people who like to “tune in” when they’re out and about. If you don’t want to be distracted by your smartphone when you’re going out for a jog, the AZATOM Pro Sports will give you access to all the FM, DAB and DAB+ channels you could want, without any complicated bells and whistles.
How To Buy The Best Portable DAB Radio?
Although digital radio still uses radio waves, instead of a single analogue signal, they are used to transmit data packets containing information such as the title of a song, the name of the artist, or even a weather forecast. The audio quality can be superior to that of popular AM/FM radio stations, and unlike other digital radio delivery options such as Spotify or Pandora, you can listen to as much DAB+ (Australia’s upgraded version of the Digital Audio Broadcasting standard) as you want without incurring data charges.
Digital radios, like analogue radios, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Portable and desktop models are still available, and some hifi systems include them. Portable and desktop models can resemble vintage radios, and the retro 1950s look appears to be popular. If you want to feel less nostalgic, modern styles are also available. You can also purchase digital radio tuners for your home audio system. They are, however, less portable, unless you want to take your living room with you.
Whether you’re looking for a bedside clock radio, a kitchen radio, or a model that can be integrated into a home audio system, John Lewis & Partners has a style for you. The good news is that the price of DAB radios has come down in recent years, so models like the John Lewis & Partners Spectrum Solo Portable DAB+/FM and Roberts Play 10 DAB offer excellent value for money. Invest a little more and you can enjoy high-end speakers, a powerful amp and luxe materials.
DAB+ is an upgrade of the current DAB system, the main advantage being that it is three times as efficient, meaning it can carry more stations and has higher audio quality. DAB+ is also the current standard across much of Europe so if you are able to travel, the radio travels with you. Finally, we hope that our article has brought the best portable DAB radio to you.