DAB Radios Review 2021: The Best Digital Radios You Can Buy.
DAB Radios Review – Getting the right radio for your home can be very tricky; there are lots of choices, the good news is that there’s a style fitted to everyone, whether your slick minimalism, Mid-century charm, or something a little more classic.
So let me Introduce you to DAB Radios (Digital Audio Broadcasting), now don’t be misguided DAB Radios still have different styles that will be suitable to your taste, the fun part is, not only will it be to your taste you still have an awesome radio.
DAB is one of the most popular ways to access the radio, leaving the fiddlier FM and AM transmissions.
They make an amazing hassle-free companion by the bedside or in the Kitchen, as there is no turning required and it comes with added features such as Bluetooth, and Phone-charging capabilities, which make them very useful to have in your homes
What is DAB+?
DAB Radio was first launched in the UK in the 1990s, but over time we have had upgrades that gave us the newer, upgraded version, DAB+ (DAB Plus).
It is more efficient than the original DAB and able to broadcast more stations, with better quality.
Some radios are limited to DAB, and won’t be able to pick up DAB+ stations, but most new radios come with an up-to-date version.
What are the Different Types of Radio?
There are three key types of radio – digital, analog and internet.
– Digital Radio
As the name suggests, digital radio is transmitted digitally and offers a much more reliable signal than analog radio.
The digital radio standard used in the UK is called DAB and an upgraded version called DAB+ has launched about 10 years ago and lots of digital radio stations are moving towards it.
Lots of older DAB radios can’t pick up DAB+ signals, but most new ones can. Just make sure you look for a DAB+ logo or Digital Radio ‘tick’ on the box.
– Analogue Radio
Transmitted using radio waves, analog radio — which includes FM and AM — was the default for broadcasts before digital radio came along.
AM was the most widely used radio format in the UK until it was overtaken by FM in the mid-’80s.
The vast majority of analog radio stations are broadcast on FM and while some of these are simulcast in AM, very few are AM-only.
The sound quality of analog radio can be patchy compared to digital, as it’s very sensitive to interference.
That’s why you sometimes have to move the aerial, and even the radio around to get a good signal. Most DAB and internet radios also include an analog tuner.
– Internet Radio
Rather than being transmitted using an analog or digital radio signal, internet radio is accessed online. That means you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection to pick up signals, rather than the usual aerial.
The biggest advantage of the internet radio is that you’ll be able to access a gigantic selection of radio stations — more than 30,000 — from all over the world.
DAB and FM radios with built-in internet radio tend to be pricier than their counterparts. However, you can also access internet radio for free on your computer or on the relevant smartphone or smart TV apps.
Now let us look into the best radios we have out there.
1. Ruark Audio R1 Mk3
A stylish DAB/FM radio that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker
- Superb build and styling
- Great sound quality
- Easy to set up and use
- Can be made portable using accessories
- No backlighting for controls
Looking for the ultimate small bedside radio? The Ruark Audio R1 Mk3 might be it. This classy model combines premium design with superb sound quality.
In addition to DAB and FM radio playback, the R1 Mk3 has Bluetooth for streaming from a mobile device. You can add an optional £60 battery pack to make it portable.
The OLED display is easy to read across the room, and there’s a USB socket around the back for charging your phone or tablet.
It’s not cheap and it’s only mono, but it does its job so very well, with the unmatched build quality. It’s also available in a variety of finishes – real wood, or lacquer in white or black.
2. Pure Siesta Home DAB Radios
Part radio, part hi-fi, the Siesta Home is an unlikely but effective combination
- Big, bold sound
- Diverse features
- Very clear, big display
- Bass not as deep as some wireless speakers
- USB charge sockets are weak
The Siesta Home fuses a DAB radio and CD player into an all-in-one system.
While it’s not as conventionally good-looking as, say, a Roberts Revival, this is a robustly designed effort with aluminum housing and a large display, which should help those with iffy eyesight.
Bluetooth is on board, allowing you to stream music from Spotify or YouTube. There are playback and control buttons on top of the unit, with touch-sensitive buttons near the bottom of the fascia for the CD player.
It comes with remote control, and sound can be tailored to fit different rooms thanks to the Siesta’s EQ modes.
3. Roberts Stream 94i DAB Radios
A great DAB radio and audio streamer for the modern user
- Loud and powerful for a DAB radio
- Much-improved visual design
- Wide-set of wireless features
- The sound is slightly too treble-focused
- The battery add-on looks a little clunky
ALSO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ:
The design isn’t as striking as that of the Roberts Revival series, but it’s a tasteful effort with a wood-laminated enclosure and a glossy fascia.
Tuning and volume are controlled with two easy-to-use dials and below them, you’ll find buttons for playback, presets and the on/off button.
As well as DAB and FM, the Stream 94i also brings Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and internet radio to the party, as well as DLNA streaming via the My Music feature.
Files can be played off a USB stick if you choose. If you want portability, a battery is available – at extra cost.
Despite the £200 price, don’t expect Sonos One levels of audio performance here.
Nonetheless, this is a loud and powerful performer, with lots of clarity and bass power. The Stream 94i is a great advert for what the modern radio can be.
Bass is decently defined, with clear mid-range and treble producing a sound that’s more powerful than you might expect. Part DAB radio, part system, the Pure offers more bang for your buck.
4. Roberts Revival iStream 2 DAB Radios
The Roberts Revival iStream 2 is a nostalgic 1950s style radio with advanced WI-FI internet radio features.
The WI-FI enables you to access thousands of radio stations around the world, it also means you can take your favorite stations wherever you go around the world as long as you have access to an internet connection or use Spotify
- Internet radio
- USB playback
The Roberts Revival iStream 2 melds classic Roberts Revival design with features you wouldn’t associate with such a retro-looking radio.
You can get the Revival as a basic DAB model, but the Revival iStream 2 offers Wi-Fi internet radio, plus a USB socket through which you can play digital files.
There’s no Bluetooth, though the iStream 2 does support Spotify Connect. The radio takes 4x D batteries for portable use, although we think the rechargeable ChargePak is neater.
If you like the vintage look, the Roberts Revival is still the best you can get. It’s covered in convincing synthetic leather and has a classic-style metal speaker grille. This is one good-looking radio.
5. Como Audio Solo DAB Radios
With the built-in WI-FI, push-button tuning, and versatility to play music from your favorite streaming sources, the solo smart music systems from Como audio will connect you with an entire world of music.
Added with the soft-dome tweeter and four-layer voice coil woofer, your room will be filled with rich, rewarding sound.
- Spotify Connect support
- Remote control
- Multiroom capability
The beautiful Solo was designed by Tom DeVesto, the man behind many of Tivoli’s legendary radios, and has that same retro-chic ’70s charm about it. Features-wise, though, it’s been brought right up to date.
In addition to DAB and FM radio, you get internet radio over Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth aptX streaming, NFC, and Spotify Connect.
The Solo can – ironically, considering the name – be used as part of a multiroom system controlled via an Android/iOS app.
The interface is a joy, with a 2.8-inch color display that shows a graphical analog clock when the radio’s turned off.
There are two alarms, and six presets that can be assigned to switch not just stations but also sources – of which there are plenty, including optical and USB. The USB port can also be used to charge mobile devices.
The Solo is a sumptuously built effort, with a choice of four finishes: white, black, walnut, or hickory. It even comes with remote control, which is a rare treat.
Well, after going through this amazing journey, I really hope I’ve been of help, I’m also hopeful that you must have found the perfect radio that fits your style as I earlier said.
Kindly share with your friends if you find this information helpful!