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DAB digital radio and wi-fi internet radio Buyer's Guide for 2016


Which portable DAB digital radio do we recommend?

If you want a reliable and very compact radio, we'd go for the Sony XDR-P1DBP DAB & DAB+ radio with FM tuning - a popular choice with a built-in lithium battery. You can take this radio out and about to hear a handful of national DAB+ services and regular DAB stations. This is a future-proofed radio, with DAB+ capability out-of-the-box. It also receives all current DAB radio stations, such as those broadcast by the BBC. Oh - and there's a headphone socket on the side.
Sony XDR-P1DBP viewed at an angle
Sony XDR-P1DBP DAB, DAB+ and FM portable battery/mains operated radio

For something a little larger, with three direct-access keys for storing your most-listened-to radio stations and taking 'AA'-size batteries, check out the Roberts Play 10 compact DAB, DAB+ and FM radio. Also, check out the Blutune range of affordable DAB radios.

Roberts Play10 DAB radioRoberts Play 10 portable battery/mains operated radio (runs on 4 'AA' batteries)

If your budget will stretch to something a little more expensive, we'd also take a look at the Sony XDR-S60 DAB & DAB+ radio with FM tuning. This receiver offers a stunning, rich and balanced sound (with a bass port on the rear) with simple controls - including five preset memories for storing your favourite stations on five separate keys. It's also easy to scroll through and select other DAB and DAB+ stations in the large, readable display. This is our current favourite, and includes a headphone socket for listening to stations broadcasting in stereo.
Sony XDR-S60 DAB
Highly recommended Sony XDR-S60 DAB, DAB+ and FM receiver

The Pure Pop Maxi featuring DAB, DAB+, FM and Bluetooth connectivity, with twin speakers for stereo sound, is also worth considering.
Pure Pop Maxi kitchen shotPure Pop Maxi features Bluetooth and is DAB and DAB+ broadcast compatible, ensure its longevity

If you want a smart kitchen or living room radio, the Pure Evoke D2 (note: be sure to look for the 'digital tick' for DAB+ enabled models) or Pure Evoke D2 Rob Ryan design is an award-winning radio wrapped in either an oak, walnut or special edition artwork. Pure radios are good at picking up a signal even in poor reception areas, and recent models come with a 'digital tick', meaning they are equipped to pick up both standard DAB and the more efficient DAB+ stereo broadcasts.
Pure Evoke D2 DAB and FM radio in Walnut finish
Pure Evoke D2 award-winning DAB and FM tabletop radio

For background information about the Ruark R1 range with a review of this model of great-sounding DAB radio, (the current model is the R1 Mark III), click on the links above.
Ruark R1 DAB and FM radio in pastel blue
Award-winning Ruark R1 range of DAB radios

For another DAB radio at the cheaper end of the market, but with good sound, look no further than the Pure ONE Mini Series II, a single-speaker DAB radio (with stereo sound if you plug in headphones and FM reception to boot) featuring a 3.5mm input to play your MP3 player or iPod through the Mini II's speaker. You can read more about the Pure One Mini Series II. There is a downside in that you need to purchase a specific battery pack in order to use most Pure portables out and about.
Pure One Mini Series II
Pure ONE Mini Series II DAB/FM radios


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The Pure ONE Classic DAB digital radio with FM offers pause, rewind and a 45 minute recording facility and does a great job at searching out even weak DAB signals; you can read about its features here.
Pure One Classic Series II DAB/FM radio in black
Pure ONE Classic Series II DAB/FM radio

If you want reliability and performance in weaker signal areas, we recommend Pure and Roberts DAB digital radios. Listeners do have a small complaint in that the AC adaptor (which plugs into the mains and has a low-voltage lead that plugs into the back of the radio) can be a bit chunky on these radios, but in reality it means that the power supply is isolated from the unit itself, thus reducing any problems with mains hum.

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Which DAB portable CD player do we recommend?

The Roberts Zoombox 2 is about the only truly portable DAB radio featuring CD player. Taking 6 "C" cells, the Zoombox offers CD player and DAB/FM tuner in a portable radio. It can be found here. Roberts Radio ZoomBox DAB/FM CD portable stereo
Roberts Radio ZoomBox DAB/FM CD portable stereo


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Which DAB or internet radio with iPod/iPhone dock do we recommend?

If you want a modern-looking iPod/iPhone dock with both DAB and wi-fi internet radio then Revo AXiS X3 is a popular choice. Revo AXiS X3
Revo AXiS X3 combined DAB/DAB+/wi-fi internet tabletop radio with iPod/iPhone dock


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Which DAB tabletop audio system do we recommend?

Roberts Blutune
The Roberts Blutune range includes speaker systems and receivers incorporating CD players.

Roberts' DAB-enabled kit lets you stream audio from your smartphone via Bluetooth. The logically-named Blutune range pick up digital terrestrial stations such as BBC Radio 6 Music and 4 Extra, with your smartphone handling the internet radio side of things; apps such as UK Radioplayer and TuneIn giving you thousands of additional stations from around the world.

You can also consider the Revo SuperSignal, SuperConnect and high-end Revo SuperSystem.
Revo SuperSystem
Revo SuperSystem high-end audio system
Revo SuperConnect radio
Revo SuperSignal audio system
Ruark R4i rotodial

Check out the Ruark R4i and Ruark R2 Mk III if you want to be blown away by high-quality audio from an all-in-one system.
Pure Evoke C range DAB, DAB+ and FM radios; connected radios

Also consider the Pure Evoke C-series DAB+ and connected radio range if you're looking for an all-in-one system with CD player.

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Which combined DAB and wi-fi internet radio do we recommend?

It's a tough decision, but since a firmware update in June 2016, we'd recommend the award-winning Roberts Stream 93i DAB+ receiver with internet radio streaming and full access to the BBC's listen again (on-demand) catalogue. This receiver has advantages over the Pure One Flow in that, no only can it stream all of the BBC's radio stations in high quality audio, but also that it can now access the Beeb's on-demand 'listen again' content AND let you pause, rewind and fast-forward/skip through programmes and shows. So, if you lose your internet connection halfway through a programme, or go to take a telephone call, you can either pause the stream or delve back in and fast forward from the beginning to return to the part of the show you missed.

The Revival iStream 2 also has this skip and rewind functionality, which makes listening to long-duration shows so much easier, as you don't have to start from the beginning if your internet connection should drop.
Two models from Roberts get firmware upgrade
As of June 2016, the Roberts Stream 93i and iStream 2 can access BBC radio stations in high quality audio - plus you can skip and rewind through on-demand shows to find the bit you missed. DAB and DAB+ tuners are, of course, included

However, the award-winning Pure One Flow with its connection to the Pure Connect portal for internet radio favouries and no-nonsense design also offers access to the BBC's high-quality streams and all listen again & podcast content, since changes made in February 2015. The more recent Pure Evoke F3. with colour screen is a more recent model that also offers hi-quality streams. We also recommend the Pure Evoke F4, which is a little more expensive, but just as popular. Again, both these and the Pure Sensia 200D Connect can handle the BBC's HLS streaming for on-demand/catch-up and live radio, giving you access to the BBC's 30-day listen again service within the UK.
Pure One Flow receiving Linn Jazz station
The Pure One Flow can stream BBC stations in high quality audio, access on-demand content and pick up DAB and DAB+ stations, too

For an internet tablet with speakers - and apps to stream live radio and on-demand content - check out the Zettaly Avy Internet Tablet.
Zettaly Avy photo
The Zettaly Avy internet tablet streams internet radio stations, but there isn't a dedicated DAB or DAB+ tuner, so you'll get stations solely via your internet connection
Pure Evoke F3 internet radio
Pure Evoke F3 with DAB, DAB+, FM and internet radio capability

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Which handheld or palmtop DAB digital radio should I buy?

The best handhelds are manufactured by Pure or Roberts, so we'd go for either the award-winning Pure Move 2500 DAB/FM handheld or the Pure Move 400D palmtop radio. Both feature built-in rechargeable batteries. Another reliable choice is the Roberts SportsDAB II handheld DAB/FM radio; with both telescopic and headphone aerials the SportsDAB II is good for seeking out a DAB signal. Later versions of these models support DAB and DAB+, so avoid buying secondhand on auction sites as you may end up with a 'version 1' that supports DAB and FM only.
Pure Move 400D palmtop DAB & FM radio
Pure Move 400D offers a palmtop-format radio with DAB and FM reception and a telescopic aerial
Roberts SportsDAB 2 DAB and FM handheld radio
Roberts SportsDAB 2 with DAB, DAB+ and FM, plus a telescopic aerial