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Radio-Now at Bristol Sound and Vision 2004 : TEAC portable DAB review

Sound and Vision logo 2004 - The Bristol Show

TEAC SR-L30 DAB digital/FM radio review

TEAC radio logo
DAB digital radio logo

TEAC DAB radio
Another DAB radio making waves at the Bristol Sound and Vision show, the TEAC SR-L30 radio proves two speakers can often be better than one.
TEAC SR-L30 DAB portable DAB radio

Roughly 15 inches by 5 inches by 3.5 deep, the TEAC radio is nicely wrapped in a wooden case, with a striking slotted aluminium fascia, behind which are sat two drive units and, between these, a glowing light blue display. The two-line matrix display shows black text on light blue, which makes a welcome change from that of Pure Digital's products, and is quite readable even from a distance.

Sat at either end of the SR-L30 on top are two dials - one for volume control and the other for picking and choosing DAB stations. Nudge the latter and up pop two arrows on the display. Nudge again and the TEAC SR-L30 flicks through the service list as the dial is turned. unwelcome surprises as far as operating the radio is concerned...

Up to 10 DAB stations can be committed to presets, accessed by a row of buttons on top of the unit. There are also buttons present for switching between tuning information, service type and scrolling text and another for changing bands; the SR-L30 has both FM and DAB. Up to 30 FM stations can be saved to memory. The DAB module at the heart of the system is the same as that in the Evoke 1, so there are no unwelcome surprises as far as operating the radio is concerned.

Overall, considering its size, the TEAC SR-L30 manages a competent performance. It doesn't play super-loud, but it does have RCA phono sockets around the back and the extremely useful inclusion of a digital output, so you can connect it up to both a larger hi-fi system and MiniDisc recorder if you so wish. An external aerial can easily be accommodated, and in this configuration at the show, the TEAC had no problems pulling in stations, suggesting sensitivity is more than good enough.

...found myself turning the volume down to speak to the PR people...

I tried it on Planet Rock, The Storm and Smooth (well, hey, let's go for the extremes) and found myself turning the volume down to speak to the PR people not two feet away; it should be ideal for use in a kitchen environment, for example. The TEAC produces a surprisingly punchy sound for its size, given the two 3 inch drive units. It's ideal for speech stations such as BBC7 and talkSPORT; music stations sound very appealing and involving thanks to the twin speakers, which are placed further apart than on the Evoke 2. The speaker enclosures are bass-reflex rather than ported, which means a tighter sound lower down without any danger of bass reaching epic proportions, but let's not forget you can hook it up to a full system if you really want to raise the roof.

...dinky and light enough ... to move around the house...

The TEAC SR-L30 is dinky and light enough, with its fixed carry handle, to move around the house. It certainly does have the "ahhhh" factor. Its DC adaptor must come along, since there is no battery option, but often the niggle with DAB radios at the moment is that they are too power-hungry, eating through "C" batteries as if there is no tomorrow. Perhaps, then, it's just as well the TEAC is mains-only.

In summary, then, the TEAC is an ideal radio for indoor use. It offers both digital out and phono sockets for quick connection to other equipment. It is well built, nicely designed with the mix of timber and aluminium, benefitting from being just that little bit different from the current range offered by other manufacturers.

Retailing at around GBP130.00, you can check current prices and buy the TEAC SR-L30 DAB/FM radio via this website.

For: Well built; wood and aluminium finish. Has both FM and DAB Band III. Twin speakers. Sensibly sized to be portable. Offers digital optical output.
Against: mains only: occasional battery usage would sometimes be handy


Related links:
Buy the TEAC SR-L30, via this website.

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
what to buy - a guide to DAB digital radio products, on this website. promo banner