The traditional battery powered transistor FM radio still takes some beating when it comes to listening in places like the bathroom or garden shed, if that’s where you choose to spend any length of time. Indeed, Pure had a big success with its £45 palm-sized One Mini so it has sliced a few millimetres from that model, shrunk the …
Not exactly cheap and cheery. I can get a little DAB battery / mains for not much more than the cost of the power pack. (With minijack out.) The USB socket and power pack are its USP though.
for proprietry batteries in a radio. They should run off AAs or similar.
If you've ever used a DAB radio on non-rechargeable batteries, you will know how expensive they are to run....
I guess using AA's would allow you to put rechargeables in, but would you be able to charge them in situe?
in situ charging not needed
Why would you want to charge AA/AAAs in situ? Much faster in a dedicated charger, easy enough to carry spares and away from a power point you need to swap out anyway.
Unfortunately the hideous power draw on DAB would mean buying a whole new set of Lithium AA/AAA and dedicated charger for a half decent life. Not much different from buying 2 overprices Pure battery pack.
Still, nice to see a less boxy DAB radio, still looks fugly but in a cheap, throwaway FM radio way for a change. Think I'll stick to the FM tuner in my £5 throwaway mobile and my MP3 player contains music I actually listen to instead of the crap on everything but Radio6.
Not an epic fail. Just a fail.
If you've ever used a dab radio on rechargable batteries.
You'll know how utterly pointless it is.
To: Peter Gathercole
Well add a big fat FAIL for DAB as a portable technology as whole then, not just for this particular unit :)
RE: If you've ever used a dab radio on rechargable batteries.
Errr, My Roberts Gemini 49 portable FM/DAB lasts well over 24 hours on one charge. An excellent bit of kit!
Blind as well as deaf!
Ian Calcutt must be blind as well as deaf if he didn't notice that DAB drops out regularly (usually just as someone is about to say something earth shattering).
DAB also has dreadful reception, generally, compared to FM.
Most radio stations broadcast at criminally low bit rates that are unlistenable even through a small speaker. The codec is obselete since long ago.
DAB manufacturers were banned from using the terms HI-Fi or high quality and instead use words like 'crystal clear'. Well my fricking door bell is 'crystal clear' but I wouldn't listen to 'desert island discs' on it.
So if you want to have to climb into your attic to get reception, suffer frequent drop-outs and listen to something with the quality of a Ronco answer machine then DAB is your bad boy.
Blah blah blah sound no good blah blah blah
It depends on the bitrate of the channel and the strength of the signal in your area. The lack of hiss is well worth it, and to be truthful, most people listening in kitchens, sheds cars etc. probably would not be able to tell the difference between 128Kb/S MP2 and 256Kb/S MP3. It's the dropout rate that is so bad.
ClassicFM and Radio3 (160Kb/S and 192Kb/S respectively) sound great in a good signal area, a good receiver and quiet conditions. Unfortunately, I don't live in a good signal area, and even though I have a Pure Highway specifically for cars, I can only get any DAB channels for about a third of my commute to work. But then, even FM drops out in one part of my journey.
DAB is a flawed service, I admit, but it is worth keeping unless it is replaced with something better, but even then many will whinge about having to buy new receivers (like me, I have 5 DAB radios).
DAB reception is very poor. Bought one for the garden shed in July, took it back and exchanged it for a cheap iPod dock / FM radio for the same money. Avoid.
seems a fair review to me
"This is a convenient portable rather than a gutsy boombox, so DAB and FM are equal performers at this scale; and if your favourite stations are digital-only, then you’ll at least get to hear them in more diverse locations."
Thanks for not going down the tediously predictable "DAB sounds worse than FM" route. I just wish they'd turn the power up a bit on DAB so indoor coverage is free of boiling mud for most people.
Having said that I tend to use my mobile (SE K750i or HTC Wildfire) with headphones for most listening round the house these days, the latter usually streaming via WiFi rather than FM.
"you can’t expect a lot of refinement on a digital radio at this price"?
My god.. it's over 50 quid (17 quid for a battery compartment? WTF?). I expect a *lot* of refinement on a radio at that price.
Being able to stream half a dozen radio channels encoded at below MP3 standard bitrates doesn't justify paying ten times the price.. not even close. You can get wifi internet radios with bags of features for the same money.
A total fail of a user interface.
No Digital Radio Mondaile, LW & MW.
Horribly expensive battery pack.
Doesn't take AAs?
What are they *on*? For an ostensibly portable device, wouldn't it make far more sense to use batteries that you can, you know, actually buy in shops? That way if I'm on holiday and it starts to go flat I can plonk a couple of cheap AAs in it and continue to use the radio, rather than having to buy a 17 quid battery by mail order *in advance*. It's a totally bizarre design decision.
Also, I believe that's a micro USB socket, not a mini.
19 hours of battery life is not reasonable. A couple of hours a day for a year with a two rechargeable AA's is reasonable for a portable FM radio.
Sorry, DAB is still far too power-hungry and the radio itself is more than double the cost of a portable FM radio. There is no point in producing a DAB radio like this when the competition is so much better in every respect - especially if the extras DAB provides, on screen info and a clear signal, are not there.
It's like trying to sell a mirror encrusted, smoke emitting, sewing machine engined moped to a cyclist.
Are there any reasonable portable FM radios left?
Sadly after about 15 years of sterling service as a bathroom radio while having a shower my old Panasonic is on it's last legs. Not really interested in DAB as i only listen to one station and it's on FM but wondered if anyone knew of a reasonable sounding portable battery powered radio that could replace it? Or have they all died away to be replaced by DAB radios other than the cheap Matsui's etc?
Sony, or Eton...
Sony still do some decent MW/LW/FM portable-radios; the one I've got in my bathroom [a 10-year-old 'ICF-M770L' ] gives about a year of shave-time and bath-time listening from four AA Duracells Not sure if this one's still available new in the UK though.
Alternatively, there's a company called "Eton" that peddles Chinese-made digitally-synthesized MW/LW/FM/short-wave radios that seem to have a good reputation.
[I'm not taking my mains-powered 1944-vintage RCA AR88-D communications-receiver into the bathroom].
Just to say thanks for Tanuki and Alan pointing me in the right direction :)
> wondered if anyone knew of a reasonable sounding portable battery powered radio that could replace it
Yep, Argos has loads of them: http://tinyurl.com/35qtm3l
There's even a waterproof one designed to be used in a shower hung from the curtain rail. Doubt the sound is up to much, though.
I'm pretty sure my parents have the beige-coloured Bush, sounds pretty good for a single-speaker radio.
Does it support the latest DAB standards?
Does it support DAB+? Taking an FM radio on holiday: it'll work fine. The other (few) countries that use DAB mostly use DAB+
Does it support whichever DAB standard has the equivalent of RDS/Traffic ?
Can it be upgraded to these if/when they become widespread?
Whilst I'm currently listening to a DAB radio, its the only one I have and "being able to listen to my favourite station as I walk around the house" is frustrating as the rest of my radios are "realtime" FM so are several seconds ahead of what the DAB radio is playing (The time pips on DAB are several seconds late - does that constitute a new DAB timezone?)
bit on the big side
for a similar price (70 quid if you shop around) you can get a Roberts Sports DAB2, and put it in your shirt pocket ...
Bleh! DAB = me Luddite
I've tried DAB and much prefer
Declaration of interest: buying customer :-)
Does it have a socket for an external antenna?
A cheap way to improve reception is to provide for an external antenna. It is a terrible design failure of most DAB boxes that they lack this simple low cost facility.
Just a matter of time
In Germany you can already buy the first sub 20 Eur FM-radios with _digital_ IF processing. The next generation of those chips will probably be able to do DAB, too.
I don't think quality is much of an issue. You can get most radio stations in superb quality over satellite and even cable (both unencrypted of course). Public radio stations use bitrates between 128 kBit/s for voice-only stations, over 320 kBit/s for music orientated programming up to I think about a megabit for surround sound stations, but those are rare. So there is little need for the quality enthusiast to use FM.
went back in the box after a week never to be looked at again.
Not that it's bad, just that lastFM on Android or equivalent with an Altec Orb or two are so much better in both sound quality and versatility.
In fact if my auld Ma doesn't want it, I've just convinced myself that it's ebay time :)
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