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back to article Ten... DAB kitchen radios

A kitchen is incomplete without a radio. Like a garden without a blade of grass, a song without emotion, or a footballer without a super-injuction, there are many without, but it just isn't the same. And even though dates for the proposed digital switchover haven't been set in stone, there's no harm in being prepared. Indeed, as …

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FAIL

DAB misses again.

It's a kitchen radio: an AM/FM radio will do, doesn't run the batteries flat in 30 mins when hiked out to the garden and costs about £15.

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Bronze badge
Stop

Batteries.

Battery life on DAB radios is less a problem than it used to be. I have a Pure evoke, with the battery pack, and it will quite happily run (and often does) for hours, and hours and hours...... then re-charges over night.

Also, find me a AM/FM radio that will tune into 6Music and Planet Rock....

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Anonymous Coward

@D@v3

Less of a problem - but still a problem for most people - and the environment if that's your thing?

The lack of those stations is not due to any lack in FM capability - it's due to the unrelenting push towards DAB replacing FM/AM.

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Controls on top in a kitchen?

Why haven't you marked down all the radios with top surface controls?

The top of anything in the kitchen is the bit that gets stickiest, so surely top surface controls is the last thing you need in a kitchen, especially if you're putting the radio on a shelf where you'll be unlikely to see the controls and display, let alone work the radio without picking it up.

I'd say this misfeature is worth a 10% penalty at least.

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Recommendations

A mono-radio costing £ 180 is rated 85% and recommended..... really ?

Are there not times when grading on the curve, if that's what's happening, could be avoided - just for the sake of common sense ? Go on...

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Bronze badge

Some people want it

There are people who like to have pretty, unreasonably expensive things in their kitchen.

For the rest of us, I've seen DAB radio down to £15. As for kitchenproofing it, wrap the bugger in clingfilm. Job done.

Absoltue (nee Virgin), Absolute 80s (sound suffers), Absolute 90s (mono)... conveniently broadcasting the same programme up to 10am so you can compare the transmission quality of each. Shouldn't Absolute 50s be the least good technically, or is that what BBC Radio 2 is for?

Why aren't people making these to record digitally any more - am I missing something? (Such as podcasts? No thanks.) Since I live in Scotland and am about to be blessed with an all-day Gaelic-language TV service on Freeview (kitchen TV with Freeview being an alternative to radio otherwise), I'm not going to have a Freeview radio option for most of the time.

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FAIL

@DAB misses again

"It's a kitchen radio: an AM/FM radio will do"

.... not when I want to listen to PlanetRock, R5sportsextra, etc

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Roberts Kitchen DAB Undercupboard Radio

How could you do a review of Kitchen DAB radios and miss out the Roberts undercupboard radio?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001HB62V2/

You even reviewed it when it first came out.

http://www.reghardware.com/2008/12/15/revew_radio_dab_roberts_rdk_2/

I've had one for the past couple of years, and it's been great. The only downside is that the controls are sometimes a little less sensitive than I'd like.

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Anonymous Coward

surely time to upgrade from that grease-gunged FM box?

Don't bloody think so. My kitchen-based FM set is about 30 years old, and I'm very nearly used to it now.

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Silver badge
WTF?

"Grease gunged"? "FM box"?

The radio in our kitchen is neither grease-gunged and has been happily receiving medium wave broadcasts on 792kHz for years. (Good ol'e AM... or more specifically... DSB-FC.)

The grease might be something to do with that greasy pop music or the food you're cooking. We don't have that problem here. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

£180? WTF?

Has someone in reg hardware been smoking crack?

I'm usually the first one in the queue to spend on a gadget but £180 for a radio that has to compete with the magimix, extractor fan, oven and microwave noises? A kitchen radio should take 4 double AA's, cost no more than £25, be stuck on 1 station for years on end and sit on the windowsill in full view of burglars without them being in the least bit interested in smash and grabbing it through the window for THEIR next crack fix.

FM is perfectly adequate and unless you work for ofcom or the BBC you need take no interest in the marketing/technical fail that is DAB.

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JB
Happy

Nothing new

I agree with you, but expensive radios featuring (relatively) new technology is nothing new. I have a 1959 Bush TR82 transistor radio, which cost about £18 new (equivalent to about £200 today). It was expensive because of all those up-to-the-minute transistors inside...and the thing only had Medium and Long wave bands! I'm sure DAB (or its successor) will have cheapo radios before you know it!

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Thumb Up

@ JB

That's a really good point actually - about the cheapo DAB radios which have yet to materialise. Where are they? I mean, I've been looking for several years, and never see one priced under £20-£30 or so. There seems to be a price floor beneath which nobody chooses to sell anything. Why is that? Is there some major royalty payment for the tech, or is it just oligopolistic capitalism choosing to collude/price-set rather than price-compete?

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Unhappy

Royalties

for codecs. MPEG in the old DAB that they are trying to introduce in Britain, AAC in DAB+.

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Bronze badge

Economies of scale?

Perhaps with analogue radios still selling by the shed-load (pun sort of intended), DAB tech might still be struggling to hit the volumes where the gubbins reach almost disposable prices?

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4-6 seconds...

***DAB radios seem to hark back to the days of valve sets as they take a while to start. The longest to chime took just over six seconds with the rest chirping in around four***

Thats not retro, thats broken....

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Tune In

Personally, I'd rather spend my dosh on a stereo iPod dock and stream any of hundreds of radio stations using the TuneIn Radio app..

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FAIL

Shortwave Digital

DAB was dead as soon as was released!

It's a white Elephant

Shortwave digital, Digital Radio Mondiale DRM will be the world norm soon,

even BBC R4 admitted the UK jumped the bloody gun with dab

http://tinyurl.com/43vuuso

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WTF?

Another DRM!?

So now we have at least three different DRMs, all in related fields. Couldn't they have chosen another acronym! *confused*

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FAIL

Retro

Why, in this day and age, does the DAB/NET radio have to look like it comes from the '60s? I would not buy any of these because they all look c**p! Why not a touch screen interface like an iPad Touch with decent size letters and numbers?

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Thumb Up

Agreed

They all look shite. I wouldn't buy any of them.

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FAIL

Everything DAB rated 0%

because it is there on the internet, without spending any money.

If you *must* spend money, buy a Logitech Squeezebox.

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Silver badge

There is harm in being prepared

There is harm in being prepared because if nobody switches to DAB, then the digital switchover won't happen.

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Linux

Bathroom

But what would you suggest for my bathroom? My Grundig Music Boy 60 takes 4 C batteries, which last 2 years or so and receives Radio 4. What can you suggest to improve on that?

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Anonymous Coward

Titles suck

What can you suggest to improve on that?

In the bathroom?

A willing au pair!

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One requirement

(other than costing about 15quid)

Can you turn it on and off at the plug?

I got a DAB radio a couple of years ago. It was small and worked quite well (sometimes it even got a DAB signal!), BUT when you turned it off at the plug and turned it back on again it would stay off. You had to actually turn it on with a small button on the front, effectively needing two hands, which was not good in a kitchen.

Our Philips analogue radio lives out of the way on top of a wall cupboard. It stays on R4 so the only control it needs is turning on and off at the plug.

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Thumb Up

"Shortwarve digital, DRM..."

Digital Radio Mondiale would be good, but DRM and PLT use the same frequencies, and where there is PLT nearby, DRM is likely to be unusable. If there's enough PLT, DRM becomes unusable in most places due to the rise in noise floor. Still, PLT's very very important (to BT Retail anyway).

"decent size letters and numbers?"

Good question. You rarely see a station name with descenders on these things 'cos they're all still using 1970s-style 7x5 style LCDs or LEDs. WTF is that about?

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Silver badge

For £180

I can get a PC, download whatever radio station and most telly I want and have the thing tell me what to burn next.

DAB - redefining pointlessness.

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Silver badge

I don't worry about DAB anymore

Today you can buy 20 Euro radios with _digital_ signal procession for FM-radio. There is no reason why we won't have DAB radios for a similar price with next to no power consumption in a few years.

The only problem is, that outside of the UK, DAB adoption is quite slow. In Germany the "gold standard" for receiving radio is DVB-S. This is how you can get the best reception with 320k MP2 streams for stereo and even more for surround.

As for economies of scale, I'd go for DVB-T. It's cheaply available and has most benefits of DAB.

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More connectivity!

From Pure instead of the Mio, you could get the Flow for a bit more cash which does the same stuff plus Internet radio and being able to pick up stuff streamed from computer/NAS etc. So aside from not being able to do DAB2, you're more-or-less future proofed.

Though to be honest anything even getting near to £100 does seem to be a bit expensive for a ktchen radio...

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Meh

Not so Magic Box

I have one of the magic box DABs reviewed here (a gift rather than personal purchase) . I can confirm the woeful reception (more presets than stations I can receive - funnily enough no Magic) and also the scrolling display is difficult to read. If it wasn't for Alice Cooper on Planet rock I'd probably never bother to plug it in.

Sound quality (on a decent signal) is pretty good and if it came with an alarm I'd probably swap it for my aging bedside clock/radio.

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Boffin

Revo Pico+ - ergonomics?

How can you rate up the Pico?

The ergonomics of the volume (analogue) and stations (absolute values) controls are all wrong. They *should* have the dial for volume, and the buttons for stations. Not the other way round.

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DAB == FAIL.

DAB has, essentially, already failed. It is broadcast at too low a bit rate to appeal to Hi-Fi enthusiasts, and is too expensive (because essentially the UK is on it's own in using it...). As a format it is has little room to grow, and looks like a white elephant.

Someone should put it out of it's misery and pilot the UK towards adopting a newer high compression based format that the rest of the world actually uses. Something that can adequately replace FM, rather than being less compelling than it (from a quality audio perspective).

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Anonymous Coward

Why go for dab?

When you can get a wifi radio a battery pack for the same price? Then you can (usually) get listen again / coerce them into streaming mp3's when the radio is shite.

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Windows

re Why go for dab?

Because BBC World Service is (almost) never shite! :-) since BBC WS switched off 648MW a few weeks ago...

No other reason I'm afraid.

OMG new icons!!

Is that old father Steptoe?

"HAROLD!!!!?!"

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Pint

Not DAB

We don't do DAB around here. I got a Logitech Squeezebox Radio for this purpose, and it fits the bill nicely.

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Happy

Airstream 10?

Personally I'd go for the Monitor Audio Airstream 10 any day of the week. It's not perfect for the kitchen and not especially cheap but it is drop-dead gorgeous and sounds terrific as well (who on earth wants stereo in the kitchen?)

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Holmes

Agree with post #1

180 for a kitchen radio?

And the sound quality is naff.

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Megaphone

DAB Doesn't Actually Work

I bought a DAB radio, and not a cheap one or an unknown make, and can not reliably receive any stations. Total waste of time and money. An FM radio, even a cheap one, does what it says on the tin and DAB does not.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

Want a radio with thousands of stations and (usually) better sound quality? Buy a wifi model.

Want an uber-cheapo model to just have something buzz in the background as you work/cook/whatever? Buy FM/AM.

DAB doesn't really fit anywhere, methinks.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I bought one of the Sony XDR-S100CD a year or so back as a present for the missus who wanted a DAB radio for the kitchen with a CD player. I think this was the only one I could find that had FM / DAB / CD. Compared to the prevalence of FM / AM / tape / CD combo players, DAB radios seem to be one trick ponies most of the time.

It is a nice unit and works lovely in our kitchen. The price is prohibitive for mass adoption but hopefully the unit will last long enough for it to be worth it.

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