We received this Bush DAB FM radio from my husbands parents for Christmas. For me it was a lovely surprise, but even more amazing was that my husband Ian had chosen it back in September and had managed to keep it a secret! We had finally finished making a few changes to our kitchen in the summer and he thought it might be nice to have some form of entertainment in there now it is a room we actually enjoy spending time in.
On opening, first impressions were good and I was pleased with the style Ian had chose. The box was a little larger than a shoebox with the usual preformed polystyrene block packaging which had kept the radio safe and secure so it was in perfect condition. The radio looks like a block of beechwood (a good match for our maple kitchen units) measuring 19.3cm in height, 26cm in width and 10.3cm in depth. The speakers are symetrically placed taking up the lower two thirds of the front. The controls are located across the top section which lowers a little in the centre, with a blue lcd screen in the centre. The oval alarm button is centred directly underneath. The control buttons are tidily arranged on either side of the display panel. The top curves ever so slightly, as do the edges of the speakers and control panel, so the whole design is a mix of straight edges and boxy curves, very contemporary and pleasing on the eye. The handle sits neatly on the top and is large enough for Ian to get his manly hands through comfortably. The handle, speaker covers and control panel are all brushed silver effect in colour, with all buttons being a shiny silver. All these pieces are made of plastic, high quality, but still plastic, which I was a little disappointed about. This never really crossed my mind until I came to review it although now It looks obvious and maybe cheapens the overall look a little. On the plus side, it does keep the radio that much lighter which is handy if you want to move it from room to room as we do on occasion. The arial is attached to the back and can be hidden away or manouvered around to suit your reception and is made of metal, it extends up to 68cm. It uses a mains figure eight power cable which has a good reach, 180cm approximately but can also runs batteries, six 9 volt, which sounds expensive. There is also a standard headphone socket on the back.
The first switch on the left is the power switch, next is the DAB / FM choice, we never listen to it in FM as to me this defeats the object. Although we can get a signal, it's not a scratch on the DAB, plus we don't need the arial up.
Underneath these are the preset buttons, 1-4. There are a total of eight presets, but this consists of four FM and four DAB. The menu button follows these and at first I actually thought it was another preset.
The alarm button is in the front centre and is one I never tried until now. It's simple to use, just press the button to turn the alarm on and then keep pressing to turn off or select the tone. To set the time you need to press and hold the button, then use the scroll and select buttons to choose the hours and minutes on a 24 hour clock.
When the alarm goes off, you can snooze by pressing the same button, or there is a sleep button on the right.
On the right hand side are the scroll (up), select and scroll (down) buttons which help in choosing stations. Underneath these are the sleep button (for the alarm), info, which is limited, it tells you the genre of the music station, the frequency it's using and the date and time. Next is the very useful volume (up) and volume (down) buttons.
This section is easy. We turned it on. Honestly that was it, both Ian and I were huddled around it expecting a problematic experience or the need of a PhD for this new fangled hi tech machine, but we plugged it in, it took a few seconds and we were suddenly listening to clear as crystal Radio One. We knew this as it told us in the display, even down to which song was playing! Checking through the preset buttons we found that some stations had automatically been saved, Radio 1, Radio 5, BBC Radio World News and Absolute Radio which is the only local one there. Choosing a different chanel is easy, I usually just press one of the scroll buttons and it gives me a choice of stations and when I find the one I want, I just press select. If press the menu button, I have a choice of finding stations manually by their frequency, or either a full or local autoscan. I find these a bit painful in truth, they take about a minute to scroll through and then just select a chanel that was on the scroll list. which would have taken seconds.
It's probably worth mentioning that being digital it automatically updates the time when the clocks go forward or back.
Clear as crystal, no hissing or any interference from the stereo speakers even when on high volume. This was my first experience of DAB and Ian and I are very impressed. Although this was supposed to be for our kitchen, we do occasionally move it around the house to listen to when cleaning, decorating, ironing or when I'm in the bath. I never have to worry about finding the chanels or getting a good reception and the sound quality is better than any other music playing system in the house. The handle makes it easily portable and is showing no signs or damage or wear, even though it is only plastic, in truth I was expecting the coating to peel or rub off, but not so. The wood is still perfect. I've read some reports which say the sound is 'tinny', I certainly don't believe so, but I have no other DAB radio to compare against unfortunately.
I do have a problem, though I'm unsure if I can blame Bush for it. We don't have a manual. Now I'm not sure if there was one but we lost it with all the Christmas paper rubbish (as we did a card I hadn't given out and a pack of stickers) or if it just wasn't included, which seems unlikely for an electrical product. I also can't find one to download from the internet. This means I don't know how to change the preset channels and I've tried as many different ways as I can with no luck as yet.
===Price and Availability===
My In-laws bought it from Argos in September 2010 and it was reduced from £90 to £45. Currently it sells there for £49.99 and also on Amazon for £54.99
Absolutely. For what we want it is perfect. I won't pretend to be any where near expert in this catagory, but to my ears it sounds fantastic, it delivers all we need and more, for a very competitive price and it looks good. I'm knocking off half a star for the plastic, so I give it 4.5 stars.