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I own the ipod docking version of this with a remote control. It is a DAB/FM radio with an ipod docking connection that pops out of the bottom. This is a well built quality product with a minimal design. The advantages are: stylish design, attractive blue lights, touch sensitive controls, very easy to use, sleep function available, presets available. The disadvatages are: It comes with an extendable aerial which looks a bit unattractive, the touch sensitive buttons don't always respond to my touches, the remote control battery runs out quickly, the sound quality is ok but lacks some bass end response, the lights are too bright to have by your bedside, the lowest volume is too loud for night time listening, the ipod battery drains down if you leave it connected, it is a bit heavy. Overall it is a useful and attractive product to listen to your ipod music and dab radio during the day but not useful as a bedside radio
It was quite some time before we finally took the leap into digital radio (DAB) but, once hooked, there was no going back. This is now our third and enjoys pride of place in our living-room. It's compact and quite stylish, with soft touch controls and most of the basic features you'd expect from a DAB radio nowadays, but its main claim to fame in our household is the stereo sound quality. Remarkably, this compares quite favourably with our old analogue FM tuner connected to large separate hifi speakers, at least for everyday listening.
As usual, I'll avoid technicalities available from other sources, and concentrate on personal impressions and practical experience, however subjective:
I did at first have reservations about relying on this as our main radio, but these have proved largely unfounded. This model was probably designed for use mainly as an additional set, for kitchens etc. So it came as a real surprise how well its stereo sound actually fills a larger room.
Our radio listening tends to be split fairly evenly between music (all genres) and voice, and it copes quite well with both. For more serious music reproduction, it could always be connected to a hifi system (see below), but in practice we haven't felt the need.
~~Value for money~~
We've had this model now for a year or so. It seemed good value at the time and, currently available at around the £40 mark, it remains pretty competitive. Worth noting that our other two models were similarly priced but both just have a single speaker.
~~Design and usability - a 'touch of class'~~
The unit is quite wide for a portable DAB, presumably to accommodate the twin speakers and perhaps the batteries. But it still seems quite sleek and stylish with its glossy black finish and neat touch panel technology; and the cool blue backlit display is also a subtle touch.
As for portability, the lack of a handle may be telling: limited battery life seems to be the one obvious drawback to DAB radios, with their high power consumption.
One minor quibble: the on/off button (the only one you actually have to press) took a while to locate at the rear of the unit.
On the plus side, the touch-sensitive controls work seamlessly - not in fact the gimmick I half suspected at first! Initial setup was quick and straightforward with autoscan, and the manual is clear and well presented.
Considering the variable reception we've experienced with FM signals locally, this is quite acceptable. The large aerial can always be adjusted for optimum sensitivity or, ideally I suppose, an external aerial could be installed. FM reception is also supported, though in practice we've never bothered with this, so can't really comment.
~~Reliability and durability~~
No problems to report at all in daily use for a couple of years....
The radio can be connected to external equipment via auxiliary sockets on the back, for optimum audio performance and functionality. There's also a headphones socket and even 'line input' sockets for connecting (eg) a CD player, but no obvious interface for software upgrade(?)
Thoroughly recommended for everyday use, with the above caveats, especially concerning portability.
Many thanks for reading. I do hope this has been helpful.
[© SteveS001, 2011. A version of this original review may be found on other review sites]