Product Type: Paladone portable radios
Newest Review: ... when my partner or I turn off the light in the bathroom when having a bath. Obviously with the bathroo light on, the mood lighting on the ... more
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Paladone Floating Mood Light Effect Duck AM/FM Bath Radio
Date: 27/01/11, updated on 27/01/11 (74 review reads)
Advantages: Cute, lights and radio, livens up a bath
Disadvantages: Problems switching off the mood lights
One of the gifts I got from the Dooyoo "10 Days of Christmas" competition was this duck radio. The announcement on the community page said one of the day's winners would get it, and I was really hoping it would be me!
As the name and picture above would suggest, this is a radio, shaped like a rubber duck, that also lights up in different colours - seven, to be precise. Ducky is bigger and heavier than I expected him to be though this makes sense when you think of what they have to fit inside - circuitry for radio, lights and speakers. The instructions are simple enough even if what they are instructing is not. For example, you need to put in 3 AAA batteries. These aren't supplied, so you have to go and search for them, and then decide what to do with the 1 you'll invariably have left over from your 4-pack. Then you'll need a screwdriver (Philips / cross head) to undo the cover on the base. Swing this off and you can stick in your batteries. Seal this back up again, and you're good to go.
Ducky has squidgy buttons on both sides of his body. On one side they're for the radio frequency, as Ducky is a multi-talented little thing and can pick up both AM and FM. On the other side there is an on/off button for the lights. Since the radio and lights operate independently, the former is switched on and off in a different way, notably by viciously twisting poor Ducky's head at a 180 degree angle. Your choices are to have either lights and radio, one or the other, or neither. At least, that's the theory, though later on you'll see why it's not actually the case.
But, back to Ducky's good points. It is easy to adjust the frequency using a dial on Ducky's tail, and I find that once I have Ducky tuned in to what I want, even when I move him around he'll stay on that channel. If only all men were so simple. The sound comes out of a few discrete slits on the back of Ducky's head. The sound quality isn't amazing, but it's clear enough and no worse than a normal, cheap-ish radio, and I've happily listened to both talk shows and music on it. It's not neighbour-annoying loud, but I can listen to it as I wander about, or if I have to leave the bathroom to fetch a towel or something, with no problems. I suppose for a calm, relaxing soak, you don't need pumping dance music reverberating around your bathroom.
I'm not much of a bath person, so tend to keep Ducky on the bathroom windowsill where he can gaze longingly out of the window towards the sea when he's not letting me listen to Chris Moyles while I brush my teeth. However, when I got back from my trip I was dirty from not having had a proper shower in days and then spending 20 hours travelling, and exhausted from, well, too many months in Africa, so happily ran myself a Badedas bath and soaked in the bubbles. Ducky joined me, bobbing around near the taps as I relaxed. For something heavy he's well designed and nicely buoyant. The instructions say Ducky will survive only short immersions in water, so after a bit I fished him out and sat him by the side. I'm glad I read all the small print, word freak than I am, because the box sort of hides this information and I can imagine you could easily, if inadvertently, wreck one of Ducky's brothers on his first outing if you let him get too wet. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that a bath radio might be waterproof, so you're forgiven if you make this error.
The glow comes from Ducky's neck and spreads up to his head and down to his body, like a blush, if blushes were neon blue, pink, green and so on. Who knows, maybe ducks' blushes are. He certainly added a spa feel to my bath though my initial understanding had been that, as a mood duck, I could choose what colour 'mood' I was in. This isn't the case, and the colours cycle through at a slow but steady pace, merging from one to another. Not bad, just different from what I'd thought.
Ducky is well made and robust. I especially like the way his eyes seem to be firmly attached. At first I thought they were stickers that would peel off at the first contact with water, but they seem to have some kind of special coating to make sure this doesn't happen.
I have only one complaint about Ducky, and that's that he's too eager to please. You simply cannot switch off his colours once they're on, and the only way to stop the light show is to remove the batteries. The radio bit works as it should, so this means my options are now lights only, or lights-and-radio. I cannot have Ducky on radio only, as as soon as I put the batteries back in, he lights up in delight. I thought maybe I'd done something to cause this, but other reviews over on Amazon have reported exactly the same thing. It's not too much of a drag, as you only have to remove one battery to sever the power, not fiddle with all 3, but it does mean you either have to keep a screwdriver handy or keep it well away from water as it will run without the cover in place as long as the batteries are in, but this is obviously not in the least bit waterproof. One good thing, though, is that it doesn't drain the batteries too quickly. The first time I used it I left it on for maybe 12 hours, thinking I'd turned it off and only realising the next morning that it was still lighting up, but since then I've had it on a fair bit (taking the batteries out in between) and they're still going strong.
As a fun novelty gift it gets a big smile from me, but if you're after something for daily use the design flaw evident in at least some of the production runs might annoy you and you'd be better off getting a regular shaped wireless.
Ducky is available from all sorts of websites for between £9 and £13 if you want to try your luck.
Summary: One little duck went swimming one day...
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