Author Topic: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations  (Read 1137 times)

DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« on: February 20, 2021, 06:33:07 pm »
Well, after 10 years, 8 of which were spent in the greenhouse, 6 hanging from a wire that doubled as an aerial, our very early Pure DAB radio has died. Won’t take a charge, won’t play with external power. So we’re in the market for a replavpcement, preferably a small one - this was around 125x75x20mm.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 06:36:58 pm »
We have a couple of very nice Roberts ones, one of which I bought for me, the other for Phyllis*. Waitrose stocked them at the time. I'll see if I can find links to them.

Edit: it seems Roberts have gone into retro styles in a big way and the models that we bought don't appear on their website now.

This is the nearest I can find: https://www.johnlewis.com/roberts-unologic-dab-digital-radio/black/p230680450

We have one of ours plugged into a damned good pair of Ruark speakers and the reproduction is very good.

*Aunt Phyllis was blind and could operate it by feel. She only wanted three stations: R3, R4 and Classic FM.
Bach without a doubt.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 06:40:20 pm »
Despite having a very poor experience with DAB generally, I've had a decent experience recently with a Pure Elan.  Mine is an IR3, which doesn't do DAB, just internet and NAS streaming, but I think there are a variety of subtypes.  It was the only way to get radio in my crinkly tin workshop in a crap FM and DAB reception area (in conjunction with a Powerline adaptor to supply the magic waves out there).
Wombat

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 06:47:07 pm »
We have a couple of very nice Roberts ones, one of which I ought for me, the other for Phyllis. Waitrose stocked them at the time. I'll see if I can find links to them.

Ah, your Roberts experience differs from ours, you lucky person.  My advice is "utter shite, steer clear", based on the one we had.  Poor reception, eats batteries, and the mains unit destroys rechargeables, and the knobs went sticky after 3 years.  Its just died utterly, after about 5 years.   I do have a Roberts FM radio, which is much better, as long as you can change batteries in less than 30 seconds (difficult as its got lugs to stop you doing that) or it loses all its memory, but as there's bugger all FM signal where we live now, its a paperweight.
Wombat

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 09:19:46 pm »
We have had quality issues with two separate Roberts DAB sets in the past few years.  I'll just not buy one of theirs now.  I had a lovely old analogue Roberts set for donkeys years.   My ex wife "kept" it when we separated over 20 years ago.  It still provides excellent service apparently.  🤔

We currently have two "portable" sets in daily use.  The first is a John Lewis own brand with twin speakers*.  It stays plugged in and lives at the far end of the kitchen in the breakfast zone which has been repurposed as my baking zone at the moment.  The second is a Geneva.  It's a bit pricey but very well made.  It runs from an internal battery charged via a micro USB port on the rear.  It also has twin speakers*.

Both sets can also function as USB speakers for playing content from a phone for instance through them.  Both also have FM and a few presets and both have decent sound. The John Lewis will take batteries but we've never bothered.

I love the Geneva but the John Lewis is the much more practical ime.

* I understand that both are described as stereo but frankly the speakers are far too close together to be able to realistically tell.

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 09:29:38 pm »
Having tried many over the years (including several Roberts, Pure, etc), the best DAB battery one by far is the Sony XDR-S41D.

Small but the sound is fine - easy to tune and set presets - but mainly because the (4 x AA) batteries last far longer than the others.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-XDR-S41D-Portable-Wireless-Display/dp/B073VZVPRJ/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1TZRA0ODE82TI&dchild=1&keywords=sony+dab+radio+portable&qid=1613856318&sprefix=sony+dab%2Caps%2C176&sr=8-4

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2021, 11:18:27 pm »
We've had a rather pleasing retro-looking Roberts "Classic DAB" (the one in the oval case) in the kitchen for the last 10 years or so.  Very happy with it.

Lots of them on eBay for about £25 ...

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 12:29:48 am »
Have had a Pure Elan E3 for a few years.  In the kitchen; works very well.  Compact: Dimensions apparently 5.3 x 20 x 11.5 cm.   Battery or mains.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 07:53:31 am »
The John Lewis set that we have is a Spectrum Duo II and they are £70.  Ours is a pleasing shade of fuschia although that colour option is currently not available.  It takes batteries as well as mains

My Geneva Touring S+ costs £190 ish although I paid considerably less for mine 12 months ago.  It doesn't have anything to hang it by which is possibly a negative for your greenhouse requirement.  It runs entirely from it's internal rechargeable battery and does suffer trickle drain so requires a regular top up.

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2021, 08:03:46 am »
Having used DAB for a number of years, we are slowly moving over to internet radio as this is giving better reception where we live. Also if done with phone, standalone speakers are very good.

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 09:03:13 am »
Oh.  I forgot the 10 year old Bush cheapie that lives in one of the bedrooms.  It's also twin speakers and was very cheap from Chavgos and bought to use in a cold office where I was doing some work at the time.

Sounds a bit tinny and it's clearly mostly full of air but it still does a reliable job.  I wouldn't expect it to survive very long as a shed / workshop radio though. 

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 09:07:23 am »
I have two Roberts DAB radios which have provided faultless service for nearly 20 years. I also
have a Pure Evoke internet radio which is now useless, because the LCD screen no longer works
and I can't source a replacement for it.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 09:15:07 am »
Whatever you decide on, make sure it is DAB+, not just vanilla DAB - the plus is the direction of technological travel, and an increasing number of stations will only be available on DAB+

Having said that, I wouldn't go back to having a radio now I've experienced the convenience of smart speakers. YMMV
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 09:23:48 am »
Just to emphasise - the Sony outstanding feature is its battery life.  DAB's tend to eat through batteries at an alarming rate.  I use it off-grid so battery life is an important factor (even though I use rechargeables - only relevant if you have a power source to recharge them!).  The Sony lasts twice as long on batteries as any similar Roberts, Pure, etc I've tried.

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2021, 09:51:06 am »
Thanks all. The Sony looks to be the best bet. We have a couple of other Pure portables, both of which have irritating faults like random lock-ups demanding a battery out reboot. And £70 for a basic radio? Blimey they’ve got expensive.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2021, 11:19:30 am »
Whatever you decide on, make sure it is DAB+, not just vanilla DAB - the plus is the direction of technological travel, and an increasing number of stations will only be available on DAB+

Doesn't look like we've got to the stage yet where not being able to receive DAB+ would be a major blow:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_radio_stations_in_the_United_Kingdom#National_digital_(DAB+)_stations

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2021, 12:35:56 pm »
I think we’re well past the point where you can buy a new radio that doesn’t support DAB+. Although obviously it doesn't hurt to double check.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2021, 08:31:12 pm »
Our bedside radio is a Ruark R1, which is excellent. Only criticism is the controls are a tad fiddly (you use the same dial to adjust volume and select stations) but ours is the mk2, which has been superseded - they’re now on mk4, so maybe that issue has been resolved.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2021, 08:34:11 pm »
Having said that, I wouldn't go back to having a radio now I've experienced the convenience of smart speakers. YMMV

Only downside with smart speakers is they rely on a decent internet connection. You can still get DAB over the airwaves even when the bloody internet is down. Again. FFS.

On the flip side, DAB signal is very susceptible to poor weather conditions, in a way that FM and AM aren’t.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2021, 10:52:30 pm »
I think we’re well past the point where you can buy a new radio that doesn’t support DAB+. Although obviously it doesn't hurt to double check.

That's no doubt true.

But IMHO we have yet to reach the point where it's worth upgrading from a DAB-only radio that's still working, to DAB+.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: DAB “transistor” radio recommendations
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2021, 12:14:16 pm »
Thanks all. The Sony looks to be the best bet. We have a couple of other Pure portables, both of which have irritating faults like random lock-ups demanding a battery out reboot. And £70 for a basic radio? Blimey they’ve got expensive.

Thanks to this thread, Sony ordered and delivered here.  Its fine, and a nice neat design, and it seems to work!
Wombat

fd3

DAB radio for gardening
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2021, 01:57:58 pm »
Anyone recommend a reasonably priced radio for gardening.  Must be battery operated/rechargeable.  Ideal if it can also work as a Bluetooth radio, but this would just be an extra.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Re: DAB radio for gardening
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2021, 03:27:20 pm »
We did this recently. 

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=118472.0

I did buy the Sony for my wife, and she’s very happy with it. Runs for plenty long enough on a set of white Eneloops.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)