Sunday, May 12, 2013

A digital radio for every need

Pure moveBIG and bold or small and portable, Rod Chester finds a digital radio for any occasion.
> R-5
Teac, $199
Rating: 3.5/5
This is another digital radio option for people who want to take their music with them. At 1.2kg, it is not as portable as the Pure 400D but the buttons on the top are larger as is the clock display for those seeing this as a bedside alarm option. It only has a 1.5W speaker and the sound is closer to the tiny Pure than it is to the Bush, the other portable option in this review. It has FM and a line-in port, so you could connect your smartphone or tablet.
Geneva, $499
Rating: 4.5/5
The Geneva digital radio range is known for its modern, minimalist design and the Model S is no exception. It's a glossy coloured rectangular box with the speaker in the front and the digital display shining through the speaker grill. This is a DAB+ radio but it is also a few other things - it's a FM radio, an iPod dock with a 30-pin connector and has a line input if you want to connect another smartphone or tablet.
Bush, $129
Rating: 4/5
At a quick glance, this delightfully retro designed radio from Bush looks like just the thing your granny might have used to tune into Blue Hills. But the illusion of vintage is shattered when you notice the dual-line LCD on the top. The DAB+ has 10 preselect buttons but when you switch to FM, AM or LW bands you tune into the station using the oversized front dial. It has a line-out and stereo headphone ports, and will run off main power or 6 C batteries. The single 2-watt speaker limits the sound output but the style and options of different bands make this as functional as it is stylish.
Sony, $199
Rating: 4/5
The Sony iPod dock design has been maintained fairly consistently across several product generations, and certainly this looks very familiar with the clock low in the front and an iPod connector at the base of an angled speaker. This steps up from previous models with the addition of the iPhone 5 Lightning connector and the sound is surprisingly good with twin 3.5-watt speakers. It might be too big for some bedside tables yet the dual alarms pitches it firmly at that market, with a big-button brightness control making it easy to control the display.
> MOVE 400D
Pure, $179
Rating: 3.5/5
It might not be able to match the others in sound output, but there is plenty to like about this handy FM/digital radio from Pure. It's rechargeable (though a USB connector) and promises up to 60 hours of play on a charge. The design includes a handy fold-out stand to keep it upright, and it has an auxiliary input so you can use it to play music straight from your smartphone. The display lights up orange when you press the button, making it easier to read in the dark.