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Perstel Adapt DR-101 portable DAB/FM radio
True pocket portability comes to DAB digital radio

Just how easy is it to listen to DAB digital radio on the move? Robert Winter puts the new Perstel Adapt DR-101 DAB/FM radio to the test and finds that you really can have DAB digital radio in the palm of your hand.

When I unpacked the Perstel Adapt DR-101 receiver, I was surprised by its size, as it's only about the size of a small mobile phone. At this point I began to wonder what the sound quality would be like from such a small unit.


DAB digital radio logo
                           

The Adapt DR-101 comes with quite a few extras. A leather case is supplied with the pocket radio, so you can clip it to your belt. There's also a power adaptor, which enables you to plug it into mains power should the batteries run down, and some earphones to allow you to start listening. I am personally not keen on those earphones which fit into the ear, so I used my own open-backed headphones instead. The two supplied AA batteries should give you around six hours' continuous use, according to the manufacturer.

Performance

So, how did the radio measure up? I was absolutely amazed by its performance. The unit picked up the two national multiplexes and my local multiplex with no trouble at all. When moving around inside the house, the radio seemed to cling on to the signal and, playing the unit at full volume, there was very little distortion from stations such as Planet Rock and Core; the unit's little amplifier coping well with the extra work.
Perstel Adapt DR-101 portable pocket FM/DAB digital radio
Perstel Adapt DR-101 portable pocket FM/DAB digital radio, available for around GBP169 Pounds

As for its portability, it has been nice to be able to listen to the cricket in bed rather than having to get up and go downstairs to the hi-fi!

Operation

Operating the radio is very easy. The front of the unit has a display screen at the top with a row of three buttons below it. The buttons either side of the middle button takes you through all of the available stations on the multiplex and the multiplex can be changed by pressing the middle button followed by one to either side.

I am a blind person so cannot comment on the text display aspects of this radio.

An on/off sliding switch is positioned on the top of the radio, together with a headphone socket. The telescopic aerial allows better reception on the FM mode and there's also a socket on the side for the mains adaptor. Pushbuttons for the volume and an FM/DAB mode switch sit on the right-hand side of the unit. In FM mode, the radio will allow you to scan up and down the waveband - locking on to the next clearest signal - or tune the radio in manually.

Verdict

All in all, I had very little difficulty in learning how to operate this unit. The only negative comment I have is that when the radio is in its leather case, it is not too easy to get to the buttons.

Price

Some might think GBP169.00 Pounds is a lot to pay for a pocket digital radio, but the portability of this radio is its biggest selling point and I for one believe this is money well spent.

Related links:
Guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
Guide to DAB digital radio products, on this website.
Perstel website, with full details of the DR-101 including specification and more information on the DR-201 with built-in mp3 player

Suppliers:
Maplins Electronics website, which is selling the radio for GBP169.00 Pounds

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