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DAB digital radio and wi-fi internet radio Buyer's Guide for 2017


Which portable DAB digital radio do we recommend?

1. Sony XDR-P1DPP - guide price £ 60-70

If you want a reliable and very compact radio, we'd go for the Sony XDR-P1DBP DAB & DAB+ radio with FM tuning - a popular choice with a built-in lithium battery and a bigger sound than you'd think from such a compact unit. You can take this radio out and about to hear a handful of national DAB+ services and regular DAB stations. This is a future-proofed radio, with DAB+ capability out-of-the-box. It also receives all current DAB radio stations, such as those broadcast by the BBC. Oh - and there's a useful headphone socket on the side, giving stereo sound, so you can plug it into a bigger powered speaker when you're home.
Sony XDR-P1DBP viewed at an angle
Sony XDR-P1DBP DAB, DAB+ and FM portable battery/mains operated radio

2. Pure Elan E3 - guide price £ 60

For something a little larger, check out the Pure Elan E3 DAB, DAB+ and FM radio with colour screen at around £60.
Pure Elan E3 DAB digital radio available in red blue and grey colours

3. Sony SDR-S40DBP - guide price £ 40-45

If you want a neat and compact mains/battery-powered radio from a recognised brand, also check our review of the Sony SDR-S40DBP DAB, DAB+ and FM radio at around £40-45. Sony XDR S40dpb DAB portable digital radio
Sony SDR-S40DBP review - futureproof DAB/DAB+/FM portable, battery or mains radio at under £50

4. MoreAudio Desire - guide price £ 40-45

Fancy a punt at a brand name you've probably never heard of before? Try the MoreAudio Desire DAB radio, with DAB, DAB+ and FM tuners - and a built-in rechargeable battery to keep you happy.
Moreaudio Desire DAB digital radio
MoreAudio Desire is a DAB radio available in three different colours

5. Sony XDR-S60 - guide price £ 80-90

If your budget will stretch to something a little more expensive, we'd also take a look at the Sony XDR-S60 DAB & DAB+ radio with FM tuning. This receiver offers a stunning, rich and balanced sound (with a bass port on the rear) with simple controls - including five preset memories for storing your favourite stations on five separate keys. It's also easy to scroll through and select other DAB and DAB+ stations in the large, readable display. This is our current favourite, and includes a headphone socket for listening to stations broadcasting in stereo.
Sony XDR-S60 DAB
Highly recommended Sony XDR-S60 DAB, DAB+ and FM receiver

6. Roberts Radio Play - guide price £ 50-55

Functional and simple to use, the Roberts Play has a selection of colourful bumpers (one supplied, the rest available separately) to jazz up the original design, but it's the DAB, DAB+ and FM compatibility that is the draw here, along with a built-in rechargeable battery, which means you won't have to shell out again for alkaline batteries.
Roberts Radio Play

Roberts Radio Play with built-in rechargeable battery and colourful bumpers

7. Pure Evoke H2 - guide price £ 100

If you want a smart kitchen or living room radio, the Pure Evoke H2 is a great-looking receiver wrapped in either an oak or walnut finish. Pure radios are fantastic at picking up a signal even in poor reception areas, and recent models all come with a 'digital tick' and three year warranty, meaning they are equipped to pick up both standard DAB and the more efficient DAB+ stereo broadcasts, and if they break - you'll get a replacement.
Pure Evoke H2 DAB digital radio with FM
Pure Evoke H2 with DAB, DAB+ and FM - keeping it simple

8. Ruark R1 Mark 3 - guide price £ 220

For background information and a review of the Ruark R1 Mark 3 range, check out the link.
Ruark R1 MK III in soft black
Ruark R1 Mark III in a soft black finish


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If you want reliability and performance in weaker signal areas, we recommend Pure and Roberts DAB digital radios. Listeners do have a small complaint in that the AC adaptor (which plugs into the mains and has a low-voltage lead that plugs into the back of the radio) can be a bit chunky on these radios, but in reality it means that the power supply is isolated from the unit itself, thus reducing any problems with mains hum.

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Which DAB portable CD player do we recommend?

Roberts Zoombox 3 - guide price £ 100

The Roberts Zoombox 3 is about the only truly portable DAB radio featuring CD player. Taking 6 "C" cells, the Zoombox offers CD player and DAB/FM tuner in a portable radio. Now in its third generation, it receives DAB, DAB+ and FM stations and is available to buy now. Roberts Radio ZoomBox DAB/FM CD portable stereo
Roberts Radio ZoomBox DAB/FM CD portable stereo


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Which DAB and internet radio with iOS lightning dock do we recommend?

Revo AXiS X3 - guide price £ 130

If you want a modern-looking receiver with a lightning dock for iOS, receiving both DAB and wi-fi internet radio then Revo AXiS X3 is a popular choice. Revo AXiS X3
Revo AXiS X3 combined DAB/DAB+/wi-fi internet tabletop radio with iPod/iPhone dock


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Which DAB tabletop audio system do we recommend?

1. Roberts Blutune range - guide price from £ 90

Roberts' DAB-enabled kit lets you stream audio from your smartphone via Bluetooth. The logically-named Blutune range pick up digital terrestrial stations such as BBC Radio 6 Music and 4 Extra, with your smartphone handling the internet radio side of things; apps such as UK Radioplayer and TuneIn giving you thousands of additional stations from around the world.
Roberts Blutune
The Roberts Blutune range includes speaker systems and receivers incorporating CD players.

2. Revo range - guide price from £ 200

You can also consider the Revo SuperSignal, SuperConnect and high-end Revo SuperSystem.
Revo SuperSystem
Revo SuperSystem high-end audio system
Revo SuperConnect radio
Revo SuperSignal audio system

3. Ruark R2 Mark 3 and R4 Mark 3 range - guide price from £ 420

Check out our review of the Ruark R2 Mark 3 and review of the Ruark R4 Mark 3 if you want to be blown away by high-quality audio from all-in-one systems from Ruark Audio.
Ruark R4 Mark 3 integrated music system
The Ruark R4 Mark III is an integrated music system with built-in slot loading CD player.

4. Pure Evoke C range - guide price from £ 200

Also consider the Pure Evoke C-series DAB+ and connected radio range if you're looking for all-in-one systems with CD player.
Pure Evoke C range DAB, DAB+ and FM radios; connected radios
The Evoke C range features models with built-in slot loading CD player.


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Which combined DAB and wi-fi internet radio do we recommend?

You can read lots of useful information about internet radio models to buy, if you're planning on streaming BBC programmes on-demand (listen again). Choosing the right internet radio will give you access to the BBC's vast archive of podcasts and music shows, where you get to hear the entire show, without music being truncated or edited out due to it being streamed as an MP3 file. Many recent internet streamers can handle the BBC's new AAC streams, but you'll need to choose carefully from the selection we've identified.

1. Roberts Stream 93i - guide price £ 150

It's a tough decision, but since a firmware update in June 2016, we'd recommend the award-winning Roberts Stream 93i DAB+ receiver with internet radio streaming and full access to the BBC's listen again (on-demand) catalogue. This receiver has advantages over the Pure One Flow in that, no only can it stream all of the BBC's radio stations in high quality audio, but also that it can now access the Beeb's on-demand 'listen again' content AND let you pause, rewind and fast-forward/skip through programmes and shows. So, if you lose your internet connection halfway through a programme, or go to take a telephone call, you can either pause the stream or delve back in and fast forward from the beginning to return to the part of the show you missed.

The Revival iStream 2 also has this skip and rewind functionality, which makes listening to long-duration shows so much easier, as you don't have to start from the beginning if your internet connection should drop.
Two models from Roberts get firmware upgrade
As of June 2016, the Roberts Stream 93i and iStream 2 can access BBC radio stations in high quality audio - plus you can skip and rewind through on-demand shows to find the bit you missed. DAB and DAB+ tuners are, of course, included.

2. Pure One Flow - guide price £ 120

However, the award-winning Pure One Flow with its connection to the Pure Connect portal for internet radio favouries and no-nonsense design also offers access to the BBC's high-quality streams and all listen again & podcast content, since changes made in February 2015. We also recommend the Pure Evoke F4, which is a little more expensive, but just as popular. Again, both these and the Pure Sensia 200D Connect can handle the BBC's HLS streaming for on-demand/catch-up and live radio, giving you access to the BBC's 30-day listen again service within the UK.
Pure One Flow receiving Linn Jazz station
Pure One Flow does a great job of stations with high quality streams, such as Linn Jazz and BBC Radio 3

3. Ruark R2 Mark 3 - guide price £ 420

Again, check out the Ruark R2 Mark 3, if you want a great-sounding one-box system capable of streaming all of the BBC's radio stations in high quality audio - as well as access to the BBC's listen again catalogue.
Ruark R2 Mark 3 connected streaming music audio system

4. Zettaly Avy - guide price £ 110

For an internet tablet with speakers - and apps to stream live radio and on-demand content - check out the Zettaly Avy Internet Tablet.
Zettaly Avy photo
The Zettaly Avy internet tablet streams internet radio stations, but there isn't a dedicated DAB or DAB+ tuner, so you'll get stations solely via your internet connection

5. Pure Evoke H6 - guide price £ 200

Pure Evoke H6 twin speaker stereo tabletop DAB receiver
Internet radio stations through stereo speakers, with the Pure Evoke H6 - and with DAB, DAB+ and FM tuners, too

5. Pure Evoke F3 - guide price £ 145

Pure Evoke F3 internet radio
Pure Evoke F3 with DAB, DAB+, FM and internet radio capability - note however the F3 does not stream the BBC's entire listen again catalogue, only podcasts

For more options to stream radio over the internet and around the house, check out our quick guide to alternative ways to get live radio and on-demand (catch-up) content.
Some different ways to get cheap multi-room streaming and broadcast radio and audio or music
Other inexpensive ways to stream radio, podcasts and on-demand (listen again and catchup) programmes in the home



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Which handheld or palmtop DAB digital radio should I buy?

The best handhelds are manufactured by Pure or Roberts (if you want to check out some cheap DAB personal radios, we've more information in this article), so we'd go for either the DAB, DAB+ and FM-enabled Pure Move 2520, based on the award-winning Pure Move 2500 DAB/DAB+/FM handheld (and featuring the same firmware; it also has a three-year warranty) or the Roberts SportsDAB 6 handheld DAB/DAB+/FM radio; with both telescopic and headphone aerials the SportsDAB 6 is good for seeking out a DAB signal.
Roberts SportsDAB 6 personal pocket DAB radio
Roberts SportsDAB 6 with DAB, DAB+ and FM, plus a telescopic aerial
Pure Move 2520 front view
Pure Move 2520 with DAB, DAB+ and FM reception