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Thursday, 11th September 2003
Intempo DAB digital radio review

There have been more than a handful of DAB digital radios to hit the shelves in the past few months. On the heels of the Roberts RD series, Intempo digital have introduced their own DAB portable in the form of the PG-01. Peter Mulryan, TV producer and author of "Radio Radio - The story of the Irish pirates", has been putting it through its paces and weighs up the pros and cons of the new radio.

DAB digital radio logo
Intempo image
Intempo side view

New to the market the Intempo PG-01 is a classy looking affair, well constructed and considerably lighter than it looks. In common with all DAB digital radios it is also a lot smaller in real life than its photo would suggest: for reference it's bigger than the Evoke 1 and a wee bit smaller than the Evoke 2.

So what do you get for your money? Well, quite a lot really. This is a stereo DAB Band III and FM radio with a nice clear blue display, a simple operating system, nice wood veneer, pretty decent speakers and a good build quality.

Let me get the bad stuff out of the way first. These first are petty quibbles, but annoying ones nonetheless:

  • The radio comes with a plug that doubles as a power adaptor, so it's huge and ugly.

  • When you first turn it on the PG-01 it will auto-tune, which is a useful feature. But you end up with only a handful of the stations you were expecting... so the heart drops at this point. Then you read the manual and find the radio can do a 'full tune' rather than the auto 'quick tune' - and there the hundreds of new stations are. This begs the question: Why didn't the radio just auto 'full tune' in the first place?

  • The manual boasts a number you can ring for a replacement aerial! Do they know something they are not telling us? The aerial seems solid enough but my two and half year old will soon test it properly.

  • The PG-01 doesn't run on batteries (so you need to be close to a power socket at all times)

  • The round silver volume button has 'this will chip in a year' written all over it.

Intempo PG 01
The Intempo PG-01 DAB digital radio - needs a wall socket

Let's have a look at some of the more serious points about this radio:

With the Evoke 1 you 'tune' or rather scroll through the myriad of station effortlessly with a small dial. Instead, with the PG-01 you move up or down the station list with buttons. It is slow and cumbersome, especially when you get to FM where it takes ages to get across the spectrum.

This leads to my huge problem with the PG-01 which is the lack of pre-tune buttons - you get just the four (they also double up as FM preset buttons). Now, given the range of dab stations out there, four buttons seems positively miserly, especially when it is so cumbersome to manually access the stations. The Evoke definitely has the edge here with its dial.

All is not lost, though, because there are several advantages over other radios currently on the market:
The Intempo PG-01 is in now in the same price league as the Evoke 1. Overall the Intempo is a better radio; it's stereo and it can pick up FM, too. If you don't mind slowly selecting up the band of DAB stations, then the PG-01 is a better buy. It is also a great deal cheaper than the Evoke 2.

  • The radio comes with a clock which sets itself via DAB stations, so is second accurate; there is also an alarm and sleep function.

  • The sound quality is excellent, even on FM. The quality is actually better than the Roberts FM radio the Intempo is replacing. In addition, the DAB reception is needle sharp and - even at high volume - the amount of distortion from the speakers is minimal.

    Peter Mulryan
    Intempo PG 01 DAB digital radio
    Intempo PG-01 DAB digital radio

    Related links:
    Buy the Intempo PG-01 online, via this website.
    where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
    other portable digital radios, available to buy now, via this website.
    digital radio tuners, on this website.
    pocket DAB tuners, on this website. promo banner

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