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Sunday, 9th April 2006 (updated 29th April)
Visonia sets sights on the cheaper end of the DAB market with DAB mains/portable radio

Visonia, based in Germany, has introduced its first DAB digital radio to the UK. The Visonia DR-01 DAB radio sports a retro look, six presets and uses AA batteries for maximum portability and flexibility with existing battery chargers.

The Visonia DR-01 DAB digital radio also has a multitude of connectivity options, including line-level auxiliary input - handy for connecting up a tape deck, MP3 recorder or MiniDisc recorder, for example. Another socket allows connection of a speaker for stereo sound.

The radio runs on widely-available AA batteries, which offer a cheaper alternative to rechargeable "C"-size batteries. The Visonia DAB radio takes six cells. A telescopic aerial and Autotune feature make for simple tuning.

Ar GBP34.49, the Visonia DR-01 DAB radio is at the cheaper end of the digital radio market and is likely to appeal to existing FM listeners wishing to upgrade to DAB digital radio. Visonia DAB radio - DAB only mains/battery portable
Visonia DAB digital radio mains/battery portable

Visitor reviews
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Don writes about the Visonia DAB digital radio: " I have just bought the Visonia DAB digital radio for GBP37.00, postage included with the usual one year guarantee. It arrived the day after I ordered it. It is a marvel at this price! The Visonia feels solid - all available stations autotuned in seconds and with very good reception. The speaker is adequate and there is the possibility to add another for true stereo sound. It will also let you plug in a recorder to record programmes. Six presets is a bit mean and the radio is DAB-only (no FM). But, who cares at this level of reception? It beats Alba for price; Visonia turn out to be a German outfit. "

Baz writes about the Visonia DR01 DAB digital radio: " I purchased one of these radios from Maplin (item A33FU) a few days ago; I got the store to demonstrate the one they had on display and was very impressed. My DR-01 was also equally impressive at first, however the following day I was listening to the radio when I suddenly became aware that the volume wasn't as loud as it had been. The volume appeared to remain low regardless of the position of the volume control. I turned the radio off for about an hour and then tried it again and the volume returned to its previous level. This might be a problem that occurs with the unit once it has warmed up? I will monitor it closely and if I feel that there is a problem I will get the unit exchanged. I will send this site an update if this is the case. I'll be disappointed if there is a problem as the DR-01 is a great little unit for the money. One last thing the instruction manual is misleading and contradictory in relation to the (AUX) socket; basically this is to connect things like your mp3 player to, but the instructions say it is for an additional speaker: this is incorrect. If it turns out there is not a problem with the amplifier it will be a fantastic little unit for the money. "

Don updates us about his experiences of the Visonia DAB digital radio: " Further to my first comment I am still delighted with this DAB radio especially at the price. In Germany it is advertised at 60 Euros. I can confirm the the AUX socket is not an output feature, it is an input socket. I plugged in my small cassette player and out came some lovely Beethoven bagatelles from the radio. One problem! The store cannot supply an extension speaker to achieve a stereo output. I need advice as to what UK small speaker I can use with it? "

We would suggest using a speaker with a matching impedance (you may find this stated in the manual, though it's likely to be 8 ohms) and of a similar driver size and quality Tony (see below) says the ST-1 will work fine with the Visonia, as would an XT-1 speaker. A single PC speaker may also do the trick. Using a higher quality speaker may show up limitations in the radio's speaker. You could try to source another speaker and build an enclosure yourself, but this may not be worth it.

Jetta writes about the Visonia DR01 DAB digital radio: " I saw this little silver retro look radio and bought it for the kitchen. I knew that for the price, the bass end wasn't exactly going to move the slates on my roof, but on starting it up, I was really surprised at the quality of sound. Side by side - compared to my Dad's Pure Evoke-1 - the Visonia has more bass weight and sounds much less compressed. It's really quite powerful, doesn't distort and never sounds tiresome to listen to. (Some small and expensive portable DAB radios can sound screechy on the top end). At GBP34.99 from Maplin (item A33FU) I'd recommend it and give this one 9 out of 10 - it's great value. "

Tony writes some very useful, in-depth information about the Visonia DAB digital radio:
" I have just bought a Visonia DR-01 DAB only (no FM) portable radio, primarily for use in the kitchen. It is to replace a existing Goodmans GSR80DAB radio which was my first introduction to DAB. The Goodmans has (quite rightly) received poor reviews, as it is difficult to operate; DAB lacks treble and the FM sound lacks bass. I also own a Pure Pure Digital Tempus 1 DAB radioTempus-1 with an ST-1 speaker, in use in the bedroom.

" The box contains the radio, a 9v DC power adaptor and the owners manual in English. The manual is not that clear and contains a couple of mistakes and some missing punctuation. The Visonia can also be powered by 6 AA batteries, however the manual states that battery life will under one hour of continuous use.

" The manual shows that the telescopic aerial is a detachable F-type one, but it is in fact permanently attached, and not an F-type plug and socket. The serial number on the rear seems to contains a date, and if so, then the radio was manufactured one year ago in Apr 05, in China.

" The case is silver plastic, the two-line display is blue; other buttons located on the front panel are for the six presets and autotune, display and setup. Volume and tune controls are located on the top. A headphone socket is also on the front panel.

" Turning the tuning knob scrolls through the available stations and pushing it selects the station. Pushing the same knob again shows the signal strength.

" The Visonia was quick to boot up, and automatically selected all local stations within seconds. The sound quality for such a small cheap unit is very good - perhaps lacking a bit of bass. The case vibrates a bit with the sound, but then again so does my Tempus 1. Given that I like Planet Rock and The Arrow, perhaps it does not matter too much

" On the rear panel is the socket for the AC adaptor, stereo line out, stereo auxiliary in, an extra speaker socket, and subwoofer output. Connecting an MP3 player to the auxiliary input switches the display off, but a blue LED next to the headphone socket comes on. In the manual it incorrectly states on page 4 that the Aux is ' for connecting to the optional ST-1 speaker for the full stereo output '. This is almost word for word the same as in my Tempus manual! The aux socket is definitely an stereo input.

" A socket labelled rspk (right speaker) is for connecting to an optional, unpowered, speaker. I tried the Pure ST-1 speaker and it worked very well, giving a stereo image and improving the bass. (As an aside, I also think that plugging the ST-1 into the Tempus-1 improves the bass, and not just because there are now two speakers. Perhaps having both channels feeding into one (internal) speaker adversely affects the frequency response?)

" I cannot get any sound output from the subwoofer output. I tried the ST-1 and a set of powered computer speakers. Perhaps it requires a single (mono) plug in the socket? The manual is not very clear about this socket.

" I could not resist a look inside the radio. It is very well made inside, and has a 3 inch speaker very similar to the one inside the Pure ST-1. The name "Nichimen" is on the circuit boards, and this name is also mentioned once (that I can find) in the manual instead of Visonia.

" To sum up, if anyone is looking for a cheap radio to see what DAB is about, this could be a good start. Given the price I give it 4 out of 5 stars for value and sound quality. "

Thanks to Tony for providing a detailed look at the Visonia DAB radio.

Surjit writes about the Visonia DR01 DAB digital radio: " One of the best so far for reception and cost. "

To receive DAB digital radio stations in the UK, you need a DAB digital radio - a type of radio that can receive digital radio broadcasts. For more information, read our guide to DAB digital radio and discover more about radios available to buy.

General: Mono digital radio with full Band III reception capability, for reception of all UK DAB broadcasts in the UK.
Speaker: 3 inch co-axial speaker, 5w/4 ohm
Frequency range: Band III (174-240 MHz), with fast autotune feature
Tuner sensitivity: -96dBm
Input connectors: 9 DVC power adapter socket (240 V adapter supplied), Aux In
Output connectors: 3.5mm for stereo analogue audio output, headphone and stereo for auxiliary speaker, SUB out
Controls: Power on/off, Tune, autotune, Display, Setup, Volume, Six presets, blue light LED for AUX in
LCD display: High visibility backlit LCD display with 16*2 characters in blue color
Power supply: 240 V AC to 9V DC external power adapter
Battery slot: Ready for 6 x 1.5 V AA batteries
Dimensions: 210mm(width)*124mm(height)*109mm(depth)

DAB digital radio logo

Related links:
locate the Visonia DR-01 to buy now for GBP34.99 plus postage (search for item A33FU)
locate the Visonia radio for more information and images, on this site
cheaper DAB portables/receivers, on this site
DAB digital radio portables and receivers
cheaper DAB portables/receivers
Alarm clock DAB radios
Handheld/personal/pocket DAB radios
DAB digital radio systems - hifi and tuners
DAB digital radio FAQs
more DAB digital radio and tuner special offers and discounts
guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
find radio stations, on this website.
national BBC DAB radio stations, on this website.
national commercial radio stations, on this website.

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