Vita Audio R1 £160

9th Apr 2007 | 23:00

Vita Audio R1

It's expensive but oozes class

TechRadar rating:

5 stars

Apart from the high price, we can hardly find any fault with this superb DAB radio

Like:

<p>Easy to use</p><p>Well designed and build</p><p>Good sound quality</p>

Dislike:

<p>Expensive</p>

It is expensive, but seconds into our test it was obvious that the sumptuous-looking Vita Audio's R1 wasn't going to disappoint.

In that short time it's possible to switch the unit on, toggle between DAB and an iPod input and, best of all, be listening to crystal clear music. That's despite a mono speaker and a diminutive size.

Parallel lines

The design touch that most impresses is the unit's dial, or RotoDial as the brochure calls it, which constitutes a volume knob that doubles as the power on/off switch. Every other command surrounds that centre, including five presets and buttons for sleep and alarm timers, adjusting what information is shown with each DAB station (from artist name to signal strength), toggle arrows for searching the menu of available stations and lastly, one for choosing the source.

That latter function is not of concern to most DABs, but on the R1 it's crucial because the unit offers connectivity and performance beyond its remit.

Owners of iPods, MP3 players and even laptops take note: this radio can double as a quite brilliant occasional speaker system. The R1 package actually includes a white 3.5mm phone lead for attaching a iPod's headphone socket to the R1's line input. It's housed on the front opposite a headphone socket.

If that's a nice extra, check out the sound quality from said MP3 files. Anything except horribly complex material is given a rounded quality with more detail than you've any right to expect from such music.

Look around the back and there's the final proof that this is a serious piece of hi-fi kit; dedicated (and even gold-plated) left/right phono outputs for hooking up this radio to an amplifier and a single line out for an external speaker - something that, in our mind, might achieve something approaching DAB perfection, no less.

With functionality that's easier to use than any of its rivals and sound that stuns, the great-looking Vita Audio R1 raises the DAB bar.

Portable audioHi-Fi/audioiPod
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