Pure Digital One

1st Nov 2006 | 00:00

The retro DAB radio that weighs in at just £50

TechRadar rating:

4.5 stars

For the price you won't find a better DAB radio


<p>Great value</p><p>Does its job well</p>


<p>Plain design</p>

Well, this DAB radio doesn't look like it's at the forefront of the digital revolution. Its frumpy design has more in common with AM/FM kitchen radios of yesteryear. It's so 1980s-looking that we're half expecting to see it sporting shoulder pads. But look at the price - at only £50, something inevitably has to give.

Connectivity may be basic; amounting to just a USB slot and headphone jack, but the One has lightness and portability on its side. The One has a 35-hour life on the road when you plonk batteries inside it. As well as some impressive features; Intellitext allows you to select the latest headlines in scrolling text format - handy for up- to-the-minute sporting info, for example. There's a clock radio and alarm built in too.

The One is also a cinch to use. The central dial is the main function controller, depending on which satellite button has been pushed first. With the satellite buttons you can access volume controls, channels, timer settings and flip between FM and DAB reception. There are 10 basic sound levels and volume is also the controller's default setting.

A predominantly dialogue- based DAB station like Radio Five Live sounds crisp and clear (albeit in mono, broadcast at a bit-rate of 80kb/s). Flipping to Radio 2, a charge through Motorhead's back catalogue left Lemmy's destructive bass guitar blitz tamed somewhat. Still, the soundstage is functional enough otherwise, bearing in mind its single speaker treatment of a higher bit rate 128kb/s stereo broadcast.

This DAB holds its own as an entry-level model. It's easy to use, sounds more than reasonable and costs peanuts. It just goes to show that there's a lot more going on behind that 1980s exterior.

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