The latest Which? digital radio tests highlight four new Best buy radios, but also two Don’t Buy radios that are so poor you’d be wise not to waste your money on them.
The latest 14 digital radios to leave the Which? test lab include radios from Pure and Roberts as well as models from brands less synonymous with radio like Dualit, which may be better known for its toasters and kitchen appliances.
Read the full, lab-based digital radio reviews
The most recent tests have turned up some great sounding radios that won’t cost a fortune, but also some big disappointments, proving that going digital doesn’t guarantee a good listening experience.
All of the models tested have DAB and FM tuners so listeners can enjoy the best of both worlds. The Roberts Stream 205, Revo AXiS and Pure One Flow also add internet radio to the mix, for access to even more radio stations.
If you’re after a new radio take a look at our free advice on how to buy a digital radio before you buy.
Radios with presets
One of the more interesting models on test is the Robert’s Duet 2, designed in conjunction with the British Wireless for the Blind Fund to be easy to use for those with sight problems.
The Roberts Duet 2 is a DAB/FM radio with five dedicated preset buttons and easily identifiable controls and dials to make tasks like finding your favourite stations and adjusting the treble, bass and volume simple.
Other models on test come with dedicated preset buttons that make it quick to tune in to your regular stations include the shiny Dualit DAB kitchen radio, the Roberts Ecologic 7 – that’s available for less than £100 – and the DAB/FM and wi-fi enabled Roberts Stream 205.
The Pure Twilight tabletop and bedside alarm clock radio is another model that featured in the latest tests. Although it doesn’t have any dedicated preset buttons you can save presets in a menu. Its integrated lamp makes it a radio like no other – the lamp can be set along with the alarm tone to gradually brighten when the alarm goes off in the morning or gradually dim at night as you drift off to sleep.
Get a closer look at this radio with our First Look Pure Twilight video review from the launch last autumn.
Best Buy and Don’t Buy radios
Of the 14 digital radios in the latest Which? tests, four impressed enough to achieve Best Buy status, but two proved disappointing. Speech was distorted and uncomfortable to listen to on the worst performing radio, which could prove an expensive mistake when the cheapest model on test cost around £30.
DAB radio provides access to more radio stations than FM – including BBC 6 Music – and the inclusion of a screen means you can view additional information about the show or tracks you’re listening to if such information is broadcast by the station.
DAB/FM radios are more expensive to buy than an equivalent FM-only radio, but it’s possible to purchase a Best Buy digital radio for less than £100.
Use the Which? compare features and prices tool to find the best digital radio to suit your budget.
How to follow the latest Which? Tech news
Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.
Prefer RSS? Don’t miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed.
For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.
Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared – find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up – we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 – find the best laptop deals