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Tests of two pricey radios uncover a Best Buy and Don’t Buy

These models both cost well over £100, but one of them is a colossal waste of cash

Tests of two pricey radios uncover a Best Buy and Don’t Buy

Two high-end radios from Pure and Geneva have garnered very different scores in our latest lab tests. One is a fantastically easy-to-use Best Buy, while the other is a Don’t Buy that struggles to hold DAB reception.

The Pure Siesta S6 and Geneva Touring S cost £130 and £170 respectively, but only one of them gets close to justifying its price. The other will leave you frustrated with its fiddly set-up, poor display and signal dropouts.

Best Buy radios – find out which models we recommend for crystal-clear sound and ease of use.

We tested both of these radios with our panel of industry experts, who assessed them on their core functions such as sound quality and usability. We look at every detail, from the build quality to whether you can dim the brightness of the screen at night.

Pure Siesta S6, £130

The clue is in this radio’s sleep-based name. The Siesta S6 is an alarm clock radio designed to be kept next to your bed. It’s much more expensive than most, but there are at least a couple of added features that you get for your money.

As well as the standard alarm and snooze functions it has Bluetooth functionality, which means you can stream music wirelessly from your smartphone, laptop or tablet. There’s also a USB port on the side that you can use to charge your smartphone.

The styling is pretty sleek for a bedside radio and, while it isn’t exactly the last word in design, it wouldn’t look out of place in any modern bedroom. But style counts for nothing in our testing: only the substance of sound quality, ease of use and features contribute to a radio’s test score.

To find out how it fared, and whether it’s a brilliant Best Buy or an expensive mistake, head straight to our Pure Siesta S6 review.

Geneva Touring S, £170

The name hardly screams ‘high-end radio’, but its price certainly does. At £170, this is one of the most expensive models we’ve tested recently and, unlike many others in this price bracket, it doesn’t even include internet radio functions.

It’s a compact portable model with a built-in battery that Geneva says will last 20 hours between charges. We know from our testing that manufacturer claims often don’t match up with reality, though, so it will be interesting to dial down into the facts in our lab.

As with the Siesta S6, you get a Bluetooth connection so it can double as a portable wireless speaker. However, for this price you could instead get yourself an excellent Best Buy radio and a Best Buy Bluetooth speaker to go with it.

Where the Touring S really does stand out from the crowd is with its looks. There’s no doubt that this is one of the best-looking radios to come through our test lab in recent years. Its aluminium design looks fantastically retro, and is slightly reminiscent of an old film camera.

Regardless, it’s the sound that we’re really interested in and radios this compact often struggle to produce pleasing bass tones. Find out whether this radio manages to buck the trend by reading our Geneva Touring S review.

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