It’s been a truly standout month at the Which? digital radio and mini hi-fi test lab, with one radio really excelling across the board. But be careful – one of the models here is a Don’t Buy.
Radios come in all shapes and sizes, and not everyone is looking for a standard DAB radio – there are plenty of extra features available, including models with internet radio and a CD player built in.
In our latest tests we’ve looked at a feature-packed radio from British brand VQ, the Susie-Q, that’s not only an internet radio but comes with a whole suite of features besides.
For CD lovers, we’ve tested a new radio from Pure’s popular Siesta radios range, the Pure Siesta Home. And if you’re looking to play CDs and listen to the radio with larger hi-fi-quality sound, we’ve tested the sleekly designed wall-mountable Panasonic SC-HC302 mini hi-fi as well.
Best Buy radios – skip straight to our top recommendations.
VQ Susie-Q internet radio, £300
The VQ Susie-Q DAB+/FM/internet stereo radio aims to modernise radios, bringing in the latest ways to connect your other devices to it, including Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and tablet. It also has multi-room support, so you can use it as a wireless speaker as part of a home sound system.
It’s also one of the first radios we’ve seen with a full-colour OLED screen – normally found on high-end TVs. And, with various music streaming services and multiple wired connections supported as well as Bluetooth, you have plenty of ways to use the radio.
It features stereo speakers as well, all wrapped up in a stylish premium wood-and-flared-chrome finish.
Find out whether it has sound to match the feature set in our expert VQ Susie-Q review.
Pure Siesta Home CD-player radio, £200
The Pure Siesta Home is an ultra-compact DAB+/FM alarm clock radio with a built-in CD player and Bluetooth for wirelessly streaming audio from your smartphone and other devices. It has a handy remote control to control it from a distance, and a headphone socket plus two USB ports for charging your portable devices.
Aiming to be the ideal flexible choice for the bedroom, it has no fewer than four independent alarms with flexible snooze functions, a sleep timer for listening as you drift off, a kitchen timer and backlit buttons for greater visibility at night. It has a large clear screen similar to other models in the Pure Siesta radios range. A new feature called SoundSpace EQ also optimises your listening experience depending on the size of the room and the radio’s location within it.
See whether this is a superb convenient choice for those that enjoy listening to both CDs and the radio in our comprehensive Pure Siesta Home review.
Panasonic SC-HC302 mini hi-fi, £149
If you’re looking for radio and music with quality sound to fill a room like your living room instead, a mini hi-fi could be ideal. Panasonic is the most popular mini hi-fi brand, and the SC-HC302 has a sleek and convenient all-in-one design. It too has Bluetooth for connecting up your smartphone and other devices, plus a CD player, DAB+/FM radio, remote control and the added option of wall mounting freeing up space in your home. There’s aux-in to connect devices via a wire as well.
Music streaming services such as Spotify are supported via the Panasonic Music Streaming App (separate subscriptions may be required). There’s also a USB socket for playing back music files from a USB stick, which is handy for charging portable devices such as your smartphone, and a sleep timer for auto turn-off if you like to listen while falling asleep.
But does the sound quality match the convenience? Our panel of music industry professionals give their verdict in our definitive Panasonic SC-HC302 review.