Looking for a great cheap radio? We’ve reviewed a cornucopia of Sandstrom models which had a real mix of scores – there were some impressive successes and some disastrous failures. Read on to discover Great Value radios that almost perform as well as some Best Buys and avoid making an expensive mistake with a Don’t Buy.
Big-brand radios from Roberts, Pure and VQ often come at a premium, so is there a cheaper way to get a radio that’s just as good? Sandstrom is a Currys PC World own-brand that aims to do just that – make cut-price radios that rival the top-brand competition. But how do you know which are good, and which to avoid?
We’ve done the work so you don’t have to, testing a wide range of Sandstrom radios, from compact portable ones to internet radios, tabletop radios and ones with a convenient carry handle. All cost a fraction of the price of their top-brand rivals. And we’ve found some real bargains – find out which they are by clicking through to our reviews below.
Best Buy radios – head straight to our top-scoring radios from Roberts, Pure and more.
Sandstrom SL-DBTG18, £50
This portable DAB+/FM tabletop stereo radio has Bluetooth so you can play audio from your smartphone through the radio’s speakers. It has a soft, leather-looking handle so you can carry it around your home easily, and it can be powered by four AA batteries or run off the mains.
It has all the features you’d expect, including two direct-access preset buttons for quick access to your favourite radio stations, and you can save 20 in the full presets list. There’s also a 3.5mm socket for a wired connection to your devices, a headphone socket and dual independent alarms so you can use it in the bedroom.
But is the sound quality up to scratch? Find out in our Sandstrom SL-DBTG18 review.
Sandstrom SFPDAB17, £25
This compact portable DAB+/FM radio is an ideal space-saving size and has a sleek grey-black Scandinavian-style design. It has a built-in battery that Sandstrom claims lasts for six hours, and has an aux-in socket so you can connect it to your MP3 player via a wire.
A potentially helpful feature, particularly for anyone hard of hearing, is its compression setting, which boosts the volume of quieter sound relative to the rest, making it easier to listen to the radio over background noise without having to turn up the volume too much. There are also equaliser settings so you can adjust the treble and bass to your taste.
This radio is currently available for an impressively low price. Is it the bargain you’ve been waiting for? We reveal all in our expert Sandstrom SFPDAB17 review.
Sandstrom SPLDAB17, £30
This handy little portable DAB/FM radio looks much more expensive than it is, with a strong and rugged-looking build quality. It has an LCD display and you can store 20 presets of your favourite radio stations. It’s got lots more functionality as well, with a sleep function so you can listen as you drift off to sleep, and a 3.5mm aux-in and headphone socket for when you want to do some private listening.
You can also adjust the sound to your taste with a range of tone presets to optimise it for speech, classical, jazz, pop and rock music, plus adjust the levels of treble and bass.
Sandstrom radios rarely stay around for longer than a year, and this one launched in summer 2017. Could this be the ideal time to pick up a handy stylish-looking radio for a bargain price? Find out whether this could be a dream come true in our Sandstrom SPLDAB17 review.
Sandstrom S-DBTW18, £45
This Sandstrom DAB+/FM stereo alarm clock radio shares more than a passing resemblance to the VQ Rosie-Lee that costs more than double its price, yet has a similar feature set.
It has Bluetooth so you can play audio from your smartphone through the radio, and all the functions you’d expect for using it in the bedroom, including dual independent alarms with comprehensive sleep and snooze functions, and even a handy USB socket for convenient charging of your devices.
You can store a generous 30 presets of your favourite radio stations as well, with no less than five preset buttons for quick access to your top choices.
Could this be an excellent alarm clock at a remarkable price? We put it through its paces to find out whether the sound matches the promise in our comprehensive Sandstrom S-DBTW18 review.
Sandstrom SL-IBTC18, £110
Looking like the expensive VQ Susie-Q internet radio that costs almost three times the price, there aren’t many DAB+/FM/internet radios we’ve reviewed that cost less than the Sandstrom SL-IBTC18 stereo radio, and none that are of a similar size.
It’s not short on features either, with an impressive 30 presets to store your favourite radio stations for easy access, Bluetooth to play audio off your smartphone, 3.5mm aux-in and headphone sockets and a handy ethernet port for a stable internet connection to avoid annoying wi-fi dropouts.
It has a large colour screen and a useful USB socket to charge your devices. It can even be used as an alarm clock radio as well, including dual independent alarms with extensive sleep and snooze functions.
Could this be the affordable internet radio you’re looking for, and how does the sound quality stack up? We give it a full workout in our definitive Sandstrom SL-IBTC18 review.
Even more radios tested
It’s been a busy few months at our radios test lab. We’ve also reviewed the Panasonic RF-D100BTEBT, which looks like part of a traditional hi-fi setup, the compact portable Roberts Blutune T2 with a handy carry handle, and the high-end portable Pure Avalon N5 radio as well.
Plus, popular portable speaker brand JBL has got in on the radios scene with the JBL Tuner – a portable radio designed like one of its portable wireless speakers, with a rugged premium-looking build quality. See if one of these radios is the ideal one for you through the links below: