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Don't Buy radios

A Don't Buy digital radio will have poor sound quality, awkward controls and weak signal reception - these are models you should avoid.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

There’s no need to waste your money on a poor-performing digital radio. Which? regularly test the latest radios to not only bring you the best, but also show you the worst. We can help you save time and money on your hunt for the perfect digital radio – one that won’t continually lose signal, that’s easy to tune and to use, and most importantly, sounds fantastic.

Log-in or join Which? to unlock our full list of Don’t Buy products on this page.

What makes a Don’t Buy digital radio

Don’t Buy digital radios are often difficult to use, with minute fiddly buttons and complicated settings. They regularly lose signal and the terrible sound quality makes songs and speech unlistenable. We’ve seen digital radio alarm clocks with tiny snooze buttons, portable radios with batteries that barely last a few hours and radios that have screens so small and unreadable that it renders them completely pointless.

Humble digital radios can be surprisingly expensive, with high-end models costing as much as £300. You don't need to spend this much to get a Best Buy – we've found a few gems for less than £100 – but our expert tests have also identified Don't Buys that aren't worth it at any price. With our expert guidance you can avoid overpriced Don’t Buys, and spend your money with confidence knowing that the radio you’ve chosen is the perfect one for you.

Unique digital radio testing by Which?

Every year, Which? reviews the latest radios from Roberts, Pure, Sony, John Lewis, VQ and more. Our expert lab testing is based on over two decades of experience and we not only examine the audio quality of each individual radio, but also how easy it is to tune and use, and whether the aerial is good enough to ensure clear reception.

  • We test digital radios on nearly 200 unique criteria to ensure that we explore the full capabilities of every device.
  • Every radio is given a Which? test score out of 100, so you can immediately see at a glance which are the best and worst.
  • There is no bias and our tests cover a wide range of brands, prices and radio types, so you can be sure we’ll always recommend the right radio for you.

If we declare a radio to be a Don’t Buy, you can be sure it’s one to avoid. No matter how attractive its price tag may be or how much it’s discounted in a sale, it’s not worth the trouble and inevitable regret.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

Join Which? to find out which digital radios are Don’t Buys and which are Best Buys.