Alba Entry Level DAB Radio 

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Yes this is cheap ‘money wise’, however it is well constructed and gives a good clear crisp sound, for those entering the DAB market this could be a good starting point.

It looks like a normal radio with a telescopic rod aerial and a nice carrying handle, it could be used on batteries (6 'C' cells) or more likely on mains. It is 23x16x7cm and weights 1.35 kilos without batteries so it is not flimsy.


The first difference anyone new to DAB will notice is that there are no dials or knobs only a total of 16 buttons and a 6x1.5cm display. All these are on the right front of the unit with the left front being taken by the speaker.


The right side has a headset outlet and the rear has an Line Out outlet meaning that stereo can be enjoyed. The mains lead is also inserted in the rear while the telescopic rod aerial lies flat - when collapsed - in a small recess in the top. It expands to seven pieces (56cm) that I found gave me excellent reception but I do live in a good DAB reception area. You can check your likely DAB reception by entering your postcode at


This unit also has FM for those times when what you want is only on FM, a lot of radio stations now split on occasions and broadcast different things on FM to digital.


On first switch on it performs a DAB station scan and then starts playing with the first station, DAB stations are normally changed sequentially and this can take a while with forty or so to go through so there are ten presets available from either one or two button presses and this should be plenty to store your favourite stations.


One button press allows you to swap to FM and you can store up to ten presets for that service as well. There is a 24 page manual that should adequately describe everything for the novice user, while the more advanced used may check it only to find what they require from within the nested menu structure.


This unit may cost less than £50 but the sound quality is good, it is easy to tune and I see from the manual it is called a 'travel' radio. It would certainly be fine for that but I always worry about the cost of batteries when not being used on mains.


It would be nice if someone brought out a model that runs on rechargeable batteries that could be automatically recharged the next time you connected to mains power. Now that would give you the best of both worlds. It would be nice if it was something like Ni-Cad as this would cut down the weight that 6x'C' cells would add.


A nice simple radio that even granny could use after a little explanation and certainly in the cream colour I was sent a unit that could be used anywhere.


The stated price of the Alba TRDAB2820 Travel DAB Radio is £49.99 and I found it at that at but a little cheaper at £47.18 link is below both prices inc p&p

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Comment by darrenbruce, Sep 16, 2006 7:40

Got my Alba at the Post Office now only 29.99! Early days but very happy so far So easy to use There was no manual in the box but worked it all out within 5 minutes. Hope some of the technical problems seen in other reviews(on other sites) are bad luck. My dad has the same set in his bathroom for over a year without breakdown.

Comment by oliver palmer, Aug 28, 2006 12:01

I bought mine at the Post Office for £39.99. One refinement - a snooze button ?

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