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Goodmans DAB Kitchen Radio (GSR80DAB) 

This radio is both DAB and FM. It looks solid as indeed it needs to be if it is to be used in the kitchen and during a substantial part of my tests that is exactly where I used it.

I have been a fan of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) radio ever since the early days when the only receivers available were PCI cards, you needed a good aerial and this probably meant something in the loft. Now a normal telescopic rod aerial should be enough providing the area you live in has reasonable DAB reception. A quick check atwww.ukdigitalradio.com should tell you.

 

The unit is mains or battery powered, the latter are four 'D' cell batteries (not supplied) and the stated life is only around 20 hours of use. From mains the costs are minimal and providing you leave the mains plug in and switched on then the radios clock remains active. My one small niggle is that if you disconnect the radio then you need to Autotune again. A small internal battery to provide memory when no power would be nice.

 

First switch on for me was great, everything worked exactly as it should and the two line display showed the first DAB station and underneath the next available. Under the display are four rows of three clearly labelled silvered buttons with a larger silvered knob in the centre to turn volume up or down this 11cm square area has a grill surrounding it hiding the speakers. The left side has input for the mains lead while the back has output for external speakers and the battery bay. The top has a carrying handle and the telescopic aerial. While on size the unit is 27x8x17cm and it weights less than two kilos.

 

The main advantage of DAB for me is that the signal is normally unaffected by atmospheric conditions - good or nothing - and now the radio waves can carry extra information like how to contact that station and this can be shown on the display. Some people like DAB because a particular station does not broadcast on FM and the AM reception is very variable. The BBC has invested large amounts or our - the licence payers money - into DAB and stations such as Five Live Sports Extra are the fruits.

 

However early DAB radios were exactly that DAB only, now stand alone units are becoming mature they can also have FM bands increasing the range of stations that are receivable. This Goodmans offering has both DAB and FM bands.

 

Those of us used to manual tuning bands have to learn to choose presets and once stored your favourite station is a maximum of a few clicks away. By default the unit restarts with the station last heard.

 

I found 46 DAB stations and while a number were of no interest to me with their diet of pop music several have regular features to interest me. A number of the stations have gone into my favourites list. As stated Goodmans call this a kitchen radio and indeed it has cheered up my time in this area of the house. The stated price is a tad under £90 and while this may sound high for a radio many DAB only units cost as much or more, and here you also get FM.

 

Link http://www.goodmansdigital.co.uk/GSR80DAB.htm  

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Comment by jonw, Oct 6, 2007 23:04

This review was published back in 2004 - over 3 years ago. Although the first DAB broadcast was back in (I think) 1995, it's only recently started to get significant customer attention. In my view a product released over three years ago would fall into the 'early adopter' category. New technologies change, early version have problems, not least of which with power consumption.

DAB still takes a lot more power than an analogue radio. Whereas an analogue set will often be powered by a couple of AA cells, most DAB radios require 4-6 'C' or 'D' cells. 'Digital' implies more power to decode and translate the digital signal into an analogue signal. Extra stages - extra power.

Most DAB manufacturers will have replaced their product range from 4 years ago - and even those that sell the same product have probably significantly enhanced the internal technology.
Rating:

Comment by Dennis Leefarr, Oct 6, 2007 19:39

The GSM80B fails on sound quality,background hiss,battery life and complication when it comes to setting up the memories.Without the user hand book it is almost impossible. Goodmans would seem to have ceased production of this model for obvious reasons.

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