A DAB/DAB+ Radio 

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If, like me, you paid a visit to the Gadget Show held recently at the London Excel Exhibition Centre then you probably noticed the AVES stand with its collection of DAB/DAB+ radios and iPod docking units. You may even have gone on to the stand to check out the various products and, perhaps, wondered about the company’s name.

aves neon dab dab plus digital radio
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While the name of AVES might bring forth images of birds as this is the scientific name of the animal category that communicates by visual and audible signals, I am reliable informed that the name AVES is an acronym of the company’s four core values.  Thus the joining together of Audio, Vibrant & Vitality, Enjoyment & Entertainment with Social & Sensory produces the British brand name of AVES.

As mentioned earlier, AVES was displaying a number of DAB/DAB+ radios (to avoid confusion DAB+ support means the radio can be used in other countries such as Australia, Denmark, Holland and Italy to mention just some).  My attention was caught by the Neon DAB/DAB+ radio.  This is a box-shaped unit with dimension of 200 x 134 x 99mm (W x H x D) and a weight of around 480g.

Now I am not sure whether I am getting more tolerant in my old age or maybe companies are developing more effective ways of dissuading their lacquered black coatings on products from picking up finger smears.  Whatever the reason, the AVES Neon unit defeated my efforts to deface its outer coating with my fingers.  Reluctantly I put away the clothing cloth I had ready to remove unsightly smears.

The front of the Neon features a 55 x 22mm LCD screen with a resolution of 126 x 64 that is positioned on top of a control panel.  Heading this panel is a row of buttons labelled On/Off, DAB/FM, Info and Sleep.  The rest of the panel is made up of Alarm, Snooze, Volume up and down arranged around Scan, Preset, Set plus the ability to cycle backwards and forwards through the stations.  The combination of screen and control panel takes up one third of the front of the radio.  Cover the rest of the radio’s front is the speaker grill.

An extendible telescopic aerial is attached to the rear of the rear.  Also located at the rear are sockets for the supplied mains power connection plus 3.5mm socket for a headset and a mini USB slot.  The mini USB connection is solely for use when a firmware upgrade of the unit is required.  There is also a circular hole which I found extremely useful when I needed to grip the Neon to move it to another location.

When you first add power to the Neon you will be greeted by a Welcome message on the display and an automatic scan of available DAB radio stations will be carried out.  A total of 65 DAB radio stations were identified from my South London location.  You can then switch to the FM band and manually work through the stations or press the Scan button for the next station to be tuned in automatically.

The Neon allows you to assign your favourite stations to presets.  You can save up to ten presets for both DAB and FM stations.  Once assigned you can scroll through your particular favourites and select the one you want.

Built into the Neon is the basic capability to set an alarm.  Along with the time, the alarm can be set to occur once, daily, weekdays, or just weekends.  Your wake-up call can be delivered by a chosen DAB or FM station or a beep.  Obviously the person who designed the alarm would appear to suffer from the “turn-over and have another five minutes rest” as this alarm will continue to perform for an hour unless it is turned off manually.  Even selecting the Snooze button only gives you nine minutes of respite before it starts up again.

When the Neon is turned off, its screen will display the current date and time.  With the radio switched on, the screen can display a variety of information which will depend upon whether you are tuned to a DAB or FM station.  Pressing the Info button allows you to cycle through information such as scrolling text, frequency, programme type and signal strength.  

The AVES Neon has stuck to the basic radio facilities with this particular model.  The DAB radio supports Band III ranging from 174.928MHz to 239.200MHz with the FM radio covering 87.5 – 108MHz range.  AVES has priced this particular model at £49.99.

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OverallAVES Digital Neon rated 60 out of 100

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