An Oxford Radio
When ever I encounter a product that has “Oxford” in its title, it does tend to engender visions of a by-gone age. I do not know why this happens but I tend to imagine images of a period when life was conducted at a more leisurely pace. This is especially true when the company responsible for the product has gone for a retro look to its design styling. A recent example of this approach is the Goodman Oxford classic radio which has arrived for review.
I should point out that the retro element of this radio refers to its general shape rather than other aspects of the device which is based on products that were popular in the 1960s. The Oxford radio has dimensions of 235 x 165 x 72mm (W x H x D). This box-shaped radio features a real leather tan carry handle which certainly adds to the retro look of this device. However on closer inspection, this radio offers a number of features that tend to be at odds with what was available at that point in time.
The Oxford radio offers listeners the choice of DAB+ or FM stations. While FM stations were being broadcast in the 1960s, DAB+ was a number of years ahead in the future. Plus I do not know of any radios available in the 1960s that featured an LCD screen which provides feedback regarding the current station. But back to the general appearance of this rather smart looking radio.
Decorating the front of the radio is a large metallic speaker grill while an expandable aerial is mounted on the rear of the unit. Two standard 3.5mm jack sockets are positioned on the left side of the radio. These are clearly labelled for AUX and headphone connections. The use of either connection will have the effect of blocking the main radio output and then restoring it once the headphones or other music source has been removed.
This Goodman radio comes with a choice of power options. You can either go with mains power, using the supplied lead, which attaches to a socket at the rear of the radio, or battery power. The radio requires six C size batteries which are NOT supplied. These batteries fit into a concealed compartment on the base of the radio.
Arranged along the top of the radio is a metallic silver control panel which I felt tended somewhat to spoil the retro effect. This panel features a centrally positioned LCD screen with backlight that I could find no way to alter the default timing setting. The LCD provides tuning and station information regarding the dual options of DAB+ and FM stations.
To the left of the screen are a couple of rotary wheels that provide on/off/volume control and manual tuning for station and menu options. Six protruding white push buttons are arranged to the right of the screen. These buttons are labelled to indicate their functions however, due to the polished nature of the underlying control panel, I found it not the easiest task to read these identifying labels. The top three buttons allow you to set up three preset stations for both the DAB+ and FM station options.
The lower three buttons are pre-defined for scanning tasks in either mode, switching between modes plus accessing the appropriate menu options, and selecting the current option. The available menu options change to reflect whichever mode you are currently using. With FM radio you can change scan and audio options plus check out the current software version. Switch to DAB+ mode and you have a choice of selecting the station order, opt for a manual tune, change the DRC (Dynamic Range Compression) setting, Prune invalid stations and check out the software version.
The Goodman Oxford classic radio comes in a choice of three colours. You have a choice of Moss (my review sample), Sky or Porcelain. If you are looking for a stylish radio, offering DAB+ and FM capability, with a choice of mains or battery power plus the capability to act as a speaker unit for your MP3 player or phone then this product could fit the bill. Goodman has priced this product at £59.99 but don’t forget you have to provide the batteries.
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