Magicbox Parabola 

It is difficult not to make comparisons having recently reviewed the excelled Magicbox Tower that was only a smidgeon short of the rarely awarded 5x5 award. Here is a different beast, the Magicbox Parabola, a DAB/FM radio with alarm and sleep timer.

Magicbox Parabola Kitchen dab fm digital radio
click image to enlarge

This radio measures 29x8x15cm shaped like a half circle with the unit ending 4.5cm before the top making a very nice carry handle. You need to add another 2cm to the 8cm width when using the unit on mains for the mains lead to stick out.

Apart from the D/C lead the back also has a 3.5mm socket for earbuds or headphones and an on/off slider switch.

There is a 75cm eight piece rod aerial that is near the top of the back. A slightly curved line of nine chromed rod buttons are on top of the case just below the handle and a 6.5x1.8cm two line display window on the front of the case.

My unit was shiny black with black cloth covering the front mounted speakers and a silver grey semi circular handle for the top.

If you are going to run this on mains power the 1.4metre lead is really not long enough to sit by a bed unless the 13amp socket is very close. In my tests even out of the bedroom I needed an extension lead for most situations.

The display shows the current time on the button line when in standby mode, white on grey. The display can show up to 16 characters a line.

On first switch on it will AutoScan so ensure the rod aerial is fully raised before you switch on. It found 60 stations in 20 seconds, a very quick scan. If you need to do this again then you will need to study the manual to find out as the nine buttons all well marked give no real information. Note that there is a difference between push and hold.

There are two alarms possible and you can set, Daily, Weekday, Weekend, Once and more unusually Weekly or a Date. You can wake to either a Buzz or the last station that you listened to. You can get another five minutes by pressing any button before the alarm goes off again.

Setting a Sleep Timer is also possible for 15, 30, 45, 60 75 or 90minutes.

I think that the connection between the rod aerial and the radio was somewhat faulty as on occasions reception was far worse than I am used to in the same places. It was not just poor it was fine or terrible no in between.

After the recently reviewed excelled Magicbox Tower that had no reception problems wherever I placed it I think it has to be a faulty unit.

Should you run it on batteries (four ‘C’ Cells) then the lack of length to mains lead will not matter but if you want battery surely it should be rechargeable ones with the recharge unit inside.

Sound quality was ok (with good reception) but of course sometimes it was rubbish and this could occur without any apparent movement of the unit.

A pity really as the Tower was a joy to review this was certainly not as perfect reception sometimes and naff sometimes is rather annoying.

Doing my Internet searches found the MagicBox Parabola at £46.

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Comment by mel collier, 8 Jul 2011 11:36

Not one of DAB radio reviews addressed Sound Quality. Lacking this extremely important ingredient renders the "Reviews" totally useless. Try reading What Hifi where sound quality is a major consideration. It is impossible to consider a purchase based on the scant and poor information supplied in your "Reviews."

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OverallMagicbox Parabola rated 64 out of 100

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