This is a small unit which Roberts describe as portable and indeed it works in all modes via six AA batteries but even when used in DAB or FM mode time between charges is not great, when used in Internet or UPnP mode even less.
The main body is 21x11.5x4cm this does not include the six piece rod aerial that would add 64cm to the middle figure the height when fully deployed but this is not required for Wi-Fi and UPnP use. As a portable the weight is important it is 781grams with the six ‘AA’ batteries inserted in its back (166grams). As a mains unit the story is good the single speaker is the left third of the front.
Most radios I have reviewed from Pure rely on mains power, some have worked on batteries if you play extra for a ChargePAK, however this unit is designed to work on its internal batteries charged by USB, no mains lead in sight.
It is 15x8x2.5cm and weights 296grams. In use the second figure the height can be as much as 50cm when the 42cm six piece rod aerial is fully extended. The connections are on the right side at the top a silvered lock button. Below this the micro USB connection, Auxiliary I and Headphone 3.5mm sockets and finally a Pin Hole reset button. The back has an easel type stand that tilts the radio back by around 15degrees when extended. The top and the left side are clear.
DAB radios come in all shapes and sizes including the ET appearance of the BUG. While the Pure Twilight model does not quite fall into the BUG category, its shape does help it stand out from the pack.
My first thoughts on seeing this DAB/FM radio were “was it modelled on the Kilroy graffiti of old or maybe the top half of Humpty Dumpty”. The Twilight is a domed shaped unit with a translucent lamp module perched on top of the main radio component and is certainly eye-catching with its modern day styling. Measuring 360 x 180 x 120mm (W x H x D), the Twilight is a fairly sturdy piece of kit that weighs in at 1.65kg.
While Pure were the first to offer SD card recording with The Bug many years ago. This version of Pure One, the 'Classic Series II', has a different approach by recording onto internal memory this allow you to listen later at a time to suit you.
Outwardly it looks like a Pure One however there is of course a big difference in that it has the ability to record in your absence. It measures 21x14x7cm with the second figure, the height, increased by up to 76cm dependant on how much you extend the eight piece rod aerial. The right side has a column of three connections, mini USB, earbuds and Line In.
While Pure are best known for DAB radios, this is certainly far more than that, I can remember a couple of units that have CD and another few that have Internet Radio, here the Sirocco 550 has the whole range of items.
The unit is 22.5x33.5x12cm, the middle figure (depth) is with the supplied wire radio aerial inserted in the rear and the last figure (height) without an iPod or iPhone inserted, even one of the smaller iPods will add around 8cm. The speakers are quite beefy at 17x25x26cm, these have 13cm mid range speakers and 2.5cm tweeters all in black wood.
In the past I have looked at several products that have been based around DAB radio technology. All these units had been designed for playing on a desk, table, shelf or similar platform as they deliver their audio output through built-in speakers. The Pure Move 2500 is a DAB radio but it does not follow this pattern. Rather it is a portable DAB/FM radio for taking on your travels and requires you to wear a set of headphones to listen to its output.
Making up this Pure product are the actual Move 2500 unit plus a ChargePAK M1 1000mAh battery pack, noise isolating headphones with a choice of small, medium and large ear-buds, a power adapter plus the small A6 size Owner’s Manual. In appearance the Move 2500 unit looks like a smaller version of my iPod Classic.
A three band outdoor radio, but it is so much more, its a torch, it can charge your mobile phone and is also an Altimeter, Compass, Barometer, Thermometer, Chronograph and it even has an alarm and it can recharge using Solar power.
I was going to say this rivals the Swiss army knife for functionality but perhaps with the Swiss Knife they become a formidable team. It is a maximum of 20x7x3cm and has a snap clip on the top to clip onto a belt or rucksack. It is rubberised as being an outdoor item it must expect the odd knock. So predominately black with orange bits the latter for high visibility.
While most will say another iPod dock with radio but the Pioneer NAV1 is more than that. Us older people who still prefer our music on CD are satisfied as it also has a slot loading CD on the top and there are more features so read on.
The Pioneer NAV1 measures 37x21x18cm the second figure the depth is only 10cm for most as only the iPod dock centre front and power lead centre back increase it to the full width, 4cm could protrude over whatever you sit it on as that is the dock width. Mine was white and black but they also do all black. It weighs 3.5kilos. Before some get bored I will add the CD player can also play DVD’s so with the aid of leads and a TV you also have a DVD player.
Amongst other things the Logitech Squeezebox Radio is a rather good Internet Radio with the quickest connection (almost no buffering delays) whether you connect using Ethernet or Wireless. Plug In, turn on, select Internet Radio, choose you station and listen.
It is quite small at 21x10x13cm. Mine was black, unfortunately that shiny black that shows every finger mark. The right side has a headphone socket. The rear in an indent the power lead input, Auxiliary input and Ethernet port but even with items plugged in nothing protrudes over the stated 10cm total depth of the Squeezebox. The left side, base and the top are clear leaving only the front of the unit to describe.
It is always useful to have a small radio that is available for use as and when needed. This could be when sitting in the garden away from the house, when on a train journey or even when there is a power cut. The PowerPlus Cheetah is a pocket-sized radio which could fit the bill.
The dimensions of the Cheetah self-powered radio are 13 x 7 x4cm and it weighs in at just 205g. It has a built-in battery which is charged either by the hand-cranked dynamo or from a solar panel on top of the radio. It is claimed that cranking for one minute will give 20 minutes playing time. The solar panel appears to be quite effective as, even on an overcast day, the blue 'charging' LED was illuminated with the radio sitting on a window sill.
I have reviewed many DAB/FM units and a few DAB/FM/CD but so far none from Sony. As you would expect it is a quality unit and as you should also expect it is by no means cheap, but then quality never is.
A unit over 3kilos in weight being called portable is perhaps unusual but it can be run of batteries (that weight does not include the six ‘C’ cell required) for this. However my main reason for this statement is the carry handle that goes along above the top of it. Below the handle is on the top is the slot loader CD with eject button on its right side and in front of this a circular silvered volume control and on the left of the CD a silvered push button for on/off.
Joining the ever-expanding range of iPod add-on devices is Kensingtons latest FM device for working with your car radio.
Kensington has consistently supported the iPod platform with many of its products. In the past the company has developed external speaker units; and adapter to enable the iPod Shuffle to be connected with standard iPod peripherals; rechargeable battery packs; and various solutions for in-car use. Recently added to the latter group is Kensington’s Liquid brand featuring both LiquidAux and LiquidFM products for connecting an iPod to a car radio.
The clue is in the last letter of the title, this is a stereo DAB radio. While the majority of DAB radios give a stereo output it is normally only heard natively in mono as they have only a single speaker. This is a more beefy unit and has two speakers.
The Pure Evoke 2S measures 29x19x13cm and weights 2724grams, however I suspect this will stay in a single place. It can be run on a ‘Charge Pak’ but that is an extra so it is reviewed here as a mains unit. Mine was a light teak colour. The rear of the unit has the 70cm eight piece rod aerial, entry point for the ‘Charge Pak’, mains input as well as an on/off switch, Auxilery In, Line Out, headphone socket and mini USB.
This is an iPod dock with speakers behind. It is of course also able to play MP3 files from an MP3 player and it also has an FM radio. So far it has refused to do the washing up, the vacuuming or even the dusting.
It is 27x13x13cm however the last figure the width can be as little as 4.5cm at the top. There is a small section towards the top of the black fabric that allows a red LED screen to show through this says which mode you are in. Aux, FM or iPod. If you insert an iPod into the dock it automatically charges it and if you were listening to the radio it changes to the iPod. You then have to press a button to return to the radio.
When I first opened this box I thought another DAB radio from Pure, after a few minutes use I knew this was something that takes things to the next level. This is not simply a good DAB radio it is much much much more.
The Pure Evoke Flow DAB radio measures 21x14x9cm. The rear has six connections. USB, auxiliary speaker, headphones, stereo out, auxiliary in and DC power input. Towards the top of the back a 70cm seven piece rod aerial starts. There is also a door on the back that can take a proprietary charge pak to allow it to be used on batteries. Neither of the sides or the base has anything. So this leaves the front, the single speaker is on the left on the right is the six line 6.5x3.
This is quite a squat unit, it is DAB only so no FM. However the white unit with grey sides looks quite nice. Normally a DAB radio on batteries is unlikely to get beyond ten hours this unit shatters that by a long way.
It is 19x11x7cm, weight is around 700grams, the grey sides are rubberised as is the base of the seven section rod aerial that extends 58cm from the top of the unit. The back has 3.5mm connectors for line in and earbuds. There is also an input for the mains adapter. Everything else is controlled by five small rubberised buttons and below that two larger rubberised twist knobs are below back. Above these knobs is a 5.7x1.
DAB Radios have appeared in various shapes and sizes with a range of features including a model that is at home in the kitchen.
When you put together retro-styling with some modern day radio technology and an unexpected timing facility, then the result could well be a DAB radio from Dualit. In this case the product is the Dualit DAB Lite Radio. For those not too familiar with Dualit, this is a UK company that is better known for its kitchen equipment developed for commercial and home use.
The Gemini 33 is an attractive bedroom radio/alarm system, but it wouldn't be out of place anywhere in the home.
First of all the most striking aspect of the Gemini 33 is the clock face. For those of you that miss a traditional 'clock' to tell you the time you'll love this product - although of course without the need to wind up a clockwork mechanism. In fact all you have to do is switch on and the time is automatically extracted from the radio signal. As soon as the time is established the hands start to turn - which does look very impressive.
This looks like a conventional radio of a few years ago, what would have been called a room portable. The only thing that tells you it is something more is that it has a display rather than a dial. It can be mains or battery operated.
The Roberts Stream 202 measures 29x15x10cm and weights (without batteries) 1480grams. It takes six ‘D’ cells should you want to go that route. Unlike a lot of DAB/Internet offerings this is stereo. There are a pair of 7cm speakers clearly visible through the thin front grey mesh. The sides have a large black stripe and the middle 18cm of the handle is also black everything else is grey.
Also called the 'GlowTime', the CRD-51 is a neat little bed-side clock radio that's
available in black, white or pink and offers a very flexible alarm system.
I've been provided with the 'pink' version for this review, a fact that was not lost on my daughter, who promptly disappeared with it to her room where it remained for a good few days until I could rescue it and put it through its paces. This is a particularly attractive product (not only my opinion - my daughter helpfully agreed!) measuring 166 x 60 x 150mm (WxHxD) and weighing around 450g.