Portable DAB Radio 

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While hardly likely to win an award for stylist appearance, this DAB radio could make a useful present.

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Back in what is sometimes referred to as the "Good old Days", radio broadcasts and its entertainment content was limited to a few channels - long gone are those occasions when you might need to sneak into the front room in order to listen to your favourite radio program such as Journey into Space on the radio.  Now we have DAB radio following the BBC's discovery of multiplexing which allowed the transmission of several radio stations packaged together.  While the arrival of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) in the UK in 1995 was heralded as the Holy Grail of radio and the best thing since sliced bread, it never quite fulfilled its initial promise but still built up a regular following with support from companies such as Groov-e, a leading UK tech brand.

Checking out the Groov-e website revealed that the company had available a number of DAB and FM radios.  Each of the company's models is named after a famous city and bears a name such as Berlin, Boston, Milan, Paris and Vienna.  The latter city of Vienna  names the subject matter of this review.

Decked out entirely in black apart from a Groov-e logo and labels for its control buttons, the Vienna is a rectangular shaped box.  The unit has dimensions of 95 x 230 x 48mm and is constructed of plastic and metal.  Apart from a bulky volume wheel on the right side, all the other control features for this device are arranged on the Vienna's front panel.  Consisting of two rows of four buttons, these buttons provide features such as power, mode, select, alarm/snooze and preset.  Appropriate feedback and other information, such as the current date and time, is provided in a 50 x 15mm window positioned above the control panel button.  Located on the rear of the unit are input sockets for micro USB and headphones.  There is also an extendable aerial that folds away when not required.

Included in the packaging with the Vienna are a micro USB lead and a slim User Manual.  Power for the Vienna is provided by the USB lead which also charges the unit's internal 1800 mAh battery which is rated at providing up to 11 hours of playback from a single charge depending upon the mode in which it is used.  The User Manual will lead you through the process of setting up the device which involves a mixture of automatic and manual selections of options.  In some cases a long press will be required rather than a short one to activate a particular feature.

The Vienna has the ability to deliver audio from three sources.  Using a Mode button you can switch between DAB, FM and Bluetooth input.  In the case of Bluetooth, you can control play/pause and track changing features from the Vienna.  During Bluetooth testing I did notice a couple of instances when there was a drop in the volume level from the radio.

Up to 20 pre-set stations for your favourite listening enjoyment can be stored for both DAB and FM modes.  The Vienna can also provide alarm facilities.  You can set the time, date, duration, occurrence and source delivery for the alarm.  However there is a caveat with the alarm feature as the Vienna does need to be connected to a main power source in order for the alarm feature to work.

The Vienna DAB/FM radio provides a useful range of features although I did feel that the device would have benefitted from a carry handle.  Groov-e has priced this product at £39.99.  A quick check of the Web reveals that at the date of publication the Groov-e Vienna is available from Amazon for £39.99.

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OverallGroov-e Vienna Dab Radio rated 64 out of 100

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