Digital Radios Buying Guide

DAB Radios Buying Guide

Looking for a new Digital Radio? Confused by FM, DAB, DAB+ or internet radio options or not quite sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with our expert buying guide! We aim to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice and find the perfect DAB Radio for you. The best DAB Radios offer exceptional sound quality with a great listening experience, whether you’re tuning in to music or speech stations. At the top end of the price range you can expect advanced speakers with acoustics to rival some of the priciest hi-fi systems along with some top-class features. But more expensive doesn’t always mean better. At the budget end of the spectrum, you can still find some excellent models that offer excellent value for money.

We regularly test and review the DAB Radios we have on offer and also conduct an extensive customer survey throughout the year so that we can identify the best models from the worst. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, we’ve included all the best digital radios of the year in our Top 10 DAB Radios list.

How to Choose the Right Digital Radio - Our 4 top tips to consider:

If you’re looking for a new digital radio, then you’ll naturally want to get the best value for money. To help you make the right decision, we’ve identified the 4 most important features that make an exceptional DAB Radio:

Sound Quality

Sound quality is by far the most important thing to look for. More expensive models will often sound better than cheaper ones, but this isn’t always the case. We’ve come across some radios that cost hundreds of pounds, but whose sound leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, we’ve sound some excellent models for as little as £60, so it definitely pays to do some research. We invite our customers to review the DAB Radios we sell, and regularly test and review new models on our blog. You’ll find a round up of our current Best Buys in our Top 10. We pride ourselves on being specialists in DAB Radios and are only a call, email or livechat away if you need us!

Reception

The last thing you want to do is order your brand-new radio, get it out the box and set up only to find that the reception is patchy. At liGo, we test the strength of each radio’s receiver in a range of real-world tests. If a certain model isn't capable of receiving a weak signal, it won't be any good in your home- so we won’t stock it. DAB coverage has improved massively over the past decade, with a strong signal for around 97% of the population. But there are still pockets of geographical areas where you will struggle to get a consistently clear signal regardless of how good your radio. If you have concerns that you may be in one of these areas, be sure to check out our guide to DAB signal blackspots.

Portability

Consider how and where you’ll want to use your new radio. Will it sit in the same space in a particular room in your home? Or would you like the flexibility to move it around so you can enjoy DAB broadcasts in the garden? Most Portable DAB Radios come with a battery compartment so that they can be used without being connected to a power socket. If you are interested in portability, other design features include carry handles and additional battery packs. However, if you are planning to use your radio in a larger room or in a fixed location then a bigger, more premium model may be a better option. These models will generally offer better sound quality than portable DAB radios.

Bluetooth, Wifi & Internet Radio

This is a must-have if you’d like to be able to wirelessly stream music from your mobile, tablet or laptop. Bluetooth DAB Radios essentially double up as a wireless speaker, to really open up your listening options. If you use Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube then a model with Bluetooth is a smart choice. Internet radio has become increasingly popular in recent years, with tens of thousands of stations to choose from. The great thing about internet radio is that it lets you tune in to stations from all over the world. If you’d like to explore all that the web has to offer, from authentic Jamaican reggae stations to German techno, then make sure you pick up a radio with wifi functionality built-in.

Additional features to look out for:

Not all DAB Radios are built equal and manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to make their radios stand out. Here are some of the best special features to look out for that might just swing it for you:

  • Multi-room speaker compatibility: this feature allows you to synchronise your DAB radio with other wireless speakers in your home for a multi-room listening experience.
  • CD player: if you’ve got an extensive CD collection in your home, or want to consolidate multiple audio devices into one, then a smart DAB Radio with CD player is a great choice. There are some spectacular models to choose from, but they tend to be a bit more expensive than most.
  • Alarm: virtually all DAB radios come with an alarm alarm setting. But if you are looking for a bedside radio, then this will naturally be a more important feature to consider. It’s therefore well worth looking into this before making your decision.
  • Remote control: don’t assume that your radio will come with a remote. Even some high-end sets lack this feature. If you’d like to be able to adjust the volume or stations from the comfort of your seat then make sure the model you choose has one included.
  • USB port: a nice feature for bedside radios is an integrated USB port. This will let you can charge your phone without having to use up another plug socket by your bed.

Which brand should I choose?

It is certainly worth considering the manufacturer’s reputation when researching which radio to buy, and one of the best ways to do this is by reading customer reviews. Unlike retailers (even honest ones like ourselves) that sell the products, individuals who have actually purchased are more likely to be unbiased and have felt compelled to say something about their product because it is good or bad. And whilst one individuals opinion may differ from another, if you take the time to read a few different reviews and cross-reference with other independent consumer forums (such as Which?) then it can give you greater confidence when purchasing. We conduct an extensive reliability survey throughout the year, speaking to real users to find out which brands are the most reliable.



Conclusion

We hope this buying guide has given you a clear starting point on how to find the right DAB Radio for you. Get in touch if you have any questions and if you’re still not quite sure where to start check out our round-up of Best Buys now.