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Boston Acoustics Solo XT - Boston Acoustics Solo XT
Best of all, though, is the snooze function. In a similar vein to many of Pure's radios, the Solo has a touch sensitive strip that runs around the edge of the speaker grill and all that's needed to activate the snooze function is the slightest of touches. As someone that has on more than one occasion knocked over a glass of water while trying to find the snooze button on my radio, I for one see this as a huge boon.
Sadly the display doesn't warrant such high praise. It's brightness and sharpness are fine when viewed face on but, like most LCD panels, visibility drops off noticeably as you move round to the sides and it can be slow to respond making navigation slower than the superb controls would otherwise allow.
While the Solo is primarily a DAB radio, it can also receive FM transmissions though long and medium wave aren't invited to the party. There's also an auxiliary input on the back for plugging in an mp3 player, along with a stereo lineout socket if you want to use the Solo as a receiver for a larger Hi-Fi. And rounding out the features is a headphone socket on the front.
Now normally our office is an absolute no-no for DAB reception but the Solo managed to find and hold a signal for a fair number of stations, even with the aerial still stowed. This is a truly impressive performance and certainly set the Solo apart as the best radio we've yet tested here - as far as reception goes at least.
The sound quality is also mightily impressive with maximum volume being plenty enough to fill a sizeable room. The sound isn't quite as natural as the superb Vita Audio R1, with the bass sounding a little more forced, but overall it's smooth, accurate, and generally thoroughly pleasant. Obviously the single speaker can only stretch so far and you'll want a full Hi-Fi for music listening proper but for most conceivable casual uses the Solo excels.
About the only major downside to the Solo XT is its lack of portability. With dimensions of 8 by 6 by 5in, it's not size that's a problem but weighing around two kilos and being mains only I can't see many people packing this one in their suitcases to take on holiday.
When all is said and done there are only three reasons we'd not outright recommend you go and buy one of these now. First, the styling may not be to your liking but then that's a purely personal thing. Secondly, is that slightly iffy screen. Thirdly, and most importantly, is cost. Costing a whopping £150, this premium tabletop radio demands a truly premium price. Overall, though none of these factors would be enough to put us off so the Boston Acoustics gets a thoroughly deserved Recommended award.
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