- Good OLED display
- Aggressively priced
- Mediocre sound quality
- Lacks style
Review Price £119.00
Recent technology trends haven't been kind to radio. Streaming services like Spotify mean it's easier than ever to discover new music without tuning into a radio station, but the good old wireless isn't dead yet. The Kogan Deluxe radio comes with a comprehensive spread of ways to enjoy radio transmissions, with DAB and FM tuners on-board alongside internet radio capabilities - plus an iPod dock.
Australian electronics manufacturer Kogan takes an interesting approach to its products. It cuts out the middle men - the retailers, importers and wholesalers - dealing with customers directly instead. It's this approach that has made it possible for so many features to be packed into the Kogan Deluxe Wi-Fi radio, while keeping the price at a low £119.
It'll deliver FM and DAB stations, as well as the tens of thousands available over the net thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi. The internet radio function can also play podcasts and the BBC's wealth of "listen again" content. To top this off, there's also an iPod dock on top and an auxiliary input should you be dying to plug in another source. Unusually, a phono audio output is included on the back panel - tantamount to admitting that its own speakers won't dazzle all and sundry, this nugget of humility is something many manufacturers can't swallow.
To complement the wealth of options is a very respectable array of drivers. On each end of the device are bass drivers, firing out to the side, while a single tweeter up front doles-out the high-end detail. On the bottom is a bass port, letting Kogan claim the Deluxe radio has a subwoofer - however, the drivers are really the full-range type you'd find in a standard hi-fi speaker.
What's not quite so impressive is the look. The Kogan Deluxe looks a little too much like what it is - a Far East manufactured budget radio here to undercut and outspec the opposition. There's not much style to the circular button island on its front and the front panel feels a bit thin. The glossy laminated outer shell is as tough as you like, but the inconsistent build and uninspiring aesthetics don't fool you into thinking this is a top-class device. The Pure Evoke Flow trounces it in the style stakes, but then that similarly-priced set is much smaller and only has a single speaker.
The display is a surprise hit though. It's a yellow OLED model and is superbly clear. This clarity comes in handy when browsing through the reams of radio stations and podcasts the Kogan Deluxe gives you access to. There's more navigation involved with a connected radio like this than a standard DAB set and a good display is a must.