Who wants a milkshake? The Sonoro CuboGo is a small radio dock that owes a fair amount to the classic image of the giant diner-style malted milkshake glass - one that might career along a bar top in an American movie from the 80s. It's not just the design that's all about dated charm, either. The CuboGo's main feature is a radio. But it's not a DAB tuner. This is all about old-school FM.
When most radios we review are rectangles with front buttons and a carry handle, the Sonoro CuboGo is a welcome change. An upright unit with a speaker outlet right up top, it's both unusual and clearly design-led.
The form is surprisingly practical, though. As long as you don't have tiny hands, it's slender enough to grip and take around with you, and the removable rubber casing positively encourages doing so. The plastic inner of the CuboGo is topped with a thick, removable rubber sheath. This makes it easy to clean and easy to style. A fistful of variously-coloured covers are available, including ones finished with felt rather than rubber.
Two random picks from the Sonoro sleeve catalogue
The design makes sense from a sonic perspective too. It acts as a good-sized cabinet for the 2.5in full range driver inside, while keeping the footprint absolutely tiny. We'll cover what sort of sound it produces later.
Operation is very simple. When in use, the only controls you'll see are the rotary volume/power switch that sits on top by the speaker grille and aerial, and a switch on the CuboGo's side that lets you flick between the FM tuner and the auxiliary input.
This is the one spot of future-proofing Sonoro can claim for the CuboGo. The FM signal is planned to be switched off between 2017 and 2022 according to the Digital Radio Working Group, but heaven help us if they take our 3.5mm jack-to-jack cables. Sonoro bundles a decent-quality one with the unit.
But what about controlling the radio? On the underside of the CuboGo is a large tuner dial - there's not a hint of digital to this product. Its action is smooth, with none of the uneven scratchiness of some cheapo radios of old. As used as we are to flicking through DAB and internet radio stations, tuning here feels great and reception is excellent.
With the top telescopic aerial down, we found it easy to get a lock onto the main radio stations. So easy that it seems as though there might be some clever signal-seeking tech going on in the background - but maybe that's just the gadget hound in us looking for something high-tech-sounding and flash.
A naked CuboGo - battery cover on show
The quality fittings, the non-plastic sleeve and the reassuring 700g weight make the Sonoro SuboGo feel like a top-quality product. Part of the weight is down to the internal rechargeable battery. This is designed as non-removable, its cover held in place with screws. As it powers an FM tuner rather than the more power-hungry DAB type, it'll last for up to 20 hours off a charge - dependent on how high you crank the volume. A charge adaptor is included in the box.