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Best DAB radios: Our top digital radios

Despite the rise of wireless speakers, the old ‘wireless’ is still massively popular in the UK. If you’re in the market for a new radio or an upgrade on what you already have, we’ve put together this guide to help you narrow down your search. 

While some have turned to smart speakers and smartphones to hear the latest music and scroll the day’s headlines, plenty of us continue to tune in to our favourite radio stations on a regular basis. Whether you’re looking to play some music, listen to the news or simply have a bit of background noise as you go about your day, DAB radio is a convenient way to get all three. 

Compared to FM radio, DAB (or Digital Audio Broadcasting) provides better quality sound and access to more radio stations. Many DAB radios also come with additional features, like Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream music from Apple Music and Spotify, as well as access to Internet radio with Wi-Fi. 

We look at all these qualities and more when we review a radio, taking into account the design, its portability, the sound quality, how easy it is to operate and, where applicable, battery life.

Read on to discover our favourite radios we’ve reviewed in recent years. Alternatively, you can check out our other audio best lists. These include the best smart speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers, the best turntables and the best headphones.

Best DAB radios at a glance

How we test

How we test radios

We play a lot of music, and we play it loud. But we don’t just listen to the speakers; if there are special features then we make sure we fiddle with them until we’re satisfied.

Of course, it always comes back to the music. Radios are tested by reviewers who have a knowledge of sound quality, as well as a context of the market. We’ll listen to radios alongside similarly priced rivals, so when we recommend a particular model, it’s among the best you can buy for the money.

Roberts Stream 94i

Best radio under £200
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Pros

  • Loud and powerful for a DAB radio
  • Much-improved visual design
  • Wide set of wireless features

Cons

  • Sound is slightly too treble-focused
  • Battery add-on is a little clunky-looking

The Roberts Stream 94i is the best radio we’ve reviewed for under £200, with our reviewer crowning it as the ultimate kitchen radio. The design isn’t as bright or aesthetically pleasing as Roberts’ wonderfully retro Revival range, from which we’ve tested the Revival RD-60, the Revival RD-70 and the Revival Petite in the past. However, if you’re looking for a more unassuming appearance, the 94i’s wood, plastic and faux leather construction may appeal more. 

Along with DAB/FM radio, there’s Wi-Fi for Internet radio along with Bluetooth for those looking to stream music from another device. You can set alarms and kitchen timers, There are five presets that double as playback controls when listening to music via Bluetooth with a further 40 station shortcuts available through the Preset button. 

The Stream 94i also supports the Undok app, which can be used to stream audio over a home network or used on conjunction with a USB stick to access files. We found this particularly useful with Internet radio, with so many stations to browse it’s much easier to do so on a smartphone. Spotify Connect is present for subscribers of that music service.

There is the option to make this radio portable with a battery pack that offers 6-10 hours of playtime. We did find it rather rather clunky-looking and an additional £40-45 needs to be budgeted as it doesn’t come with the radio itself.

The radio’s speaker set-up features two small drivers on the front and a larger one on the back to act as a subwoofer. We found this offered a good treble clarity for spoken-word stations and solid power for bass when listening to music. However, it is quite treble-forward and compared to the (now unavailable) Pure Siesta Home, it’s mid-range performance isn’t quite as rounded or as natural. 

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full Review: Roberts Stream 94i

Roberts Revival Petite

Best portable radio
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Pros

  • Colourful, retro design
  • Big sound for its size
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Pouch sold separately
  • It isn’t waterproof
  • No fast/wireless charging

If you’re looking for a compact radio, we’d suggest having a look at the Roberts Revival Petite. It’s a smaller design than the Stream 94i above, and is nearly half the size and weight of the similarly portable Revival Mini, small enough to carry in one hand. 

If you like your radios to make a visual statement then the Petite six vibrant colours with a faux leather finish and bronze details, the red finish of our review sample looked beautiful. We also liked the placement of the display and controls on the front of the radio, which allowed us to see what was playing at a quick glance.

Along with its DAB/FM support, there’s Bluetooth for streaming audio and an auxiliary port for wired playback. There isn’t the same level of features on bigger, more expensive radios with no Wi-Fi and therefore no streaming services such as Spotify Connect. To stream from services such as Spotify, it’d need to be done through the Bluetooth connection. The built-in battery offers up to 20 hours of playtime, though we were impressed to find it ran closer to 28 hours.

When it comes to the Petite’s audio performance, we found it packed a surprising amount of punch for its size and it comes equipped with a bass radiator to provide additional power. Music is crisp and dynamic, but the radio is limited in volume. Its compact size makes it perfect for listening around the house or taking on a day out to the park.

That said, it doesn’t feature an IP rating so we’d suggest steering clear of pools and beaches. If you’re in need of a more rugged wireless speaker for the outdoors, the the Wonderboom 2 would be a better choice.

Reviewer: Hannah Davies
Full Review: Roberts Revival Petite

We also considered…

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FAQs

Do radios support voice assistants?

If you’re wondering whether radios support the likes Alexa and Google Assistant, then no, we’ve not reviewed a radio that can do that. Some do have ‘smarts’ in their Wi-Fi connectivity, such as Spotify Connect integration.

Which Roberts radio is the best?

The Roberts Stream 94i is the best Roberts radio you’ll find under £200.

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