This is because AA batteries last longer but also because of the lower demands on its four line display, compared to eight on the MPIO. One immediate disadvantage of this display is that it can’t prove a long vertical list of all the DAB stations, as you can with the MPIO. Instead you’re limited to scrolling left and right so you don’t know what stations you have access to without moving between all of them. To counter this there are eight preset positions for both DAB and FM
The feature list is so curtailed compared to the competition that there’s not even a button to provide information such as bit-rate of the currently playing station, which was something of a surprise. The layout of information isn’t consistent either. While you’re listening, the second line display the other stations, but when you choose a station, the line switches to showing you the Multiplex it’s attached to. The player also seemed to take a couple of seconds to select a station and all too often displayed ‘Station Not Available’ – before playing it anyway.
Sound quality was perhaps the strong suit of the radio and I was pleased with what I heard, with stations sounding solid and strong depending on the strength of the reception though sound quality obviously improved when using a decent set of headphones, which act as the aerial. There was no EQ settings available while playing DAB but not that it needed it.
Rather than a digital reception indicator the screen just display signal strength bars like a mobile phone. I found that many stations that were barely audible on FM came across loud and clear on DAB, and despite the concerns many individuals have with DAB’s audio quality in the UK, hearing something is preferable to getting almost nothing but static.