Oono MiniDAB One - Oono MiniDAB One

Score

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Aside from looks then the Mini DAB has a lot going for it. Navigation certainly isn’t up there in iPod territory for ease of use, but it could be worse. The fact that it’s festooned with buttons actually helps, as it gives you direct access to key functions. You turn it on by holding down the central Play/Stop button. Press this again while listening and you can assign that station to the next available preset.


Pressing the Mode button switches you between DAB, FM, the SD or internal memory or the voice recorder. The timer gives you direct access to setting up recordings.


There are four direction keys and round this a circular arrangement which contains four more buttons – each labelled on the player itself. It’s a bit of a confusing arrangement and far too busy but you get used to it after a little use.

From the Menu button you can conduct a full or quicker Local search to pick up all the stations it can detect. Pleasingly, this works quite quickly. When you press the left or right direction keys in DAB mode it brings up a list of all the stations found and you then use the up and down keys to choose and the central button to select. This list of stations can be in the order of the Multiplex or in alphabetical order. In FM mode the left and right buttons let you move up and down the frequencies. In both FM and DAB the up and down arrows left you move between presets.


Pressing the menu button brings up the menus for divided into System, , Play, Record and Display and from here you can make fine adjustments. In Play mode there’s an Equalizer with presets for sound shaping and even a 3D effect, which adds a bit more space to the sound. On the right hand side you’ll find volume controls and a hold button, with a large padlock icon appearing on the display when this is engaged. There’s also a pin hole reset switch though fortunately I never had cause to use it.

The Oono is powered by a built-in Lithium Polymer battery, and around eight hours for DAB is claimed. I tended to switch around between DAB, FM and MP3 playback and got less than this. Certainly more battery-life would have been welcome and I would have sacrificed having a little extra weight for a longer life battery. The battery charges over USB, which is convenient and means you don’t have to worry about fiddling with batteries, though it could be an issue if you run out of juice before you can reach a USB port.


In terms of sound quality I found that the sound was good but was not quite as rich or warm as from Pure’s Pocket DAB 2000 for radio but it seemed as clear as my iPod when listening with a good set of headphones.

In the end my primary reservation with the Oono was its appearance, which is a long way from the special feeling you get from an iPod. The other issue though is the price, which at £180 is on the expensive side. Get past those and you’ve got a product that has stolen a march on the competition.


”’Verdict”’


Overall, this is a nifty little entertainment gadget. Now you can have your DAB radio and MP3 music together in a package that’s smaller and lighter than the competition. It’s feature packed, and does everything well but it could do with a price drop to make up for its ugly looks and inelegant interface.

Score


Score in detail

  • Value 7