To navigate all the menus you use the Up and Down arrows, which also double for changing stations, and tuning the FM radio, while selecting options is done with the OK button. It’s all very simple and only the briefest of glances at the manual is needed to pick it up. That said, there are noticeably fewer options than on many other DAB radios. Indeed that’s something of a feature of the R2.
While on some radios you can get recording facilities, battery power, Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) for planning your weekly listening, and larger screens that can display more text at once, the R2 is really very basic in terms of functionality. Whether this is a primary concern is very much going to depend on your listening habits. However, when you can get this functionality in radios costing £100 less, the lack of sophistication is quite apparent. As with the R1, we personally feel the limited functionality probably wouldn’t put us off buying one but we would really rather see this introduced sooner than later.
Round the back you’ll find two sets of Phono sockets labelled ”line in” and ”line out”. The former provides an extra input that’s just perfect for plugging in an external dock for your personal music player – leaving the front mounted jack socket free for temporarily plugging in other devices – and the latter means you can use the R2 as a DAB radio for you Hi-Fi. An Auto-Tune button also lets you manually retune the radio, which is useful if you’re trying to find the optimum position for your radio for it to up the most services or if you want to add a new station.
The remote is one of those generic ones that uses little popper buttons hidden under a single printed plastic surface so it doesn’t exactly ooze class. Moreover, it’s reliance on a button cell battery for power means picking up spares when it runs out of juice is a particular pain. That said, the remote feels nice in the hand, is lightweight, and it replicates nearly all the functions that the radio can perform. What’s missing is control of the Alarm and Sleep functions and in their place the EQ and 3D buttons have been added. These two functions aren’t actually available without the remote, which seems a bit of an oversight considering how tiny the remote is.
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