Best DAB radios Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s round-up of the best DAB radios you can buy in 2019.
We still have a lot of love for the original ‘wireless’ – the radio. Yes, we now have myriad options at our disposal for listening to music and accessing news, but there are times when sticking the radio on just can’t be beaten.
With the advent of DAB radio, internet radio and Bluetooth streaming, the radio has come a long way since its basic bedside clock integration. You can now even get a digital upgrade for your car.
The list of models below is our pick of the best DAB radios we’ve reviewed. They all give you access to hundreds of digital radio stations, as well as a number of useful features such as Bluetooth and live recording. Our round-up of radios includes budget and premium options, from dependable brands like Pure and Roberts. And Black Friday is just the corner, remember. Learn the names of these top DAB radios now and you’ll be first in line to snap one up as the deals to roll in on 29th November. (Oh, and if you miss it, there’s always Black Friday’s sequel, Cyber Monday).
How we choose the best DAB radios
We review hundreds of products every year. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.
All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.
From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That’s why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you’re getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.
Read on for our pick of the best digital radios…
The Stream 94i is a great upgrade on previous, excellent Roberts radios and includes FM, DAB and internet radio, plus Spotify Connect, wi-fi connectivity and USB playback. A basic radio, this is not.
Build quality is excellent, it looks smart and has all the functionality you could need in a radio. There’s a subwoofer on the back to boost the bass, and two drivers at the front which, together, deliver great sound quality.
The Stream 94i is the complete package, and that makes it the best sound-per-pound radio we’ve tested.
Read the full review: Roberts Stream 94i
The Evoke H2 continues the fine work of a multiple Award-winning range, and this is the budget DAB radio to beat, offering an excellent affordable option if you just want a simple, great-sounding radio.
As well as FM and DAB radio, there’s a 3.5mm input for connecting other music sources, and a headphone socket if you need to listen in silence. Ideal for a bedroom or kitchen, there’s a clock, sleep timer and kitchen timer.
It’s not a portable radio out of the box, but you can buy an optional Pure battery pack if you want that functionality. Available for well under £100, it’s a real bargain.
Read the full review: Pure Evoke H2
It’s been more than 60 years since Harry Roberts took a look at his wife’s handbag and decided to design a radio in its image. And it’s an aesthetic that’s still going strong today.
Integrated music streaming apps sets it apart but it still has FM, DAB, internet radio and Bluetooth, too. There’s a full-colour screen, a 3.5mm headphone output and aux line in, USB input and buttons for presets, playback and alarm. It can even be voice-controlled when partnered with an Amazon Alexa device. Add six AA batteries and it’s a portable radio, too.
The combination of connectivity, trendy design and fine build quality feels good value for money, but it’s Roberts’ sonic presentation that makes the Revival iStream 3 an obvious choice for this budget, thanks to a warm, welcoming sonic character that’s great with music and speech.
Read the full review: Roberts Revival iStream 3
If you want something neat and portable to take on your travels, the Move T4 will serve you well, thanks to a 15-hour rechargeable battery.
This great portable radio has FM and DAB radio, Bluetooth streaming, alarm and clock functions and a headphone output.
It may not go terribly loud, but it’s a whole lot better than just playing from your phone’s speaker, and ideal for talk radio or background tunes.
Read the full review: Pure Move T4
At this price, the Revo is head and shoulders ahead of other DAB radios. It’s jam-packed with extra features, including Bluetooth, DLNA streaming and Spotify Connect, so you should be able to play music from just about any source.
We like the design, it’s easy to use, and audio quality is impressive, too, with a weighty, bass-heavy sound. You have to pay for those extra features and the room-filling sound but if you want a premium radio with a whole lot more on offer than just DAB, this could be the one for you.
Read the full review: Revo SuperConnect
Most new cars now come with DAB radio fitted as standard, but if you have an older model you may be stuck with FM/AM. So here’s a simple solution from Pure. As aftermarket in-car DAB solutions go, this is a fine option, and it’s simple enough for almost anyone to use. There are aux and USB inputs, too, so you can connect an iPod or smartphone.
And how does it all sound? Well, that will depend massively on the quality of the amplifier and speakers already built into your car, but having experimented with three different models we can say that the Highway delivers clear, crisp and neutrally balanced sound. A good in-car DAB option.
Read the full review: Pure Highway 300Di
The Ruark R2 Mk3 is a gorgeous looking system packed with streaming features that delivers an effortlessly musical and richly detailed performance.
It’s much more of a complete music system than ‘just’ a DAB radio – a viable option if you want something more substantial. Sonically it sounds big, spacious, detailed and dynamic; a truly hi-fi sound.
There are a whole wealth of features here, including the ability to form a multi-room music system with other Ruark devices. If you want a serious radio system, this might just be it.
Read the full review: Ruark Audio R2 Mk3
The Geneva Touring S+ is a classy-looking DAB radio. Clad in aluminium and a faux-leather material, its buttons and volume knob feel great, while that big dial on top of the radio gives a satisfying clunk when you switch it on. It’s practical too: the aerial is telescopic and its built-in battery provides around 20 hours of juice from a single charge.
One area that needs a little work is DAB reception. It scans and find stations, but it’s limited to showing just 99, which means some bigger stations can be missed off the list.
Sonically, the Touring S+ is solid and weighty and its tone is extremely likeable. It also sounds surprisingly composed at higher volumes, which isn’t often the case with portable radios.
Read the full review: Geneva Touring S+ review