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Bush Pocket DAB Radio

Price at time of review £40

The Bush Pocket DAB radio is a personal radio offering DAB and FM reception. It supports FM RDS, but it is not DAB+ compatible. We found the very small-sized text in the manual difficult to read. 

The build quality feels lightweight and cheap and the radio lacks a belt clip, and there is no button lock to disable the buttons when using it in a pocket. 

The reasonable sized backlit LCD display offers clear text. Below this there’s a central selection button surrounded by volume and tuning buttons. The central button enables users to scroll through onscreen text, whilst a long press brings up the main menu. The controls are not great, imprecise in operation and clunky to use. The only other control is the side mounted on/off switch. 

The radio features a built-in rechargeable battery which can only be charged using the bundled USB lead via a computer or compatible device with USB charging facility. The battery offers up to 9 hours of playback from a single charge. 

There are 20 presets available, 10 for DAB and 10 for FM, but these are menu driven and not easy to access on the move. 

Reception performance was reasonable for this style of radio, but the sound quality through the suppplied earphones is not good and there are no tone settings. However swapping for a better set of earphones improved sound significantly. 

This radio doesn’t have the quality of Pure’s Move 2520, or the Roberts SportsDAB range, but it is considerably cheaper. However without DAB+ we cannot recommend it.

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Pure Evoke CD-4

Reviewed in Radio Listener’s Guide 2017 edition

Price at time of review – £190

Pure’s Evoke C-D4 is a kitchen/tabletop mini-system – the smallest system from the current Pure range – offering DAB, DAB+ and FM radio, Bluetooth streaming facilities and a slot-loading CD player plus there is an auxiliary input for other devices.

The case, in common with similar models we have looked at this year, has a rounded design, but the wooden-effect veneer seems to be thinner and less durable than on older models.

All the controls are on the front panel. Buttons and controls are easy to use, and there is a good-sized display which is easy to read. It offers a range of information about the station or track played. There are a number of brightness settings, but no auto-dimming. The C-D4’s traditional menu system is relatively easy to use, but we much prefer the display and menu structure found on the Evoke H-range and C-F6.

On the rear there are power, auxiliary-in and earphone sockets, we felt the later would have been better positioned on the front of the unit.

Bluetooth works well, supporting CDR/RW and MP3 playback. CD playback worked well using the buttons on the unit. The C-D4 also offers a remote control, but in common with the Evoke C-D6 and C-F6 the remote wouldn’t fast forward or rewind CD tracks.

Although it might be large for many bedside tables, the inclusion of two alarms, snooze and sleep features put alarm features on par with most dedicated alarm clocks.

Radio reception is good on FM and DAB, with 10 station presets are available for each radio source on the menu system, and four programmable to direct buttons. They are very easy to set and recall.

The system features a top-firing 76mm speaker, ported for extra bass.  The sound quality is very good for such a small system, and whilst the sound might not fill a large room the system is pretty loud, handling its volume without distortion.

We like the Evoke C-D4.  It offers lots of functionality, reasonable value for money, and although it doesn’t have twin speakers for stereo separation sound quality is very good. Worth considering if you’ll use its CD playback.

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Roberts R100 Radio Review

Reviewed in the 2017 edition of the Radio Listener’s Guide

Price at time of review £280

The R100 is one of the latest range of Roberts R-Line devices offering control via the UNDOK app. Some in the new range are just Internet Connected speakers, but the R100 offers DAB and FM reception too, all in a slightly retro looking package. As with other products in the R-Line range they can be connected to create a network of devices around the home.

Physically the R100 is almost identical to the R1, and offers the same sound. Apart from the addition of FM and DAB, the main difference is more buttons, and a colour screen on the R100 so you can use it without the UNDOK app on your phone or tablet. The app does make things slicker, but if you are on a tight budget and will not make use of DAB and FM on the R100, the R1 may be a better bet.

Whichever you choose you’ll be rewarded with a solidly performing radio, equally at home on a desk, table, or kitchen side. Facilities are good, with FM, DAB, Internet radio, music streamer, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, 2 flexible alarms, auxiliary in, USB, and a headphone socket. Network connection is wired or wireless and a telescopic aerial (with a useful ball on the top to prevent eye injuries) rises from the top of the R100 for DAB and FM. Finally, a handy £40 rechargeable battery pack can be slotted underneath the R100, adding to its flexibility.

Performance-wise, all the features worked well. A ‘wizard’ guides you through Internet setup, and Bluetooth pairing was easy. Both DAB and FM sensitivity were good, and we liked that the menu system offers 40 presets for DAB, FM and Internet stations – compared to the 10 found on many other products.

The sound of the R100 is more than satisfactory, with good EQ options via the radio and UNDOK app. For even better sound you could buy a R1 speaker (£180) to run alongside the R100, acting as a left or right speaker in a stereo set-up.