FOGEY 5 DAB Digital Radios

Jan 13, 2011 No Comments by

The Fogey 5 are the best five products in their class by virtue of expert and consumer review from at least 10 respected and authoritative websites.


Few people in radioland seem to realise that most radio consumers listen to a very small spread of stations.  Most, I suspect, are tuned to the same station all day, every day.  So while the Evoke Flow is not only a DAB/FM radio but also a wireless Internet radio (so long as its within range of your router, of course), TF has to wonder who is going to want to track down Radio Arapiraca or one of the other 386 stations in Brazil.  And lonely expats have always been able to access their hometown station via a computer.  It’s a fairly handsome bit of kit and the sound is impressive. Pure’s range also features the fancy touchscreen Sensia DAB/FM/Internet radio but that model is a whopping £250 while the Evoke Flow costs half as much.

Around £120 or less.  More info here.  Buy PURE EVOKE Flow


Vita Audio R2i

Strictly speaking this belongs in the ‘iPod Dock’ category because it will also play/charge iPod and iPhone.  But it’s here, so there.  In 2006 Vita Audio (an offshoot of the Ruark speaker brand) introduced the R1 DAB/FM radio which significantly upped the ante for sound quality in digital radios.  I have one.  It’s lovely; pretty and gratifyingly loud. The R2i is like two R1s welded together for even louder, stereo sound.  Available in gloss black, gloss white or walnut veneer it makes almost as much a visual statement as the Airstream 10.

Around £280 (walnut) to £240 (black/white).  More info here.  Buy Vita Audio R2i (in walnut)


Roberts SolarDAB2

What’s bad news for polar bears is a cause for rejoicing at Roberts.  This DAB/FM radio can be powered by regular or rechargeable batteries, the mains or the blazing, ice-cap-melting sun.  The Solar has a rubberised casing suggesting outdoor use; so take it to the park/beach/lido and annoy everyone.  In black, white, green and red.

Around £80  More info here.  Buy Roberts Solar DAB2


Monitor Audio Airstream 10

Someone with a keen sense of the aesthetic has thought long and hard over the Airstream 10.  With its aluminium and walnut veneer casing it goes beyond functionality into the realm of sculpture, although the two-plane design does give it a versatility other sets lack.  And it’s not just a digital radio but an Internet and FM radio.  It’s so accomplished you can use it to stream music wirelessly from any storage location in your home (such as a computer or supplementary hard drive). It’s also DAB+ compatible, so you can have confidence in its longevity. Monitor Audio make pukka hi-fi speakers so the sound quality is exceptional.  Originally these units retailed for around £230 but now they’re trading for a measly £150.  Bargain.

More info here.  Buy Monitor Audio AirStream 10


Roberts RD-60

AKA the Revival, this is the digital version of Roberts’ classic 50s model.  Available in a variety of winsome leather shades and a variant splattered with a Cath Kidston design it’s not too outlandish to pigeon-hole the RD-60 as the housewives’ choice.  Simple, intuitive controls and a dearth of fancy features that might clutter up matronly grey matter over-burdened with baking and cleaning up baby sick only add weight to this blatantly sexist suggestion.  Roberts claim 120 hours battery life but Which? only managed 93.5.  Most reviewers were impressed with the sound quality but it’s the love it/hate it retro look that will lure or deter most punters.

From around £130 to around £220 for posher versions.  More info here.  Buy Roberts RD60 Revival in Pastel Cream


Fogey Find: Tivoli Pal

Founded in 2000 by Tom DeVesto and the late Henry Kloss, Tivoli Audio makes DAB radios that perfectly blend sound quality and slick design.  Their Model One DAB owes much (in looks at least) to the FM table radios that Kloss engineered in the Sixties while one of the triumverate at KLH.  But if the Model One and stereo Model Two DAB radios are the flagship Tivoli products, their PAL (Portable Acoustic Lab if you please…) range are most fun.  Swathed in a rubberised casing they are periodically produced in a rainbow of colours, although right now black and pink seem to be the favoured shades.  “Tivoli Audio’s PAL offers arguably the finest sound and reception possible from a portable radio,” said the hi-fi-fiends at House and Garden magazine.  So Tech Fogey doesn’t care too much that the mainstream gadget press seems somewhat indifferent to Tivoli.  We like.

Around £140.  More info here.  Buy Tivoli Model Pal Black (red is currently out of stock).