Who would have thought that tuning into the radio would still be a popular pastime in 2019?
The key to the format’s ongoing popularity, like many things, has been digitisation. Even before the rise of the podcast, DAB radio sold a modern audience on the charms of an audio-only experience.
UPDATE: If you're looking for a DAB radio with a sleek, minimalist finish, Tivoli Audio ART Series Model One is well worth a browse. Available in a variety of finishes, the Art Series' aesthetic is definitely on point, with a distinctive front circular screen and rotary dial. We've also added the Pure Evoke H3 to our list - a portable model that comes in either an oak or walnut finish. Compact and stylish, this mid-range offering features a full-colour screen, alongside two alarms and wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. And let's not forget the Revo Supersignal. This this compact model has devoted much of its front face to its speaker, meaning that sound quality has placed at the fore. All in all, it's a quality round-up of DAB devices.
Digital audio broadcasting offers a more robust radio listening experience than classic analogue, with the capacity for way more stations and the potential for superior sound quality.
The only thing is, you’ll need a dedicated DAB radio to take advantage of this digital listening platform. Here are eight of the best currently available in the UK.
Related: Best Bluetooth speaker
Best DAB radio
1. Ruark R1 Mk3
The Ruark R1 is a brilliantly balanced DAB radio with a square retro design. If wood’s your thing, it’s a strong contender, and it’ll fit on the smallest of tables. Despite the vintage approach, a modern OLED display ensures clear visibility when tuning in your favourite stations. The R1 is also very capable on the sound output front, with deep bass and impressive maximum loudness. It also packs a USB socket for phone charging.
2. Ruark R2 Mk3
The Ruark R2 is a bigger, louder speaker than the Ruark R1 featured elsewhere, though it adopts a similar retro design. Its twin speakers provide rich output and full stereo separation, offering something much closer to ‘proper’ hi-fi sound than most of the other speakers on this list. You also get Spotify Connect support, while the entire Ruark line links up for multi-room listening. One of the pricier DAB radios out there, but also one of the most complete.
3. Tivoli Audio ART Series Model One
Tivoli certainly haven't scrimped on the appearance of the new ART Model One. Compact in its design, allwhilst retaining a stylish, retro charm, the radio comes in a variety of finishes, including black, white and grey. Incorporating Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, alongside Spotify connect, the ART Model One can be used alone or as part of a multi-room audio setup. Complete with a striking circular front screen and rotary dial, this model is certainly pleasing on the eye.
4. Pure Evoke H3
Compact and portable, the Evoke H3 is a small yet delightful offering from the British audio brand, Pure. A DAB/DAB+ radio that offers an FM alternative, the H3 model features a full colour display, alongside Bluetooth and wireless connectivity.The H3 is available in Walnut and Oak wood finishes and comes with an optional ChargePAK B1, which gives you up to 30 hours playback whilst on the move.
5. Revo Supersignal
A name that says it all, the Revo Supersignal is a true superhero when it comes to sound quality. Devoting most of its front face to the speaker, the model comes equipped to receive DAB and DAB+ broadcasts and supports Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream your favourite tracks via the device. Complete with a detailed graphical OLED display and joystick control, this is a sleek piece of audio kit that puts sound at the fore.
6. Geneva Touring S+
The Geneva Touring S+ features its own distinct retro design, with a large volume/power dial strongly reminiscent of an old camera. Meanwhile the red LED display is arguably the most stylish, if not the most practical, on this list. But the best thing about this DAB radio is its sheer portability, with a removable rechargeable battery that’s good for 20 hours of use. It’s ideal for those long trips where you might not get to a power point for days.
7. Pure Move T4
The Pure Move T4 is far more compact than most of the other choices on this list, meaning the onus is on portability over punch. It’s literally the kind of device you can slip in a pocket and take out and about with you, helped by a lengthy 15 hours of battery life. This is a very thin, flat device as a result, though there’s a kickstand to keep things stable. Despite its compact proportions the T4’s sound is reportedly crystal clear.
8. VQ SuzieQ
If money is no object, and you’re after the ultimate in stylish, sweet-sounding digial radio, the VQ SuzieQ is your perfect pick. Its 1950s-inflected design is arguably the most eye-catching of any on this list, all chrome and wood and curvy enamel. The feature set is similarly impressive. Wi-Fi offers both internet radio and Spotify Connect compatibility. Impressive sound quality seals the deal for this premium DAB radio.
9. Revo SuperSignal
The Revo SuperSignal resembles a high-class vintage speaker that, besides looking awesome, offers a clue as to its strong suit. Out of its dominant speaker grille you'll hear exemplary, booming sound. Despite this, the Revo SuperSignal is also the perfect DAB radio for the bedroom. Not only does it have the ideal squat design for a bedside table, it also features easy-to-access top controls and a handy touch-to-snooze alarm function.
10. Roberts iStream 3 Revival
The classic Roberts iStream 3 Revival will be familiar to anyone who regularly uses boutique hotels or B&Bs. It’s a very popular DAB radio thanks to its iconic retro ‘handbag’ design, rounded sound and portability. It also has an extensive list of features you might not expect given that vintage style. Besides DAB you can tune into internet radio over Wi-Fi and push music from your smartphone over Bluetooth. There’s also direct support for Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, Deezer and Tidal.
11. Roberts Stream 94i
Roberts turns in another sterling effort in the Stream 94i. It might not have quite the same retro charm as the iconic Roberts iStream 3 Revival, but some will actually prefer its more modern design. It’s certainly not lacking where it counts, with a full suite of connectivity options, Spotify Connect support, and a built-in sub woofer for extra bass. It even packs a remote control, which is a rare inclusion for a compact DAB radio.