Best Radios

Welcome to BestRadios.co.uk! Our aim is to help you find the right radio by reviewing and comparing the best radios available in the UK. See our latest radio reviews here.

Buying a new radio usually isn’t a big investment, but if you’re going to listen to it every day for the next few years, you want to make the right choice. The purpose of this site is to make the research process quicker and easier through impartial reviews, comparisons and advice.

Below we’ve put together a quick radio buying guide to help you navigate the different choices and possibilities out there.

Radio Buying Guide

Whether you’re buying a radio for yourself or as a present, the choice and range of features available can be overwhelming.

Radios used to be fairly simple, but now many offer advanced features such as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. So how do you know which radio is right for you?

Let’s have a look at the different things to consider so that you can find the perfect radio for your requirements and budget.

What is your budget?

The first thing most of us consider when making a purchase is our budget. What can you get for your money?

Budget Radios

The cost of DAB radios has come down a lot in recent years, so you can now get lots of DAB radio for less than £30. One of the most popular budget radios in 2016 is the Petersfield DAB Radio (see image below).

Petersfield DAB Radio

Radios you can get for less than £30 are often good for listening to speech programmes, but probably won’t offer great sound quality unless you use them with high-quality headphones.

Low to Mid-Priced Radios

If you spend a bit more you can get often more advanced features like Bluetooth connectivity to stream music from your phone. Models in this price range usually have a better build quality and are often more stylish than cheap radios.

For a roundup of high-quality DAB radios in this price range, check out this article: 5 Best Portable DAB Radios Under £50. One of the most attractive mid-priced FM/DAB radio is the Goodmans Oxford 1960’s Radio (see image below).

Goodmans Oxford 1960’s Radio

There are also a lot of good clock radio iPhone docking stations available for less than £50. These radios allow you to charge your iPhone overnight.

Mid-Priced Radios

If your budget is £80 or above, you can get a really high-quality piece of kit. For this price you should be able to connect your smartphone to the radio via Bluetooth, and also enjoy superior sound quality. Many radios in this price range now offer internet radio, which lets you listen to more than 20,000 stations worldwide using Wi-Fi. One such radio is the Roberts Radio Stream 107 (see image below).

Roberts Radio Stream 107

High-End Radios

Radios over £150 are top-of-the-range models with amazing state-of-the-art features. For this price you can expect WiFi connectivity, DAB+, crisp sound quality and quality engineering. You can also buy radios like the Pure Evoke C-F6 and the Roberts Blutune100 (pictured below), that function as a DAB radio, wireless speakers, and CD player.

 

Digital or Analogue?

DAB radio was introduced in the UK in 2001. It offers a much greater range of channels than analogue (usually around twice as much). The UK has the largest DAB radio network in the world, so it certainly makes sense for British buyers to choose a DAB radio. You’ll also get clearer radio reception, provided you live in an area with good digital radio signal.

As a general rule, we recommend getting a DAB radio as eventually the UK will switch over to digital radio and FM signals may even be switched off. Furthermore, DAB radio will allow you to enjoy a greater choice of channels, and digital radios are now available very cheaply, with many good models available for less than £30.

If you want a traditional AM/FM radio, read our roundup of the best AM/FM radios available in the UK.

 

Which brand?

Do you want to go for a respected, established brand like Roberts or Pure, or try a new and untested brand?

For some starting points, check out the best British radio manufacturers, the top DAB radio brands, as well as our guide to Pure Evoke digital radios.

 

Which features do you need?

To choose the right radio, you need to understand the different features available and decide which you want/need. Here is an explanation of the most common features offered by radios:

DAB

Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is an alternative to traditional FM/AM radio. It allows you to listen to roughly double the number of channels you would get on FM/AM. Some channels such as Radio 4 Extra are only available with DAB.

Bluetooth streaming

Bluetooth streaming allows you to play music from your smartphone through the radio’s speakers. You could use this to listen to songs you have downloaded, YouTube or online radio.

3.5 mm headphone jack

A 3.5 mm headphone jack will allow you to connect earphones to your radio. You can also use it to connect the radio to a smartphone or MP3 player.

Portable / battery operated

Some radios are mains operated, while others offer a choice of mains power or battery power. If you need your radio to be portable or want to listen to the radio in the garden, choose a battery-powered radio.

 

What kind of style do you want?

Radios are available in a huge range of styles, from modern and minimalistic designs like the Arbury DAB Radio to classic and retro radios like the Roberts Roberts RD60DE Revival Digital Radio (pictured below).

 

What size radio do you want?

Think about where you would like to use your radio and how much space you have. Do you want something small and lightweight you can carry in your pocket, or something impressive and sturdy?

 

Our top picks

Here are our top picks in different categories. These won’t always be the best radios for your needs, so be sure to read the related articles before making a decision.

Best budget DAB radio: Chesterton DAB Digital FM Portable Radio

Price: See price on Amazon

This is a great all-round DAB radio that only costs about £25 at the time of writing. You can use it in the kitchen, or on your bedside table as a radio alarm clock. It has a rechargeable battery, which is quite special as most portable radios require you to replace batteries regularly.

For more information about this product and other DAB radios under £30, read this article: Best DAB Radios Under £30.


Best Clock Radio: Sony ICF-C1PJ

Price: See price on Amazon

This is a feature-packed, stylish, FM/MW clock radio. It offers USB charging and can project the clock onto the wall.

For more information about this product and other Sony clock radios, read this article: 5 Best Sony Clock Radios.


Best Pocket DAB Radio: Sony XDR-P1DBP Pocket DAB/DAB+ Radio

Price: See price on Amazon

Many people consider this radio to be the best pocket DAB radio out there. It’s relatively expensive, but is very reliable, easy to use, and features a built-in amplifier so you don’t need to use headphones.

For more information about this product and other pocket DAB radios, read this article: Best Pocket DAB Radios.


Best Radio for the Garden: Roberts Splash DAB/FM RDS Digital All Weather Radio

Price: See price on Amazon

This radio is designed to be splash proof. It lets you listen to both DAB and FM radio, and has up to 60 hours of battery life.

For more information about this product and other great radios for the garden, read this article: Best Radios for the Garden.


Best Shower Radio: Sony ICF-S80 Splash Proof Shower Radio with Speaker

Price: See price on Amazon

This splash-proof AM/FM radio can be easily hung on your shower. It has an attractive white design which should suit any bathroom.

For more information about this product and other shower radios, read this article: Best Shower Radios.


Best Internet Radio: Roberts Radio Stream93i


Price: See price on Amazon

This FM/DAB/DAB+/WiFi radio features a 6-position equaliser and the ability to save up to 120 preset radio stations. It can be used to easily stream audio from Spotify and BBC iPlayer in addition to thousands of online radio stations.

For more internet radios to consider, check out our roundup of the best internet radios in 2016, or this guide to Ocean Digital radios.


Best High-End DAB Radio: Ruark Audio R4 MK3 Home Audio System

Price: See price on Amazon

Rather than just being a radio, the Ruark Audio R4 MK3 is a complete sound system that includes stereo speakers, a CD player, Bluetooth streaming and FM/DAB/DAB+ radio.

For more top-of-the-range radios to consider, check out our list of the top high-end digital radios.


What’s next?

Get started on your search for the best radio by reading our latest reviews or reading one of our 5 most popular articles:

  1. Best DAB Radio
  2. Best Pocket DAB Radios
  3. 5 Best Portable DAB Radios Under £50
  4. Best DAB Radios Under £100
  5. Best Alarm Clock Radios