Akai A61016 DAB Radio Review

Summary:
Small and cheap, but sounds tinny and has relatively poor reception.

Buy it online:
£21.99 on Amazon.co.uk

The Akai A61016 is a cheap portable FM/DAB/DAB+ radio from Singapore-based brand Akai. It has a simple black design and can either be powered by AA batteries or mains power. Find out how this radio performs in this review…

Features

  • LCD display
  • Alarm clock
  • Save up to 10 preset radio stations
  • Can be powered by the mains or 4 x AA batteries
  • Telescopic aerial
  • Aux-in socket

Dimensions: 18 cm wide x 7.7 cm high x 4.2 cm deep
Weight: 422 g

Performance and use

The Akai A61016 sounds decent for such a small radio, and is fine for listening to speech programmes. However, the tone is quite tinny so it’s not ideal for listening to music.

DAB reception is relatively poor on this radio compared to on many of the alternatives.

The reception on DAB radio is relatively poor compared to many of the alternatives such as the Roberts Play10. It generally doesn’t pick up as many signals and doesn’t have such a strong signal. This is quite frustrating, and you might need to spend a lot of time adjusting the aerial and moving the radio around to try to improve the reception.

The Akai A61016 can be plugged into the mains or powered by 4 AA batteries, which aren’t included. Like with most portable DAB radios, the battery life isn’t very long, though it’s relatively good at around 12 hours.

As you’d expect from such a cheap product, the Akai A61016’s build quality isn’t great. The radio looks cheap and plasticky, and the aerial feels flimsy. However, if you’re on a strict budget this radio could still offer good value for money.

This radio saves 10 preset stations, though many users have had problems getting the presets to work. This isn’t a problem if you only listen to 1 or 2 stations, but if you want to use preset stations a lot you should look for a radio with a more reliable preset station function. A good option could be the Roberts Play, which has dedicated preset buttons for quickly accessing your favourite stations.

Pros

  • Good sound quality for the size; sounds crisp and clear when listening to speech.
  • Decent battery life of around 12 hours on DAB
  • Long aerial which helps improve the reception
  • Light (422 g)
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Runs down the batteries when on standby mode
  • Doesn’t have the Digital Tick, which means it hasn’t been verified as being ‘futureproof’ and fully compatible with the whole of the UK’s digital radio network
  • Sounds a bit tinny when listening to music
  • DAB reception is relatively poor
  • Presets don’t always work

Verdict

The Akai A61016 is an average-quality portable FM/DAB radio. It’s good for speech radio, but doesn’t sound very warm when listening to music stations. The reception is also relatively poor. The main reason to buy this radio is its low price, though there are better options out there in the same price range.

Similar radios

One of the Akai A61016’s main rivals is the Majority Histon, which is an affordable portable DAB radio with a slim black design.

Another good alternative is the Roberts Radio Play10, which is very easy to use and offers good performance on both FM and digital radio. For some more options, see our roundup of the best portable DAB radios.

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