Best Retro Radios Available in the UK

Nothing beats the classic style of a vintage 1950s or ’60s radio. However, buying an authentic retro radio can be expensive, and it’s unlikely to offer the quality sound of modern radios. Thankfully, many manufacturers make replicas of retro radios packed with modern features such as Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best retro radios available in the UK for budgets ranging from around £25-150:

VQ Retro Mini Digital Radio (DAB/DAB+/FM) and Bluetooth Speaker – Cream

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

This is a small and stylish DAB/FM radio that will look great in a retro kitchen or bathroom. It’s available in a choice of 11 colours to match any decor. The product was designed in Britain by VQ.

Features

  • 5 mm headphone jack
  • USB charging port
  • Both DAB and FM radio
  • Alarm, sleep and snooze functions
  • Bluetooth streaming mode allows you to connect it with smartphones and tablets

Pros

  • Clear LCD display
  • Small size
  • Works well even in areas with poor reception

Cons

  • Relatively poor sound quality
  • Built-in EQ settings can’t be customised and tweaked
  • Can’t support iPhone connectors

Verdict

This product is a hit among buyers, and most customers find the sound quality satisfactory, though others disagree. Read our full review of the VQ Retro Mini here.


Roberts Radio Classic R9954 3-Band Portable Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

The Robers R9954 radio has a subtly retro design. It’s an affordable and portable LW/MW/FM radio that should look great in any home.

The R9954 is a traditionally styled portable LW/MW/FM waveband radio. It has a large speaker for improved sound quality and separate tuning controls for enhanced listening. The controls are all top mounted to assist easy tuning. The R9954 also has a favourite station indicator to help you locate your preferred radio stations quickly. This great little portable radio will run off both the mains or batteries.

Features

  • Headphone socket
  • LW/MW/FM wavebands
  • Favourite station indicator so you can find your favourite stations easily
  • Powered by mains or battery
  • Takes 4 C-sized batteries

Pros

  • Durable
  • Small and portable
  • Long mains lead (170 cm/67 inches)

Cons

  • Some users have issues with the radio not staying tuned to a particular station

Verdict

This is a good value radio, ideal for the kitchen or bathroom. It’s very portable and is easy to tune. It has received very positive reviews online.


VQ Retro Mini Digital Radio (DAB/DAB+/FM) and Bluetooth Speaker – Blue

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

The VQ Retro Mini Digital Radio is a portable and classy radio that lets you listen to both FM and DAB stations. The radio is available in a choice of 11 colours. The product was designed in Britain by VQ.

Features

  • Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to stream music from your smartphone or tablet
  • Two alarms (you can use one for weekdays and another for the weekend)
  • Range of equaliser settings
  • 5 mm headphone jack
  • USB charging port
  • Sleep function that turns the radio off after a set amount of time

Pros

  • Real wood construction gives it a great sound quality
  • Versatile (DAB, FM, alarm clock etc.)
  • Designed with attention to detail
  • Crisp and clear sound

Cons

  • Delay when switching between FM and DAB modes
  • Some buyers find the sound quality disappointing, though this is subjective

Verdict

If you’re looking for a small, stylish retro DAB radio with great features, the VQ Retro Mini is an excellent choice.


Goodmans Oxford 1960’s Vintage Style Radio in Sky Blue

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

This product is a faithful replica of the 1960s model with a modern twist: DAB radio. It’s a stylish radio with classic style buttons and a tan leather handle.

Features

  • Line-in connection for smartphones or MP3 players
  • Aux-in socket
  • Headphone socket
  • Powered by mains or battery
  • Hinged telescopic aerial
  • Carry strap

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Attractive vintage design
  • Digital Tick approved
  • Portable

Cons

  • Quite heavy (1kg)
  • Small display

Verdict

This product definitely has a retro look. It offers 1960s style with the latest in DAB radio technology. Read our full review of the Goodmans Oxford 1960’s style radio.


Konig Stylish Retro Table Radio – Baby Blue

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

This attractive retro-style radio has a large dial showing big city frequencies. It looks just like an authentic radio from the 1950s.

Features

  • AM/FM
  • Volume and tone control knobs
  • Mains or battery powered
  • 220 V

Pros

  • Looks great for the price
  • Very compact and portable
  • Reception is good

Cons

  • No sleep function
  • Might seem plasticy
  • No DAB radio

Overview

This radio doesn’t offer amazing sound quality, but it does have a fantastic retro look.


KitSound Swing FM Radio with Alarm Clock

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

This is a compact retro FM radio that operates either by mains power or battery. The design is based on a 1920s model.

Features

  • Alarm clock function
  • LCD display
  • Carry handle
  • Battery or mains powered
  • Sleep and snooze functions
  • Leatherette casing
  • Frequencies: 60 Hz-18 kHz
  • Weighs 630g
  • Takes 4 AA batteries
  • Aux input for plugging in a phone or MP3 player

Pros

  • Very portable
  • Clear LCD display
  • Can be used as a clock radio or just a regular radio
  • Very good radio reception

Cons

  • No DAB radio
  • Date displays American format (month first)

Overview

The KitSound Swing FM Radio with Alarm Clock is an attractive radio with several useful features. It’s a very impressive radio for the price.

Roberts RD60 Revival DAB/FM RDS Digital Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

This Roberts radio combines a 1950s style with modern features and DAB radio.

Features

  • FM/DAB
  • Runs on mains power or four LR20 batteries
  • Stereo line in/out socket for connecting a phone or MP3 player
  • Auto tune feature
  • Saves favourite stations as presets
  • Weighs 1.49kg
  • Pause function lets you pause radio for up to 17 minutes

Pros

  • Up to 121 hours of battery life
  • LCD display is easy to read
  • 12 month warranty
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Fairly heavy
  • Somewhat flimsy build
  • Plastic covering sometimes peels off

Overview

This is a great looking retro DAB radio, with high-quality sound. However, some buyers find the construction to be low quality for the price. Read our full review here.


Goodmans GSR1889DABBTW Heritage Retro Radio with Bluetooth

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

This is a very elegant 1950s-style DAM/FM radio with advanced features such as Bluetooth.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • AC power supply
  • AUX input
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Alarm and sleep timer
  • Weighs around 3kg

Pros

  • High-quality speakers
  • Several equalizer settings
  • Easy to set up and use without technical know-how
  • Good reception thanks to long telescopic aerial

Cons

  • No remote
  • No USB charging
  • Fairly large and heavy (on the plus side, it is sturdy)
  • Not portable (mains powered only)

Verdict

If you’re looking for a sturdy and durable retro radio that offers the latest DAB and Bluetooth features, the Goodmans GSR1889DABBTW Heritage Retro Radio is ideal. It’s not so good if you want something small and portable.


Retro Radio with wood cabinet FM / LW Radio Kitchen Radio Nostalgia Retro Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

This is a beautiful radio that has a really authentic retro look. It’s like having a real vintage radio without having to shell out hundreds to an antiques dealer. It only offers FM and LW though, so you can’t listen to digital channels.

Features

  • 9W integrated speaker
  • Wood casing
  • FM/LW
  • Wire aerial

Pros

  • Authentic retro look
  • Low price

Cons

  • Only mains powered, so not portable
  • No telescopic aerial – just a wire aerial

Verdict

If looks are the most important thing, this radio is a good buy, especially given its low price. If you’re looking for modern features such as DAB radio and Bluetooth, try consider a different retro radio model such as the Goodmans GSR1889DABBTW Heritage Retro Radio above.


Retro Nostalgic DAB Digital Radio

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

This is a small retro DAB radio that is available in several different colours. It’s portable and can be used to listen to DAB, FM and MW/AM.

Features

  • DAB, FM, MW/AM
  • Built-in speaker
  • 3.5 mm socket for headphones, phone or MP3 player
  • 10 preset stations
  • Extendable aerial

Pros

  • PortableConnects to your phone or MP3 player via 3.5 mm jack
  • The manufacturer (DIGITEL) offers good customer service in case of any problems

Cons

  • Reviews of this radio are almost all positive. The DAB reception may not be perfect but that is not caused by the radio.

Verdict

This is one of the best cheap retro-style DAB radios. It’s very compact and portable.


KitSound Jive 1950s Style Retro Portable DAB Radio with Dual Alarm Clock and Carry Handle

Price: See prices on Amazon.co.uk

Overview

This 1950s style DAB radio helps recreate the rock and roll era. For a very affordable price you get an attractive vintage-style DAB radio with some great features.

Features

  • Dual alarm clock (set two alarms to guarantee you get up on time)
  • Sleep and snooze options
  • Powered by mains or batteries
  • Carry handle
  • Weighs 1.25 kg
  • Clock feature
  • Takes 5 “C” batteries

Pros

  • Speaker goes quite loud even though the radio is small
  • Batteries last around 8 hours (this depends on the battery type and usage)

Cons

  • No headphone socket or connection for smartphones
  • Some buyers find the build quality to be poor

Verdict

This radio offers modern, functional technology in an authentic 1950s-style design. It takes batteries as well as mains power, so you can use it in the garden too. Moreover, it’s a cheaper alternative to other retro DAB models like the Roberts RD60 Revival DAB/FM RDS Digital Radio.

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