Castle DAB Digital FM Radio Review

Summary:
Offers an impressive number of features for the price, though build quality could be improved.

Buy it online:
£79.95 on Amazon.co.uk

The Castle DAB radio has plenty of features including FM/DAB radio, Bluetooth and a CD player. It’s a complete sound system rather than just a radio. The Castle is made by Majority, who are a budget radio brand from Cambridge, England. Let’s look at this radio/CD player in more detail.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Bluetooth
  • CD player
  • 35 Watt speakers
  • Adjustable bass and treble
  • Two USB charging points
  • 3.5 mm aux input
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 20 presets (10 for FM and 10 for DAB)
  • Remote control
  • Clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Alarm
  • Dimmable screen

Dimensions: 29 cm wide x 15 cm high x 20 cm deep
Weight: 3.5 kg (boxed)

What’s in the box?

In addition to the Castle radio itself, you also get a tablet/phone stand, a remote control, a mains power lead and an instructions manual (available online here).

Performance and use

This radio is quick and easy to set up. It automatically sets the correct time via DAB radio, and connecting your phone to it via Bluetooth is very easy.

Despite offering a lot of features, the Castle DAB radio is compact and with a footprint of 29 x 20 cm, it can fit on a bedside table or kitchen countertop.

The Castle DAB radio has two USB ports which are only for charging devices—you can’t use them to play MP3 files. See our roundup of the best radios with a USB port to see some radios that let you play MP3s via USB.

While it can’t compare to high-end DAB radios, the Castle DAB has good sound quality for the price.

While it can’t compare to high-end DAB radios, the Castle DAB has good sound quality for the price. You can adjust the bass and treble levels, and the radio tends to sound better when with the bass turned up compared to using the default settings.

This radio lets you save 10 preset stations on FM and 10 on DAB. Like on many radios, setting the presets can be fiddly.

This radio lets you set two separate alarms, so you could have one alarm for weekends and one for weekdays, or just set two 10 minutes apart in case you go back to sleep after turning off the first alarm. The radio shows a clock when in standby mode, and the clock can be adjusted to show a 12-hour or 24-hour format.

Some buyers have found that certain features stopped working properly after 6 months or so. While this doesn’t happen for everyone, you can expect the Castle DAB radio to be less durable and reliable than more expensive alternatives such as the Pure Evoke C-D6.

Pros

  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Looks more expensive than it is
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Loading and ejecting CDs is smooth
  • Using Bluetooth is easy
  • Compact size
  • Powerful speakers

Cons

  • Can take a minute or so to start playing a CD
  • Some customers have complained about certain features not working, suggesting a small percentage of Castle radios are faulty.
  • Might not last very long

Verdict

If you want a DAB radio/CD player with Bluetooth for an affordable price, it’s hard to find anything that offers better value for money than the Castle DAB radio. Majority is a less established brand, but this radio holds its own against the competition. Its instructions manual needs improving, but if you don’t mind figuring things out for yourself this shouldn’t be a problem.

Don’t expect perfection with this machine. The sound quality and overall build quality could certainly be improved, but if you’re looking to maximise the number of features you get for your money, the Castle DAB is a good choice.

Similar radios

In 2017 Majority released a newer radio, the Huntingdon DAB, which has very similar features to the Castle DAB (FM/DAB radio, Bluetooth and a CD player). Like the Castle, the Huntingdon offers very good value for money.

One alternative from a more high-end brand is the Pure Evoke C-D6, which is a very stylish FM/DAB radio which also features Bluetooth and a CD player. It’s significantly more expensive than the Castle or Huntingdon radios, but has excellent warranty and is backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Another radio from an established brand is the Roberts Sound38 CD/DAB/FM Stereo Clock Radio. It has a special CD bookmarking feature, meaning you can stop listening to a CD halfway through and then pick up where you left off.

For some more options, see our roundup of the best radio CD players.

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