KitSound Jive DAB Radio Review

The KitSound Jive is a retro-style DAB/FM radio that harks back to the rock and roll era. It’s has a 1950s-style design and is available in blue, beige, black or a retro flower design.

The Jive is a small portable radio that has a carrying handle but can also be plugged into the mains. It could be a good choice for a stylish retro kitchen or for listening to while enjoying a picnic. Let’s see what it can do…

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Dual alarm clock with snooze option
  • Can be used with mains power or 5 C-sized batteries
  • Sleep timer
  • Carrying handle
  • Line-in socket
  • LED display

Dimensions: 27 cm wide x 15.5 cm high x 11 cm deep
Weight: 1.25 kg

The Kitsound Jive has most of the basic features you would expect from a portable FM/DAB radio, though it doesn’t have a headphone jack. It would also be nice if the radio had Bluetooth, but for many people the absence of a headphone socket and Bluetooth won’t be a problem.

Design and build

The KitSound Jive has a classic 1950’s design that looks superb on a kitchen countertop. A lot of other manufacturers produce very similar-looking radios, and although Kitsound is a less well known brand, the Jive looks as good as similar products from better known manufacturers like Roberts.

Despite its low price, this radio feels well made and appears to use high-quality materials. The faux-leather material used is realistic and doesn’t feel cheap and tacky. When it comes to the controls, however, it’s a different story. Unfortunately, the controls feel quite poorly made, and the volume control isn’t sensitive enough, which means it becomes loud too quickly.

Sound quality

For a small, low-priced DAB radio, the Kitsound Jive sounds good. It’s crisp and clear, and sounds quite warm. There isn’t a lot of detail or depth to the sound, but it’s fine for listening to in the kitchen or the garden.

Ease of use

The Kitsound Jive is straightforward and easy to use. This radio doesn’t have a huge number of features, which helps keep the interface simple and intuitive. As mentioned above, however, the volume control is fiddly and it can be hard to get the volume you want.

Pros

  • Affordable and good value for money
  • Digital display is easy to read
  • Looks great, with a genuine vintage design
  • Easy to use
  • Good reception on FM and DAB
  • Sounds good for the price

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Volume doesn’t increase very gradually—as you turn the volume up it gets loud too quickly
  • You can’t control the tone or EQ
  • Display can only be seen from above, so it might not work as a bedside radio
  • Takes 5 batteries, which is inconvenient

Verdict

The KitSound Jive is a great-looking retro radio that offers good value for money. The sound quality is decent, and it’s straightforward and easy to use.

This radio does have some serious flaws, most noticeably the lack of a headphone socket. The volume control is a bit too sensitive, which can be frustrating. Overall though, the Kitsound Jive is a good buy for the price.

Similar radios

When it comes to choosing a retro DAB radio, you have a lot of choice. Many other radio manufacturers produce radios with a 1950’s or 60’s design, so it can be hard to know which to go for.

If you’d like a retro radio with Bluetooth, you could consider the VQ Retro Mk II, which will allow you to stream audio wirelessly. If you’d like a retro radio with MW as well as DAB, you should take a look at the Steepletone Dorset.

One of the most similar-looking radios to the Kitsound Jive is the Roberts Revival RD60, which is substantially more expensive than the Jive. For some more retro radios to consider, see this article: Best Retro Radios Available in the UK.

 

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