Lava DAB Radio Review

Summary:
Looks nice, but the sound quality and functionality are disappointing.

Buy it online:
See on Amazon.co.uk

The Lava DAB Radio is a stylish and affordable portable DAB radio from British brand Lava Accessories. It’s one of the cheapest portable digital radios available at the moment, so it could be a good choice if you’re looking to save money while still getting something that looks and sounds nice.

This radio is available in a choice of four colours: blue, purple, cream and teal. Find out more about what the Lava DAB Radio can do and how it performs in this review…

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Saves 10 preset radio stations on both DAB and FM
  • Takes 4 x AA batteries or can be plugged into the mains
  • LCD display
  • Auto-scan tuning feature
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 25 cm wide x 11 cm tall x 7 cm deep
Weight: 308 g

Performance and use

The Lava DAB Radio looks great, but there are some issues with its performance. The sound quality is quite thin and tinny, and the radio reception is relatively poor compared to other radios in the same price range.

Furthermore, saving and accessing preset stations is fiddly, and the instructions manual isn’t very useful. Even once they’ve been saved, the presets don’t always work as expected. It also eats through batteries very quickly, though you can plug it into the mains instead.

This radio does have some saving graces. For a small radio, the Lava DAB can go quite loud, and it also starts playing almost instantly when you turn it on, unlike on lots of other DAB radios where there’s a lag.

Pros

  • Good amount of volume for a small radio
  • Smart, elegant design
  • Turns on and tunes in instantly unlike many other DAB radios where you have to wait a few seconds

Cons

  • Gets through batteries quickly
  • Lacks bass, though this is common with small radios
  • Saving preset stations doesn’t always work properly
  • Instructions manual isn’t very clear
  • Radio reception is relatively poor

Verdict

The Lava DAB Radio is a budget digital radio, so as you’d expect it has some flaws. It isn’t a good choice if you’re looking to use it with batteries as they run down very quickly. If you’re happy using it plugged in, it’s a nice-looking little radio with a decent amount of volume and acceptable sound quality considering its low price. However, we believe there are better options out there for the same price or less.

#1 reason to buy: Good value for money
#1 reason not to buy: Preset function is fiddly and unreliable

Similar radios

A good alternative in the same price range could be the Majority Shelford, which is an affordable portable digital radio with a leather effect retro design.

If you’d prefer something from a more prestigious and established brand, you should consider the Roberts Play10, which is a reliable and well designed portable DAB radio.

For more low-priced DAB radios to consider, check out our roundup of the best DAB radios under £30 or this list of some of the cheapest DAB radios in the UK.

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