Welcome to BestRadios.co.uk! Our aim is to help you find the right radio by reviewing and comparing the best radios available in the UK.
Buying a new radio usually isn’t a big investment, but if you’re going to listen to it every day for the next few years, you want to make the right choice. The purpose of this site is to make the research process quicker and easier through impartial reviews, comparisons and advice.
Radio Buying Guide
Whether you’re buying a radio for yourself or as a present, the choice and range of features available can be overwhelming. Radios used to be fairly simple, but now many offer advanced features such as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. So how do you know which radio is right for you?
Below we’ve put together a quick radio buying guide to help you navigate the different choices and possibilities out there. Let’s have a look at the different things to consider so that you can find the perfect radio for your requirements and budget.
What is your budget?
The first thing most of us consider when making a purchase is our budget. What can you get for your money?
The cost of DAB radios has come down a lot in recent years, so you can now get lots of DAB radio for less than £30. One of the most popular budget radios in 2019 is the Petersfield DAB Radio (see image below).
Radios you can get for less than £30 are often good for listening to speech programmes, but probably won’t offer great sound quality unless you use them with high-quality headphones.
Low to Mid-Priced Radios
If you spend a bit more you can get often more advanced features like Bluetooth connectivity to stream music from your phone. Models in this price range usually have a better build quality and are often more stylish than cheap radios.
For a roundup of high-quality DAB radios in this price range, check out this article: Best Budget DAB Radios Under £50. One of the most attractive mid-priced FM/DAB radio is the Goodmans Oxford 1960’s Radio (see image below).
There are also a lot of good clock radio iPhone docking stations available for less than £50. These radios allow you to charge your iPhone overnight.
If your budget is £80 or above, you can get a really high-quality piece of kit. For this price you should be able to connect your smartphone to the radio via Bluetooth, and also enjoy superior sound quality. Many radios in this price range now offer internet radio, which lets you listen to more than 20,000 stations worldwide using Wi-Fi. One such radio is the Roberts Radio Stream 107 (see image below).
Radios over £150 are top-of-the-range models with amazing state-of-the-art features. For this price you can expect WiFi connectivity, DAB+, crisp sound quality and quality engineering. You can also buy radios like the Pure Evoke C-F6 and the Roberts Blutune100 (pictured below), that function as a DAB radio, wireless speakers, and CD player.
Digital or Analogue?
DAB radio was introduced in the UK in 2001. It offers a much greater range of channels than analogue (usually around twice as much). The UK has the largest DAB radio network in the world, so it certainly makes sense for British buyers to choose a DAB radio. You’ll also get clearer radio reception, provided you live in an area with good digital radio signal.
As a general rule, we recommend getting a DAB radio as eventually the UK will switch over to digital radio and FM signals may even be switched off. Furthermore, DAB radio will allow you to enjoy a greater choice of channels, and digital radios are now available very cheaply, with many good models available for less than £30.
If you want a traditional AM/FM radio, read our roundup of the best AM/FM radios available in the UK.
Do you want to go for a respected, established brand like Roberts or Pure, or try a new and untested brand?
Which features do you need?
To choose the right radio, you need to understand the different features available and decide which you want/need. Here is an explanation of the most common features offered by radios:
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is an alternative to traditional FM/AM radio. It allows you to listen to roughly double the number of channels you would get on FM/AM. Some channels such as Radio 4 Extra are only available with DAB.
Bluetooth streaming allows you to play music from your smartphone through the radio’s speakers. You could use this to listen to songs you have downloaded, YouTube or online radio.
3.5 mm headphone jack
A 3.5 mm headphone jack will allow you to connect earphones to your radio. You can also use it to connect the radio to a smartphone or MP3 player.
Portable / battery operated
Some radios are mains operated, while others offer a choice of mains power or battery power. If you need your radio to be portable or want to listen to the radio in the garden, choose a battery-powered radio.
What kind of style do you want?
Radios are available in a huge range of styles, from modern and minimalistic designs like the Arbury DAB Radio to classic and retro radios like the Roberts Roberts RD60DE Revival Digital Radio (pictured below).