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The August MB415 is a versatile and relatively cheap portable radio with Bluetooth and DAB. This radio is made by August International, a UK-based electronics company who manufacture a range of products including televisions, speakers and radios. One distinctive thing about this radio is that it lets you play MP3s from a USB or SD card. Find out more about what the August MB415 can do and how it performs in this review…
- FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
- NFC Bluetooth with range up to 10 metres
- Alarm clock
- Sleep timer (1-120 minutes)
- USB and SD card reader for playing MP3s
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Saves 40 preset stations (20 on FM and 20 on DAB/DAB+)
- 5W RMS speaker
- Aux-in port
Dimensions: 21.6 cm wide x 12.8 cm high x 9.8 cm deep
Weight: 900 g
Performance and use
The August MB415 has quite a stylish and understated design with a rubberised finish. It has decent sound quality for a small radio, though there isn’t much bass.
This radio is generally easy to use and the manual (available online here) is clearly written. Bluetooth in particular is easy to use and you should be able to pair your device very quickly. The Bluetooth range is about 10 metres.
One area where the August MB415 could be improved is in the design of its buttons. Rather than regular buttons that you press down, the August MB415’s buttons are touch-sensitive grooves. This makes the buttons fiddly to use, especially if you’re in bed and can’t see them. Another issue with the buttons is that they are labelled with very small text which can be difficult to read.
This radio can be plugged into the mains or powered with the built-in rechargeable battery. The rechargeable battery is unlikely to last more than 4 hours on a full charge, which isn’t very impressive. However, it’s easy to recharge the battery since it charges while the radio is plugged into the mains. The power cable connection isn’t very secure, so sometimes it falls out.
One of the nice things about this radio is that you can use it to play MP3s from a USB drive or SD card. There’s also an aux-in port, so you can connect other audio sources. However, it’s a shame that this radio doesn’t have a headphone jack.
- Good value for money
- Bluetooth is easy to use
- Stylish design
- Power cable sometimes falls out
- Buttons are awkward to use
- No headphone jack
August MB415 vs. August MB400
August International offer two very similar portable Bluetooth radios, the MB415 and MB400. These radios have similar features, dimensions and prices, so what’s the difference between them? Here are the main differences:
- The MB415 was released in 2015 whereas the MB400 was released in 2014, so the MB415 is a newer model.
- The MB415 has a built-in rechargeable battery, whereas the MB400 takes 4 x C batteries.
- The MB415 is slightly larger and heavier.
- The MB415 has a different design and comes in either black or grey. The MB400 comes in black, blue, red or grey.
The August MB415 looks stylish and has a good number of features for the price including Bluetooth. It’s a decent radio overall, though it’s let down by the button design which makes it fiddly to use.
One similar radio from a more well-known brand is the Pure Elan BT3. Like the August MB415, the Elan BT3 offers FM, DAB, DAB+ and Bluetooth. The Elan BT3 can be powered by the mains or with 4 AA batteries, which could be less convenient to use than the MB415’s built-in rechargeable battery.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, you might want to consider the VQ Hepburn Mk II. The Hepburn Mk II is a very stylish DAB radio with Bluetooth that comes in a large choice of finishes. The Hepburn Mk II is only portable if you buy the optional battery pack, which is a bit inconvenient.