Best DAB Radios for the Elderly (UK 2019)

As radios become more complex, they often become harder to use.

While many elderly people have no problem at all with complicated technology products, others find them too difficult to use. This can make trying to listen to the radio frustrating.

Many radios are overcomplicated or have an unintuitive design, which can be particularly problematic for those with deteriorating eyesight or cognitive problems such as dementia.

Choosing a DAB Radio for an Elderly Person

Whether you’re buying for yourself or for an elderly friend or relative, the most important thing to look for when choosing a radio for an older person is ease of use.

Ease of use is determined by lots of factors, which we’ve explained in more detail below.

Good button layout

On some radios, all of the buttons are the same size and are laid out in a straight line, making it hard to find the button you want. Look for a radio with clearly distinguished buttons that can be found in the dark or without having to look closely at the radio.

The most-used buttons on a radio are usually the on/off button, and volume and tuning buttons or dials. Look for a radio where it’s clear which buttons/dials perform these functions, and where these buttons are easy to find and use.

Dedicated preset buttons

Many radios require you to scroll through menus to select and tune into stations. This is quite fiddly and can be difficult to do if your eyesight isn’t great.

Having dedicated preset buttons means you can tune into your favourite stations just by pressing a single button. Most people only listen to a handful of stations anyway, so this makes things much simpler.

In general, a radio will be easier to use if features can be accessed by buttons rather than using a menu, so try to choose a radio where other important features can be quickly accessed via buttons.

No more features than necessary

A lot of elderly people are unlikely to use features such as Bluetooth, USB charging and internet radio, so having these features could just be confusing and make the radio harder to use.

While having less features is usually thought of as a bad thing in electronics products, it could actually be a good thing when buying for an elderly person.

Clear clock display

This isn’t always essential, as not everyone will use their radio as a clock. However, if you’re buying for someone with deteriorating eyesight, look for something with a large and easy-to-read clock display.

 

Best DAB Radios for the Elderly (UK 2019)

We’ve researched the market and picked out five of the best DAB radios for the elderly available in the UK.

We’ve ranked them in order of which we think will be most suitable for elderly people, though this of course depends on your particular needs and level of comfort with technology.

1. Sony XDR-S61D

The Sony XDR-S61D is one of the easiest DAB radios to use on the market. It has five preset buttons on the top of the radio, making it easy to switch between your favourite stations. The volume is adjusted using a dial, which is also easy to use.

This radio has a classic-looking Sony design, and comes in a choice of either white or black. If you like the look of this radio but would prefer something smaller and cheaper, you might prefer the Sony XDR-S41D, which is the model down from this one.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Saves 10 preset stations
  • Alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • 5 preset buttons
  • Headphone jack
  • Can be mains or battery powered (4 x AA)
  • Auto-dimming display

Dimensions: 22.7 x 13.9 x 9.5 cm
Weight: 998 g

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Portable
  • Buttons are laid out in an intuitive way
  • Dependable brand
  • Clear sound quality

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

Summary

While it doesn’t have any more advanced features such as Bluetooth or a USB port, the Sony XDR-S61D has a lot of features many elderly people will appreciate including an alarm clock and a sleep timer for night-time listening.

The clock display is easy to read, and automatically switches off so as not to keep you awake at night. It’s easy to turn the radio on and off and find the preset buttons on the top even in the dark.

Given its features, this radio is relatively pricey, but it’s well made and should last a long time. Read our full review of the Sony XDR-S61D here.

 

2. Roberts Elise

The Roberts Elise is often recommended to visually impaired people as it’s very easy to use thanks to the way the buttons are laid out.

This radio is very easy to use and doesn’t really require any setting up—just turn it on and let it find the FM and DAB stations available.

The Elise has some useful features such as a favourite station button which lets you tune into your favourite radio station with just one press.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Saves 9 preset stations
  • Favourite station button
  • Headphone jack
  • Mains or battery powered (6 x C)

Dimensions: 23.7 cm x 14.1 cm x 8.2 cm
Weight: 650 g

Pros

  • Easy to save and recall preset stations
  • Tactile volume dial
  • Portable and easy to carry around
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Not many features
  • Battery life is disappointing
  • Instructions manual could be clearer
  • No alarm clock

Summary

This radio only has the most essential features, but they are all easy to use. It’s easy to locate the buttons by touch, which is ideal for those with poor eyesight.

The favourite station button in particular is very useful as you can instantly return to whichever station you listen to most. Read our full review of the Roberts Elise here.

 

3. Roberts Play 10

The Play 10 is another simple and easy-to-use DAB radio from Roberts. It’s one of the most popular DAB radios on the market at the moment thanks to its low price, convenient portable design and dependable performance.

This radio doesn’t have an alarm clock, so give this product a skip if you need an alarm clock.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • 3 dedicated preset buttons
  • Headphone jack
  • Carrying handle
  • Mains or battery powered

Dimensions: 10.5 x 8 x 5.5 cm
Weight: 349 g

Pros

  • Light and easy to carry around
  • Good sound quality
  • Generally very easy to use
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Tuning dial is easy to confuse for a volume dial
  • Buttons are quite small
  • Battery life is disappointing
  • No clock or alarm

Summary

In general, this radio is very easy to use. However, there are a few things about it that could be confusing—the tuning dial is easy to confuse for a volume dial, and the buttons are quite small.

The Play 10 is a very popular and highly rated radio, but it’s not quite as easy to use as the Sony XDR-S61D or the Roberts Elise.

This radio offers good value for money and is easy to carry around the house, so it’s a good choice for most elderly people.

Another similar radio from Roberts is the Roberts Play, which has a useful built-in battery charger so you can use it as a portable radio without replacing the batteries as long as you have a set of rechargeable batteries.

Read our full review of the Roberts Play 10 here.

 

4. Majority Oakington

If you’d like an easy-to-use DAB radio that also features a CD player, the Oakington from budget brand Majority could be a good choice. This affordable product could replace a music system or hi-fi as it lets you listen to CDs and the radio with just one device.

This radio has some features such as Bluetooth and USB charging that many older people may not need, but the inclusion of these features doesn’t make the radio difficult to use.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Headphone jack
  • USB port for charging devices or playing MP3s
  • Aux-in
  • Remote control
  • Adjustable EQ

Dimensions: 40 x 20 x 13 cm
Weight: 1.2 kg

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Useful remote control
  • Remembers your position on CDs—good for audiobooks

Cons

  • Could have more features than necessary
  • No dedicated preset buttons
  • Build quality could be higher
  • Display is quite small

Summary

The Oakington definitely isn’t the easiest-to-use radio on this list, but it could be a good choice for a more tech-savvy older person who wants to listen to CDs as well as the radio.

This radio features a sleep timer, which means you can program it to switch itself off after a certain period of time, making it good for listening to in bed.

This product offers great value for money compared to alternatives from better-known brands. Read our full review of the Majority Oakington here.

 

5. Pure Evoke H3

We think the Pure Evoke H3 is one of the best DAB radios overall on the market at the moment, so it could be a good choice for an elderly person. This radio offers a good combination of stylish design, clear sound quality and useful features.

This radio has a vertical design which means it won’t take up much space on a table or shelf. It looks great and is available in either an oak or walnut finish.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Optional rechargeable battery (costs extra)
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Colour display

Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 11 cm
Weight: 940 g

Pros

  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Stylish design
  • Useful dual alarm clock and sleep timer
  • Good sound quality
  • Good build quality

Cons

  • Battery pack costs extra
  • On/off button is hard to find in the dark

Summary

The Evoke H3 may not be as suitable for an elderly person as some of the other radios reviewed here as it’s not the easiest to use. However, it’s a very high-quality product that looks great and comes with a generous 3-year warranty.

Read our full review of the Pure Evoke H3 here.

 

Conclusion

If we had to pick just one of these radios to recommend for elderly people, it would be the Sony XDR-S61D. This radio’s button layout is very intuitive, with useful preset buttons on the top so you don’t need to scroll through a menu to find your favourite stations.

The Sony XDR-S61D doesn’t have many features, but this could be a plus for less tech savvy people who just want the essentials.

For some more recommendations, see our overview of the best DAB radios on the market.

1 thought on “Best DAB Radios for the Elderly (UK 2019)”

  1. I bought this radio Sony XDR-S61D & found the instructions confusing & difficult to set up. Not just me either.A friend who was an electrical engineer also had a problem too.
    Disappointing buy.

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