Best DAB Radios Under £50 (UK 2019)

The cost of DAB radios has come down a lot in recent years. It used to be hard to find a DAB for less than £50, but these days there are dozens available. In fact, there’s almost too much choice, and it can be overwhelming.

We’ve researched the market and picked out the top DAB radios under £50 available in the UK. Read on for our reviews of each.

Please note, we cannot guarantee that all of these radios will be available for less than £50 when you read this article.

Best DAB Radios Under £50 (UK 2019)

1. Majority Little Shelford

The Majority Little Shelford is a stylish and compact retro DAB radio that offers great value for money. It has lots of useful features including Bluetooth and a dual alarm clock, and can be powered by the mains or AA batteries.

It has a micro USB port which allows you to power it using a phone charger or computer, which is quite convenient.

You might not have heard of the brand Majority, but they are currently one of the top-selling brands of budget radios in the UK. Majority are a British brand whose products are designed in Cambridgeshire and made in the Far East (like almost all digital radios).

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Bluetooth
  • Mains or battery powered (4 x AA)
  • Headphone jack
  • Saves 20 preset stations (10 on FM and 10 on DAB/DAB+)

Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 10 cm
Weight: 760 g

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Features Bluetooth
  • Small and easy to carry around
  • Good for campervans as it takes a USB power source

Cons

  • Build quality could be higher
  • Battery life is quite poor

Summary

The Little Shelford is one of the most popular DAB radios on the market at the moment and it’s easy to see why—it’s cheap, has an attractive design and offers lots of features including Bluetooth.

Not many radios in this price range offer so many features. The Little Shelford is also very compact and portable, and the USB power connection is useful if you’re camping or caravanning.

Read our full review of the Little Shelford here.

2. Roberts Radio Play 10

The Roberts Radio Play 10 is one of the most popular DAB radios in this price category in the UK. You can plug it into the mains or use it as a portable radio with four AA batteries.

It’s a simple and straightforward radio that doesn’t offer as many features as products like the Majority Little Shelford reviewed above. One nice thing about this radio is that it has dedicated preset buttons so you can quickly tune into your favourite stations.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Saves 6 preset stations
  • Headphone jack
  • Battery or mains powered

Dimensions: 18 x 10.5 x 5.5 cm
Weight: 350 g

Pros

  • Small and light
  • Good sound quality for both speech and music
  • Easy to use
  • Dedicated preset buttons

Cons

  • No alarm clock
  • Short battery life

Summary

The Play 10 is a straightforward, no-nonsense DAB radio that will be fine for most people. It’s affordable and easy to use, and has decent sound quality.

As with all the radios listed here, there are better-sounding radios available, though they will cost you more than £50. Read our full review of the Roberts Play 10 here.

3. John Lewis & Partners Aston MK2

The Aston MK2 is a stylish FM/DAB radio made and sold by the department store John Lewis. It comes in a choice of three finishes: Coffee, Walnut and Duck Egg.

This radio doesn’t have a huge list of features but it looks great, is easy to use and is light and easy to carry around the house.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Saves 10 preset stations
  • Mains or battery powered (4 x AA batteries)
  • Aux out
  • Carrying handle

Dimensions: 22 x 18.5 x 7 cm

Pros

  • Nice retro design
  • Good value for money
  • Light and easy to carry around
  • Easy to use
  • 2-year guarantee included

Cons

  • No alarm function
  • Batteries usually last less than 8 hours

Summary

The Aston MK2 has a very nice design for the price and offers great value for money. It only has the essential features, and doesn’t have an alarm, but is a good choice if you want something simple, portable and stylish.

4. Sony XDR-S41D

This small DAB radio from Sony could be good for a bathroom windowsill or carrying around the house or the garden. It has a thin and lightweight design, so it’s easy to carry in one hand.

The XDR-S41D has the sort of functional design you’d expect from Sony. It’s arguably not as stylish as some of the retro radios in this price range, but it’s well made and reliable.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Mains or battery powered (4 x AA)
  • 5 dedicated preset buttons for quickly accessing favourite stations
  • Alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 18 x 9.5 x 3.6 cm
Weight: 431 g

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Crisp and clear sound
  • Easy to tune into presets thanks to preset buttons
  • Light and easy to carry around
  • Intuitive and easy to use

Cons

  • Sound doesn’t have much depth
  • Not particularly stylish

Summary

The Sony XDR-S41D is a good choice if you want something small and easy to use. As you’d expect from Sony, it’s reliable and functional even if it isn’t the most stylish radio on this list.

5. AZATOM Woodlands

The AZATOM Woodlands is an attractive portable DAB radio with a wood-effect finish. It’s one of the newest radios from British audio brand AZATOM, having been released in October 2018.

It offers an impressive combination of features including MP3 playback via USB, Bluetooth streaming and a remote control.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarm clock
  • Rechargeable built-in battery
  • Remote control
  • Adjustable EQ
  • SD & USB playback

Dimensions: 17.5 x 12 x 9 cm
Weight: 721 g

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Convenient built-in rechargeable battery
  • Useful remote control
  • Versatile with lots of features

Cons

  • Buttons are relatively hard to press down

Summary

Few (if any) other DAB radios under £50 offer as many features as the AZATOM Woodlands.

The combination of Bluetooth, MP3 playback, a remote control and an alarm clock make the Woodlands one of the most versatile radios in its price range.

Read our full review of the AZATOM Woodlands here.

6. John Lewis Spectrum Solo

John Lewis Spectrum Solo Radio

The Spectrum Solo is one of John Lewis’s cheapest own-brand DAB radios at the time of writing. It’s a compact and affordable radio that compares well to similarly priced radios from brands like Roberts. The radio comes in a choice of several different colours.

John Lewis’s own-brand radios tend to offer good value for money and are all backed by a 2-year guarantee when bought new.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • 5 dedicated preset buttons
  • Rotary tuning and volume controls

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good sound quality for the size
  • Small footprint; fits easily in most places
  • Relatively good DAB signal

Cons

  • Gets through batteries quickly (though this is common with portable DAB radios)
  • No alarm clock
  • Not many features

Summary

The Spectrum Solo is a straightforward and functional DAB radio that offers good value for money. It’s fairly limited in terms of features and doesn’t have an alarm clock.

The five preset buttons on the front of the radio make it easy to use as you don’t need to scroll through a menu to change the station.

Read our full review of the Spectrum Solo here.

7. Goodmans Canvas

The Goodmans Canvas is another popular portable FM/DAB radio. It’s very affordable and has a slim design that comes in a choice of four colours: Apple Green, Brown/Copper, Ruby and Steel.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Portable with a choice of mains or battery power (4 x AA)
  • Stereo headphone jack

Dimensions: 18.5 x 11 x 5.7 cm
Weight: 349 g

Pros

  • Good sound quality for speech; decent for music
  • Loud enough for the kitchen
  • Light and easy to carry around

Cons

  • Slow to change the volume as you have to hold it down rather than turning a knob
  • Eats through batteries quickly

Summary

The Goodmans Canvas is a great choice if you want an inexpensive yet reliable portable DAB for listening to speech programmes, Radio 4 etc.

It doesn’t sound so great for music, so you might want to invest more if you’re a real audiophile. Nevertheless, it offers a decent amount of volume—enough to be heard over a boiling kettle or sizzling frying pan.

Read our full review of the Goodmans Canvas here.

What to Look for in a DAB Radio Under £50

If you have a low budget, you’ll need to compromise somewhat when it comes sound quality. However, you can still get a radio with plenty of features.

Here are some things to look for when choosing a budget DAB radio for less than £50:

  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth lets you stream audio from your phone or another smart device through the radio’s speakers without connecting it via a cable. This means you can have your phone on one side of the room while listening to music from it through the radio on the other side of the room.
    Bluetooth used to be limited to more expensive radios, but now it’s available in several budget radios including the Majority Little Shelford and the AZATOM Woodlands.
  • Alarm clock – Lots of budget radios have an alarm clock feature that lets you wake up to either the radio or a regular alarm sound. Digital radios under £50 with an alarm clock include the Majority Little Shelford, Sony XDR-S41D and AZATOM Woodlands.
  • Portable – Radios in this price range are usually portable. Some take AA or C batteries, whereas others have a built-in rechargeable battery.
    Some people like to use removable batteries and replace them or recharge them separately, but many find it’s more convenient to have a built-in battery that charges when you plug the radio into the mains.
  • Dedicated preset buttons – Almost every digital radio lets you save your favourite stations as presets so you access them quickly. However, accessing them often involves scrolling through a menu, which can be fiddly and time consuming.
    It’s more convenient to have dedicated preset buttons on the radio so you can tune into your favourite stations with just one button press.
    Some DAB radios with preset buttons that cost less than £50 are the Roberts Play 10 and John Lewis Spectrum Solo, which both have three preset buttons, and the Sony XDR-S41D, which has five.
  • USB charging and/or playback – Some radios have a USB port that lets you charge a phone or another device. Some also have a USB port that lets you connect an MP3 player or USB stick to play MP3s or other digital audio files through the radio’s speakers.
    The AZATOM Woodlands has both a USB port and an SD card reader for playing digital audio files.

 

Conclusion

If we had to pick just one of these radios to recommend, it would be the Majority Little Shelford. It offers an impressive list of features including Bluetooth, is small and portable and has a cute retro design.

If you want something even cheaper, you might want to consider one of these DAB radios under £30, or find out what the cheapest DAB radios in the UK are here.

To see more recommendations, see our page that summarises what we think are the best DAB radios in the UK in different categories.

2 thoughts on “Best DAB Radios Under £50 (UK 2019)

  1. It would be good if a manufacturer could produce a dab unit which ran on rechargeable D cells for longer life while portable….with automatic built in charger when on mains. Also, a simple knob for tuning and volume! Maybe add Short wave with ssb for us older enthusiasts?

    1. I agree with you Brian. I’m not an OAP being in my mid 50’s but I prefer a simple knob for tuning and colume. I don;t understand why we don’t have the choice, especially as that would be so much easier to control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.