If your radio has an aux input, you can connect another audio source such as an MP3 player, iPod or phone and play music from it through the radio’s speakers. This is particularly useful if the audio source doesn’t have Bluetooth and therefore can’t be connected wirelessly.
In this article we’ll look at some of the best DAB radios with an aux input currently available in the UK and explain more about what aux inputs are and how they work.
Best DAB Radios with an Aux Input (UK 2018)
Here are five of the top options in rough price order, with the cheapest first.
The Blackfriars from British audio brand AZATOM is a budget-priced FM/DAB/DAB+ radio with an aux input on the back.
The Blackfriars has a stylish retro design and offers lots of useful features including a remote control and the ability to set 4 separate alarms. It has a built-in rechargeable battery and a carrying handle so it’s a good choice if you want something portable.
Measuring 18.2 x 13 x 8.7 cm and weighing 780 g, it’s quite light and compact. Its vertical design means it won’t take up much space.
Despite its small size, the sound quality is decent. You can choose from 6 different EQ settings, and also adjust the bass and treble separately.
The AZATOM Blackfriars doesn’t have Bluetooth, so you will need to rely on the aux input when connecting other music sources. Read our full review of the Blackfriars here.
The Majority Oakington is a stereo radio with lots of features including a CD player and Bluetooth. The aux input is on the back, next to the headphone jack and a USB port which you can use to play MP3s from a flash drive. This radio can receive FM, DAB and DAB+ stations.
Measuring 40 x 20 x 13 cm, the Oakington is larger than the Blackfriars reviewed above and isn’t portable. It’s a better choice if you want something more substantial with stereo sound. With Bluetooth, a CD player and a USB port as well as an aux input, you shouldn’t be short of things to listen to.
The Oakington’s other features include a remote control, an alarm clock and a sleep timer. It has good sound quality for the price, though the build quality isn’t as high as on more expensive DAB radio CD players. Read our full review of the Oakington here.
Pure Evoke H3
The Pure Evoke H3 is a very stylish FM/DAB/DAB+ radio with a colour screen which can display album artwork. It has an aux input on the back, next to the headphone jack.
Pure were one of the pioneers of digital radio in the UK, and remain one of the most respected DAB radio brands. This radio is built to a high standard and comes while remaining fairly affordable.
In addition to the aux-in port, the Evoke H3 has several other useful features including Bluetooth, a dual alarm clock and a sleep timer. By default, the Evoke H3 is mains-only, but you can buy an optional rechargeable battery to make it portable.
With its vertical design, the Evoke H3 won’t take up much space (the base measures 11.5 x 11 cm). It would look great in the kitchen, living room or bedroom.
This radio is more expensive than some of the alternatives from budget brands, but it comes with a generous 3-year manufacturer’s warranty to give you peace of mind. Read our full review of the Evoke H3 here.
John Lewis & Partners Cello
The John Lewis Cello is the only radio on this list to offer internet radio in addition to FM and DAB/DAB+. This means you can connect the radio to the internet to stream thousands of stations from around the world. This includes all the main UK stations, so the Cello could be a good choice if radio reception is poor where you live.
The Cello is designed to be a complete music system rather than just a radio. It has a CD player, Bluetooth and 30W stereo speakers. The Cello has both a headphone jack and an aux input, as well as a USB port for playing MP3s. Other features include a remote control, a dual alarm clock and a sleep timer.
This radio has a very elegant and classy design, with wooden casing. It has good sound quality, and you can adjust the equaliser if you’re not happy with the default settings.
Ruark R4 Mk3
The Ruark R4 Mk3 is one of the best radios money can buy. It’s pricey, but could be worth it if you want to get the best possible sound quality.
This radio has an aux input and headphone jack on the front, which makes them easy to use, unlike on many radios where they are on the back.
Like the John Lewis Cello reviewed above, the Ruark R4 Mk3 is more of a complete sound system rather than just a radio. As well as having FM and DAB/DAB+ tuners, it also has a CD player, Bluetooth and a USB port for playing MP3s. It also has a remote control, so you can control it from anywhere in the room.
If you want excellent sound quality, the Ruark R4 Mk3 is hard to beat. However, it’s expensive and doesn’t offer internet radio, so it’s not as versatile as the more affordable John Lewis Cello reviewed above. Read our full review of the R4 Mk3 here.
About Aux Inputs
What is an aux input?
An aux input is a port on an audio device that measures 3.5 mm across and looks just like a headphone jack. You can connect an aux cable from the headphone jack of an external audio source such as an MP3 player to the aux input on a radio to play the audio through the radio’s speakers.
Can you plug headphones into an aux input? Can you use a headphone jack as an aux input?
No, although headphone jacks and aux inputs look the same, they aren’t the same thing. A headphone jack can only output audio while an aux input can only accept incoming audio.
Aux input vs. Bluetooth
Aux input ports and Bluetooth are the two main ways of connecting external audio sources to a radio. Here are the main differences between the two methods:
- Aux input – Requires a headphone jack on the external device and an aux input port on the radio. This will work with older devices that don’t have Bluetooth. Using an aux input involves connecting a wire, which can be inconvenient.
- Bluetooth – Requires a Bluetooth transmitter on the external device and a Bluetooth receiver on the radio. This will only work with modern devices that have Bluetooth. Bluetooth is wireless.
There’s no single best DAB radio with an aux input as which is best for you will depend on your budget, taste and personal requirements. If you want something compact, inexpensive and portable, the AZATOM Blackfriars is a good choice. If you want something more substantial with lots of features, John Lewis Cello would be better.