Best DAB Radios with Bluetooth (UK 2018)

The technology behind Bluetooth was developed in 1989, but it’s only become common in radios in the last few years. Bluetooth is very useful as it lets you connect your radio with other devices such as your phone, tablet and laptop so you can listen to music, online radio, audiobooks and podcasts through your radio’s speakers.

In this article we’ll explain how Bluetooth radios work and then review several of the best models you can find on the market today.

What is a Bluetooth DAB radio and how does it work?

A Bluetooth DAB radio is like a regular DAB radio but with the addition of a Bluetooth receiver. This allows you to wirelessly stream music or other audio from your smartphone, tablet or laptop through the radio’s speakers. This effectively turns the radio into a Bluetooth speaker. Audio data is transmitted wirelessly and then decoded and played back by the radio.

When you first use Bluetooth on your radio, you have to ‘pair’ the radio with the device you’re streaming audio from (your phone or laptop etc.) For example, you will turn on Bluetooth on your phone and it will search for Bluetooth devices. If you’re in range it will find your radio, which you can connect it to. Once this is done, selecting the Bluetooth mode on your radio should allow you to stream music wirelessly from your phone.

Most Bluetooth radios will remember the last device that was connected to them, so you won’t need to pair your device each time.

A Bluetooth DAB radio will pick up radio in the same way as a regular DAB radio, so you don’t need to use Bluetooth to listen to the radio. Bluetooth is an additional feature you can use to stream internet radio, MP3s and music on online services such as Spotify and YouTube.

Best DAB Radios with Bluetooth in the UK (2018)

After researching the market, we’ve picked out 10 of the best DAB radios with Bluetooth available in the UK in 2018. We hope these reviews help you choose the right radio for you.

1. Ruark R1 Mk3

Ruark R1 Mk3

Ruark make some of the best-sounding DAB radios on the market, and the R1 MkIII offers amazing sound quality for a radio of its size. The radio sounds crisp and clear with a good amount of bass, and looks fantastic too.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Easy-to-read OLED display
  • Dual alarm feature that lets you set two independent alarms
  • USB port for charging a smartphone

Dimensions: 17 x 13.5 x 13 cm
Weight: 1.5 kg

Pros

  • Beautiful design with wood veneer finish
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Alarm works well

Cons

  • Expensive

Summary

The Ruark R1 MkIII is expensive, but you’d be hard pressed to get better sound quality for the price. The design is also stunning; it’s a beautiful piece of furniture and not just a radio. Read our full review of the Ruark R1 MkIII here.

2. Panasonic SC-PM250BEBS

Technically the Panasonic SC-PM250BEBS is a micro hi-fi system rather than a radio. However, it could be a good choice if you want something that has DAB radio and Bluetooth as well as a CD player and external speakers.

Features

  • CD player that can play MP3 and WMA CDs
  • DAB/DAB+ radio
  • USB port
  • Saves 30 preset stations
  • 20W output
  • Remote control

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 cm (base unit)
Weight: 1.1 kg

Pros

  • Very good sound quality
  • Versatile
  • Good value for money
  • Compact design
  • Pairs quickly and easily with Bluetooth

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Limited volume
  • No battery included for the remote

Summary

This micro hi-fi offers good value for money, and combines a large number of features into a small package. Be aware though, it doesn’t have a headphone jack. Read our full review of the Panasonic SC-PM250BEBS here.

3. Pure Evoke H3

The Pure Evoke H3 is one of the newest additions to Pure’s Evoke range of digital radios. It’s a very stylish radio with a real wood finish and a minimalistic design.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Colour screen
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Kitchen and sleep timers
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty available
  • Can be made portable with the ChargePAK B1 battery pack (not included)
  • Saves 40 preset stations

Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 11 cm
Weight: 939 g

Pros

  • Good sound quality for the size
  • Strong DAB radio signal
  • Stylish design
  • Alarm clock works well

Cons

  • Battery pack costs extra (and is expensive)
  • Relatively expensive

Summary

The Pure Evoke H3 is an attractive and well made radio from a trusted British brand. It’s worth noting that the battery pack isn’t included, and buying it as an add-on will significantly increase the overall price. Overall, this is one of the best Bluetooth DAB radios on the market. Read our full review of the Pure Evoke H3 here.

4. John Lewis Spectrum Duo II

John Lewis Spectrum Duo II

The John Lewis Spectrum Duo II is an update to the older Spectrum Duo. It’s an affordable yet high-quality radio that could be a good alternative to pricier alternatives from brands such as Pure and Roberts. This radio comes in a choice of colours: Black, Slate Grey, Teal, Berry Red, Dandelion, Burnt Orange and White.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Saves 20 presets stations
  • Colour display
  • NFC
  • Headphone jack
  • Can be powered by 4 x C batteries

Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 7 cm
Weight: 1 kg

Pros

  • Very good sound quality
  • Instructions are easy to follow
  • Come in a large choice of colours
  • Can be battery powered

Cons

  • Small number of presets
  • Instructions are mainly in diagram form, so they aren’t very detailed

Summary

If you’re looking for an affordable and colourful DAB radio with Bluetooth for the kitchen or carrying around the house, the Spectrum Duo is a good choice.

5. Pure Evoke C-D6

The C-D6 is one of the most expensive and feature-packed radios in Pure’s iconic Evoke range of digital radios. In addition to FM/DAB/DAB+ radio and Bluetooth, it offers stereo speakers and a CD player, so it’s an all-in-one sound system rather than just a radio.

Features

  • CD/CD-R/CD-RW player
  • Stereo speakers
  • Available with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Headphone jack
  • Remote control
  • Saves 20 preset stations

Dimensions: 37 x 22.3 x 13.5 cm
Weight: 3.8 kg

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Instructions are clear and easy to follow
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No internet radio, which would be a nice addition given the high price tag
  • Remote control only works when facing the radio directly
  • Several people have had issues with the CD player

Summary

The Pure Evoke C-D6 is a very attractive and versatile radio with great sound quality. It’s quite pricey though, and issues with the CD player are quite common. Read our full review of the Pure Evoke C-D6 here.

6. Ruark R4 Mk3

Ruark R4 Mk3

The Ruark R4 Mk3 is one of the most impressive digital radios on the market today. It’s very expensive, but it offers almost unrivalled sound and build quality. The Ruark R4 Mk3 comes with stereo speakers and a CD player, so it’s a complete music system rather than just a radio.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player
  • Remote control
  • USB port for playing MP3s
  • Aux input
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 44 x 20 x 15 cm
Weight: 8 kg

Pros

  • One of the best-sounding radios available
  • Very stylish
  • Good range of features including a CD player
  • Strong DAB signal

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Remote control is very small
  • No internet radio, which you might expect given the price

Summary

If you can stomach the price, the Ruark R4 is one of the finest DAB radios you can buy. It’s a British-engineered product that’s made to a very high standard, and it looks great too! Read our full review of the Ruark R4 Mk3 here.

7. AZATOM Multiplex

The AZATOM Multiplex D1 is a feature-packed portable FM/DAB/DAB+ radio that offers a great range of features for the price.

Features

  • Stereo speakers
  • USB charging point to recharge your phone, MP3 player or other device.
  • Internal rechargeable battery which lasts up to 10 hours
  • Headphone jack
  • Alarm clock

Pros

  • Built-in battery is more convenient than buying batteries separately
  • Decent battery life
  • Good value for money
  • Decent sound for the price

Cons

  • No remote control
  • Build quality isn’t very high—it’s unlikely to last a long time

Summary

While AZATOM may not be the best-known brand in the radio industry, the Multiplex D1 is one of the best value portable DAB radios with Bluetooth.  The build quality isn’t especially high, so it’s unlikely this radio will last a long time. Read our full review of the AZATOM Multiplex here.

8. AZATOM Horizon DAB

The AZATOM Horizon is an inexpensive DAB clock radio with a sleep timer, a dimmable screen and a dual alarm clock with a snooze function. The radio uses Bluetooth 4.0 to let you stream audio from your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device through its speakers.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Alarm clock
  • Can be powered by AAA batteries
  • Dimmable display
  • 12 or 24 hour clock format
  • Headphone jack
  • USB port for charging a smartphone etc.

Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.5 x 4.5 cm
Weight: 500 g

Pros

  • Small footprint and should fit easily on your bedside table
  • Good value for money
  • Easy to set up, with clear instructions
  • Good DAB reception

Cons

  • Can be fiddly to use some functions
  • Display can’t be turned off completely

Summary

If you want a cheap clock radio with Bluetooth, the AZATOM Horizon is a great choice. It doesn’t have especially good sound quality or high build quality, but it’s a good inexpensive bedside radio. Read our full review of the AZATOM Horizon here.

9. Roberts Radio ECO4BT

The Roberts ECO4BT is a compact portable radio with very good sound quality for its size. The ECO4BT lets you listen to FM or DAB radio, and you can also stream music via Bluetooth.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Can be powered with 6 D-sized batteries
  • Saves 20 preset stations
  • Carrying handle

Dimensions: 30 x 17.4 x 10.5 cm
Weight: 1.9 kg

Pros

  • Up to 150 hours of battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Display is easy to read
  • Very good sound quality

Cons

  • Design isn’t as stylish as some other Roberts radios

Summary

Unlike most portable radios the Roberts ECO4BT has a warm sound with a good amount of bass, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a small DAB radio and don’t want to compromise on sound quality. Read our full review of the Roberts ECO4BT here.

10. Majority Huntingdon DAB/DAB+ Digital FM Radio

The Huntingdon is a very popular DAB radio that offers a lot of features for a very reasonable price. It may not have the highest build quality, but it’s impressive how much it can do.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player
  • 2 USB charging points
  • Aux-in
  • Alarm clock
  • Remote control
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 37 x 26 x 13 cm
Weight: 2.3 kg

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Decent, clear sound quality

Cons

  • Unlikely to last a long time
  • CD player can be noisy

Summary

Given the price of this radio, you can’t expect it to be perfect. If you want a lot of features without spending a lot of money it’s a great choice, but if you want exceptional build and sound quality you will need to spend more on something else. Read our full review of the Majority Huntingdon here.

What about pocket radios?

At the moment, there aren’t really any pocket DAB radios with Bluetooth available. We’ve explored this topic in more depth in this article.

 

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2 thoughts on “Best DAB Radios with Bluetooth (UK 2018)

  1. Can these Bluetooth radios be “connected” to Bluetooth enabled hearing aids please? I would like to listen without having to remove my hearing aid and use earphones.

    1. They have Bluetooth receivers rather than transmitters, so I don’t think that would be possible without some extra equipment. One solution could be to plug a Bluetooth transmitter into the radio’s headphone jack and using that to transmit the data to your hearing aid.

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