Not many DAB radios have adjustable tone control settings. Some cheaper models have a ‘bass boost’ function, but in general you’ll need to invest a bit more money to get a digital radio with adjustable bass and treble.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best DAB radios with a tone control feature available in the UK right now. We’ll briefly explain how the tone control feature works on each model so you can decide which is best for you.
On a digital radio, adjusting the bass and treble will usually require you to go through a menu rather than adjusting a knob by hand. This can be a bit fiddly, but on most of the radios listed here you can save your preferred settings and then access them quickly in the future.
Roberts iStream 3
This stylish radio from Roberts combines retro styling with modern features including internet radio, Bluetooth and Alexa compatibility. You can plug it into the mains or use it with 6 AA batteries.
One really nice feature is that this radio has a built-in battery charger, so it will charge batteries while the radio is plugged in.
There’s also a handy dual alarm clock, so it could be a good bedside radio.
This radio has five preset EQ options (‘Classic’, ‘Jazz’, ‘Pop’, ’Rock’, ‘News’ and ‘Normal’).
You can also set and save your own custom EQ settings by entering the Equaliser menu and then selecting “My EQ profile setup”. You can then adjust both the bass and treble levels between -8 and +8.
Once you’ve saved the EQ setting, it will be available to select as ‘My EQ’ from the choice of EQ presets.
Roberts Stream 94i
The Stream 94i is one of the most popular internet radios on the market. As well as letting you listen to thousands of stations via the internet, it also has a regular FM/DAB/DAB+ tuner.
Additional features include a dual alarm clock, a USB port for playing MP3s and Bluetooth.
The equaliser on the Stream 94i works in a very similar way to the iStream 3 reviewed above. It has seven preset EQ options (‘Classic’, ‘Jazz’, ‘Movie’, ‘News’, ‘Normal’, ‘Pop’ and ‘Rock’). You can also save your own ‘My EQ’ setting.
When setting your custom EQ profile, you can adjust the bass and treble from -14 to +14. There’s also a ‘Loudness’ setting that you can turn on (it’s turned off by default). This gives the radio a brighter sound.
Ruark R1 Mk3
Despite being a compact radio with a single speaker, the Ruark R1 Mk3 offers excellent sound quality. It’s expensive and doesn’t feature an internet radio tuner like many other radios in this price bracket, but it’s ideal if you want something small with good sound.
As well as an FM/DAB/DAB+ radio tuner, the R1 Mk3 also offers Bluetooth, a dual alarm clock and a sleep timer.
The Ruark R1 Mk3 is one of the best-sounding DAB radios on the market, so it’s not surprising the engineers and designers at Ruark thought to include customisable EQ settings.
You can change the bass and treble settings by pressing ‘Menu’ then ‘System > Audio > Bass or Treble’. You can then save your settings.
Unlike some radios, the Ruark R1 Mk3 doesn’t have a choice of EQ presets.
Ruark R4 Mk3
The Ruark R4 Mk3 is one of the most expensive high-end DAB radios on the market, but also one of the best. Unlike the cheaper R1 Mk3, it has stereo speakers, so it’s ideal for audiophiles.
This product is more of a complete sound system than just a radio. It has a CD player, Bluetooth and a USB port for playing MP3, AAC and WMA digital audio files.
The Ruark R4 Mk3 offers a few more tone control options than the cheaper Ruark R1 Mk3. As well as allowing you to control the bass and treble, you can also adjust the sub (subwoofer) level.
You can also turn on ‘3D sound’ and ‘Loudness. ‘3D sound’ widens the stereo sound stage, making the stereo effect greater. ‘Loudness’ boosts both the bass and treble levels at lower volumes, which makes the overall sound brighter.
While it can be hard to find a DAB radio with tone control, there are several great products out there. The most affordable option in this roundup is the Click for price on JohnLewis.com. This radio is a great choice in general since it offers internet radio, so you will have a huge choice of things to listen to.
If sound quality is especially important to you, the Ruark R4 Mk3 could be a good investment. It has stereo sound, a CD player and offers lots of control over the tone. However, it’s expensive and doesn’t come with internet radio.
If none of the radios here appeal to you, another option is to use a DAB tuner as part of a stereo system and adjust the EQ on the stereo itself. This will usually give you more control, and if you have some good speakers the sound quality will be better than on most standalone radios.