Best High-End DAB Radios (UK 2018)

DAB radios range a great deal in price, from under £30 to over £300. While a cheap digital radio might be enough for some people, you have to spend more to get the best sound quality, construction and features.

Here’s an overview of some of the best high-end DAB radios currently available in the UK. These radios have cutting-edge features, are sturdily constructed, and have beautiful designs.

We have reviewed these radios in ascending price order (though prices might be different when you read this article).

Best High-End DAB Radios (UK 2018)

Ruark R1 Mk3

The Ruark R1 Mk3 is one of the most affordable DAB radios that can still be considered “high end”. It’s relatively limited in terms of features, so you’re paying for the sound and build quality rather than lots of flashy features.

This radio is fairly compact and could fit on a bedside table or bookshelf. Despite being so small, the sound quality is superb.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Headphone jack
  • Line-in port

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

Pros

  • Very good sound quality
  • Well made
  • Easy to use
  • Compact design with a small footprint

Cons

  • Display can be too bright if you use it as a bedside radio
  • Relatively few features for the price

Summary

The Ruark R1 Mk3 produces a surprisingly clear, rich and detailed sound for such a small unit. It’s also easy to use, even if you’re a technophobe. If you want a simple yet stylish radio with Bluetooth and excellent sound quality, the Ruark R1 Mk3 is ideal. Read our full review if the R1 Mk3 here.

 

Roberts Blutune 200

The Roberts Blutune 200 is an attractive DAB radio CD player with a wealth of advanced features. Using Bluetooth, you can stream audio from your smartphone, MP3 player or laptop through the radio’s high-quality speakers. One of this radio’s best features is that it lets you record from the radio onto a USB or SD memory stick.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player
  • Bluetooth
  • USB charging for charging a smartphone or other portable device
  • Record to SD or USB
  • Alarm clock
  • Six-position equaliser
  • Remote control
  • Saves 20 preset stations
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 36 x 27 x 12.5 cm
Weight: 3.95 kg

Pros

  • Attractive piano gloss wooden cabinet
  • The record feature is very easy to use
  • Clear display
  • Good built-in aerial

Cons

  • Recorder can’t be timed or programmed in advance
  • Remote control is very small and easy to lose
  • Lights are still quite bright when in standby mode

Verdict

This is an attractive all-in-one DAB radio/CD player with great in-built speakers. The record feature sets this radio apart and is very useful for recording your favourite radio programmes.

Despite having more than enough features for the average buyer, the Roberts Blutune 200 is very easy to use. This radio is fairly expensive, but it looks great and has excellent sound quality. Read our full review of the Roberts Blutune 200 here.

 

Pure Evoke C-F6

 

The Evoke C-F6 is quite similar to the Roberts Blutune 200 reviewed above. It has a similar design and price tag, but also offers internet radio so you can stream thousands of stations from all over the world via WiFi.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • CD player
  • Remote control

Dimensions: 38 x 22.3 x 14.5 cm
Weight: 4.2 kg

Pros

  • Versatile, with lots of features including internet radio
  • Good sound quality
  • Attractive wood-effect finish

Cons

  • Some people have had issues with the CD player swallowing CDs

Summary

The Pure Evoke C-F6 is a quality radio with lots of useful features. It’s generally easy to use and has excellent sound quality. However, the CD player seems to be somewhat temperamental. Read our full review of the Evoke C-F6 here.

 

Revo SuperConnect

The Revo SuperConnect picks up FM, DAB and DAB+ stations, as well as the 20,000+ stations that broadcast worldwide via the internet. It will also connect wirelessly to your computer, smartphone, or tablet via Bluetooth or DLNA, allowing you to stream music through its high-quality speakers.

Features

  • FM, DAB, DAB+ and internet radio
  • DLNA technology makes it easy to stream music wirelessly from your PC or Mac
  • Spotify Connect lets you stream music from Spotify (Spotify Premium account required)
  • Comes in an all-wood American walnut cabinet
  • Graphical OLED display
  • 15W speakers

Pros

  • Sound quality is very good
  • Plays any station available online, which is a lifesaver if your FM or DAB reception is poor
  • You can create your own equaliser settings, for example to boost the bass

Cons

  • Mains powered only, so not portable
  • No Ethernet cable connection

Verdict

Like all the radios on this list, the Revo SuperConnect is expensive. However, if radio is a big part of your life, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with radio; it’s a serious piece of kit for serious radio lovers. It looks great, sounds great, and has a wealth of smart features. Read our full review of the Revo SuperConnect here.

 

Ruark R4 Mk3

Ruark R4 Mk3

The Ruark R4 Mk3 is one of the best-sounding digital radios money can buy. It features 3D stereo sound which adds real depth to its sound. It’s one of the priciest high-end DAB radios out there, but its sound quality is in another league compared to most cheaper radios. This radio received five stars from the BBC Music Choice Awards and was also selected as Android Magazine’s Editors’ Choice.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player that plays MP3 CDs
  • Bluetooth
  • USB port for playing MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • Alarm clock
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 44 x 20 x 15 cm
Weight: 7 kg

Pros

  • Adjustable bass and treble
  • Nice and compact
  • Easy to set up
  • Aerial included with the radio has good reception
  • Looks beautiful
  • Detailed sound quality for appreciating classical music

Cons

  • No WiFi – many radios that are much cheaper have WiFi
  • Remote control only has a few functions

Summary

You get what you pay for when it comes to sound quality. If you really want to get the most out of your music, you need a really top-of-the-range radio like the Ruark R4 Mk3. This radio will be out of most people’s budgets, but if you have the cash and really care about audio quality this is radio is a good investment.

If you like the look of this radio but aren’t bothered about having a CD player, you should consider the Ruark R2 Mk3, which is essentially the same radio but without the CD and with a correspondingly lower price. Read our full review of the Ruark R4 Mk3 here.

 

Ruark R7 Mk3

The Ruark R7 Mk3 (also known as the Ruark R7 High Fidelity Radiogram) is probably the most expensive radio on the market, costing over £2,000. It comes with legs so it can be assembled as a freestanding radio, making it more of a piece of furniture than just a radio. The legs are optional, so you can place it on a table if you prefer.

The R7 can be connected to a TV and used to provide high-fidelity sound as part of a home entertainment system.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • CD player
  • Remote control

Dimensions: 100 x 65 x 42.5 cm
Weight: 27.8 kg (boxed)

Pros

  • Beautiful piece of furniture
  • Very high build quality
  • Complete sound system with lots of features

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Display is quite small

Summary

If you want a radio that doubles as a stunning piece of furniture, the Ruark R7 Mk3 is ideal. It’s extremely expensive, but is also one of the most well made radios on the market.

 

Choosing a High-End Digital Radio

The range of features offered by more expensive DAB radios can be overwhelming. Here’s a quick overview of what to look out for so to help you make the right choice.

WiFi connectivity

If you get a radio that connects to the internet, you can listen to over 20,000 stations available online as well as podcasts and other on-demand material. If you’re used to just listening to BBC stations, for example, this can open up a whole new world of radio. It’s perfect for learning a foreign language or listening to obscure musical genres.

Another reason to get a radio with WiFi connectivity is that it serves as a backup if the radio’s FM or DAB stations have poor reception. Be aware that some radios like the Encore Wi-Fi Music Player only offer internet radio, so in this case you would be dependent on a stable WiFi connection.

Multi-room capabilities

Some radios can be connected to wireless speakers allowing you to listen to the same thing in multiple rooms of the house. This could also be a useful feature if you run a restaurant or large office and would like to place speakers in different rooms or areas of the building.

Bluetooth connectivity

Most high-end digital radios will have Bluetooth, which means you can stream music from a smartphone or other device with Bluetooth. This gives you more options and flexibility when it comes to listening to music.

Spotify Connect

If you’re a big Spotify user, you might appreciate a radio that works with Spotify Connect. Spotify Connect is part of Spotify Premium, and lets you stream millions of songs from Spotify on your radio at a higher sample rate than you’d normally get from the radio.

Portability

Most really high-end radios are designed for use in the living room so they’re not portable. However, a few can be used as portable radios, such as the Pure Evoke D6 Portable Stereo for which you can buy a battery pack.

 

Conclusion

All of the radios reviewed here are very high quality and would make an impressive addition to any home. If you want something high-end yet relatively affordable with only the most essential features, the Ruark R1 Mk3 is a good choice. If you want something more versatile, consider the Pure Evoke C-F6, which has internet radio and a CD player as well as DAB and Bluetooth.

For some more recommendations, see our overview of the best DAB radios in the UK.

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