Sometimes a regular DAB radio just isn’t loud enough, and you need something with more power. Maybe you work in a noisy environment and need something that can be heard over machinery.
Perhaps you want something you can crank up at parties, or maybe you’re looking for a radio you’ll be able to hear over the noise of loud gardening tools.
Whatever your reason for needing a loud DAB radio, you’re in the right place.
Here are our recommendations for the best loud DAB radios available in the UK.
Loud DAB Radios for Work
If you’re looking for a loud DAB radio to listen to in a noisy workplace such as a construction site or in a factory, we’d recommend a site radio rather than a regular portable radio. Site radios are ruggedly built and are designed to be used in noisy environments.
The Makita DMR104 is one of the most popular DAB site radios in the UK, and it provides a good amount of power.
We couldn’t find any information about this radio’s exact power output, but it’s designed to be loud enough for most building sites. It’s also water resistant, which is important if you’re going to be using it outside.
This radio offers a good range of functions including FM/DAB radio, the ability to save 10 preset stations, an aux-in port and a carrying handle. It measures 32.5 x 29.5 x 17.5 cm, so it’s fairly compact yet large enough to produce a lot of volume.
The Makita DMR104 comes with a mains adapter and can also be powered by Makita rechargeable batteries, which aren’t included.
While it’s designed for worksites, the Makita DMR104 could also be a good radio for gardeners since it’s water resistant and has a tough, rugged design. Read our full review of the Makita DMR104 here.
Loud DAB Radios for the Home
If you want a loud DAB radio for the home, it’s probably best to get something that is marketed as a hi-fi or sound system rather than just a radio. These products tend to come with more powerful speakers.
If you want something to play at parties, you might want to choose something with Bluetooth and/or a CD player so you’re not limited to just listening to the radio.
The Ruark R4 is a versatile sound system with DAB radio, a CD player and Bluetooth. It has a nominal power output of 80 watts, making it louder than the vast majority of DAB radios on the market.
The Ruark R4 is expensive, but it’s one of the best radios for sound quality and could be a good choice if you like to turn up the volume to appreciate all the details of the music you listen to.
It has 3D-enhanced stereo sound and features an integrated active subwoofer for extra bass. You can also adjust the bass and treble settings to get the sound you want. Read our full review of the Ruark R4 here.
If the Ruark R4 seems a bit too expensive, you might prefer the Sony CMT-SBT100B. It offers an RMS power output of 50 watts which should be enough for most people. It has two speakers offering stereo sound and also comes with a CD player, AM/FM/DAB/DAB+ radio and Bluetooth.
The Ruark R4 isn’t exceptionally loud, but it provides a good amount of volume for a living room. The CD player and Bluetooth capabilities make it a good choice for parties.
Speaker Wattage Explained
Speaker power is measured in watts.
In general, radios with higher wattage can go louder, though things aren’t always this simple.
There are several different ways of specifying how many watts a speaker is:
- RMS – Amount of power output a speaker can sustain for long periods of time. This is also referred to as continuous or nominal power.
- Peak – Amount of power a speaker can produce in a short burst
- Total system power – The total amount of power used by the unit
The most useful of these is RMS as it gives you the best indication of how much power the speakers will actually provide under normal circumstances. Total system power can be misleading as it gives the impression speakers are more powerful than they really are.
Relationship of RMS in Watts to Loudness in dB
Loudness is usually measured in decibels (dB), so how can you know how loud a speaker goes based on its RMS in watts? Is there a formula to convert RMS to dB?
Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to convert the wattage of a radio to its maximum volume in decibels.
Speaker efficiency, sensitivity and dispersion affect how loud the speaker is, so not all 20-watt speakers output the same volume.
Since radio manufacturers don’t list maximum output in decibels, the only way to know for sure which radios are loudest would be to conduct an experiment to measure how loud each was when turned up full.
One important thing to know about the relationship between watts and decibels is that it isn’t linear, as decibels themselves are logarithmic rather than linear. When one sound is 10 dB louder than another, it will sound twice as loud. An increase from 100 dB to 110 dB results in a sound that sounds twice as loud.
To help you get an idea of the relationship between watts, decibels and loudness, here are a few things to consider:
- Doubling the speaker power in watts results in a 3 dB increase in volume (assuming efficiency, sensitivity and dispersion remain the same).
- For one speaker to be twice as loud as another, it will need 10 times the amount of power (assuming efficiency, sensitivity and dispersion remain the same).
The perceived volume also depends on how far away from the speaker you are while listening. Halving your distance from the speaker will result in a perceived volume increase of +6 dB, while doubling your distance will decrease the volume by 6 dB.