Best Radios for the Kitchen (UK 2018)

Lots of us enjoy listening to the radio while cooking or making breakfast, which explains why so many of us have a radio in the kitchen. A radio can also be a fashion statement, especially if you have a retro kitchen.

What to Look for in a Kitchen Radio

Buying a radio for the kitchen is a bit different to buying a radio for the living room or bedroom. There are several things to consider, including:

  • Size – The best radios for the kitchen are compact with a small footprint so they don’t take up a lot of space on your kitchen countertop.
  • Portability – A portable radio can be more convenient and safe for using in the kitchen than one with lots of wires. However, DAB radios typically have poor battery life, so you might want to keep your radio plugged in.
  • Volume – Cooking can be quite a noisy activity, so you want a radio with decent, powerful speakers.
  • Style – Some people just want a radio that sounds good, while for others want a stylish kitchen radio that goes with their decor.
  • Digital or analogue? – Do you want a radio that picks up DAB stations, or would you rather stick with FM?

Most radios these days have extra features besides the radio tuner itself. Here are some features you might appreciate in a kitchen radio:

  • Remote control – A remote control is a good feature to have in the kitchen, as you can change the station or volume without having to walk across the room.
  • Bluetooth – Choosing a radio with Bluetooth will allow you to stream audio wirelessly from your phone or tablet.
  • USB charging – Some radios have a USB port for charging a phone, which can be quite handy.
  • Alarm/Kitchen timer – This will help you time your dishes to perfection.

Now that you have an idea about what to look for, here’s a roundup of some of the best kitchen radios available in the UK in 2018.

 

Best Kitchen Radios in the UK (2018)

1. Pure Evoke H3

The Pure Evoke H3 is one of the most popular radios in Pure’s stylish Evoke range. In addition to FM and DAB/DAB+ radio, the H3 also features Bluetooth and a colour display. The kitchen timer is a useful addition if you’re using his radio in the kitchen.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Portable if you buy the ChargePAK battery pack (not included)
  • Dual alarm with snooze
  • Kitchen and sleep timers
  • Colour display

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

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • 3-year warranty
  • Compact design with a small footprint
  • Good build quality
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • Battery pack isn’t included and is expensive
  • Relatively pricey given its features

Summary

The Pure Evoke H3 is a very well-made product from British brand Pure. It’s more expensive than some of the other radios reviewed here, but its stylish design, compact size and clear sound make it ideal for the kitchen. You can read our full review of the Evoke H3 here.

2. Steepletone Brighton

The Steepletone Brighton is an attractive retro portable radio. It has a 1950s-style design and lets you listen to MW, LW and FM radio stations (it doesn’t have DAB). It’s a cute radio that would make a good present. The Brighton comes in a range of colours, and some versions have Bluetooth.

Features

  • Rotary controls for tone, tuning and volume
  • Carrying handle
  • Some versions have Bluetooth
  • Mains powered or portable with 6 x C batteries

Dimensions: 30 x 21 x 8 cm

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Cute retro look
  • Comes in a large range of colours
  • Picks up LW

Cons

  • Sound quality could be improved
  • Not very loud

Summary

If you’re looking for something with a genuine 1950s look and can live without DAB/DAB+ radio, the Steepletone Brighton is a good choice. The range of colours available means it should be easy to find something to match your kitchen’s décor. For more info, see our full review of the Steepletone Brighton here.

 

3. Roberts Zoombox 3 with CD Player

If you’d like to be able to listen to CDs in the kitchen, the Roberts Zoombox 3 could be a good choice. It can be powered by the mains or used with batteries and offers you plenty of different ways to listen to music.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • CD player
  • Bass boost feature
  • USB drive and SD card reader
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 24.5 x 24.5 x 13.9 cm
Weight: 1.8 kg

Pros

  • Lots of ways to listen to music (radio, CD, USB)
  • Compact design—doesn’t take up much space
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • No Bluetooth

Summary

The Zoombox 3 is a compact yet versatile radio CD player from a respected British brand. It won’t take up a lot of space on a kitchen countertop but will let you listen to the radio, CDs and MP3s on USB drives and SD cards. Read our full review of the Zoombox 3 here.

4. VQ Retro Mini Emma Bridgewater Digital Radio

If you want something that looks different, you should consider the VQ Retro Mini Emma Bridgewater Digital Radio. It comes in a range of designs by ceramics designer Emma Bridgewater. This radio has some useful features such as Bluetooth and a USB port that lets you charge your phone.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Uses 4 AA batteries or mains power
  • Clock with dual alarms
  • Saves up to 60 preset stations
  • USB port for charging a phone
  • Bluetooth

Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.7 x 10.5 cm
Weight: 948 g

Pros

  • Adjustable EQ
  • Very good DAB reception
  • Compact, stylish and funky—perfect for the kitchen
  • Clear and easy-to-read display

Cons

  • Sometimes sounds muffled
  • Setting preset stations is fiddly

Summary

The best thing about this radio is the range interesting designs it comes in. If you want to make a fashion statement and add some life to your kitchen, this radio is a good choice.

5. John Lewis Spectrum Solo

John Lewis Spectrum Solo DAB Radio

The Spectrum Solo is a compact and affordable digital radio from John Lewis. The base only measures 9.6 x 9.6 cm, so it will take up hardly any space at all on your kitchen countertop.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Mains or battery powered (4 x AA)
  • Saves 5 preset stations
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 16.6 x 9.6 x 9.6 cm
Weight: 350 g

Pros

  • Compact and light
  • Good value for money
  • Available with a 2-year warranty
  • Preset stations are easy to access

Cons

  • Instructions manual is quite hard to read
  • No Bluetooth
  • No alarm

Summary

The Spectrum Solo is one of the best value radios on this list. It’s quite minimalistic and doesn’t have any advanced features such as Bluetooth, but as a straightforward kitchen radio it will be fine for most people. For more info, read our full review of the John Lewis Spectrum Solo here.

6. AZATOM Blackfriars

The Blackfriars is a stylish and affordable digital radio from AZATOM. It has compact design which would work well in the kitchen, and the 4 alarms could be useful for timing things while cooking or baking.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • 4 alarm clocks
  • Subwoofer
  • Saves 40 preset stations
  • Aux-in
  • Remote control

Dimensions: 18.2 x 13 x 8.7 cm
Weight: 780 g

Pros

  • Looks good in the kitchen
  • Portable, with a built-in battery
  • Value for money
  • Good sound quality for a small radio

Cons

  • No Bluetooth

Summary

The AZATOM Blackfriars offers excellent value for money and has an attractive design that would suit most kitchens. Even though it doesn’t have Bluetooth, it has quite a lot of features for the price. For a more in-depth overview of the AZATOM Blackfriars, read our full review here.

7. Pure Evoke F3

The Pure Evoke F3 is one of the most expensive radios on this list, but it’s also one of the most feature-packed. In addition to regular FM and DAB radio, the Evoke F3 is also an internet radio, which means you can stream thousands of stations using Wi-Fi.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Saves 30 preset stations
  • Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect (requires Spotify Premium)
  • Remote control
  • Adjustable EQ
Dimensions: 19.5 x 11.8 x 11 cm
Weight: 1.54 kg

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Has internet radio
  • Available with a 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Setting presets can be fiddly

Summary

The best thing about the Evoke F3 is that it has internet radio, which gives you a lot more choice than FM and DAB. Internet radio also means you won’t suffer from reception problems like you might with DAB, so the F3 is a good choice if you live in a poor reception area. For more info, see our full review of the Pure Evoke F3 here.

8. John Lewis Aria

John Lewis Aria Radio

The John Lewis Aria is a small digital radio with an aesthetically pleasing wood-effect design. Like the John Lewis Spectrum Solo reviewed above, the Aria has a very small footprint, so it won’t take up much space on your kitchen work surface.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Alarm clock
  • Bluetooth
  • Saves 10 preset stations

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Saving and recalling presets 5-10 can be fiddly

Dimensions: 19 x 11.8 x 11.8 cm
Weight: 1.2 kg

Summary

This radio is quite a bit more expensive than the John Lewis Spectrum Solo reviewed above, but it still offers good value for money considering its attractive design and the fact that it has Bluetooth. This radio would look good in most kitchens, and the dual alarm clock feature could be useful for timing recipes. For more info, read our full review of the John Lewis Aria here.

9. Roberts Expression DAB/FM RDS Portable Radio

The Roberts Expression has a stylish wood casing design similar to that of the Philips AE5020. If you use rechargeable batteries with it, it will recharge them when the radio is plugged into the mains.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Mains or battery powered with 4 D-sized batteries
  • Built-in battery charger
  • Stereo headphone socket
  • FM RDS shows the radio station name on the LCD screen
  • Rubber feet to stop it from sliding

Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.3 x 9 cm
Weight: 1.48 kg

Pros

  • Warm sound
  • Good DAB reception
  • Plenty of volume
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish retro design

Cons

  • Quite a bassy sound
  • Tone can’t be adjusted

Summary

The Expression is a stylish and well made radio from trusted British brand Roberts. It has a decent amount of volume so you should be able to hear it above the sound of a sizzling saucepan. For more info, see our full review of the Roberts Expression here.

10. Pure Evoke C-D4 Radio CD Player

This radio CD player from Pure is made with a real oak-veneer casing and has a stylish, contemporary look. If your kitchen decor uses a lot of wood, the C-D4 would match it perfectly. The Pure C-D4 is more of a complete music system than just a radio, as it features both a CD player and Bluetooth.

Features

  • FM and DAB radio
  • Bluetooth
  • CD player
  • Alarm clock
  • Remote control

Dimensions: 22.3 x 21 x 13.6 cm
Weight: 2.8 kg

Pros

  • Intuitive layout and design
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Classic design
  • Very good sound

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • CD player can be unreliable

Summary

If you don’t mind spending more for something substantial with excellent build quality and a CD player, the Evoke C-D4 is ideal. Like the Pure Evoke H3 reviewed at the start of this article, it would make a stylish addition to any kitchen. For a more in-depth look at the Pure Evoke C-D4, read our full review here.

Conclusion

If we had to pick just one radio on this list to recommend, it would be the Pure Evoke H3. With FM/DAB/DAB+ radio, Bluetooth and a kitchen timer, it has all the features most people want in a kitchen radio. It also looks great and while it’s not the cheapest radio on this list, it’s not particularly expensive either.

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