Best Rechargeable DAB Radios (UK 2019)

There’s a huge range of DAB radios available in the UK in 2019, many of which are rechargeable. This includes pocket radios as well as larger rechargeable radios for listening to around the house and the garden.

There are a few different ways rechargeable DAB radios can be powered:

  • Built-in rechargeable battery – The most common type of battery used in rechargeable DAB radios is a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery.
    On pocket radios the battery is usually charged via USB cable, whereas on larger radios it will normally be charged while the radio is plugged into the mains.
    The advantage of this battery type is that you don’t need to buy the battery separately. However, it can be difficult and expensive to replace one of these batteries once it wears down. The battery life will deteriorate over time.
  • AA batteries with built-in battery charger – A few radios take rechargeable AA batteries and feature a built-in battery charger which charges the batteries up while the radio is plugged into the mains.
    The advantage of this is that it’s easy to replace AA batteries if you need to, but you will need to buy a few to get you started.
  • Removable battery pack – Some mains-powered radios can be used as portable radios if you buy a separate bespoke battery pack. These battery packs often last longer than regular batteries would but can be expensive.

It’s important to consider which of these powering options is most convenient for you.

This article looks at some of the best rechargeable DAB radios available in the UK in 2019. We hope these reviews help you choose the right radio for you!

Best Rechargeable Portable DAB Radios (UK 2019)

1. Roberts Play

Made by respected British brand Roberts, the Play is a small portable DAB radio with a built-in battery charger.

It takes 4 AA batteries which it will charge (if they are rechargeable) while the radio is plugged into the mains. Batteries take around 7 hours to charge.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Saves 10 preset stations
  • Powered by mains or 4 x AA batteries
  • Headphone jack
  • Battery level indicator light
  • 5 dedicated preset buttons

Dimensions: 16 x 10.5 x 3.5 cm
Weight: 392 g

Battery info

Battery type: 4 x AA batteries
Battery life: Around 15 hours
Charging method: Built-in battery charger

Pros

  • Easy to use with intuitively laid out buttons
  • Features a built-in battery charger
  • Good sound quality for the size
  • Well made and reliable

Cons

  • Limited volume
  • Sounds quite thin

Summary

The Roberts Play is a smartly designed little radio. It’s a good choice for listening to in the bathroom or carrying around the house due to its compact size.

Read our full review of the Roberts Play here.

 

2. Majority Petersfield-Go

The Petersfield-Go is an inexpensive pocket DAB radio. It doesn’t have a speaker, so you can only use it with earphones/headphones.

This radio has a built-in battery which charges via USB and lasts around 10-12 hours when the radio is new.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Clip for attaching to clothing
  • Earphones included
  • Saves 20 preset stations
  • Key lock function
  • Adjustable brightness

Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 2.2 cm
Weight: 59 g

Battery info

Battery type: Built-in rechargeable battery
Battery life: Around 10-12 hours
Charging method: Micro USB cable

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Small and light—truly pocket sized
  • Decent battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Generally good DAB reception

Cons

  • No speaker—you can only listen through earphones/headphones
  • Warranty only available if you write a review

Summary

The Petersfield-Go is one of the best pocket DAB radios available on the market at the moment.

It’s a good choice if you want something to listen to while commuting, gardening or walking/jogging. Read our full review of the Petersfield-Go here.

 

3. Roberts Revival iStream 3

Like the Roberts Play, the Roberts Revival iStream 3 features a built-in battery charger.

Unlike the Play, however, the Revival iStream 3 has lots of modern features including internet radio and Bluetooth.

This radio takes both alkaline and NiMH batteries, but you can only recharge NiMH batteries. You have to flick a switch in the battery compartment when changing the battery type.

Charging takes about 5-7 hours.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+/Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Saves 30 preset stations
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 25 x 16 x 11 cm
Weight: 1.8 kg

Battery info

Battery type: 6 x AA NiMH batteries
Battery life: Around 6-8 hours
Charging method: Built-in battery charger

Pros

  • Built-in battery charger is useful
  • Lots of features including internet radio
  • Stylish retro design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Battery life is quite short (can be less than 6 hours)

Summary

It might have been a better choice for Roberts to design a radio that takes longer-lasting D batteries rather than AA batteries such as in this radio. Many users find that batteries only last a few hours.

However, the Roberts Revival iStream 3 is a very attractive and feature-packed radio, so it might be a good choice if you don’t need the batteries to last very long.

 

4. Sony XDR-P1

The Sony XDR-P1 is one of the best pocket DAB radios when it comes to battery life.

Sony state that the built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts for 20 hours when listening through earphones or 15 hours when using the radio’s built-in speaker, and this isn’t an exaggeration. You can recharge the battery from your computer using a USB cable.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Saves 20 presets
  • Speaker
  • Headphone jack
  • Sleep timer

Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.7 x 2.4 cm
Weight: 168 g

Battery info

Battery type: Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
Battery life: Around 15-20 hours
Charging method: USB cable

Pros

  • Lots of volume for such a small radio
  • Feels well made
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Several buyers have had issues with the on/off switch breaking

Summary

This radio has a really high-quality feel to it, unlike some of the cheaper pocket radios out there.

The built-in speaker is impressive too and goes surprisingly loud without sounding distorted. Read our full review of the Sony XDR-P1 here.

 

5. AZATOM Spitalfields

The AZATOM Spitalfields is an affordable retro DAB radio with a built-in rechargeable battery. It’s a small radio that is easy to carry around the house. This radio comes in either black or white.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • 4 different alarms
  • Leather-effect finish
  • Remote control
  • Sleep timer
  • Aux-in
  • 6 EQ settings
  • Powered by mains or built-in rechargeable battery

Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 9 cm
Weight: 748 g

Battery info

Battery type: 1,800mAh built-in rechargeable battery
Battery life: Around 10 hours
Charging method: Mains adapter

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Decent amount of volume
  • Comes with a remote control

Cons

  • Doesn’t have Bluetooth
  • Screen is quite bright if you’re using it as a bedside radio

Summary

The Spitalfields is a very stylish radio with some useful features. It’s a shame this radio doesn’t have Bluetooth, but overall this radio is very good for the price.

The manufacturers state that the battery life is around 10 hours, though this will deteriorate over time. Read our full review of the AZATOM Spitalfields here.

 

6. Roberts SolarDAB

This portable FM/DAB radio features both a built-in battery charger and a solar panel. You can charge the batteries using just mains power, just the solar panel, or both.

To charge rechargeable batteries, you need to make sure the battery switch is set to NiMH and not alkaline, otherwise it won’t work. Charging normally takes around 7 hours.

When the radio is turned on, the solar panel helps it to stay charged up for longer. The solar panel is best seen as a support for rechargeable batteries rather than the main source of power—you can’t power the radio using the solar panel alone.

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • Built-in battery charger
  • Headphone jack
  • Solar panel
  • Battery level indicator
  • Solar level indicator

Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 7 cm
Weight: 621 g

Battery info

Battery type: 3 x AA (LR6) batteries. Designed for NiMH or NiCad rechargeable batteries.
Battery life: Around 5-10 hours (can vary greatly depending on amount of sunlight)
Charging method: Built-in battery charger

Pros

  • Solar panel works well
  • Battery level indicator warns you when batteries need recharging
  • Rechargeable batteries are included

Cons

  • Limited features for the price
  • Battery life isn’t great

Summary

The Roberts SolarDAB is a great choice for listening to in the garden or on a sunny windowsill thanks to its solar panel.

In doesn’t have any flashy features such as Bluetooth which you might expect at this price range, but the inclusion of a solar panel makes it quite special.

 

7. AZATOM Pro Sports S1

The AZATOM Pro Sports S1 is a popular alternative to the Majority Petersfield-Go pocket radio reviewed above. One thing that sets the Pro Sports S1 apart is that it features a built-in speaker, so you don’t need to use headphones all the time.

The Pro Sports S1 has an extendable aerial, but if you are using headphones, the headphones function as the aerial instead.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Earphones included
  • Saves 60 preset stations
  • Telescopic aerial
  • Key lock function

Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 2 cm
Weight: 105 g

Battery info

Battery type: 1,800 mAh rechargeable battery
Battery life: Up to 20 hours
Charging method: USB cable

Pros

  • Decent battery life
  • Features a built-in speaker (unlike most pocket DAB radios)
  • Good value for money
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not as stylish as alternatives such as the Pure Move R3
  • Reception can be poor when using headphones

Summary

The AZATOM Pro Sports S1 is a very compact and highly portable radio with good battery life. The built-in speaker is small, so the sound quality isn’t great, but it’s fine for listening to speech programmes.

Since you can keep it in your pocket, this is a good radio for listening to when you’re travelling, commuting or walking.

 

How to Choose a Rechargeable DAB Radio

When choosing a rechargeable digital radio, you should consider these factors:

How do you recharge it?

Most larger portable radios can be plugged into the mains, which will recharge their built-in battery (if they have one). Pocket radios are usually charged from a computer or other power source using a USB cable.

What is the battery life like?

Battery life on DAB radios is worse than on FM radios, and batteries can last for as little as 2-3 hours. This means it’s especially important to look for a radio with above average battery life. DAB radios with good battery life can last for over 8 hours before they need to be recharged.

It’s a good idea to take manufacturer’s claims about battery life with a grain of salt. If the manufacturer says the battery lasts 20 hours, it’s likely to last closer to 10-15 hours in practice.

The battery life will depend on how new the battery is and how you use the radio.

Manufacturers usually quote the most optimistic battery life figures possible, assuming ideal conditions (the battery is completely new and you’re using the radio in a way that uses as little power as possible). In practice, this is rarely the case, so the battery won’t last as long.

Pocket or portable?

Rechargeable DAB radios can be grouped into two main categories: pocket radios and portable radios.

Pocket radios are small enough to keep in your pocket and often don’t have a speaker as they’re designed to be used with headphones. They’re a good choice for listening to while walking, commuting and doing exercise.

Portable radios are a bit bigger and have a speaker. They’re a better choice for listening to around the house.

 

Conclusion

If we had to recommend just one of these rechargeable DAB radios it would be the Roberts Play as it’s well made, very easy to use,  reliable and features a handy built-in battery charger.

For some other options you might want to check out our roundups of the best portable DAB radios and the best pocket DAB radios.

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