Best Retro DAB Radios (UK 2018)

Many digital radios combine modern features such as DAB/DAB+ radio and Bluetooth with classic 1950s and 1960s designs. These radios allow you to make a fashion statement while enjoying your favourite radio stations and streaming audio.

Here’s a roundup of what we consider to be the best retro DAB radios available in the UK in 2018.

Best Retro DAB Radios (UK 2018)

1. Roberts Revival RD70

The Roberts Revival RD70 is a compact and portable FM/DAB/DAB+ radio based on the iconic Roberts radios of the 1950s. It features an acoustically-tuned wooden cabinet with a faux leather cover that’s available in a choice of colours. This radio can be powered by the mains or 4 AA batteries, which aren’t included.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Aux-in port
  • Headphone jack
  • Saves 20 preset stations

Dimensions: 25.2 x 16 x 10.4 cm
Weight: 1.65 kg

Pros

  • Good sound quality with decent amount of bass
  • Feels well made
  • Authentic vintage look
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • No dedicated preset buttons

Summary

This radio combines a classic vintage design with modern features such as Bluetooth, which is very easy to use. The Revival RD70 is quite expensive given its features but it has good build quality and is made by one of the most respected radio brands. Read our full review of the Revival RD70 here.

2. AZATOM Blackfriars Retro Radio

This radio is at the opposite end of the price spectrum to the Roberts Revival RD70 reviewed above. The AZATOM Blackfriars is a budget-priced retro DAB radio with a wood effect finish. The design isn’t as obviously retro as some of the radios—it has a more minimalistic rather than vintage look.

The AZATOM Blackfriars features a built-in rechargeable battery which allows you to use it as a portable radio. You can also plug it into the mains.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • 4 alarm clocks
  • Remote control
  • Rechargeable built-in battery
  • Aux-in port
  • Sleep timer
  • Independent bass and treble controls

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

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to carry around
  • Easy to recharge
  • Comact size with a small footprint
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • 2-year warranty only available if you leave a review

Summary

The AZATOM Blackfriars is a stylish and affordable retro DAB radio that would look great in a kitchen. It uses a built-in rechargeable battery rather than AA or C-size batteries, which makes it convenient to use as a portable radio as you don’t need to charge batteries separately. Read our full review of the AZATOM Blackfriars here.

3. Roberts Revival Mini

If you want something with a similar authentic 1950s look to the Roberts Revival RD70 reviewed above but with a more compact size, the Revival Mini could be a good choice. It has a similar height and depth as the Revival RD70, but is about half as wide. Unlike the Revival RD70, it features a built-in battery charger that takes 4 x AA batteries. You can also plug it into the mains.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Line-in socket
  • Built-in battery charger

Dimensions: 18 x 14.5 x 14.5 cm
Weight: 1.1 kg

Pros

  • Small size
  • Charges batteries internally
  • Authentic retro design
  • Good sound quality for a small radio

Cons

  • No alarm clock
  • Relatively expensive
  • No Bluetooth

Summary

The Roberts Revival Mini is relatively expensive compared to similar-looking radios from budget brands, but it’s well made and reliable. Like all vintage-style Roberts radios, the Revival Mini looks great. It’s also available in a nice selection of colours so you should be able to find something to suit your décor. Read our full review of the Revival Mini here.

4. Majority Shelford II Vintage DAB Radio

The Shelford II is a retro DAB radio with a leather-effect finish and a convenient carrying handle. It’s made by Cambridge-based brand Majority, who sell a range of popular and affordable digital radios. The Shelford II can be powered by the mains or 4 x C batteries.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Saves 20 preset stations
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 25 x 15 x 10 cm
Weight: 1.15 kg

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Decent sound quality
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • No aux input

Summary

The Shelford II is unlikely to last as long as retro radios from Roberts, but it’s significantly cheaper and has good sound quality for the price.

5. Goodmans Oxford 1960’s Vintage Style Radio

The Goodmans Oxford is a good-looking 1960’s-style retro radio that comes in a choice of colours. It’s a portable radio with a stylish carrying handle, but it can also be plugged into the mains.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Headphone socket
  • Aux-in port
  • Saves 3 preset stations on FM and 3 on DAB
  • Mains or battery powered with 6 C-sized batteries

Dimensions: 26 cm wide x 16.6 cm high x 7.4 cm deep
Weight:
1 kg

Pros

  • Light and easy to carry
  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Crisp, clear sound

Cons

  • Not very loud
  • Sounds a bit tinny
  • No batteries included

Verdict

The Goodmans Oxford is exceptionally easy to use even if you’ve never owned a DAB radio before. While it looks great, the sound quality isn’t very impressive, though it sounds good enough if you’re mainly buying the radio for its design. Read our full review of the Goodmans Oxford vintage radio here.

What to Look for in a Retro DAB Radio

The choice of radios on the market is growing all the time. Here are some things to consider to help you decide which is right for you.

  • Brand reputation: Sometimes you can get a bargain by buying from a less established brand, but radios made by well-known brands such as Roberts tend to be higher quality and more reliable.
  • Value for money: You can get an attractive retro radio for less than £50, but radios with higher build quality often cost over £100. Retro radios can be more expensive than plain-looking DAB radios as more time has gone into the design process. Compare prices at different retailers and look for discounts and deals.
  • Features: Useful features to look for include Bluetooth, a headphone jack, an alarm clock and a sleep timer. Some people prefer simple radios with just the most basic features, while others prefer more complex and versatile products.
  • Design & colour: If you’re looking specifically for a retro radio, this means that design is a priority. Think about whether you want a 1950s-style radio or something that looks more recent. Most of the radios reviewed here come in a choice of colours.

 

Conclusion

If we had to pick just one of these radios to recommend it would be the Roberts Revival RD70. It has a very authentic-looking 1950s design, is solidly built and has good sound quality.

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