Best Retro DAB Radios (UK 2020)

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 2020.

Best Retro DAB Radios (UK 2020)

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. Majority Little Shelford

The Majority Little Shelford looks a lot like the Roberts Revival Mini reviewed below, but it’s much cheaper. It could be a good choice if you want something small and inexpensive that has a vintage-style finish. It also features Bluetooth, unlike the Roberts Revival Mini, making it quite versatile.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Headphone jack
  • Mains or battery-powered (4 x AA)

Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 10 cm
Weight: 762 g

Pros

  • Compact, portable design
  • Easy to use
  • Can be powered by a mini USB cable (for example a phone charger)
  • Good sound for the size and price

Cons

  • Can be unreliable, especially the power cable
  • Presets can be fiddly

Verdict

The Majority Little Shelford has a cute retro design and offers great value for money. It may not have the same build quality as more expensive alternatives from brands such as Roberts, but it performs well for the price.

Read our full review of the Majority Little Shelford here.

 

4. Roberts Rambler BT Retro

This stylish retro DAB radio is another of Roberts more vintage-styled radios. It’s a little higher in price than some of the other radios on our list, but it looks just as good as it sounds, so you know you can expect good things. This would look great in a retro-inspired kitchen or living room.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Mains or battery-powered (4 x C)
  • Headphone jack
  • Saves 20 preset stations (10 DAB and 10 FM)
  • Aux input
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Dimmable display

Dimensions: 21 x 8.5 x 12 cm

Pros

  • Clear sound quality
  • Stylish design
  • Easy to use
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Alarm clock

Cons

  • Battery life is quite poor
  • Setting station presets could be fiddly

Verdict

The Rambler is a great-looking vintage-style digital radio. It is fairly priced for all of the functionality it has and the great sound quality. The battery life of this radio may leave a lot to be desired, but if using as a mains-powered radio, this is a funky little feature to have in your home.

Read our full review of the Roberts Rambler here.

 

5. Roberts Classic Blutune

If you want something with a similar authentic 1970s-look to the Roberts Rambler reviewed above but with a more chic, understated colour palette, then the Classic Blutune would be a great choice. It is a similar size as the Rambler BT, only slightly bigger and features a slick mahogany-inspired finish – a great choice for a bachelor pad in need of some music.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Line-out socket
  • Mains-powered or battery-powered with 6 x C batteries
  • 20 preset stations
  • Dimmable display
  • USB port
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions:  9 x 23.5 x 14 cm
Weight: 998 g

Pros

  • Small size
  • USB port for updates
  • Authentic retro design
  • Good sound quality for a small radio
  • Bluetooth for wireless streaming

Cons

  • No alarm clock
  • Relatively expensive
  • Mono sound

Summary

The Roberts Blutune is relatively expensive compared to some retro-inspired radios from budget brands, but it’s well made and reliable.

Like all vintage-style Roberts radios, the Blutune looks great.

Read our full review of the Roberts Classic Blutune here.

 

6. Denver DAB-38 Retro

The Denver DAB-38 Retro is a retro DAB radio with a glossy plastic finish and a convenient carrying handle (there’s also a wooden finish available for added vintage feels). This is a really cool-looking radio which resembles those of the 1950s but with a modern twist – it would look perfect in a retro diner kitchen. The Denver DAB-38 can be powered by the mains or 4 x AA batteries.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Saves 10 preset stations
  • Headphone jack
  • Aux-in socket

Dimensions: 15.5 x 11 x 25 cm
Weight: 1.5 kg

Pros

  • Alarm clock function – perfect for a bedside table
  • Easy to use
  • Decent sound quality
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • Plastic finish could look a little cheap

Summary

The Denver DAB-38 may not last as long as retro radios from Roberts, but it is a cheaper option and has a decent sound quality for the price. This is a really cool take on a vintage design and since it is portable, can be used all over the home.

 

7. 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.

 

8. DETROIT DAB Radio

The DETROIT DAB radio is a great budget option from Audio Fidelity, for those wanting the retro-look without the big vintage pricetag. This radio resembles the fender of an old car and definitely gives us ‘Grease Lightening’ vibes for sure! The built-in alarm clock function means this funky radio would be perfect on a bedside table or kitchen coutertop.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Headphone socket
  • Saves 30 preset stations on FM and 30 on DAB
  • Mains or battery powered with 4 x AA batteries

Dimensions: 15.2 x 25.4 cm
Weight:
1.2 kg

Pros

  • Light and easy to carry
  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Looks funky and is available in multiple colours

Cons

  • No batteries included
  • Sound quality is ok
  • Radio signal may be intermittent

Verdict

As this is a more budget-friendly option, it won’t have the same performance quality as some of our other bigger-brand named radios, but if you want something a bit quirky that plays your favourite radio stations, then you can’t really go wrong. This may be best kept in use as a mains-powered radio, as battery life could be quite short when using as a portable device.

 

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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