Wooden radios tend to look much classier than plastic radios and have a warmer sound thanks to the wooden casing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many of the most popular DAB radios in the UK have a wooden or wood-effect finish.
In this article we’ll review some of the best wooden DAB radios on the market and also explain what to look for when choosing a wood radio.
What to Look for in a Wooden Radio
- Real wood: Many radios that appear to be made with wood are actually made from plastic with a wood-effect finish.
When radios are made with real wood this is usually a thin wood veneer, though some radios use larger amounts of wood.
In general, the more real wood is used, the warmer the sound will be.
- Value for money: Some radios have a high price tag just because of their design.
Look for something that offers useful features and good sound quality as well as an attractive wood finish.
- Features: Lots of wooden DAB radios come with Bluetooth and an alarm clock, which are both useful features.
Extra features you might want to look for include internet radio, a remote control and a USB port for charging a phone or playing MP3s.
Best Wooden DAB Radios (UK 2019)
1. John Lewis & Partners Octave
The John Lewis Octave is a very stylish DAB radio with internet so you can also use it to listen to thousands of radio stations worldwide via WiFi.
This radio comes in either a black ash or walnut finish. The cabinet is made from real wood, which helps give some extra warmth to the radio’s sound.
As well as looking great, the Octave is packed full of useful features. With FM, DAB/DAB+ and internet radio, you won’t have any shortage of choice of radio stations to listen to.
The Octave also has Bluetooth for wirelessly streaming audio from a phone or tablet, an aux-in port and a USB port for playing MP3 files.
The Octave also has a dual alarm clock with a snooze function and a sleep timer. Measuring 27 x 18 x 11 cm, the radio is compact enough for a large bedside table. It comes with a remote control, which is very useful.
The Octave isn’t the cheapest radio on the market, but it’s reasonably priced given its build quality and range of features. It also comes with a 2-year guarantee from John Lewis, one of the UK’s most trusted brands.
2. Ruark R1 Mk3
The Ruark R1 Mk3 is a high-end DAB radio with excellent sound quality.
While it’s a high-end product, it’s by no means the most expensive radio on the market. This radio is available in white, black or with a lacquered walnut wood veneer finish.
The R1 Mk3 features Bluetooth, a dual alarm clock, a headphone jack and a line-in port for connecting an MP3 player or other audio source. The radio measures 17 x 13.5 x 13 cm with a space-saving vertical design allowing it to fit on a small table or shelf.
The R1 Mk3 is one of the best-sounding radios on the market. It has a detailed sound with good amounts of bass, mid-range and treble frequencies. The speaker offers 9 watts of power output.
Unlike the John Lewis Octave reviewed above, the R1 Mk3 doesn’t have internet radio. It picks up FM, DAB and DAB+ stations.
Read our full review of the Ruark R1 Mk3 here.
3. John Lewis & Partners Aria
The John Lewis Aria is an elegantly designed DAB radio with good sound quality.
Despite being affordably priced, it looks and sounds great. This radio is available in three finishes: black ash, walnut and light oak, all of which use real wood.
Like the Ruark R1 Mk3 reviewed above, the John Lewis Aria has a space-saving vertical design. It measures 19 x 11.8 x 11.8 cm, so it should fit easily on a bedside table.
The Aria has a dual alarm clock with a snooze function and also a sleep timer, so it could make a good bedside radio.
As well as an alarm clock, the Aria also features Bluetooth so you can use it as a wireless speaker to play music from Spotify or other streaming services by connecting it to your phone. This works well and is easy to use.
The Aria also has a headphone jack for private listening, and you can connect another audio source using the aux-in port. This radio has plenty of useful features, though it would be nice to have a remote control as well.
Read our full review of the John Lewis Aria here.
4. Revo SuperSignal
The Revo SuperSignal is a high-end DAB radio that rivals the Ruark R1 Mk3 when it comes to sound quality.
The SuperSignal comes in a furniture-grade American walnut cabinet which is designed to give it the best sound quality possible. The 12-watt speaker can be turned up fairly loud without losing clarity.
Made by Lanark-based audio brand Revo, the SuperSignal picks up FM, DAB and DAB+ stations and also features Bluetooth with aptX technology, which allows for CD-quality audio streaming.
The SuperSignal has quite a similar design to the Ruark R1 Mk3 with a vertical design. Its dimensions are 20.2 x 14 x 13.5 cm so it should fit easily on a bedside table.
It features a dual alarm clock with a touch-snooze feature that lets you enable snooze just by touching the radio’s grille.
Another nice thing about this radio is that it comes with a useful remote control.
5. VQ Monty
Made by British radio manufacturer VQ, the Monty is an affordable DAB radio that comes in a choice of real wood finishes: Oak, Green Grass Oak, Limed Oak or Walnut.
In addition to picking up FM, DAB and DAB+ stations, the Monty also features Bluetooth so you can wirelessly stream audio from a tablet or phone.
The VQ Monty has lots of useful features including a dual alarm clock, USB port for charging a phone, headphone jack and an aux-in port for connecting an external audio source.
The radio has a 10-watt speaker and offers a choice of 6 EQ presets with independent bass and treble controls.
This radio is available with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. You can also buy it with a rechargeable battery, though this costs extra.
Read our full review of the VQ Monty here.
6. Bush Wooden DAB Radio
This radio from Sainsbury’s own electronics brand Bush has a nice retro design and is very affordable. It could be a good small radio for the kitchen or bedroom.
The Bush Wooden DAB Radio can be plugged into the mains or used with four AA batteries. It has a dual alarm clock which lets you set two separate alarms.
There’s also a sleep timer so you can program the radio to switch itself off after a set period of time (15, 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes).
This radio picks up both FM and DAB stations, and lets you save 20 presets. There aren’t any dedicated preset buttons, so you will need to scroll through your list of presets to change the station.
The Bush Wooden DAB Radio measures 17 x 11 x 9 cm, so it’s very compact. It’s a good size for a shelf, bedside table or kitchen countertop.
The radio has decent sound given the size and price, though it doesn’t compare to more expensive models. It’s fairly quiet, and can’t be turned up very loud.
One disappointing thing about this radio is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. However, it looks stylish and offers very good value for money overall.
The radios reviewed above are all well made using real wood. If we had to pick just one to recommend it would be the John Lewis Octave since it’s attractive, reasonably priced and features internet radio in addition to FM and digital radio.
If you can afford it, the Ruark R1 Mk3 has better sound and build quality, though it doesn’t have internet radio.
If you want something budget priced, the Bush Wooden DAB Radio could be a good choice. Another similarly priced wood veneer radio to consider is the Polaroid Retro Wooden Stereo DAB+ Radio, which is available from ASDA.
For some more suggestions, see our roundup of the best DAB radios in the UK.