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The Note is a compact and affordable portable DAB radio from respected department store John Lewis. It has an elegant and minimalistic design, and comes in a choice of colours (blue, pink, white and yellow). What can this radio do and how does it perform? Find out in this review…
- FM/DAB radio
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Saves 20 preset stations
- Mains or battery powered (with 4 AA batteries)
Dimensions: 17.7 x 12 x 5.3 cm
Weight: 375 g
Performance and use
Given the small size you can’t expect this radio to have a rich and detailed sound. It sounds a bit thin and tinny, but the sound is clear and overall the sound quality is good for a small portable radio.
This radio is very light at 375 g. That makes it easy to carry around the house or into the garden, but it also means it can easily get knocked over.
You can plug this radio into the mains or use it with 4 AA batteries. However, like all portable DAB radios it eats through batteries very quickly. Batteries are unlikely to last more than 5 hours, which is disappointing if you’re used to portable FM radios that can run on batteries for much longer.
With its compact design and attractive colourful finish, the John Lewis Note is a good choice for the kitchen or bathroom. It’s not especially loud and the sound quality isn’t ideal for listening to music, but it’s fine for listening to speech programmes.
- Smart modern design
- Good sound for a small radio
- Nice choice of colours
- Compact design with small footprint
- Reasonably priced
- Eats through batteries quickly
- Instructions could be clearer
- Some people have had problems with the on/off switch
- No alarm clock
If you want a simple and stylish portable DAB radio, the Note is a great choice. It only has the most essential features, but it has an eye-catching design and good sound quality for a small, affordable radio.
John Lewis sell a few other inexpensive own-brand DAB radios. A good alternative to the Note could be the John Lewis Spectrum Solo. The Spectrum Solo has a similar size, weight and price to the Note, but with quite a different design.
Another good choice is the Roberts Play 10, which is one of the most similar radios to the John Lewis Note. It has a compact portable design, FM/DAB/DAB+ radio and can be powered by 4 AA batteries. Like the Note, the Play 10 is inexpensive and offers very good value for money.
For some more options, see our roundup of the best portable DAB radios in the UK.