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The Impington is a budget-priced portable DAB radio with Bluetooth. It’s made by Majority, whose range of cheap digital radios includes some of the most popular DAB radios in the UK at the moment. The Impington offers a good list of features for the price, but do its sound and build quality suffer as a result of cost savings? Find out how the Impington performs in this review…
- FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
- Alarm clock
- Stereo sound
- 2 USB charging points
- Mains powered or portable with 4 C batteries
- Headphone jack
Dimensions: 31.8 cm wide x 17.8 cm high x 14 cm deep
Weight: 1.05 kg
Performance and use
Like most digital radios, the Impington automatically sets the correct time via DAB radio as soon as you plug it in for the first time. It also automatically scans and finds the DAB stations available in your area. The radio is fairly easy to use, and connecting a device via Bluetooth is straightforward.
The Impington has a retro design somewhat reminiscent of a 1980s boombox but with a more compact size. As you’d expect from a radio in this price range the radio doesn’t feel like it has very high build quality, but it looks good from a distance.
The Impington’s real weak point is sound quality.
The Impington’s real weak point is sound quality. It has a good volume range, and for a portable radio it can be turned up quite loud. The quietest setting is very quiet, so it’s good for listening to in bed at night. However, the sound quality is quite muffled, and unfortunately it’s not possible to adjust the EQ to get a clearer sound. This gets even worse as you turn the volume up, and the radio has a tendency to vibrate and sound distorted on the highest volume settings.
The sound quality might be good enough for listening to Radio 4 or other speech stations, but it’s very disappointing for listening to music or streaming audio via Bluetooth.
- Good volume range
- Lots of features for the price
- Nice retro design
- USB charging ports are a useful addition
- Sometimes vibrates when you turn it up loud
- Sounds muffled
- No bass & treble controls
Given the Impington’s disappointing sound quality, we wouldn’t recommend purchasing it. The Impington packs in a lot of features for the price, but at the expense of sound quality. It’s better to choose something higher quality at a higher price, or something cheaper that does the basics well.
There are lots of similarly priced DAB radios on the market. One example is the Cottenham, which is another DAB/DAB+ radio from Majority with similar features (including Bluetooth) and a similar price point. The Cottenham arguably has better sound quality than the Impington, but is quite unreliable and many buyers have had issues with it stopping working altogether.
If you don’t mind missing out on a few features in return for better sound quality and reliability, you should consider the Roberts Play10. Made by one of the world’s most respected radio brands, the Play10 is a reliable portable DAB radio with the most essential features only and a similar price tag to the Impington.
One radio with similar features to the Impington but better overall performance (and a slightly higher price) is the AZATOM Multiplex D1. This radio has lots of features including Bluetooth 4.0, a USB charging port and a built-in rechargeable battery. It’s a very versatile and generally reliable radio that offers great value for money.