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Released in May 2017, the Parkside Pocket DAB/DAB+ Radio is essentially a newer version of the popular Majority Petersfield DAB Radio, which was released in 2016. The main difference between the Parkside and the Petersfield is that the Parkside offers MP3 playback via a Micro SD card. Find out more about what it can do and how it performs in this review…
- FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
- MP3 playback via Micro SD card
- Rechargeable internal battery offering up to 12 hours of playback time
- Saves 20 preset stations (10 on FM and 10 on DAB/DAB+)
- Earphones included
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
Dimensions: 9.5 cm high x 5.5 cm wide x 1.5 cm deep
Weight: 100 g
Performance and use
The Majority Parkside Pocket Radio is very easy to use. It will automatically scan and save the stations available in your area, and saving your favourites as presets is quite straightforward. Importantly for a pocket radio, it’s small and light, and should easily fit in the average pocket.
Reception is generally good, but this will vary depending on where you use it. The headphones you use can also affect the reception, so if you find the reception is poor you should try using a different pair of headphones.
For a pocket DAB radio, the battery life is decent. It’s unlikely to last 12 hours as the manufacturer suggests, but you can expect it to last 6 to 8 hours on a full charge. This is better than some pocket DAB radios which only have a battery life of 4 hours or less.
Unlike some pocket DAB radios, the Parkside doesn’t have a built-in speaker so you will need to use earphones or headphones. The earphones included are quite poor, so you will probably want to use a better pair.
This radio has an SD card reader which will accept Micro SD cards up to 32 Gb in size. The ability to listen to MP3 files via a Micro SD card is a nice addition, but this feature could be improved. You can’t find tracks by folders so you have to scroll through them all, and there isn’t a shuffle feature so you might end up listening to the same songs over and over again. It can also be fiddly to put the SD card in.
One of the biggest flaws with this product is that the buttons feel quite flimsy and don’t have very good action. Some users have even found that the buttons stopped working properly after a few weeks or months.
- Good value for money
- Micro SD card reader is a rare feature in pocket DAB radios
- Decent battery life
- LCD display is easy to read
- No way to choose MP3 files by artist/album etc.
- Earphones included are quite poor
- Build quality could be improved
The Majority Parkside is a very affordable pocket radio, and overall it offers good value for money. It’s small, light and has decent reception and battery life, which are all important things to look for in a pocket DAB radio.
However, this radio does have some flaws. The build quality isn’t as high as it could be, and the buttons feel quite flimsy. The MP3 player is also quite disappointing as you have to scroll through each track one by one rather than being able to select files by folder or artist. This might not be a problem if you want to listen to an audiobook or only have a few MP3 files, but if you have thousands of songs on an SD card it is quite inconvenient.
To summarise, if you want a cheap and functional pocket radio this is a good choice, but don’t expect exceptional build quality, and don’t buy this radio for the SD card reader as there are better options out there for playing MP3s.
For some more options, see our roundup of the best pocket DAB radios.