Sony XDR-S41D Portable Radio Review

Summary:
A well made and affordable DAB radio.

Buy it online:
£44.99 on Amazon.co.uk

The Sony XDR-S41D is a small portable FM/DAB/DAB+ radio with a dual alarm clock. It can be powered by the mains or with 4 AA batteries. This radio is an update to the earlier Sony XDR-S40 model. It comes in a choice of colours: black, blue, red and white. Find out what the Sony XDR-S41D can do and how it performs in this review…

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • 5 dedicated preset buttons
  • Mains or battery powered (4 X AA)
  • Headphone jack
  • Sleep timer
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Extendable aerial

Dimensions: 18 cm wide x 9.5 cm high x 3.6 cm deep
Weight: 431 g

Performance and use

The Sony XDR-S41D is very straightforward. It scans and finds all the stations available in your area automatically and saving and accessing your favourite stations is very easy with the 5 dedicated preset buttons. However, if you’re using it with batteries it will forget your presets when the batteries run out.

The sound quality is fairly good for a radio of this size. There isn’t much bass but it doesn’t sound too tinny either; there’s a decent balance of frequencies. Since there’s not much depth or detail to the sound, it’s better for listening to speech programmes than music.

Like most Sony products, the XDR-S41D feels fairly robust. It’s not as stylish as some other DAB radio radios on the market, but it has a functional design and is available in a choice of colours.

You can plug this radio into the mains or use it with 4 AA batteries. It might be more convenient for the radio to have a built-in rechargeable battery or battery charger so you wouldn’t have to charge the AA batteries yourself. Battery life can vary depending on how you use the radio and which batteries you use, but it’s unlikely to be longer than 15 hours.

In general, this radio works best when it’s plugged into the mains. You can’t use the alarm clock when powering it with batteries. Another issue is that the radio will lose your saved presets if it runs out of power when using batteries.

Pros

  • Easy to save and access preset stations
  • Good sound quality for the size
  • Usually good reception
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Presets lost when batteries run out
  • Alarm only works with mains power

Verdict

The Sony XDR-S41D is a solid product which offers good value for money. It’s ideal if you want a small radio to for listening to speech programmes in the kitchen or bedroom but isn’t such a good choice for listening to music.

Similar radios

Sony manufacture several similar portable DAB radios. One is the Sony XDR-P1DBP, which is marketed as a pocket radio but features a powerful built-in speaker. Despite being smaller than the XDR-S41D, the XDR-P1DBP has comparable sound quality and volume. It uses a built-in rechargeable battery pack which is charged via a USB cable, which you might find more convenient than having to charge AA batteries yourself as you would with the XDR-S41D. Bear in mind though that the XDR-P1DBP can’t be powered by the mains.

One radio with a built-in battery charger is the Roberts Play which is a small portable digital radio. The Play has similar features to the Sony XDR-S41D but lacks an alarm clock.

Another good option could be the Pure Elan BT3, which is a portable DAB radio with Bluetooth and a colour screen. The Elan BT3 is very stylish and also features a dual alarm clock. Like the Sony XDR-S41D, it can be powered by the mains or 4 AA batteries, which you need to recharge yourself.

For some more options, see our roundups of the best DAB radios under £50 and the best portable DAB radios.

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