Sony XDR-S61D DAB Radio Review

Summary:
A great choice if you want something straightforward and easy to use.

Buy it online:
See price on JohnLewis.com

The Sony XDR-S61D is a mid-priced FM/DAB/DAB+ radio that could offer a good balance of affordability and quality. It has the kind of straightforward, functional-looking design that you’d expect from Sony, and is available in black or white.

Find out what the Sony XDR-S61D can do and how it performs in this review…

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
  • Saves 10 preset stations (5 on FM and 5 on DAB/DAB+)
  • 5 dedicated preset buttons
  • Alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Mains or battery powered with 4 x AA batteries
  • Headphone jack and aux-in

Dimensions: 22.7 cm wide x 13.9 cm high x 9.5 cm deep

Performance and use

The Sony XDR-S61D is very easy to use and doesn’t really require any setting up—just plug it in, turn it on and let it find the DAB stations available in your area.

This radio is very well laid out, with an intuitive interface and well-located buttons. It’s one of the easiest digital radios on the market to use, so it could be a good choice for technophobes and elderly people who find other DAB radios to be too fiddly.

This radio is very well laid out, with an intuitive interface and well-located buttons.

All of the most essential functions can be accessed using the well-sized buttons on the top of the radio, including a large volume dial and 5 useful preset buttons that let you access your favourite stations without having to scroll through a menu. Saving a presest station is very easy—you just hold down one of the preset buttons while tuned into the station.

The battery life on this model compares favourably to most other portable DAB radios on the market, which can often only last around 10 hours or less. According to Sony, this radio can run for up to 17 hours on batteries. You can also plug it into the mains using the adapter included.

The Sony XDR-S61D has some useful features including an alarm clock and a sleep timer, but it doesn’t have as many features overall as some other radios in this price range. In particular, it doesn’t have Bluetooth, so you can’t wirelessly stream audio through its speakers from a phone or other device.

For a radio in this price range, the Sony XDR-S61D has good sound quality, though the volume is quite limited so it’s only really suited for smaller rooms.

Pros

  • Easy to use, with an intuitive design
  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • Limited volume

Verdict

The Sony XDR-S61D is a very well-made radio. While it may not have a huge list of features, it’s very intuitively designed, so it’s a great choice if you want something straightforward and easy to use.

Similar radios

One radio in the same range from Sony is the XDR-S41D, which is essentially a smaller version of the same radio, measuring 18 cm across compared to the Sony XDR-S61D’s 22.7 cm. The XDR-S41D’s small size makes it more portable, and it’s also cheaper.

If you’d like something similar with Bluetooth, the Pure Elan BT3 could be a good choice. It’s a similar size to the Sony XDR-S61D and can be powered with AA batteries. The Elan BT3 has a smart-looking design with a colour screen and is very easy to use.

For some more options, see our roundups of the best portable DAB radios and the best DAB radios on the market overall.

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