Help and advice

Choosing a 21st century radio

It may seem a little old-fashioned, but a radio can be a really great addition to your sound system line-up.
While cooking or doing other chores, you can enjoy a variety of programmes, from news and current affairs to almost any type of music you can think of, or just play some relaxing tunes to wind down in the evenings.

However, radio technology has continued to evolve in recent years, meaning that choosing a new model can be a little baffling for some. Here’s our guide to choosing the best radio for your needs.

Just like televisions, radios have now gone digital. Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radios are now the main option available. They take a lot of the fiddling out of choosing your preferred station, or even discovering some new favourites.

Of course, there are still analogue models available, but the government is expected to choose a date for digital switchover in the near future, so these may not have a very long useful life.

What does a DAB radio do?

The LCD display will show the names of stations available, and you simply scroll down until you find what you’re looking for - no fine-tuning required!

Many models also have extra features, such as the ability to listen to internet radio, or pause and rewind live broadcasts. These are all useful to have, but it may also be worth considering where you plan to keep the radio, as this will determine what functions need to be included.

While there is digital radio coverage across the UK, some areas fare better than others. You can visit the Get Digital Radio website to check what will be available in your home, which can help avoid frustration down the line.

Location, location, location

Kitchen radios are best when they don’t involve elaborate touchscreen controls (think sticky fingers). Big, easy to use buttons and dials are the best option for kitchen listeners. A good amount of preset buttons are a handy feature, as you will be able to quickly switch between stations without neglecting a bubbling pot on the cooker. You should also look for a sturdy, water-resistant model, so that the occasional splash isn’t a cause for concern.

Waterproofing becomes even more important if you want your radio in the bathroom. Because water and electricity don’t mix well, you should choose a specialist option to ensure you can shower in safety.

On the other hand, if you want a radio for your bedside table, make sure it has a good alarm feature, to make sure that you’re on time for work. There are models available that let you choose from a buzzer, a radio station or even your own music. If you still have trouble getting up, consider putting it out of reach, ensuring that the alarm sounds until you get out of bed to switch it off. However, this won’t help if you go straight back to bed.

Display brightness is also a concern in the bedroom, as you don’t want glaring lights interrupting your beauty sleep.


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