The + ra­dio + stereo

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

The + Ra­dio DAB+ Stereo may have an awk­ward name, but this FM/DAB ra­dio with Bluetooth stream­ing aims to be as straight­for­ward as pos­si­ble. How­ever, the sin­gle unit also has a trick up its sleeve: a sec­ond pas­sive unit that, once con­nected, can trans­form this into a stereo speaker set.

The retro wooden, alu­minium and plas­tic cab­i­net is well made, and has a neat cir­cu­lar OLED dis­play. The con­trol di­als are re­spon­sive, al­though us­ing the in­cluded plas­tic re­mote is eas­ier for nav­i­gat­ing the menu. There, you can pick di er­ent equaliser modes, set alarms and pair Bluetooth de­vices. Press­ing the info button shows you bi­trate, fre­quency, sig­nal strength, and more when play­ing DAB ra­dio. The wire­less sources for the ra­dio are FM, DAB, and Bluetooth (DAB+ for main­land Europe). You can also plug a mu­sic player into one of the 3.5mm in­puts, while the sec­ond is for head­phones.

Around the back you’ll ‰nd a USB port, an­tenna socket and a bal­ance con­trol for ad­just­ing the stereo im­age if you use the add-on speaker (which con­nects via a supplied wire, and it has no con­trols or dis­play on the front).

Spiky edge to the tre­ble

The ra­dio sounds de­cent enough when play­ing BBC 6 Mu­sic over DAB. Voices sound clear and di­rect, al­though we wouldn’t mind more nuance and so­lid­ity to ”esh them out. It’s not quite as rich and weighty as we’d like. The tre­ble on the DAB+ is a touch coarse, and the over­all sound is on the thin side. FM sta­tions take a small dip in qual­ity, but it’s still lis­ten­able.

Sound qual­ity is more de­tailed when stream­ing songs over Bluetooth. Blues Trav­eler’s Hook sounds lively, al­though the in­ter­play be­tween the in­stru­ments and vo­cals isn’t as co­he­sive as on its Revo Su­per­sig­nal ri­val. The drums stick out, the har­mon­ica sounds a lit­tle lonely, and we want a snap­pier rhythm. Put the ra­dio in stereo mode with the add-on speaker, and the sound gains weight and so­lid­ity. It’s a far more en­joy­able lis­ten – al­though you still can’t shake the spiky edges from the tre­ble.

The more press­ing prob­lem is the price. The DAB+ and add-on speaker com­bined are £360, which seems too ex­pen­sive for what The+ra­dio o ers. The stereo mode is a neat idea, but the Geneva Model S Wire­less DAB+, at £330, far out­shines it for sub­tlety and mu­si­cal­ity. We re­ally like the retro de­sign, but the in­ad­e­quate an­tenna and sky-high price for its mid­dling sound qual­ity mean it can’t com­pete with the best.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.