The + radio + stereo
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.