Portable Radio

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1581960 | 20:22 Wed 22nd Jun 2022 | Technology
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Looking for a mains/battery portable radio but amazed at how short the battery life is in some models, they seem to go through four AA batteries in a few hours. Not looking for high quality sound, just something that can be taken anywhere in the house, or outside, to listen to local radio and the like. Don't think we necessarily need DAB but neither would it be a problem if we had it. Any suggestions for something with a longer battery life would be welcome, thanks for any help or advice that you can give. One other thing that comes to mind, we have different sorts of lighting in the house, LED, Halogen etc, if this caused problems with reception the radio would be useless. Thanks again.


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A BBC Radio 4 consumer programme compared the battery drain in DAB sets with that in non-DAB ones and found that it was typically 14 times higher. So, if you're buying a mains-battery set and (while away from a mains power source) wanting to listen to a station that's available both on FM and DAB, it's definitely best to go for the FM option.

This link seems to include all of my favoured brands:

My mains-only internet radio (with DAB 7 FM) is from Majority and I'm really impressed with the quality, so that's definitely a make to consider.

I also own a Goodman's Canvas radio, which is among those listed there and has remarkably good sound quality for such a small radio. (Note that the info on the link states that the batteries only last for about 10 hours but that's on DAB. If you follow my advice to switch it to FM, they last much longer).

Roberts radios are also included in that list. They've long been recognised as a premium brand, with excellent sound quality, although at a price.

My own recommendation would be to go for any of the DAB radios shown on the Majority site:
(They all offer FM as well, so that you can avoid excessive battery drain). In particular, you should note that the Girton model uses 'C' batteries, rather than 'AA' ones, providing longer life, and that the Eddington is rechargeable from a USB port, dispensing with the need to buy batteries altogether.

So my absolute TOP recommendation has to be the Majority Eddington:
Don't get a radio. Get a Bluetooth speaker that recharges via USB. The power lasts for ages and you can get any station direct or via TuneIn Radio App. The sound quality is usually better too.
I have a UE Megaboom which is phenomenal. But Which this montha re recommending a £35 Anker.
Also with a speaker your phone conversations are clearer too. I can see no advantage at all that a radio would give over such a speaker..

>>> I can see no advantage at all that a radio would give over such a speaker

Some people don't have smartphones and many that do still need to stick to fixed data limits. So, while I accept the the Bluetooth route is fine for some people, it's obviously not for everyone.
Forget the batter life problems, plug it into the mains.

If you get good radio reception, go for DAB. Better sound quality, particularly on AM stations like 5Live and Talksport.
I'm afraid Roberts are living on past glory.

I have two, both junk.
I have Roberts internet radios and use them in Portugal. One is battery and mains the other combined record and cd and radio. Had them over 5 years and they are brilliant
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Thank you to everyone that replied, I'm now a lot more confident about being able to buy something suitable. Your top tip Buenchico might well fit the bill if its not too fiddly, the main user has diminished dexterity so I'll have to check that.
Glad I asked the question, thanks again.
I use Alexa

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