The Best Digital Radio in Australia: DAB Radio Reviews

The Best Digital Radio in Australia: DAB Radio Reviews

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Digital radios are an incredibly popular, simple way to listen to the radio. The best digital radios offer a high sound quality, a consistently strong signal and the ability to listen to all of your favourite stations whenever you want. The popularity of DAB radios means there’s a lot of choice and choosing between them can be a challenge. The reviews and buyers guide below can help you make sense of what is available so you can find the best option for you.

1. Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV Digital Radio (Top Pick)

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV, Espresso Black

This wireless music system from Bose is a fantastic home stereo system that is sleek, modern and will look good anywhere in the house. The unit is versatile and allows you to listen to your favourite music from a wide range of sources; you can enjoy online streaming services, AM/FM, CDs or even your own stored music.

The sound quality is excellent, the Bose waveguide speaker technology delivers a room-filling sound that is balanced and well-defined. You can also enjoy your music at high volumes without losing quality, this music system creates an immersive experience that listeners will love.

The unit works with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and there is a SoundTouch app that gives you quick and easy access to a selection of internet radio stations and streaming music. The system has an LCD display, works with Alexa and comes with an infrared remote control. You can even use the Bose Wave SoundTouch to wake you up in the morning with its built-in alarm feature, it allows you to set 2 separate alarms which is ideal for partners who need to wake up at different times.

What We Like:

  • Amazing sound quality
  • Handles a range of source options
  • User-friendly

What We Don’t Like:

  • There are no control buttons on the device itself

2. Panasonic – RF-D10GN-K – Portable Digital Radio – DAB/ DAB+

If you’re looking for a low-cost, retro-style digital radio the Panasonic RF-D10GN-K is a great option. This radio is solid, easy to use and has a clear LCD display for simple operation.

The 10cm speakers produce clear, crisp and well-balanced sound. There are 5 preset equalizer options which you can easily select to suit the type of music you’re listening to (classic, jazz, pop, rock and speech). This radio is able to play DAB radio and DAB+ music programs.

The LCD display and control buttons make tuning and selecting your favourite channels easy. The 10 channel memory makes sure switching between your preferred music stations is effortless. The fold-down handle is perfect for moving this compact, battery-powered unit around.

What We Like:

  • Retro style
  • Clear sound with preset equalizer options
  • Portable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only compatible with DAB, DAB+ and FM

3. Sony XDRP1DBP DAB+ Digital Radio

This digital radio from Sony is a lightweight, portable option that produces big sound. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a simple radio that takes next to no time to set up and use.

The digital amplifier boosts the sound so you can enjoy louder music without losing any of the audio quality.

You can set up to 20 presets so your favourite stations are always within reach. The radio has a built-in lithium-ion battery which can be recharged via USB. There is also a dedicated headphone input port so you can listen to stereo quality through your headphones.

What We Like:

  • Portable
  • Rechargeable battery
  • 20 presets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some users may find the small control buttons fiddly to operate

4. JBL Portable Bluetooth Speaker & Digital FM

This JBL Portable radio beautifully combines digital FM with Bluetooth compatibility so you can listen to your favourite songs and enjoy new music on the radio too. The JBL is modern, compact and looks great.

This model produces clear and powerful sound and connecting to the speaker via Bluetooth is straightforward. There is also an aux-in port so you have the option of connecting your device via an aux cable too.

This digital radio has a built-in battery that offers up to 8 hours of power on a single charge. The backlit LCD screen shows you what is playing and there are 5 direct preset buttons for quickly tuning in to your favourite stations.

What We Like:

  • Great design
  • Compact size
  • Solid performance

What We Don’t Like:

  • Can only pair one Bluetooth device at a time

5. Sangean DPR-45 Portable Digital Radio

Sangean DPR-45 Portable Digital Radio with AUST SANGEAN Warranty

The DPR-45 from Sangean is a solid option with great sensitivity that gives you access to all radio bands. This radio is portable, simple to set up and offers a range of features.

This is a user-friendly option with a large LCD backlit display, a 30-station memory and 5 direct preset options. You can search for stations manually or automatically so you can easily find the radio show you love. The broadband loudspeaker sounds great and the DPR-45 has bass and treble controllers to deliver quality sound performance.

This unit is battery powered and the battery status is shown on the display. There are sleep, wake-up and snooze functions are you can use this unit as an alarm too. You can set 2 alarm timers with daily, once, weekday and weekend setting options.

What We Like:

  • 3-band tuner gives you access to all radio options
  • Good quality sound
  • LCD display

What We Don’t Like:

  • No carry handle

6. Sony XDRS41DB Digital & FM Portable Radio

The Sony XDRS41DB is a lightweight portable radio that can be battery or mains-powered. It offers high quality, ease of use and great functionality.

This radio is a sleek, rectangular shape that looks modern with an LCD display and only the necessary control buttons.

You can switch between music with the preset buttons and there’s an extendable antenna to improve the reception as needed. The audio quality is good but there is no equalizer option to adjust bass or treble settings. All in all, this is a compact, affordably priced option that is both practical and user-friendly.

What We Like:

  • Can be battery or mains powered
  • Compact size
  • Simple to use

What We Don’t Like:

  • Presets disappear when the batteries run out

7. Sangean DPR16CW Digital & FM Portable Radio

The DPR16CW from Sangean is a portable player that offers a high-quality audio experience.

The unit includes a high-resolution colour LCD screen that displays a battery indicator and allows you to easily adjust settings. The audio quality on this unit is great, it offers audio EQ options and custom bass and treble control options too.

You can save 5 FM and 5 DAB radio stations and at any time you can tune the unit manually or using the search feature. There are 2 alarm timer options and a snooze function. This portable radio from Sangean has a rechargeable battery facility so it can work with rechargeable and dry-cell batteries.

What We Like:

  • Colour LCD display
  • Audio EQ
  • Functional unit

What We Don’t Like:

  • Batteries not included

Digital Radio Buyers’ Guide

Thanks to the popularity of digital radio there are lots of options to choose from. When comparing products, consider the factors below so you can make sure the DAB radio you choose is the best one for your needs.

What is DAB Radio?

DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting and in many countries it is the standard for digital radio services. The main advantage of digital radio technology is that it provides a higher quality audio than traditional analogue services.

Important Features

When looking for a DAB radio, some of the features you may see include:

  • Preset Stations – you should be able to set a certain number of stations as favourites so you can quickly and easily access them without having to retune it every time. On some products the presets are lost when the radios batteries run flat so keep this in mind.
  • Alarms – the vast majority of digital radios have an alarm function that you can set to wake you up with either a tone or a radio station. Some radios have the ability to set 2 independent alarms which is the best option if you and your partner need to get up at different times. Many also have a snooze function for those slower mornings.
  • Battery power – a lot of digital radios need to be plugged in but there are some battery-powered models. These are more portable and are convenient if you will be listening to the radio in different parts of your house or work area. If you are buying a portable or battery-powered radio make sure it comes with the battery pack included and that’s not an additional charge that needs to be factored in.
  • Bluetooth connection – some DAB radios allow you to connect your phone via Bluetooth so you can listen to your personal music collection through the radio speakers. Bluetooth connectivity can be a good way of listening to streaming music such as Spotify without needing the latest internet radio.


Other Features

  • Display – the radios display will usually show which station you are on and many offer a dimmable display so you can turn down the brightness at night.
  • Remote control/ app – having a way to control the radio without having to get up and go over to it is hugely convenient. Some radios have a dedicated remote control while others have a smartphone app. Either option will help you adjust settings, change the station and turn the volume up or down without getting up. A smartphone app can help streamline processes and help you to get the most out of the DAB radios features.
  • DAB+ – digital radios that offer DAB+ can provide better sound quality as this is a new version of DAB but not all radio stations support this technology yet.
  • Multi-room speaker compatibility – this is the ability to connect up multiple speakers in order to enjoy the music across more than one room. This is relatively rare in DAB radios but some products do offer this capability.
  • USB port – an integrated USB port is perfect for charging your phone and is particularly handy if your radio is on your desk or bedside table.
  • CD player – some digital radios include a CD player which may be an important feature if you have lots of CD’s to enjoy.

This article was written by Cara Holmes

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