Best DAB radio 2021: which digital radio should you buy?

Best DAB radio 2021

(Image credit: Tivoli)

The best DAB radios are proof that the good old days of radio are still going strong – and the format is a staple for many of us, even as smart speakers take over our homes.

DAB radios can fill your home with great-sounding music, chat and lots of witty banter, keeping you company throughout the day (and all night long if you like). 

Because they work well in all kinds of environments, DAB radios make great gifts – especially for that person who’s difficult to buy for, or for those that don’t subscribe to the best music streaming services to get their music.

However, the sheer variety of DAB radios available on the market right now can make finding the one that’s right for you a real challenge. To save you the trouble, we’ve taken the best DAB radios in the country that we’ve had the opportunity to test ourselves and rounded them up into a single, unified list.

So whether you’re looking for a decent-sounding digital radio for the kitchen, an alarm radio for your bedside table, or a portable radio you can take on the go, we’ll have the best option for you – whatever your budget. Here are the best DAB radios available in the UK today.

Pure Evoke CF-6

(Image credit: Pure)

1. Pure Evoke CF-6

A faultless home stereo all-in-1 system

Specifications

Radio: DAB, DAB , FM

Display: 2.8″ TFT color display

Charging method: AC adaptor

Dimensions: 380 x 145 x 223 mm (W x H x D)

Output: 20W stereo

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, 3.5mm AUX IN

CD player: Yes

Reasons to buy

Incredible playback options Spotify Connect support

Reasons to avoid

No Google Cast supportApp timeout sometimes annoys

The Pure Evoke C-F6 marries modern connectivity options with old-school CD playback, and is just about the best DAB radio and stereo system you can buy today. 

Easy to set up, a delight to listen to, and featuring just about every bell and whistle you could need from a single-room audio device, this is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a one-stop audio box. With 3-inch stereo speakers and a 20W output, too, it can crank up to party levels while maintaining a rich, balanced sound.

Read more: Pure Evoke CF-6 review

tivoli dab radio

(Image credit: Tivoli Audio)

2. Tivoli Audio PAL BT

A DAB radio you can take with you come rain or shine

Specifications

Radio: DAB, DAB , FM, AM

Display: 70 x 30mm LCD display

Charging method: AC adaptor

Dimensions: 157 x 92 x 93mm (W x H x D)

Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX IN

Battery: 16 hours

Weight: 875g

Reasons to buy

Long battery life Splash-proof

Reasons to avoid

Poor value for moneyDifficult built in controls

Taking your music on the go? Few digital radios have built-in batteries and splash-proof, portable designs, so the PAL BT is a bit of a one-off. Its 16-hour battery is simply superb, and makes it a great – though expensive – alternative to a Bluetooth speaker that you might take out into the garden or on a longer jaunt to the beach.

Its headline slot and AUX-in are handy, while the sound quality is thoroughly decent. But Bluetooth isn’t exactly an expensive technology and the sound quality isn’t perfect enough for Tivoli to be charging the kind of money it’s asking for the PAL BT. 

The design has, however, smartly improved over the past few years, shrinking the remote and ditching the oversized analogue knob for a more capable LCD screen. The Tivoli’s PAL BT isn’t the most cost-effective way of getting a DAB radio, but it is still one of the best out there.

In the end, this is a compact, versatile DAB radio that can be taken around the home (and anywhere else) quite easily thanks to a 16-hour battery – while the PAL BT’s inclusion of Bluetooth and a bass-heavy sound goes some way to justifying its high price. Perfect for occasional forays into the bathroom.

Read more: Tivoli Audio PAL BT review

Pure Siesta Charge

(Image credit: Pure)

3. Pure Siesta Charge

Wireless charging makes this a forward-looking DAB radio

Specifications

Radio: DAB, DAB , FM

Display: LED

Charging method: AC adaptor

Dimensions: 155 x 145 x 80mm (W x H x D)

Audio: 20W stereo

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Apple Lightning, 3.5mm AUX IN / AUX OUT, USB

CD player: No

Reasons to buy

Sleek, compact design QI wireless charging

Reasons to avoid

Light on bassDo you need wireless charging?

What makes the Pure Siesta Charge stand out is – you guessed it – its charging capabilities. If your smartphone or phablet is compatible with Qi wireless charging, you’ll be able to leave it on top of this DAB radio as it fills up your battery.

It has a lovely sound, with simple customization options and presets, while all the practical alarm, timer and radio functions of Pure’s popular Siesta range position it as a hugely practical bedside gadget. Not to mention an auto-dimming LED display and dashing glass screen.

Not everyone will make use of the wireless charging feature: but either way you’re getting a sleek, well-designed DAB radio and speaker that’s well worth a look.

Read more: Pure Siesta Charge Review

January 27, 2021
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