Have you ever heard a song that you just wanted to keep in your music library forever?
Maybe you’re enjoying your morning routine, tuned in to your favourite radio station and listening to some of the top forty hits when suddenly you stumble across a song you’ve never heard. It’s a tune that you just can’t get out of your head, but you can’t afford to go and buy the melody from iTunes, and you don’t have the option to add it to your Spotify playlist.
Those of us growing up in the 80s and 90s remember an alternative option to Spotify and YouTube to listening to those new-found favourite songs. Radios with a record function used to let us record entire radio shows on tape cassettes and CDs a moment’s notice. We could even use the same function to record talk shows and special streams that we wanted to listen to again in the future.
With countless radio stations now playing live music from festivals and other major events, there are more reasons to hit record than ever before.
The only problem?
Recordable DAB radio sets just aren’t as common as you might think. A digital radio recorder is extremely hard to find these days. If you want the extra benefit of a DAB connection, your options are reduced even further.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up your search just yet. To serve you, our wonderful readers, we’ve done the hard work of researching countless recordable radio options on your behalf.
Here’s your guide to the best DAB radio with record function, and the alternatives you can consider.
1. Roberts Blutune 200
The Roberts Blutune 200 is one of the most attractive and versatile all-in-one radio systems on the market today. We’ve been lucky enough to conduct a full review of this device here at Radio Fidelity in the past, so we know first-hand just how excellent it can be.
The Blutune 200 follows the trend set by Roberts for delivering excellent functionality and style in one incredible package. Similar to the Stream 94i, the Blutune combines a wooden surround for deeper bass and better acoustics, with a modern face and a set of tactile controls. The Blutune stands out as a lot more than just a DAB radio with recording facility. This device is also a CD player, Bluetooth speaker, and it’s capable of playing FM radio too.
Of course, for all that functionality, you might expect that the price tag is going to be a little higher than what you’d get from other brands.
With the Blutune 200, the Roberts brand has clearly gone above and beyond to deliver one of the best DAB radios with record function that money can buy. While this is unlikely to be your top choice if you’re shopping on a budget, it’s a system that offers all-in-one functionality with style. You get all the power you need to create genuinely incredible sound, as well as handy and convenient features like adjustable snooze and sleep timers.
The sound quality, as you would expect from a Roberts radio, is phenomenal, and the ease of use is pretty impressive too. Just keep in mind that the bright screen means that this tool might not be ideal for use as a bedside radio.
Easy recording options
Adjustable EQ and high-quality sound
DAB, FM, and DAB+
High price tag
Bright LCD screen makes it less ideal for a bedside radio
2. Yaakin K1 personal DAB radio with record function
You don’t necessarily need to pay through the nose for a full audio system if you want a DAB radio with SD card recording, or another form of record function. Sometimes, you can stick to something a lot smaller and get the same, or similar results.
For instance, the Yaakin K1 stands out as one of the best personal radios with an added record function. The system features an MP3 player with mini radio, an SD card system, and more.
Although the Yaakin K1 isn’t nearly as attractive as the Roberts Blutune 200, it offers all the functionality you need if you’re looking for a way to start recording DAB radio. This compact portable radio is great for an active lifestyle, as it will fit seamlessly into your pocket.
Additionally, you get the option to recharge your radio and take it with you anywhere, rather than just leaving the system plugged in at home.
Yaakin even offers its customers extra peace of mind through a full 12-month warranty that protects you from potential damage to your device.
For just under £35, features include:
USB rechargeable battery with up to 12 hours of life
Integrated signal with built-in headphone antennas
Powerful bass, and carefully tuned sound
Portable and compact design
DAB radio with SD card recording
Auto scan tuning
120 minutes of sleep time
Aside from being a useful DAB radio with record function, the Yaakin also comes with plenty of additional capabilities to make your audio life easier. You can enjoy the benefits of saving up to 60 preset stations. Additionally, your device will automatically set the time, so you can avoid fiddling around with it when the seasons change.
The lockable buttons are a particularly handy feature of this device, as they ensure that you’re not going to accidentally change the station or the volume when the product is in your pocket. However, it’s worth noting that there are no instructions included, and tuning the radio can be a bit of a hassle.
Reasonably good sound quality for a pocket radio
DAB radio recorder with SD card slot
Excellent design with lockable buttons
12 hours of battery life
No instructions, which means that the set-up is difficult
When you’re looking for a DAB radio recorder in the UK, it makes sense to start with those classic radio brands that have been around for quite some time. Companies like Roberts and Pure often come out on top when it comes to delivering diverse functionality mixed with sensational sound.
The Pure One Classic Series 2 is a lesser-known product in the Pure portfolio, but it’s still available to purchase from various locations around the world.
Although the Pure One Classic Series 2 digital radio recorder takes a slightly different approach to audio recording, we still thought it was worth including in this list. After all, this is a DAB and FM radio, with a “listen later” feature. The listen to later option means that you can save your favourite programmes or songs and play them back later with live recording.
Other unique features of the Pure One Classic Series 2 include the intellitext system, which allows you to store scrolling text from participating broadcasters.
For around £100, the Pure One Classic Series 2 features:
DAB and FM radio
Listen later live recordable radio
TextScan and Intellitext
Adjustable treble and bass
ChargePAK for portability
Like many other products in the Pure portfolio, the One Classic Series 2 comes with the option to add a ChargePAK environmentally-friendly battery for recharging. You can also access an aux input for your MP3 or iPod, and pause and rewind your digital radio for up to 15 minutes if you want to listen to something again.
If you want to use the system as a bedside clock, it also comes with a tone or radio alarm when powered by the mains.
Although this is an excellent recording DAB radio, it’s also tough to get hold of these days, which might make it a less than ideal solution for some consumers.
GPO is a brand that we don’t get a chance to talk about much here at radio fidelity. However, this company can sometimes deliver some genuinely incredible music systems. If you’re looking for a DAB radio with recording facility, and you want the combined benefits of an all-in-one audio machine, then try the GPO Brooklyn.
Although this device doesn’t always deliver the same music quality that you might get from Roberts or Pure, it does have a lot to offer.
This fully-portable device from GPO comes with a unique design that resembles the traditional 80s boom box. That means that you can listen to your favourite music and enjoy a dose of nostalgia at the same time.
The product features a huge number of playback styles to choose from, including a CD player and a cassette player, with a recording function built-in. The recording service allows you to save your music to a CD, tape, or USB stick, rather than to an SD card, however.
Like the other all-in-one kit that we covered from Roberts, the wide range of features on the GPO also means that it comes with a pretty high price tag.
However, for around £200, you get features like:
A CD player and cassette player
Recordable DAB radio to a memory stick
External device connectivity via aux-in
Fully portable design
Unique boombox design
FM, DAB, and DAB+ radio
There are a lot of things to like about this DAB radio with recording facility. It looks attractive if you have a passion for 80s nostalgia. Additionally, it’s nice to have the option to playback a cassette or CD from your old collection. Of course, the added digital radio recorder is crucial too.
However, many people have complained that this device isn’t as great as picking up radio stations as it could be. Additionally, the CD player can be a little problematic at times.
Recordable radio function
Range of playback options, including CD and cassette
Docooler is another brand that you’re unlikely to have seen here on Radio Fidelity before. However, we’re more than happy to explore the offers available from a multitude of different companies when it comes to giving our readers the ideal insight into the best DAB radio with record function.
The GTMedia D2 is a portable radio, similar to the Yaakin K1 device that we covered above.
This DAB digital radio recorder comes with a built-in speaker and headphone jack, so you can decide whether you want to listen with a group or enjoy your music privately. Additionally, you can opt for either using batteries, or using the rechargeable system to power your device.
This DAB recorder comes with several convenient functions including a clock and sleep timer function, and an easy interface with presets available for your favourite stations.
With a price of just under £55, you get plenty of functionality from this device, including:
Loudspeaker and headphone jack
Portable and durable design
Clock and sleep timer functionality
Preset radio stations
Battery operation and rechargeable lithium battery
Small and lightweight
Digital radio recorder
Overall, there’s not a lot that’s particularly special about this recordable DAB radio system at first glance. Aside from the card slot included for recording, it looks like a standard pocket radio, similar to something you might get from Pure.
The sound quality for this device is only very basic however, which is probably why it hasn’t gained a lot of attention yet. Although you will be able to manage your music with this product, and enjoy recordings, you won’t get the same quality you would expect from a Roberts device.
Alternatives to the best DAB radio with record function
As mentioned above, there simply aren’t a lot of DAB radios with recording facilities built-in anymore. Ultimately, most manufacturers assume that if you want to continue listening to the music that you hear on the radio, you’ll download it to your phone, or Spotify account.
Additionally, many digital radio stations also share copies of the programmes that they play online so that you can check them out on the internet later.
Because of this, it’s much easier to find a recordable radio solution that comes with access to only FM and AM radio, rather than DAB. Here are a few options with just FM, if you don’t mind giving up DAB to record your favourite tunes.
1. Roberts CD9960 recordable DAB radio
As we’ve already mentioned in this article, Roberts is one of the leading providers of versatile radio systems in the UK market. Although there’s only one DAB radio with record function in the Roberts portfolio that we can find, they do offer other recording options.
The CD9960 offers a traditional CD/cassette player style device that provides a multitude of playback options, including CD, cassette, and FM/MW, and LW radio. The deluxe version of the device includes full recording options, so that you can record straight from the radio to a CD or cassette.
Additionally, you can record music from your CDs to a tape and vice versa.
The Roberts CD9960 takes a slightly more traditional approach to record than a modern DAB radio with SD card recording. However, this product will still get the job done for many radio fans.
For just under £70 features include:
Portable design with carrying handle
Stereo speakers with excellent volume
Programmable CD player
Deluxe cassette player
Recordable radio function
Battery or mains operation
FM, MW, and LW radio
The major downside of this Roberts radio is that it doesn’t come with the option to listen to modern DAB radio. Additionally, compared to some of the more modern products in the Roberts portfolio, the CD9960 also has a few issues with things like tinny sound and poor signal.
Another alternative option for people searching for the right recordable DAB radio could be the Sony CFDS70B. This device comes from one of the leaders in audio and visual entertainment on the market today.
Around the world, Sony is known for offering innovative and versatile products in a range of different environments. It’s no surprise then that the company offers a unique recordable radio device.
Unfortunately, it’s not something that you can use with DAB radio.
The CDFS70B is a classic style CD and tape boombox that resembles many of the older products that you may have had in your home during the 90s and early 2000s. This product comes with a full-range sound supported by mega bass. Additionally, there’s digital tuning for FM and AM stations, with the additional option to save up to 30 stations presets.
Like the Roberts radio above, the Sony offers a recording function through the option to save music to cassettes or CDs. Additionally, there’s an audio-in hack for connecting your phone or MP3 player.
For just under £45, features include:
Great sound output with bass boost
Digital tuning for FM/AM stations
30 station preset options
CD player with shuffle and program functions
Built-in cassette tape deck
Recordable radio function
Audio jack for MP3 players
Portable with handle
Once again, this isn’t the most modern device on the market for those in search of recording functions. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity included, and you won’t be able to listen to your favourite DAB content.
However, this Sony radio is a good compromise if you’re just looking for something that allows you to record from FM channels.
The device is portable when it needs to be, and we like the fact that it comes with a number of preset options to help you find the channels that you love.
Finally on our list of alternatives to the best DAB radio with record function is the Steepletone SMC386r 8-in-1 music system. This device was created to be your go-to solution to listening to virtually every kind of music – including vinyl records.
Along with a record turntable, the product features a reliable CD player, a twin cassette player, and the option to tune in to FM and MW radio. The only thing missing is DAB or Wi-Fi radio.
The Steepletone is a state-of-the-art device that’s sure to fit well into a number of homes. We like how comprehensive the system is, even though it’s lacking the DAB option. Additionally, the option to record to USB sticks and SD cards is a nice touch. You can even record from your vinyl or cassettes to another medium, like CD or digital file.
There’s a remote control included to manage the entire system, and the stereo speakers are detached from the main body of the product so that you can place them around your home. There’s also the option to invest in a separate subwoofer.
For just under £160, features include:
Record turntable, CD player and dual cassette player
FM and MW radio
Recordable radio to SD card to stick
MP3 recording from various mediums
Remote control included
Stereo speakers and optional subwoofer
If you’re looking for a solution that allows you to record and listen to music in a multitude of exciting ways, then you’re going to love the experience you get with the Steepletone. Aside from the lack of DAB connectivity, it’s one of the most versatile products that we’ve seen on the market.
One other potential downside is that the CD tray has a habit of getting jammed from time to time. Additionally, the remote control included with this product tends to have a hard time connecting with the system. You need to be stood right in front of the player to change the volume.
Range of playback modes, including record turntable
Ultimately, it’s safe to say that your options when it comes to recordable DAB radio are somewhat limited. Many companies just don’t invest in recording features for their devices these days, because they don’t think it’s necessary.
There are various ways that you can record and listen to music without having a recordable radio. For instance, you can track down the online version of the digital station that you’re listening to and download their files.
Alternatively, you could record certain programs straight to your phone, although there’s a risk that you could lose some sound quality with this strategy.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind giving up on DAB radio functionality, you could always consider using an FM radio with the recording function instead. There are plenty of those alternatives on the market, including the 3 options that we listed above.
Overall, however, if we had to choose the best DAB radio with record function without compromising on any crucial features at all, we’d definitely pick the Roberts Blutune 200. Not only is this device one of the best all-in-one radio and music systems that we’ve had the chance to review, but it’s brimming with versatility too.
It might be one of the more expensive options that we’ve covered in our DAB radio recorder list, but the Blutune will capture your favourite music and programmes with ease. What’s more, you get the quality you would expect from Roberts too.
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