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Retro DAB Radio

Tuning into nostalgia: Your guide to the best retro DAB radio

Here at Radio Fidelity, we know first-hand just how diverse and versatile radio design can be.

From the VQ Monty with its unique vintage appeal, to the Roberts Solar DAB that makes portable listening more eco-friendly, there’s something for everyone. 

So, what if you want a radio that brings two distinct ideas together? 

For instance, maybe you want a DAB radio with modern features like Bluetooth streaming and superb sound quality, but you also want to tap into an attractive retro design? 

Have no fear, nostalgia lovers. We’ve got just the list of products for you. 

Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the top retro DAB radios on the market. These are the products that appeal to your desire for a unique and vintage style from the 50s and 60s. 

However, at the same time, the features built into these devices aren’t nearly as dated as you’d think. 

Many of the best retro digital radios we’ll be covering below are also equipped with next-gen features, to help you future-proof your investment. 

Ready to start shopping? Let’s get started.

Retro DAB Radio

1. Roberts Revival Uno retro style radio

Roberts is probably one of the best-known brands in the radio world. Not only does this company deliver sensational sound quality and performance, but they have a knack for delivering beautiful retro designs too. 

The Roberts Revival range is particularly well-suited to stylish audiophiles, offering the perfect blend of tactile dials, imitation leather, and more. 

One of the most impressive retro digital radios available from the Roberts Revival range, is the “Uno”, a state-of-the-art system that offers portable listening and amazing style. 

This fantastic radio combines a large centre grille for the speaker, with a leather carry handle and bulky tuning knobs – sure to take you back to the fifties and 60s. 

What’s more, the device comes packed with useful modern features, from an aux-input socket to DAB and DAB+ signals. 

For a price of around £120, you’ll get access to features like:

  • A wide range of fantastic coloured finishes
  • Retro design with leather accents
  • Alarms, sleep and snooze timers
  • DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
  • Battery or mains powered
  • Aux input socket
  • Portable handle
  • 20 preset stations

Although the Roberts Revival Uno isn’t the least expensive retro style radio on the market, it is one of the most attractive in our opinion. 

Just like the other products in the Revival line, the Uno is sure to capture the attention of anyone that you welcome into your home and give you a fantastic point of focus for your living room or bedroom. 

Additionally, the Uno comes packed with Roberts’ signature high-quality audio, as well as strong radio signals – though there is no Bluetooth streaming available.

Pros:

  • Three charging options to choose from, including solar power
  • Easy to find a station with an extendible aerial
  • Very affordable for any budget
  • Excellent volume performance
  • Headphone socket included

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth streaming 
  • Quite expensive
Retro DAB Radio

2. AZATOM Blackfriars retro DAB radioa

Although AZATOM is also a UK radio company with a great deal of value to offer their customers, the brand doesn’t have quite the same heritage or background as Roberts. 

Despite this, AZATOM radios are often packed full of excellent style and functionality – for a price that virtually anyone can afford. 

The Blackfriars retro digital radio is an excellent example of a product that combines performance and style. 

For less than £40, the Blackfriars will give you access to a wide selection of colour options to choose from, each with a robust wood finish for a deeper quality of sound. 

Additionally, like the Roberts Uno above, the AZATOM also comes with the option to choose between mains or battery power to keep your device charged. 

There’s FM and DAB radio, a remote control, and a subwoofer included for sensational sound. 

Features include:

  • Pleasant vintage appearance with wood finish
  • DAB and DAB+ as well as FM
  • Remote control management
  • 10 hours of battery playback
  • Carry handle included
  • Battery or mains powered
  • 40 presets
  • Dual alarms
  • 3-year warranty

The AZATOM Blackfriars makes for an excellent bedside radio and a fantastic addition to any home design scheme. 

If you’re ready to upgrade your attempts at interior design with the best retro DAB radio that you can buy for less than £50, then the Blackfriars could be a great choice. 

We particularly enjoy the fact that you can set up to 40 presets. 

There’s not quite as much volume or sound quality available with the Blackfriars as you might expect from Roberts or Ruark, but you’ll have more than enough in-depth sound for most rooms. 

Additionally, the subwoofer is a nice extra touch.

Pros:

  • Subwoofer included
  • Warranty for peace of mind
  • Attractive retro design
  • 40 pre-sets available
  • Dual alarm function

Cons:

  • Not the best sound quality
  • No Bluetooth connection
Retro DAB Radio

3. Majority Little Shelford retro DAB radio

Majority is a brand that’s very similar to AZATOM in a lot of ways. 

Instead of focusing on using the highest-quality materials that money can buy, the company concentrates on good functionality and great style, for a low price. 

The Majority “Little Shelford” is one of the most eye-catching retro DAB radios available today for a tiny price tag. 

This unique portable product has elements of the Roberts Revival in it, including a leather-style finish, and a portable handle. 

The Majority Little Shelford might not have the EQ quality that you would expect from some of the other leading brands on the market today – but it’s a great retro digital radio

You can expect good sound quality, fantastic volume, and a range of pre-set options to choose from. 

Additionally, unlike the two options we already covered above, the Majority Little Shelford comes with access to Bluetooth streaming. 

For less than £40, features of the Little Shelford include:

  • 3-year warranty
  • Headphone jack for private listening
  • Dual alarms
  • Sleep timer and snooze
  • DAB+, DAB and FM radio
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Portable option with batteries

One particularly nice thing about the Little Shelford, is how compact the design is. 

The small and slimline profile of this product means that it will fit easily into most environments, including on your bedside table. 

We think this product would make for an excellent addition to any bedroom – but it could also sit well on your coffee table or bookshelf if you want to show it off.

Unfortunately, you can’t fold down the handle on this device – which can be a bit of a pain if you need to slide it into a tight space. 

Additionally, you only get the warranty for this product after you have left a review for the item, which can seem a bit like you’re being bribed.

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Good sound quality
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Bluetooth streaming included

Cons:

  • Stipulations for getting a warranty
  • Handle doesn’t fold
  • Sound EQ is limited
Retro DAB Radio

4. Roberts Revival Mini retro digital radio

If you love the sleek and slimline appearance of the Majority little Shelford, but you don’t want to compromise on sound quality, then you might consider upgrading to the Roberts Revival Mini. 

This product has a very similar look to both the Little Shelford and the Revival Uno. There’s a sleek leather-look finish and a fantastic large speaker in the centre of the device. 

Ideal for use in virtually any environment, the Revival Mini will change the way that you think about radio broadcasts forever. 

This DAB, DAB+ and FM radio looks and sounds amazing, and it’s even small enough that you can carry it around with you on the move. 

On top of that, the tactile buttons and dials feel comfortable and familiar to use. However, you will be paying a bit more for this product than you would for the Majority Shelford. 

At a price of just under £150, you’ll get:

  • Built-in battery charger
  • Gold-plated fittings
  • Auto tune functionality
  • Stereo line-in socket for iPods
  • Easy-to-read display
  • DAB, DAB+ and FM signals
  • Clock functionality
  • FM RDS 

Though it looks and feels amazing, particularly for those who want the best retro DAB radio, this product is lacking a few modern features. 

There’s no Bluetooth streaming available, no alarm clock function, and no USB port for charging your phone. 

Although you don’t necessarily have to have all those features on a retro style radio, they do come in handy.

The Retro Revival Mini seems to be a product that’s more focused on style than anything else. 

However, if you’re looking for the best retro digital radio as a fashion item that sounds great, this could be the product for you.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Looks amazing
  • Auto-tune and rotary dials
  • DAB, DAB+, and FM
  • Compact size

Cons:

  • No alarm clock
  • No Bluetooth
  • High price tag
Retro DAB Radio

5. Revo SuperConnect retro DAB radio

The Revo SuperConnect is a very different style of retro digital radio to the other options that we’ve looked at so far. 

Depending on your style preferences, you might consider this product to be more “vintage” than it is retro. However, we think that it fits well into both camps. 

Designed for people who aren’t willing to compromise on their search for the best DAB radio, the SuperConnect is a high-end product for audiophiles. 

Available in a range of colours to suit your preferences, the Revo SuperConnect is easy to access and use, and it comes with fantastic style, amazing audio, and a range of modern features. 

Although the style of this product may come from decades ago, you can still tap into next-generation capabilities, like the ability to hook your system up to Wi-Fi and link it to other devices around your home. 

However, you will need to pay a little more for this device. 

At just under £300, the features offered by the Revo SuperConnect include:

  • DAB, DAB+ and FM signals
  • Internet and digital radio
  • Spotify Connect access
  • Dual alarm settings
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Attractive retro style radio
  • Multiple colour options
  • Robust design
  • Sensational sound quality

The Revo SuperConnect might be one of the most expensive retro digital radios on the market today, but you also get a lot of quality in exchange for the high price tag. 

Whether you’re looking for wireless connectivity or Bluetooth streaming, the SuperConnect has it all. What’s more, this device is much more than just a pretty face.

Beyond the retro design, you’ll also find an exceptional sound quality that’s been customised to suit the needs of modern customers. Additionally, every aspect of the product has been built to last.

Pros:

  • Internet connectivity included
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Beautiful retro design
  • Easy to use ls

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Very loud (but that might not be a bad thing!)
Retro DAB Radio

6. VQ Christie retro DAB radioo

If the price of the Revo SuperConnect above left you reeling – don’t panic. 

There are still plenty of other affordable alternatives in the market for those who want retro DAB radios with Bluetooth and other high-end features. 

The Christie radio by VQ is a fun-looking DAB radio that seems as though it was taken straight from the 50s. 

Available in a range of colours to suit your tastes, this nostalgic radio will give you everything you need to listen to your favourite tunes.

The device comes with a rotating display built-in, so you can keep a close eye on the time and your radio information whenever you need to. 

Additionally, the Christie comes with some great modern features, like an aux line-in and a USB port, as well as Bluetooth streaming. 

Like many of the products we’ve covered so far, the Christie also comes with all the benefits of premium British engineering. 

For just under £60, you’ll get features like:

  • 10-watt British-made speaker
  • Digital tick approval
  • Enhanced cable connections
  • Aux line-in and USB port
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
  • Range of colours to choose from
  • 3-year warranty

The VQ Christie, similar to the Roberts Revival Mini, is very compact in size. That means that it’s excellent for both portability purposes, and fitting into small spaces. 

If you want a small radio and alarm clock that will look amazing on your bedside table, then the VQ Christie could be just the thing for you. 

We also liked the fact that Bluetooth streaming is available with this product as standard.

The biggest problem with this particular retro radio, however, is that you will need to pay extra if you want to make it into a portable device. 

The battery pack is an extra expense – although it does only cost another £13.

Pros:

  • Good high-volume performance
  • Compact and attractive retro design
  • Bluetooth streaming included
  • DAB+ and DAB radio
  • Premium engineering

Cons:

  • FM tuning can be poor
  • Battery pack costs extra
Retro DAB Radio

7. Majority Shelford II retro style radio

While the Majority Shelford describes itself as a vintage style radio, we actually think that’s much more retro in its appearance, with its bold front panel, large speaker, and matt finish. 

Both mains powered and portable, you can take this product with you wherever you go, whether you’re listening to music in the kitchen, or you’re searching for the ultimate bedside radio and alarm.

Aside from offering access to DAB and DAB+ radio, along with FM, the Majority Shelford II also comes with dual alarm clock functionality, snooze features, and more. 

This product also supports Bluetooth streaming, so you can wirelessly send your favourite content to your radio in seconds. 

For a little less than £40, you’ll get features like:

  • Compelling retro design
  • Mains or battery-powered
  • Digital radio DAB or DAB+
  • Green tick approved
  • Dual alarm functionality
  • Snooze buttons
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • 3-year warranty

Not only is the Majority Shelford II a lot more affordable than some of the other best retro DAB radio options on the market today – but it also comes with a warranty for peace of mind. Majority will give you full technical support for your radio, lasting up to 36 months. 

However, you do have to register your warranty first. 

On the downside, the sound quality of the Majority Shelford is limited compared to what you would expect from a high-end market leader like Pure, Ruark or Retro. 

However, you’ll get more than enough volume and quality for most circumstances.

Pros:

  • Dual alarm clock
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • 3-year warranty
  • DAB and DAB+ radio
  • Retro style

Cons:

  • Limited sound quality
  • Limited volume
  • Must register for warranty
Retro DAB Radio

8. Goodmans Oxford retro digital radio

If you’re looking for the best retro DAB radio for a low price that looks as though it came straight from the 1960s, then you’re going to love the Goodmans Oxford

Available in a range of colours – including a sky blue that reminds us of old-fashioned cars, the Goodmans Oxford is a robust DAB and FM radio that’s brimming with extra features for modern listeners. 

Although unfortunately, this won’t be the ideal choice for you if you want retro DAB radios with Bluetooth, you can always play your own content using the aux-in socket. 

There’s also a headphone output for private listening too. 

Additionally, the leather carry handle makes it easier to take this portable radio wherever you go

With a price tag of just under £50, the Goodmans is a very affordable product, offering features like:

  • DAB, FM, and DAB+ radio
  • Headphone jack
  • Aux-in socket
  • 60s style with leather handle
  • Rotary tuning and volume knobs
  • Up to six stations presets
  • Mains or battery power

This isn’t the most powerful or futuristic radio on the market today. It doesn’t come with Bluetooth or internet connectivity, and the volume is somewhat limited, as it can have distortion at high volumes. 

However, for less than £50, this is a device that’s going to give you a fantastic range of listening options, and a portable system to work with too. 

One major downside for us was the fact that you could only save 3 presets to DAB and 3 to FM. Many of the best retro DAB radios come with a lot more preset options than this.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Crisp sound at most volumes
  • Easy to use
  • Aux-in feature
  • Rotary tuning and volume controls

Cons:

  • Limited volume
  • Not many presets
  • No batteries included
Retro DAB Radio

9. Roberts Rambler retro DAB radio

We’re heading back to Roberts for this next retro style radio and this time we won’t be looking at the Revival series. 

Instead, let’s take a look at the Roberts Rambler, a unique digital radio that combines sensational sound with an impressive aesthetic appeal. 

Available in a range of different colours, the Rambler takes a different approach to retro style than the Revival series. However, it’s still sure to lead to feelings of nostalgia.

As well as excellent high-quality radio signals for DAB and FM wavebands, the Rambler also comes with easy Bluetooth streaming so that you can play your own content. There’s also an auxiliary input included if you prefer that. 

You can also use this product as a bedside radio, with dual alarms and a snooze button. 

For just under £90, features include:

  • Bluetooth streaming
  • DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
  • Up to 20 preset options
  • Snooze and sleep timer
  • Aux input
  • Headphone socket
  • Dual alarm functionality

Just like the products in the Roberts Revival lineup, we think that the Rambler from Roberts is an excellent choice for anyone with a passion or retro. 

The compact and lightweight design of this product makes it great as a portable system, particularly since there’s a robust carry handle included. 

Also, despite the small size, you can expect excellent sound quality too.

You’ll be able to power your Rambler either by batteries or mains power, and the battery life is actually a lot better than we expected. 

However, the volume of this product can be a little low for some people.

Pros:

  • Beautiful retro style radio
  • Excellent battery life
  • Compact portable design
  • Bluetooth streaming available
  • Headphone jack included

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Limited volume

10. Pure Evoke H3 radio

Finally, we come to Pure, another leading company in the radio landscape. 

Although Pure has dabbled with retro designs from time to time, the company seems to thrive best when creating sleek and modern-looking radios. 

That said, we think that the Pure Evoke H3 could be an excellent choice for people who want an elegant retro style, mixed with a touch of modernity. 

The Evoke H3 is part of the stunning Pure Evoke series, which comes in a range of different colour options, including a robust walnut wood. 

The wooden surround of the Evoke H3 helps to add to its vintage charm, while also providing a deeper sound quality too. 

This state-of-the-art radio comes with features like Bluetooth streaming and a three-year warranty for peace of mind. 

At a price of just under £95, you can expect features like:

  • DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
  • Stunning colour display
  • Powerful centre-focused speaker
  • Retro wood finish
  • Compact design fits in any room
  • Bluetooth streaming or aux cable connection
  • Optional rechargeable battery
  • Dual alarm and sleep timer

The Pure Evoke H3 would make for a great and stylish bedside radio. The sleep timer included with the device means that you can set your product to go into sleep mode when you do. 

On top of this, all Pure products come with a three-year warranty, so you know you’re investing in a product that you can trust. 

This high-quality retro DAB radio from Pure also features Bluetooth or aux-in streaming, just in case you want to connect to your radio and play your own music. 

You can even turn your Evoke H3 into a portable radio. However, you do need to pay a little extra for the optional chargePAK that will make your radio rechargeable. 

Pros:

  • Fantastic high-quality style
  • 3-year warranty included
  • Numerous preset options
  • Optional portable ChargePAK
  • Aux-in or Bluetooth streaming

Cons:

  • ChargePAK costs extra
  • No internet radio

Choosing the best retro digital radio

There’s no one-size-fits-all guide to choosing the perfect radio. 

That’s particularly true when you’re looking for something that will appeal to your own personal sense of style. 

To find the ultimate retro DAB radio, you’ll need to think about what kind of features appeal to your idea of “retro.” Some people will want a 60s appeal, whereas others will be looking for something closer to the 50s. 

A few points to consider include:

  • Sound quality: Just because you want retro style doesn’t mean that you want outdated sound quality. The best retro digital radio for you will be one that combines style with performance. Make sure that you get the sound and volume that you deserve.
  • Brand reputation: Companies like Roberts and Revo have an excellent reputation for providing high-quality design and performance. On the other hand, Majority is a lesser-known brand, but it can sometimes offer better bargain prices. 
  • Extra features: Aside from a retro design, what more do you want from your radio? Do you want digital and internet radio as well as DAB signals? Is it important for you to have a headphone jack so you can listen to your music privately?
  • Bluetooth or aux-in: Many modern customers like to use their radios to stream their own music and content, as well as radio channels. If you want this functionality, then you’ll need to pick a retro radio that comes with Bluetooth streaming or an aux-in cable. 
  • Functionality: If you’re planning on using your retro radio as a bedside alarm clock, then make sure that it comes with alarm functions and sleep timers. You might also want a snooze button for five minutes of extra sleep. 

In our opinion, the ultimate retro DAB radio has to be the Roberts Revival Uno. There’s nothing quite like the Roberts Revival signature style on the market when it comes to enticing and delighting your sense of nostalgia. 

However, if you’re looking for something more affordable, with the same retro appeal, then you could consider the Majority Little Shelford instead.

What do you consider to be the best retro DAB radio on the market in 2020? Let us know in the comments below and remember to check out our other guides for more radio buying tips.

Stay tuned to the latest radio industry insights with Radio Fidelity.

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