VQ Retro MkII Review 1

VQ Retro Mk II review

If you do wish to go portable with the Retro Mk II you can enjoy the radio anywhere indoors or out with the rechargeable battery (sold separately). But, is it any good? Let’s find…
Rechargeable battery incl.
Lightning dock
3 year warranty
Design may not appeal to all
Battery pack is optional
Screen not dimmable



If you’re a die-hard fan of retro, you’ll appreciate the aesthetics of the VQ Retro MK II. Its stylish appearance is a throwback to classic radio, and is a great reminder of how things used to look back in the day. 

The Retro Mk II offers more than classic looks alone, however, and comes packed with technological prowess. To begin with, the Retro MK II houses two speakers that have a combined output of 20W, making it a great choice for small to medium rooms.

It can also tune in to FM, DAB or DAB+, and can also hold up to 60 saved radio presets. 

The Retro MK II has been a prominent contender in the retro radio market for a while, and even up until today, continues to be first choice among many. Take some time to go through our Retro MK II review to learn why that is.

About the VQ Retro MK II

Announced in 2016, the VQ Retro MK II is actually an upgrade to the award winning Retro Radio from VQ. The well established radio brand had to come up with a version that took in all the technological advancements that are possible today, and present to us the MK II.

VQ has been known as a brand that combines the best in design and technology. This is proven by the various awards and positive commentary the brand receives. GoodHomes Magazine, for example, gave praise to the VQ Retro MK II as one of the UK’s top three digital radios back in 2016. 

When placed on top of a corner shelf or a kitchen table, the VQ Retro MK II seamlessly fits within your space.

Switch it on for the first time, and it proceeds to do a scan of all the available radio stations, making it easy for you to select your favourites. One particular thing you might like in the VQ Retro MK II is its 8 pin lightning dock.

The dock pops out to let you connect your iPhone, iPod or iPad and play your saved tracks through the radio, and at the same time, charge your device.

VQ Retro MkII Review 2
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VQ Retro MK II: Design

he VQ Retro MK II comes in more than 10 colours, but if that still doesn’t sound satisfying, you can opt for one of the colour patterns in Emma Bridgewater’s collection.

The colour band goes all around the radio, leaving both the front and back fascia in off white. The wide range of colour options also allows you to make sure the radio matches your space.

On its front facing panel, the MK II features a high contrast screen placed on its top left, with controls top right. The speaker spreads across most of the bottom space, with the lightning dock sitting right in the middle.

The controls are compact in their arrangement, but this doesn’t really make it difficult to navigate them. Another aspect of the radio that really stands out is its leather strap. The strap adds to its portability by making it easier to carry, and add to the sense of heritage.

At the back of the radio you’ll find an extendable antenna, although reception is just fine as long as the radio is in an open area.

VQ Retro MK II: Features

The VQ Retro radio offers great features that any true lover will greatly appreciate. These include:

  • FM/DAB/DAB+ radio reception
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 60 channel presets (30 FM, 30 DAB)
  • Lightning dock
  • 20W speaker output
  • USB port
  • Headphone jack
  • Rechargeable battery (optional)
  • MyEQ Equaliser

Dimensions: 36.5 x 17 x 27cm

Weight: 2.8 Kg

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VQ Retro MK II: Performance and connectivity

The View Quest Retro DAB radio does not disappoint in terms of performance and connectivity. Thanks to its Bluetooth feature, you can stream your favourite tracks from Apple music, Deezer or Spotify Connect through to the radio.

You can also choose to use the VQ Retro radio as an external speaker, by plugging in your source through the aux-in port. Also, users who would prefer to move around with their radio can opt for a rechargeable battery, though they’d have to buy it separately.

VQ Retro MK II: Sound quality

Most VQ products allow you to make a few adjustments to the quality of sound, and the VQ Retro radio is no exception. It offers 6 preset equaliser settings that you can always reconfigure, as well as the option to save your own custom profile thanks to MyEQ.

The radio also allows you to independently configure the bass and treble settings, making the most out of its dual 10W speakers. If you don’t want to have the radio blasting out music, you can always opt to listen privately through your headphones.

The VQ Retro MK II is also a recipient of the Digital Tick which certifies it as a digital radio, and signifies its readiness for the future.

Overall, it sounds crisp and clear, and stacks up favourably to similarly priced products in this category.

VQ Retro MkII Review 4
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VQ Retro MK II: Usability

Even though the VQ Retro MK II may not strike you as a bedroom radio at first, it still has a couple of features that make it a great addition to your bedside table.

It features a dual alarm clock that allows you to save two wake up times, a sleep timer that allows you to drift off to sleep with music playing, and a snooze button for those last few minutes of sleep. 

You might prefer to opt for a dedicated clock radio though, if this is your primary requirement.

VQ Retro Mk II: Verdict

The VQ Retro MK II is a worthy contender if you’re struck by the design aesthetic, although this does depend on personal preference of course. It’s a well designed package that’s favourably priced, and represents good value for money.

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VQ Retro MkII Review 1
A radio that sounds this sweet is also a prefect bedside companion, especially when you consider Retro Mk II features; a dual alarm clock with week/weekend settings, a sleep timer and snooze along with a kitchen time.
Build quality
Optional rechargeable battery
Lightning dock
3 year warranty
Wide range of colour options
Screen can be bright at night
Rechargeable battery pack is optional
Design might not have universal appeal
Where to buy

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