View Quest’s Retro DAB radio

View Quest’s Retro DAB radio

This retro style device comes in a pink and black box, which you gents may find a little girly but inside is a bright red device with a handle with a grey speaker front. It runs on both mains and battery power. Other colours are due to follow shortly.

It can take feeds from your iPod, iPhone or an external MP3 connected by an audio lead. It is more than just a radio it is a clock alarm too. It would make a stylish addition to many rooms is not your standard looking clock radio.

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Sound

The speakers on the box I have are rated as 1.5 watts but actually this is a mistake and the speakers are actually 10 watt. The sound on the speakers I would describe as bright and well formed. I tested it with pop, classic and spoken just to test the range out. If you are desperate for a very heavy base then this box is not for you.

Ease of operation

Generally it was very intuitive and I did not need to refer to the instructions. Setting presets on the DAB was very straightforward and changing between input sources was very simple. It will charge your iPod as soon as it is plugged in so very handy way to charge without having to crawl around to find chargers and leads. In addition the iPod dock slides in and out so if you are transporting the radio it is easy to streamline the shape. It is not designed for your iPad but I have to admit I did get the iPad to stand on the dock and it did charge.

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I had to get the manual out for the alarm. There is no helpful button that says alarm or a picture. It is actually hidden behind snooze. Not a feature I personally ever use but I’m sure many of you do!!!

It is actually quite straightforward to set up the alarm through a simple set up routine where you set the time, the alarm type iPod, DAB or FM to wake to. A symbol appears on the screen so you know you got it right and there is even a second alarm for those of you with a real aversion against mornings.

I had some issues with the alarm at first…I set it the first day to play iPod and left it playing a playlist( not using the sleep feature) as I dropped off to sleep and in the morning it bleeped. So puzzled I tried again and after a quick chat with the technical team I have discovered that if the iPod is perceived to be playing then instead of playing the iPod as the alarm it beeps. My iPod playlist had finished by morning so I was thinking well maybe it doesn’t know what to play but I hit the alarm off button and the iPod immediately started playing!!

I can follow the technical teams logic in playing the beeper so there is a difference in the sound but as my playlist had finished I would have preferred the iPod. The View Quest team say that this is something that they will consider in future versions.

I have to be entirely fair and say that if I had used the sleep feature then the alarm does play the iPod in the morning.

Then I thought let’s use the DAB radio. I had not set up any presets but had been listening to a station the night before. Again I got beeped at!!! This is just an error in the instruction manual that does not say that DAB will only play if a preset has been created. Again the View Quest team proactively took this on board and agreed to update the manual.

The screen is small which if you have it right beside the bed is fine but if like me you have it away from you then you may have to focus to read the clock.

The screen is quite bright and I found it was a bit like having a night light in on the room. So to ensure a balanced opinion I passed the device to a colleague for their view and they did not think it was too bright so I think it may depend on your own light sensitivity. A good solution would be a dimmer option.

 

Value for money

I have to say that I think it is a great little device for the money. It retails at about £99.

When you compare this to say a Roberts’ retro radio that is retailing at £150 and is just a radio then it shows what great value for money this device is.

Yes you can get a cheaper clock radio but it has none of the styling and you can’t just pop some batteries in and go out for the day.

Positives

Good sound

Easy to use

Great value for money

Negatives

Small screen

Bright screen

No clock showing on wake to iPo
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Overall I’ve got very used to having this device around and will be sad to send it back as it has proved just so convenient and stylish.

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