The VQ Monty is a stylish new Digital Radio from British manufacturer VQ. It comes packed with features, incredible sound, portability, and connectivity all at an affordable price. Read our full review to find out what makes this our No.1 Best Buy DAB Radio.
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Build & design
Featuring a solid real wood casing available in a dark brown walnut or lighter oak lends the Monty an elegant style that you’d find on much more expensive radios. Despite it’s portable size (it comes with a convenient carry handle, and optional rechargeable battery pack) there is a solid weight to the Monty and our first impression on taking it out the box was positive.
There is a decent sized monochrome display, which shows the time in a large font that is readable from across a medium sized room (provided your eyesight is not impaired and you haven’t forgotten your glasses); and will also display information on the station your listening to as well as the tracks being played when applicable.
The minimalist approach to design means you’ll only find essential buttons on the control panel: power, volume, menu, mode, etc. This means there are no physical preset buttons for your favourite stations, however, you can store up to 60 presets accessible from the menu.
Whilst VQ has marketed the Monty as a portable DAB Radio, the sound is surprisingly big with the 10W speaker driver capable of delivering a sound profile that is wonderfully rich. Performance at the high-end comes through crisp and clear and we were pleasantly surprised by the solid bass, which doesn’t quite compare to the experience of top-range speaker but very impressive for its size and compared to similar DAB Radios we’ve tested.
The Monty also includes VQ's very own custom made audio software, ASP, which stands for Analogue Sound Processing. While VQ themselves are tight-lipped on exactly how it works, they compare it to the rich, warm sound of vinyl compared to digital. That's a big claim to make, especially with the resurgence in popularity of vinyl in recent years. It’s difficult to say how much of a difference the audio software makes but overall we found the sound performance to be a bit deeper and more vibrant when compared to models of a similar spec from the likes of Pure.
This is where the VQ Monty outshines the competition providing a feature set aligned with more expensive models. In addition to the standard DAB, DAB+, and FM modes, the Monty also boasts Bluetooth connectivity, so will conveniently double up as a wireless speaker if you want to stream music from your smartphone or tablet (and there's even an AUX input for devices that don't have Bluetooth).
Further benefits include a USB charging port - handy if you are planning to use the Monty as a bedside radio and don’t want to give up a valuable power socket. There is also a dual alarm function if you want to wake up to the sound of your favourite radio station rather than the jarring sound of an electronic alarm!
VQ Monty DAB Radio: The Verdict
For sound quality and features at this price, the VQ Monty is unbeatable making it our choice for the Best Buy DAB Radio of the year. It offers exceptional room-filling sound quality, whilst offering the convenience of portability. And with a feature set comparable to more expensive radios from the likes of Pure and Roberts without the hefty price tag, the VQ Monty offers incredible value for money. You won’t get a better radio for the price, it’s easy to use, and it looks great!