Radio listenership is at an all time high, and consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying a new DAB radio. There are literally hundreds of different models out there to choose from. How can you be sure you’re making the right choice? Don’t worry- our team of experts are here to help! We've put together the following guide to the best DAB radio brands in the UK today. Read on, and we’ll show you which brands came top in our tests, as well as a few to avoid.
Related: Top 10 Best DAB Radios of 2023
VQ, formerly known as View Quest, are one of the biggest DAB radio brands in Britain today. They aren’t quite as old as some more established brands like Pure or Ruark. They have made up for lost time, though, by releasing a wide selection of DAB and internet radios. These have proved extremely popular with consumers, as their retro chic design makes them a very stylish choice. The VQ Monty pictured below is ideal for use as a bedside radio, but also powerful enough to fill your living room with great-sounding audio, too. All VQ DAB radios also include Bluetooth connectivity, so you can also use them to listen to your own choice of music!
Pure are perhaps the UK's most popular DAB radio brand. They were one of the first companies to jump onto this new technology back in the early 2000s, so they certainly know their stuff. Pure DAB radios tend to come in at a middling price- not the cheapest, but not up there with high-end models either. Their trademark all-wood bodies help to bring out a little more acoustic sparkle, and design-wise have set the standard that many other DAB radio brands have followed. They offer a wide selection of different models, but our favourite would have to be the Pure Evoke H4. It's just the right size for a living room radio, but it also has a smart snooze detector built into the handle, so it would be equally at home on a bedside cabinet.
Ruark are another big-name DAB radio brand, particularly favoured by audiophiles. They've been around for decades, and for many years were best known for their high-end speakers. Ruark have been making DAB radios for as long as the technology has been around, and what's more, they set the standard for DAB controls back in 2004 with their innovative RotoDial approach. Their radios are certainly very impressive, with a nice modern design that cuts back on frills for greater functionality. Ruark models are slightly more expensive than Revo, and are roughly on a par in terms of sound quality. It really comes down to your own personal preference. If you like something with a bit more design flair, choose Revo. If you prefer stripped-back style, on the other hand, then Ruark are the brand to go with.
Roberts have a claim to be the oldest radio manufacturer still going in the UK. As far back as the 1940s, they've been the brand of choice for royalty and average punters alike. In fact, that rich heritage is a key part of their brand identity. Their vintage style has become something of a trademark for Roberts, and their Revival range continues to be one of the most popular choices amongst fashion-conscious listeners. If you're looking for a great internet radio at a reasonable price, then the Roberts Stream 94i is a great pick. But if you're considering a Roberts radio, then you're probably drawn to their classic style. In that case, we'd recommend the Roberts Revival iStream 3. Roberts are a little more expensive than some of their closest competitors, but their build quality is second to none.
Bush- One To Avoid...
If you've checked out our 100 Years of Radio Design infographic, then you'll know that Bush are one of the most iconic radio brands of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, though, their standards have slipped a lot in recent years. Many of their newer radios come at a very tempting price, but don't be fooled. You get what you pay for, and with Bush, that means limited features and substandard sound quality. A number of their DAB radios have been labelled "Don't Buys" by Which?, and we have to agree with them. In our tests, they can't compare with other similarly priced brands like VQ. By all means, purchase a true vintage Bush radio if you love the design- but for a new model, stay well away.