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After a bit of a hiccup and false start, Digital Audio Broadcasting Plus (DAB+) has finally had its official flick of the "on-air" switch. So whether you have taken the plunge yet or not, at least now in Australia's major capitals, there are numerous radio stations broadcasting using the new digital platform.
There have been ample digital radios to choose from, but 99 per cent have been portable or tabletop designs. American company Sangean is one of very few to offer a full-width component-sized tuner and as well as receiving DAB+, the WFT-1D+ will do a lot more.
It's a fairly plain looking slimline device, but beneath this inconspicuous exterior lurks a very sophisticated radio receiver. Several buttons adorn the front which means you can actually use it without the remote. A smallish square central LCD display shows what's going on, while a large control knob scrolls and selects through the various on-screen functions. Two antennas poke up from the rear; one for Wi-Fi, the other to receive both analog and digital radio.
If you're a fan of radio listening, this Sangean receives all sorts as an internet radio, DAB+ and analog FM tuner. Streamed audio from your PC or laptop is also something this Sangean can handle as a network music player. The internet radio gives you access to some 16,000 radio stations which the Sangean sorts by country or genre and you can store as many as you like as "favourites". And at the time of tuning in, we picked up around 12 DAB+ radio stations, from just north of Sydney on the Central Coast.
The Sangean will handle most audio formats including Real Audio, MP3, AAC+ and WMA files, which is the vast majority. Firmware and software updates are handled via an Ethernet port and the usual stubby antennas provide the Wi-Fi connectivity. A basic variety remote handset is supplied and provides all the necessary controls.