Dualit is famous for its chrome toasters, so it may seem like an unexpected move for the company to produce a DAB radio. But in a world where piano manufacturers also make motorcycles (Yamaha) and earth-moving equipment manufacturers make clothes (Caterpillar), perhaps the proposition is not so outlandish.
The Dualit DAB Kitchen Radio is widely available for a startling £199, and comes in black, cream and chrome (pictured).
Dualit is hardly a posterboy for subtlety and, true to form, this DAB is a glittering muscle car of a radio. If you're familiar with Dualit toasters, you'll have an idea of what to expect. As Dualit toasters are to normal toasters, the Dualit DAB is to normal DABs. It's brash, ostentatious, obscenely heavy, durable and seriously macho.
Should a nuclear apocalypse occur, the only things left on earth will be cockroaches and Dualit products. This radio is sincerely hardy -- it's the toughest we've ever used and as such might be ideal for builders or the terminally careless.
The large LCD on the top of the Dualit DAB gives a bright and obvious visual indication of which station you're listening to. Surrounding this, there's an array of navigation buttons, which make a satisfying clicking noise when pressed. The large chrome handle on the top of the unit pivots to allow access to the controls. It's a solid handle and well matched to the beefy chassis.
The rear of the unit sports a good array of inputs and outputs. For what is ostensibly a kitchen radio, the inclusion of an optical-out stage is unusual, though welcome. Other connectors on the rear include power, headphones, speaker-out and auxiliary-in. The internal battery is rechargable so you won't need to mess around with C-cells.
DAB aficionados will be familiar with the tuning system on the Dualit. As with all DABs, an automatic tuner activates itself when the radio is first switched on.
Once we'd extended the telescopic aerial on the top of the radio, the Dualit automatically sought out all available DAB broadcasts and listed them. Tuning speed on the Dualit is swift and first-time users will have little problem getting the Dualit to a point where they can enjoy DAB.