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The newest addition to the Phillips DAB range, the DA1000, is a stylish little number. With its dark mirrored face and curved edges, it's one of the best-looking pocket radios on the market, and turned on it sounds impressive too.
It's amazing how easy it is for pocket DAB makers to get the look or feel of their product wrong. Even the PURE Pocket DAB, with its clean lines and uncluttered layout, felt over-sized and cumbersome. That's why it's refreshing to see something like the Philips DA1000. From the mirrored front to the satisfying feeling of its weight in your hand, it feels like a well made machine that you'd be happy to be seen with.
As is the norm with most pocket DAB radios, there are five buttons on the front: DAB/FM, Menu, Preset and Info, and at the centre sits a well designed toggle that both navigates the menus and controls the volume and stations. Tucked in around the edge of the unit are the Power, Lock and Eq (equaliser) buttons, while the charger input and headphone output sit on opposite sides.
The screen is a black-on-grey three row LCD. The top is reserved for volume, battery life, time, equaliser settings and signal, while the lower lines show the station name and whatever info you've chosen to view. Text is easy to read thanks to a backlight, which stops coming on when the battery is nearly dead.
Thanks to the built-in battery charger you can use either the rechargeable batteries supplied or disposables. The unit runs on two AA batteries that Philips says will last up to ten hours, although our tests fell considerably short of that (see 'Performance').
Press the power button, and if the DA1000 doesn't find a station immediately, a quick trip through the menu to the auto-tune function gives the option of a local or a full scan.
To store up to ten favourites, just pick your station, press Preset, choose which number to save it to and hold the button until the station name appears. It's the same for FM stations, which can be reached through the DAB/FM button.