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Monitor Audio AirStream 10 kitchen radio matches your overpriced kettle

If your kitchen cost more than your car, and your toaster has an optional toasted sandwich accessory, we've no doubt you'll love the Monitor Audio AirStream 10.

Ian Morris
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You've spent £60 on a kettle, £160 on a toaster and now you need a digital radio for the kitchen too. You can't just pop to Argos and hope for the best -- you need a designer radio to go with the rest of your ludicrously overpriced kitchen equipment. Enter the Monitor Audio AirStream 10, which really looks the part, and should slot into any room, not just a designer kitchen.

It's not just retro looking -- it has some retro features too, such as an FM radio and pull-out antenna. For more futuristic sorts, there's also a DAB receiver, Internet radio and streaming from your home computer's music library.

Its crazy shape has a purpose, with Monitor Audio suggesting you can use it in two positions. We found it looked and worked best when placed with the buttons and display pointing upward. In its other possible position, it didn't feel stable enough, and it took up a little too much space. It's up to you what you end up doing with it though, and we do love a good choice.

Sound quality from the Monitor is pretty good, considering its smallish size and single speaker. In addition to the digital, FM and Internet radio functionality, you also get a line-in with which you can connect an iPod or other MP3 player. Internet connectivity is via Wi-Fi or the Ethernet socket found alongside the headphone and line-in jacks.

There's much to love here, from the styling to its play-anything attitude. It's superb to use too -- the buttons and knobs are fantastically well designed.

The downside: it's £225, which is a huge amount for a radio. That said, this is beautiful, well-built and has a boatload of features that mean it will last a lifetime. If you're the sort of person who spends £160 on a toaster, this will almost certainly appeal. Click through our photo gallery for more angles and info.

The AirStream 10 is available from John Lewis, and while you're there, you can also buy a pasta maker you'll never use for £95.

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The display is clear, easy to read and has loads of information. The numbered buttons allow you to quickly save your favourite radio presets.
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The central dial allows you to select various functions, and also enables you to control the volume in a very satisfying way. It also looks gorgeous illuminated in bright blue.
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Note the retro wood panelling. If this was America, it would match your station wagon. We love it -- it's a lovely contrast to the modern, Apple-style white plastic. The AirStream is also available in black.
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Line in and headphone jacks provide some helpful options to enhance the radio.
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All the controls are touch sensitive, and work brilliantly. The power button has a rubberised feel, which might help keep kitchen detritus away from the sensitive innards.
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To finish the retro look, a pull-out antenna. We love it -- and it works a treat too, boosting DAB signals to usable levels.

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