The Dualit has no electronic programme guide or recording feature, so this may rule it out for some hardcore DAB fans. Nevertheless, there's plenty of basic features to coerce the average radio listener.
If you have other stereo equipment -- such as an iPod -- you can amplify the sound by using the auxiliary 3.5mm connector on the rear of the Dualit DAB. You'll need a 3.5mm to 3.5mm lead (not included) to run between the MP3 player and the rear of the DAB.
The Dualit is compatible with all UK DAB broadcasts. Band III transmissions can be received on the tuner at up to 256Kbps. If you're, or are having reception problems, FM frequencies available to the Dualit range from 87.5 to 108MHz. Again, this includes all commercial FM broadcasts in the UK.
The Dualit DAB Kitchen Radio sounds bright and expressive. The bass-reflex port on the underside of the radio gives everything a slightly warmer tone than a closed unit would. Listening to Radio 4, the Dualit delivered human voices with a reasonable fullness and warmth. The announcers sounded as authoritative as ever. The Dualit DAB may be mono, but there's a convincing presence to the sound.
Typically for DAB, the Dualit occasionally suffers from reception problems in some places. Those who live in big cities are unlikely to have problems tuning into a strong signal, but as you move outside areas of good reception, you may find that you have to be more careful over aerial placement.
As reception quality decreases, old analogue broadcasts suffer interference that gradually gets more severe, but digital broadcasts simply stop altogether. This gives DAB an all-or-nothing reaction to bad reception. Check with friends to see what DAB reception is like in your area.
The most compelling reason to choose the Dualit is its unique style. If you already have slate kitchen worktops, a hand-crafted mahogany washboard and Phillipe Stark overheads then the Dualit DAB is a natural choice. Conversely, if you're a burly salt-of-the-earth type, then you might find this radio's toughness suits your rough-and-ready lifestyle, although the price tag may well give you pause for thought --is the hobo's alternative.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide