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Philips AJB3552/05 review: Philips AJB3552/05

Review Sections

Display

The display is enormous, with each of the clock digits sitting 21mm tall, and the scrolling data and station name a good 8mm from top to toe. This will be a boon for anyone who needs to wear glasses and has difficulty reading a conventional clock when they wake up. The display is sensitive to its surroundings, too, dimming as the light about it fades, and brightening in daylight.

Sound quality

The sound quality isn't great. The AJB3552/05 is fine for waking up to or using in the kitchen, but you wouldn't want to make it your only radio as it lacks depth. Pop music errs towards the upper end of the dynamic range and voices sound thin.

The radio has a dynamic bass-enhancement button, which makes a big difference, but, as we can't imagine anyone turning it off once they've switched it on, we wonder why Philips hasn't made it the default setting and removed the button. For DAB, there's also dynamic range compression, which uses supplementary data sent out with the broadcast to enhance weaker elements in the audio stream

Output peaks at 1.5W, which should be enough to wake you from the deepest slumber.

Speaker

The speaker is hidden around the back to preserve the unit's clean lines, which makes it one of the most attractive radios we've encountered for some time. It's small and discreet, and the front comprises a single piece of curved black plastic that effectively masks the border between the screen and case. Despite being glossy and picking up some reflections in bright light, the radio is impressively resistant to fingerprints, so you won't forever be wiping it down.

Conclusion

In terms of pure ease of use, you'll have to look hard to find a radio that's better suited to standing beside your bed than the Philips AJB3552/05. We're happy to cut the speaker some slack on account of the scenario in which it'll be used, but, if your bedroom is more than just a place to sleep and you want a better general-purpose unit, consider spending slightly more to bag yourself a PURE Digital Evoke Mio, which you can find online for around £90.

Edited by Charles Kloet

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