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Vita Audio R1 DAB: Box of delights, or casket of frights?

Just when you thought it was safe to consign DAB to the dustbin of history, alongside Care Bears and Coldplay, they go and paint radios all different colours, causing you to slowly raise an eyebrow...

Just when you thought DABs were a substandard replacement for FM, they go and make them look all pretty and your technical reservations go flying out the window. DAB may still sound like a dying man cackling in the rain, but when you consider the Vita Audio R1's fibreboard chassis with cherry, wood or black veneer, injection-moulded plastics and pressed-steel finish, you can't help but feel a twinge of capitalist glee.

"Who cares if they're selling me something worse than FM dressed in a fancy box, tarted up like a muddy tramp forced into a too-small Billabong wetsuit?" you cry. I want my MTV.

The Vita uses a new RotoDial controller to scroll through station names, and regardless of the deficiencies of DAB, it looks gorgeous. If you listen to spoken-word stations, or have moderate expectations for music, then this looks like a great Christmas treat. The Vita Audio R1 is available now for around £150. Expect a full review soon. -CS