Digital radios deliver extra channels and broadcasting flexibility that you just can't get with AM and FM radio. However there is a balance between low costs and a premium experience. We lab test and review the latest models to help you find the best portable digital radio for you. Our buying guide will help explain their features and whether a digital radio will even work where you live. How we test explains our testing rigour.
CHOICE has tested over 30 digital radios, portable and benchtop, from brands including Bush, Pure, Sony, Panasonic, Sangean and
more. Our expert testers give every model a thorough workout to tell you which digital radio:
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which models come with features such as USB input, wireless and Bluetooth functionality, internet radio and streaming. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.
List of brands we tested in this review.
This is the recommended retail pricing. You could find a more competitive price by shopping around.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 106 and 999
Digital radios with an overall score of 70% or above are recommended.
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Apps available on iOS or Android can control the radio menu items, select stations and may even be able to play content from the smart device on the digital radio.
Some portable digital radios have in-built chargers. With the setting enabled and the power plugged in, rechargeable batteries can have their charge replenished.
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We look for ease of the initial setup, clear labelling, placement and functionality of the buttons and knobs, size and clarity of the display and intuitive and logical menus.
A panel listens to each radio at a comparable volume for distortion, rattles or other odd noises, stereo separation where appropriate and a natural sound across all frequencies.
We check for reception quality in three different locations. The first site is classed as optimal reception, while the second site represents an area of marginal reception. The final test involves an area with difficult reception due to its distance from the broadcast tower and no line of sight for the signal to reach the radio.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.