Bluetooth is everywhere. The once-ubiquitous iPhone dock has almost vanished from bedside DAB radios and now Bluetooth is taking its place, enabling both iOS and Android smartphones to stream music and more around the kitchen or bedroom.
Revo's stab at a Bluetooth DAB showcases an all-new look. Selling for around £149 at the time of review, the SuperSignal has a large anodised aluminium plate/speaker grille across its 10W speaker within a hand-made American walnut chassis.
It's not just the mono speaker that marks out the Revo SuperSignal as a DAB radio for the bedroom. Digital alarm clock functionality is expansive; as well as once, daily, weekday and weekend settings, there's a dual alarm and both sleep and snooze features. The latter is a winner, with the SuperSignal going into snooze mode if any part of the aluminium front panel is touched while the alarm is sounding.
However, what really makes the SuperSignal great in the bedroom is its use of an OLED display. While most DAB radios use always-on LCD screens that even when dimmed can intrusively spray light around a pitch black bedroom, the SuperSignal's 93 x 47mm OLED panel achieves almost zero light spillage except for the time display.
The SuperSignal's control mechanism consists of a small joystick and a 'select' button; it's quick, simple and easy to operate. So too is the volume control, a knob on the top that's hard to miss, a bit like the chunky 154 x 21 x 53mm remote control that weighs a whopping 185g and really isn't necessary.
Connectivity is good, too, with a headphones slot on the front and a set of left/right analogue audio inputs and a 3.5mm aux in.
With tuners for DAB, DAB+ and FM with RDS, the SuperSignal adds not only Bluetooth streaming from smartphones and tablets, but Bluetooth with aptX tech. That means CD quality sound, though only if the source device is aptX-compatible (Sony, Samsung and HTC phones, plus all Windows phones).
The SuperSignal is chunky at 2.16kg and measuring 135 x 140 x 207mm, and it's really pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable for a bedside table.
However, the SuperSignal quickly gives us a reason to love its size; the 10W Class-D amplifier and BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) inside delivers pin-sharp, bass-heavy tunes with plenty of mid-range, and that's just via Bluetooth. Music on DAB is always warm and nuanced, while dialogue is clear, crisp and with plenty of treble detail.
The build quality is excellent, and so is the sound, though it's how Revo has addressed the needs of real people in real rooms that I like most.
The touch-snooze feature, the volume dial and Bluetooth are all brilliantly convenient, though I reserve most praise for the use of an OLED screen that keeps the bedroom dark. The OLED screen uses some great-looking typography, too. Sound is the most important feature and the quality here is precise, warm and powerful.
That said, a mono rather than stereo speaker is always a shame, though it does make sense on a bedside table. However, we're not convinced that Bluetooth – and aptX-compatible Bluetooth, at that – is wholly necessary in the bedroom, and the same goes for the giant-sized remote. The jury is out on that, but it certainly adds to the price.
What the SuperSignal does lack – and what every DAB radio should have, especially if aimed at the bedside table – is a USB slot to help charge-up a smartphone or tablet.
In the end, The Revo SuperSignal is a top class DAB radio going for a high price. The arrival of Bluetooth on a DAB radio finally sees the death of the complex 'smart' radio with web connectivity, and here that wireless streaming tech is well implemented and sounds better than ever.
Sound quality is consistently excellent – the Revo SuperSignal is one of the best-sounding DAB radios around – while the almost unique use of an OLED screen gives it a nice high-end look and feel.