Bush PSDAB2004 review

A DAB in iPod's clothing?

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Our Verdict

Its high build quality should suit the clumsy

For

  • Station reception

    Sound quality

    Robust build quality

    Attractive price

Against

  • No FM tuner

    Drab styling

    Poor playback

Although an outlay of just £60 for such a worthy portable DAB radio might be pleasantly surprising, any savings made in buying this white-clad model from Bush could be a false economy. Looking like a poor man's iPod, the PSDAB2004's combination of bubbled edges verges on child's toy status.

Still, if you're someone who is constantly dropping mobile phones and other gadgets, Bush's reliance on rubber, and a very solid build quality in general, should appeal even if its drab looks do not.

At this price the versatility of this product is necessarily limited. Inside is just a DAB tuner with no accompanying FM version for back-up. While this shouldn't be a problem, there are still many areas, both remote and extremely urban, that suffer from poor DAB reception. That said, the PSDAB2004 performed very well during our test and tuned in DAB radio stations with ease, hanging on to reception well.

Displaying station details clearly on its blue backlit display, the Bush's central joystick - another attempt at aping Apple - works well and, together with the four buttons on the front fascia, gives the impression that this is one portable gadget that could last some time. Its 10 presets for saving favourite DAB stations are plenty for most of us.

Sound quality is good, with five preset EQ controls included to tweak sonic levels depending on whether you're listening to voice or music radio. There are no mains adapter supplied, which is unusual but will be welcome to those with lots of gadgets.

That it runs solely on two AA batteries might sound a familiar idea, but the eight hours' playback the PSDAB2004 ekes from them isn't much; it could leave you with an annual bill for batteries that quickly diminishes the price difference between this and slightly dearer models.

So a lightweight option in more ways than one then, but one that might suit DAB newcomers as well as being ideal for those on a budget.