British company Vita Audio has done it again. After its small DAB, the R1, impressed us so much, despite it being a mono model, hopes were high for this upgrade.

Available in a wood finish for £220 or with a luxury ivory fascia for £250, Vita Audio doesn't seem bothered that there are many reputable DABs out there for a third of those prices.

It's just as well, because there's plenty of room in the crowded DAB market for some real quality - and that's exactly what the R2 offers.

Walnut whip

Its smooth finish - walnut on our review sample - lends the unit some Scandinavian style, while straddling the long frontage are two 3.5in drive units. Offering 20W, the R2 promises some real hi-fi quality.

Thankfully, that power is put to proper use, as the R2 is also a very versatile unit. Around the back of this large radio is not just a telescopic aerial, but also two sets of dedicated left/right inputs and outputs. Rare indeed on a DAB radio of any size or price, it makes a number of set-up options possible. Used as a desk DAB radio, the R2 could take an audio feed from a PC or laptop, a record deck, iPod or CD player.

But it's around the front that the R2's connectivity gets us really excited. As well as a headphone jack, there's also a 3.5mm line input that, we surmise, is there for easy hook-up of an iPod.

The R2 is not quite as easy to use as its smaller sibling, the R1. The RotoDial design remains, which only operates the volume on the R2. The R2 has a dedicated standby button on the front instead, but we're not quite sure why this change was necessary.

As for ease of use, the R2 is right up there with the best. Auto tuning takes seconds and toggling between stations is simple. A few more preset stations would have been nice, and we'd have loved to have seen an EPG included.

Sound advice

But for every advanced feature that's missing from the R2 there's an ounce more quality in the essential stuff.

Sound from the two speakers is excellent. Precise and with just the right level of bass, the sound from an attached iPod is also brilliant. That said, the 3D sound mode is next to useless and the tiny remote control isn't worth bothering with.

Paying over £200 for a DAB radio is not something we'd normally recommend, and we're not convinced that the R2 is all that much better than the £150 R1 model. But if you're after a no compromises DAB, look no further.