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Best DAB radio 2021: which digital radio should you buy?

Best DAB radio 2021
(Image credit: Tivoli)

The best DAB radios are proof that the good old days of radio are still going strong – and the format is a staple for many of us, even as smart speakers take over our homes.

DAB radios can fill your home with great-sounding music, chat and lots of witty banter, keeping you company throughout the day (and all night long if you like). 

Because they work well in all kinds of environments, DAB radios make great gifts - especially for that person who's difficult to buy for, or for those that don't subscribe to the best music streaming services to get their music. 

However, the sheer variety of DAB radios available on the market right now can make finding the one that's right for you a real challenge. To save you the trouble, we've taken the best DAB radios in the country that we've had the opportunity to test ourselves and rounded them up into a single, unified list.

So whether you're looking for a decent-sounding digital radio for the kitchen, an alarm radio for your bedside table, or a portable radio you can take on the go, we'll have the best option for you – whatever your budget. Here are the best DAB radios available in the UK today.

Pure Evoke CF-6

(Image credit: Pure)

1. Pure Evoke CF-6

A faultless home stereo all-in-1 system

Specifications
Radio: DAB, DAB+, FM
Display: 2.8" TFT color display
Charging method: AC adaptor
Dimensions: 380 x 145 x 223 mm (W x H x D)
Output: 20W stereo
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, 3.5mm AUX IN
CD player: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Incredible playback options+Spotify Connect support
Reasons to avoid
-No Google Cast support-App timeout sometimes annoys

The Pure Evoke C-F6 marries modern connectivity options with old-school CD playback, and is just about the best DAB radio and stereo system you can buy today. 

Easy to set up, a delight to listen to, and featuring just about every bell and whistle you could need from a single-room audio device, this is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a one-stop audio box. With 3-inch stereo speakers and a 20W output, too, it can crank up to party levels while maintaining a rich, balanced sound.

Read more: Pure Evoke CF-6 review

ruark r1 mk4 dab radio

(Image credit: Ruark)

2. Ruark R1 MK4

A classic gets a stylish makeover

Specifications
Radio: DAB, DAB+, FM
Display: OLED
Charging method: AC adaptor
Dimensions: 130 × x 175 x 135mm (W x H x D)
Output: 9W
Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX input, 3.5mm line-in, USB
CD player: No
Reasons to buy
+Slick design+Clear sound+Easy controls
Reasons to avoid
-No Spotify Connect-

The Ruark R1 M4 is an evolution of one of the company's most popular DAB radios, the R1 – and it's slick Scandi-style aesthetics and easy controls make it easy to recommend if you're looking for the best DAB radio for listening in style. 

An auto-dimming OLED display and rotodial controls make it easy to use, while support for Bluetooth and USB sources make it pretty flexible when it comes to music playback.

It comes with DAB, DAB+, and FM radio support, and sounds clear and expansive in spite of its small size. 

tivoli dab radio

(Image credit: Tivoli Audio)

3. Tivoli Audio PAL+ BT

A DAB+ radio you can take with you come rain or shine

Specifications
Radio: DAB, DAB+, FM, AM
Display: 70 x 30mm LCD display
Charging method: AC adaptor
Dimensions: 157 x 92 x 93mm (W x H x D)
Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX IN
Battery: 16 hours
Weight: 875g
Reasons to buy
+Long battery life+Splash-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Poor value for money-Difficult built in controls

Taking your music on the go? Few digital radios have built-in batteries and splash-proof, portable designs, so the PAL+ BT is a bit of a one-off. Its 16-hour battery is simply superb, and makes it a great – though expensive – alternative to a Bluetooth speaker that you might take out into the garden or on a longer jaunt to the beach.

Its headline slot and AUX-in are handy, while the sound quality is thoroughly decent. But Bluetooth isn't exactly an expensive technology and the sound quality isn't perfect enough for Tivoli to be charging the kind of money it's asking for the PAL+ BT. 

The design has, however, smartly improved over the past few years, shrinking the remote and ditching the oversized analogue knob for a more capable LCD screen. The Tivoli's PAL+ BT isn't the most cost-effective way of getting a DAB+ radio, but it is still one of the best out there.

In the end, this is a compact, versatile DAB radio that can be taken around the home (and anywhere else) quite easily thanks to a 16-hour battery – while the PAL+BT's inclusion of Bluetooth and a bass-heavy sound goes some way to justifying its high price. Perfect for occasional forays into the bathroom.

Read more: Tivoli Audio PAL+ BT review

Pure Siesta Charge

(Image credit: Pure)

4. Pure Siesta Charge

Wireless charging makes this a forward-looking DAB radio

Specifications
Radio: DAB, DAB+, FM
Display: LED
Charging method: AC adaptor
Dimensions: 155 x 145 x 80mm (W x H x D)
Audio: 20W stereo
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Apple Lightning, 3.5mm AUX IN / AUX OUT, USB
CD player: No
Reasons to buy
+Sleek, compact design+QI wireless charging
Reasons to avoid
-Light on bass-Do you need wireless charging?

What makes the Pure Siesta Charge stand out is – you guessed it – its charging capabilities. If your smartphone or phablet is compatible with Qi wireless charging, you’ll be able to leave it on top of this DAB radio as it fills up your battery.

It has a lovely sound, with simple customization options and presets, while all the practical alarm, timer and radio functions of Pure's popular Siesta range position it as a hugely practical bedside gadget. Not to mention an auto-dimming LED display and dashing glass screen.

Not everyone will make use of the wireless charging feature: but either way you're getting a sleek, well-designed DAB radio and speaker that's well worth a look.

Read more: Pure Siesta Charge Review