What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sat, 31 May 2008, 1:00pm

Goodmans GSR85DAB

Tested at £50
60100
3

Early promise let down by mediocre performance

Write your own review

For

  • Nice styling
  • price
  • build

Against

  • Sounds nasty

There's no shortage of portable DAB radios available, at all sorts of prices, and Goodmans, usually to be found at the budget end of whatever market it's competing in, has come up with what looks an enticing prospect. The GSR85DAB is temptingly priced, agreeably styled and acceptably finished. Which, for £50, gets it halfway to the finishing-line.

Plugged into the mains or powered by batteries (there's onboard recharging loop), it tunes rapidly to all available DAB stations. Scrolling through the menus and selecting stations is no more of a rigmarole than with competing machines, and the big, backlit display is easy to read, all of which keeps the GSR85DAB right in contention at the final bend.

More Minardi than McLaren
But the sound means the Goodmans drops back through the pack, and ultimately it crosses the line in a style that's more Minardi than McLaren. Tuned to the BBC's excellent 6 Music, the GSR85DAB sounds blurred and insubstantial: even by the standards of inexpensive DAB portables, the GSR85DAB splashes through high frequencies, struggles to locate voices in relation to instruments and can manage nothing more than a vague gesture towards low-end stuff.

The story is similar with FM broadcasts, with the obvious addition of classically analogue interference.

If you want a radio for the kitchen or study that you actually want to listen to, save for a little longer. Even if all you want is a bit of background noise, there are cheaper radios out there that sound just as good as this one.

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