Best DAB radios 2019: Portable, Bluetooth, in-car

Best Radios Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best radios you can buy in 2019.

We still have a lot of love for the original 'wireless'; the radio. While we now have myriad options at our disposal for listening to music and accessing news, there are times when listening to the radio can't be beaten. 

With the advent of DAB digital radio, internet radio and Bluetooth streaming, the radio has come a long way from a basic bedside clock radio or portable for the kitchen or garden. You can even get a digital upgrade for your car. 

All the radios below are DAB radios, giving you access to hundreds of digital radio stations, as well as an increasing amount of other features. Our round-up of the best DAB radios includes budget and premium options, from dependable brands such as Pure and Roberts. Read on before you tune in...

Best DAB radios 2019

1. Roberts Stream 94i

A regular Award winner, the fantastic Stream 94i sets the bar high.

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: FM, DAB, internet | Connectivity: Bluetooth, wi-fi, USB, ethernet, 3.5mm | Spotify Connect: Yes

Reasons to Buy
Great sound
Modern design
Spotify Connect
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

The Stream 94i is a great upgrade on previous, excellent Roberts radios and includes FM, DAB and internet radio, plus Spotify Connect, wi-fi connectivity and USB playback. A basic radio, this is not.

Build quality is excellent, it looks smart and has all the functionality you could need in a radio. There's a subwoofer on the back to boost the bass, and two drivers at the front which, together, deliver great sound quality.

The Stream 94i is the complete package, and that makes it the best sound-per-pound radio we've tested.

Read the full review: Roberts Stream 94i

Best DAB radios 2019

2. Pure Evoke H2

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018 winner. A refined-sounding radio for the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: FM, DAB | Connectivity: 3.5mm input, headphone socket | Battery pack: Optional | Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 12cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Clean midrange
Detailed sound
Low price
Reasons to Avoid
Outdated display
Not immediately portable

The Evoke H2 continues the fine work of a multiple Award-winning range, and this is the budget DAB radio to beat, offering an excellent affordable option if you just want a simple, great-sounding radio.

As well as FM and DAB radio, there's a 3.5mm input for connecting other music sources, and a headphone socket if you need to listen in silence. Ideal for a bedroom or kitchen, there's a clock, sleep timer and kitchen timer. 

It's not a portable radio out of the box, but you can buy an optional Pure battery pack if you want that functionality. Available for well under £100, it's a real bargain. 

Read the full review: Pure Evoke H2

3. Roberts Revival iStream 3

A stylish modern twist on the traditional wireless

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: FM, DAB, DAB+, internet radio | Display: Full-colour | Connectivity: Bluetooth, DLNA | Spotify Connect: Yes | Built-in services: Tidal, Amazon Prime Music, Deezer

Reasons to Buy
Full, musical sound
Built-in streaming services
Portable
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing at this price

It’s been more than 60 years since Harry Roberts took a look at his wife’s handbag and decided to design a radio in its image. And it's still going strong today.

Integrated music streaming apps sets it apart but it still has FM, DAB, internet radio and Bluetooth, too. There's a full-colour screen, a 3.5mm headphone output and aux line in, USB input and buttons for presets, playback and alarm. It can even be voice-controlled when partnered with an Amazon Alexa device. Add six AA batteries and it's a portable radio, too.

The combination of connectivity, trendy design and fine build quality feels good value for money, but it’s Roberts’ sonic presentation that makes the Revival iStream 3 an obvious choice for this budget, thanks to a warm, welcoming sonic character that's great with music and speech.

Read the full review: Roberts Revival iStream 3

Best DAB radios 2019

4. Pure Move T4

The Move T4 is a neat little radio with the additional benefit of Bluetooth streaming.

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: FM, DAB | Battery: Rechargeable | Streaming: Bluetooth

Reasons to Buy
Easy to use
Portable
Bluetooth streaming
Reasons to Avoid
A little expensive
Sound is good but not great

If you want something neat and portable to take on your travels, the Move T4 will serve you well, thanks to a 15-hour rechargeable battery. 

This great portable radio has FM and DAB radio, Bluetooth streaming, alarm and clock functions and a headphone output. 

It may not go terribly loud, but it’s a whole lot better than just playing from your phone’s speaker, and ideal for talk radio or background tunes.

Read the full review: Pure Move T4

Best DAB radios 2019

5. Revo SuperConnect

A feature-packed, attractive radio with good sound

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: FM, DAB, internet radio | Display: OLED | Connectivity: aptX Bluetooth, DLNA | Spotify Connect: Yes

Reasons to Buy
Attractive retro/modern look
Spotify Connect, aptX Bluetooth
Nice to use
Reasons to Avoid
A bit bass-heavy

At this price, the Revo is head and shoulders ahead of the pack. It's jam-packed with features, including DAB, FM, Bluetooth, DLNA streaming and Spotify Connect, so you should be able to play music from just about any source.

We like the design, it's easy to use, and audio quality is impressive, too, with a weighty, bass-heavy sound. You have to pay for those extra features and the room-filling sound but if you want a premium radio with a whole lot more on offer than just DAB, this could be the one for you.

Read the full review: Revo SuperConnect

6. Pure Digital Highway 300Di

No DAB radio in your car? This could be the answer.

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: DAB | Connectivity: 3.5mm aux in, iPhone connectivity

Reasons to Buy
Pretty neat
Easy to use
Sounds crisp and clear
Reasons to Avoid
Needs professional installation
Also needs dedicated aerial

Most new cars now come with DAB radio fitted as standard, but if you have an older model you may be stuck with FM/AM. So here's a simple solution from Pure. As aftermarket in-car DAB solutions go this is a fine option, and it's simple enough for almost anyone to use. There are aux and USB inputs, too, so you can connect an iPod or smartphone.

And how does it all sound? Well that will depend massively on the quality of the amplifier and speakers already built into your car, but having experimented with three different models we can say that the Highway delivers clear, crisp and neutrally balanced sound. A good in-car DAB option.

Read the full review: Pure Highway 300Di

7. Ruark Audio R2 Mk3

A gorgeous looking, multi-talented system that sounds superb

SPECIFICATIONS

Radio: FM, DAB, internet radio | Display: OLED | Connectivity: aptX Bluetooth, DLNA, 3.5mm, analogue inputs | Spotify Connect: Yes

Reasons to Buy
Excellent sound quality
Stunning build and design
Extensive streaming features
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

The Ruark R2 Mk3 is a gorgeous looking system packed with streaming features, thaty delivers an effortlessly musical and richly detailed performance.

It's much more of a complete music system than 'just' a DAB radio but is an option to consider if you want something more substantial. Sonically it sounds big, spacious, detailed and dynamic - a truly hi-fi sound.

There are a whole wealth of features including the ability to form a multi-room music system with other Ruark devices. If you want a serious radio system, this could be it.

Read the full review: Ruark Audio R2 Mk3