Goodmans GSR85DAB review

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 Tested at £50.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Early promise let down by mediocre performance


  • +

    Nice styling

  • +


  • +



  • -

    Sounds nasty

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test