The+Radio DAB+ Stereo may have an awkward name, but the FM/DAB radio with Bluetooth streaming aims to be as straightforward as possible.
Well, sort of. The single unit is easy enough to use, but it has a trick up its sleeve: a second passive unit that, once connected, can transform into a stereo speaker set.
The wooden, aluminium and plastic cabinet is well made, and we like the simple retro design. The circular OLED display is neat and clear to read, but we’d like a brighter, stronger contrast.
The control dials are responsive and easy to turn, although the included plastic remote is far easier to use when navigating through the menu.
There, you can pick different equaliser modes, set two alarms and pair Bluetooth devices. Pressing the info button repeatedly shows you bitrate, frequency, signal strength, and more when playing DAB radio.
Another neat trick is that the remote magnetically attaches itself to the right hand side of the radio, so you’ll never lose track of it.
More after the break
The wireless sources for the radio are FM, DAB (DAB+ for mainland Europe) and Bluetooth. You can also plug in a music player into one of the two 3.5mm inputs at the front, while the second one is for headphones.
Around the back, you’ll find a USB port, the antenna socket and a balance control for adjusting the stereo image if you use the add-on speaker, which connects via a supplied wire, and has no controls or display.
MORE: Best DAB Radios 2016
The clarity and strength of the radio’s sound depends on your room’s reception, but make sure you don’t fold up the ribbon antenna – it crackles when the wires cross.
We prefer the metal antennae usually found in most radios; not only does it pick up better reception, it’s also not as frustratingly fiddly. You’ll need to wave this radio’s ribbon about and use Blu-tack to keep it in the perfect position to receive the best signal.
The radio sounds decent enough when playing BBC 6 Music over DAB. Radcliffe and Maconie sound clear and direct, although we wouldn’t mind more nuance and solidity to flesh out their voices.
It’s not quite as rich and weighty as the Revo SuperSignal (£180), which offers a subtler, more dynamic presentation. The treble on the DAB+ is a touch coarse, and the overall sound is on the thin side.
FM stations take a small dip in quality, but it’s still listenable.
MORE: Revo SuperSignal review
The sound quality is more solid and detailed when streaming songs over Bluetooth from your smartphone. Blues Traveler’s Hook sounds lively, although the interplay between the instruments and vocals isn’t as cohesive as on the Revo rival.
The drums stick out, the harmonica sounds a little lonely, and we want a snappier rhythm to keep the rhythm moving along.
Put the radio in stereo mode with the add-on speaker, and the sound gains weight and solidity. It’s a far more enjoyable listen – although you still can’t shake the spiky edges of the treble.
The more pressing problem is the price. On its own, the DAB+ is £280. The five-star Revo SuperSignal is our preferred listen at £180.
Combined with the add-on speaker, the total price goes up to £360 – which seems expensive for what The+Radio offers.
The stereo mode is a neat idea, but you can get far better sound and similar features from something like the Geneva Model S Wireless DAB+ at £330, which outshines The+Radio on subtlety and musicality.
We really like the retro design of the DAB+ radio, but the inadequate antenna and sky-high price for its middling sound quality isn’t enough to compete with the best.