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Tivoli Audio PAL+ review

Tivoli's PAL+ is cute and sounds good. Tested at £160

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A drop in price helps but it still can't justify its price premium over rivals

Pros

  • +

    Small

  • +

    Built-in battery

  • +

    Clear display

  • +

    Projects vocals beautifully

  • +

    Good tonal balance

Cons

  • -

    Not as refined or controlled as the very best

  • -

    Still too expensive compared to better performing rivals

We first tested the PAL+ a couple of years ago, when it was priced at £250.

It has come down in price by a third, and this rather funky union jack finish is now available.

Performance

It's truly a portable device, with a built-in rechargeable battery, and little rubberised covers to protect inputs for when you want to listen outside. And it's small enough to be toted in a bag.

The spec is reasonable for a portable radio, with DAB, DAB+ and FM tuners, a full suite of alarm functions, stereo headphone output (which you can also use to hook the PAL+ up to your hi-fi) and a 3.5mm input.

Its sound makes us a little nolstagic – taking us back to the 'wireless' of 70s and 80s. That's not a bad thing – we rather like it, in fact.

When pushed, though, it can get a touch bright in the treble and lose the midrange strength a little.

Verdict

Overall, it's a nice, listenable sound, and an effective radio with strong tuners.

So why still three stars after the price drop? Well, two years is a long time, it seems, and you can get sound as good for considerably less than the PAL+'s new price.

So it still can't justify its price premium rivals.

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