Vita Audio R2 review

A designer radio with the substance to match its style Tested at £220.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Lovely to listen to, gaze at and touch – this is a stylish radio with substance to match


  • +

    Fine sound

  • +

    good looks

  • +

    great build


  • -

    Lack of features might dissuade some

  • -

    display is hopelessly bad

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DAB radios come in many guises, but at this price they tend to pile on the features. The 2006 Award-winning Pure Evoke-3 packs in an electronic programme guide, SD card-reader, digital optical output, and more – but that's not the path this handsome Vita tabletop chose on its way to picking up the 2007 Award.

It's a stripped-down affair: yes it has DAB and FM tuners, and there are 3.5mm and stereo RCA inputs and outputs for headphones and recording respectively, but that's it. Even the blue display is a measly two lines, making it small enough to be useless from five paces.

Scores on sound
Where the R2 scores is on sound and build quality. Reception is almost always rock-solid, whether on DAB or FM, and there's a full-bodied sound, thanks in part to two downward-firing bass reflex ports, along with plenty of clarity and space and a crisp, clean top end. If the broadcast is up to it, the Vita produces a broad and coherent soundstage. If it isn't, the sound is less obviously compromised than is the case with many rival products.

Lifestyle magazines will queue up to dress their loft-style apartments with the R2: the walnut veneer is a tactile treat, with an ivory high gloss finish available as an option, and the rubber controls feel as good as the metal panels and wire mesh speaker grilles

If your priorities begin and end with sound, solidity and style, which looks like a pretty good wish-list to us, buy this.

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.

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