Best Retro Digital Radio 
Why buy a retro digital radio? Well for starters, at some point you’re going to need one. All stations that are currently on FM will be switched over from analogue in the future. Although this has been delayed, why would you want to invest in an audio item that will become outdated? I have stereo equipment that’s lasted me for several decades.
Also, the sound is far crisper and clearer with a retro DAB radio than just an old school style standard FM radio. A vintage DAB radio is a bit of music tech that combines classic looks from decades gone by with the latest future-proof technology, meaning you get the best of both worlds.
Whether you already have your eye on a cute VQ radio, an Emma Bridgewater DAB radio or a Roberts retro DAB radio, or would prefer simply to see what’s available, this guide will take you through all the chart-topping picks on the vintage digital radio market.
Click here to view the overall best retro digital radio available in the UK
I’m ranking the ‘Hepburn’ by VQ in the number one spot, and not only because I can’t resist the cute designs. With adjutable bass and treble, a 20 watt output and bluetooth, this highly portable little machine from a British make really is wired for superb sound.
Also outlined is what to look for when picking the best retro DAB radio your hard-earned cash can buy. So stay right here to explore the vintage style DAB radio options, so you can decide which is the most suitable choice. For me, I know I’d have to love the look of it before I’d part with my pounds sterling.
Read on to discover the best DAB radio, retro style. But first, the quick reference comparison table below provides a fast and simple way of comparing all the options. If you want to know more about what you should consider, you’ll find that section beneath the table, before the top ten product reviews.
Best retro digital radio contents
- Compare the retro DAB radio options
- Choosing the best retro digital radio
- Best retro digital radio reviews:
Compare the best vintage style digital radio options
|VQ retro mini DAB radio||9 prints inc florals, bluetooth, USB & aux-in, digital alarm clock||Click here|
|VQ Hepburn digital radio||6 designs, bluetooth, bass & treble controls, 20 watt speakers||Click here|
|Roberts RD70DG radio||Great sound, colour-changing display, alarm, mains or battery||Click here|
|Roberts mini DAB radio||2 colours with gold trim, good sound quality, highly portable||Click here|
|Bush vintage DAB radio||Bee pattern, great value for money, established audio brand||Click here|
|Sony XDR-S61D DAB radio||Top brand, highly portable, retro yet contemporary styling||Click here|
|Pure Evoke H4 digital radio||10 watt speaker, full colour screen, bluetooth, leading brand||Click here|
|Shuman digital radio + CD||MP3 & CD playback, bluetooth, vintage style real wood finish||Click here|
Choosing the best retro DAB digital radio – what to look for
This could be first or last on your list, really. The fact that you’re searching for a retro DAB radio tells me you do want style as well as sound, and I’m in complete agreement. When seeking a vintage digital radio, the design is important – and why not? If you love how it looks, that’s only going to make using it even more of a pleasure.
Top brands like Pure, Sony, VQ and Roberts are featured here, but we also have top picks from Swan, Bush, Shuman and Goodmans. While I’m familiar with them all, my longest standing experience has been with Sony, whose equipment from 30 years ago still sounds good. Brand can make all the difference for some, while for others it’s less of an issue. It really depends on your own preferences and experiences.
The sound quality might well be top of your list. For me, it ties in first place with style. In general, speakers with a larger output will sound better – but only if they do offer a clear sound quality. A smaller machine will often be less powerful, but pay a little more and you can have it all in an attractive, compact package.
If you want to stream wirelessly from your phone or iPad, bluetooth is a must. An aux-in also allows you to connect headphones or other wired devices. A few of the radios listed here also have USB ports for on-the-go charging.
If you want a portable DAB radio, then the power source may be crucial. Many machines offer both options. It’s worth checking which batteries you need – and how much they cost – as more often than not, they don’t come with the product.
Other useful features
Other features on various products include an alarm clock and/or kitchen timer, which can be incredibly helpful if you want a radio for the kitchen or bedroom. The type of display can also make your chosen digital radio easier or more pleasant to use, while a colourful one makes it look even more attractive.
Best retro digital radio – recommendations & reviews
VQ retro mini DAB radio review
Oh my – I thought this VQ DAB radio was cute at first glance, but when you click on the products things get even better. If you love this floral print, beware – there are eight other covetable patterns to choose from. One may even be tempted to collect them all. There are eight rooms in my home (if you count the hallway, kitchen, bathroom and summerhouse).
To be honest I could just wax lyrical about the gorgeous florals, and the sweet little carry handle, and the neat little shape all day. Let’s just say that as well as the becoming botanical prints, there are other options too – namely Marmalade, Polka Dot, Pink Hearts and Men at Work.
What about the technical features? Yes, this is a retro DAB radio with bluetooth, and it also has an aux-in port. You can use mains or battery power, and it has a USB charging port too. There are 60 programmable radio pre-set buttons and it even has a digital alarm clock built in.
If you want something uber pretty, ultra portable and are seeking an Emma Bridgewater digital radio, this could be the one to go for. The only problem might be choosing the design…
- 9 beautiful prints
- Bluetooth, aux-in & USB
- Dual digital alarm clock
- 5 watt output
Click here to view the Emma Bridgewater radio Rose and Bee
VQ retro mk II digital radio review
If you love the look of the previous product (and who wouldn’t?) but want something smaller, check out this ‘Hepburn’ VQ retro DAB radio. The compact dimensions mean it’s more of a VQ retro mini digital radio to take with you when out and about – or even to grab by the handle when you’re moving rooms.
This one comes in six designs, and I can’t decide if Blue Daisy (pictured) or Wallflower (I’d love a pretty purple digital radio) is my favourite. Three prints are floral, and there are also citrus, dotty and heart patterns.
What else? The Hepburn VQ retro mini Emma Bridgewater digital radio comes with that bluetooth that’s missing on some other mini DAB radios. The 20 watt, British-engineered speaker output is also very impressive. There’s also an aux-in socket, 60 presets, a dual alarm and independent treble and bass controls for adjustable sound.
- 20 watt output
- Bluetooth & aux-in
- Bass and treble controls
- Relatively pricey
Click here to see this mini View Quest DAB radio
Roberts vintage DAB radio Revival review
When it comes to finding a DAB radio with a vintage look, Roberts are probably the number one name. This, the Roberts Revival RD70DG comes in a choice of this dove grey shade or black, cream, red, leaf green or duck egg blue.
There’s a lot of substance to this stylish radio, though. It can be used as a speaker for streaming music via bluetooth, and it also has that handy aux-in socket for connecting the likes of headphones or iPods. This also works as a retro DAB radio alarm clock, with sleep timer, snooze and your choice of buzzer or radio alarm.
The intuitive panel display can be customised by picking between six colour themes such as pearl, sapphire and ruby, and you can save favourite stations via the pre-sets. You can also choose to use mains or battery power. It’s the sound, though, that really makes this product stand out. Superb quality for the size of the machine.
- Sound quality
- Mains or battery power
- Colour-changing panel display
- Higher price
Click here to see this Roberts retro digital radio
Roberts Radio Revival mini DAB review
This Roberts Revival radio is a mini version of the above product. That’s not to say it’s the same, but it’s a scaled down digital radio in a retro style from Roberts. This one comes in two colours – dusky pink or midnight blue (pictured), both with gold trim.
As an Amazon exclusive, you won’t find the exact same thing anywhere else. This is an ultra portable pick among retro digital radios, that’s ideal to take to picnics, the beach or camping. There is a 3.5mm stereo line for connecting various accessories and devices.
Every component has been carefully considered by Roberts to offer the best possible sound quality in such a small package. This attractive digital retro radio is ideal for those who want a combination of style, substance and impressive sound.
- Stylish gold trim
- Good sound quality
- Highly portable
- Fewer features than larger models
Click here to see this Roberts retro style digital radio
Bush digital radio retro mini review
This Bush retro radio offers incredible value for money, and looks the part. With a white casing and a cute bee pattern, this little radio is ideal for kids’ or adults’ bedrooms, the kitchen or out in the garage or shed. It has an integral alarm clock too, and can be powered via batteries or the mains.
There is also a kitchen timer function, and 20 pre-set buttons mean you should have enough capacity to store the stations you regularly listen to. An aux-in socket allows you to connect other devices, and the LCD screen lets you see at a glance what’s going on.
For the money, this mini Bush retro digital radio is a fabulous buy, and has an appealing retro look too.
- Great value for money
- Established brand
- Cute bee pattern
- Price may vary
Click here to view this mini Bush retro DAB digital radio
Sony digital radio with DAB XDR-S61D review
Not everyone’s idea of a retro digital radio alarm clock is one that looks like it came straight from the 50s, 60s or 70s. This one combines curvy, sleek and slightly retro lines with contemporary features to create something of a hybrid product. Who says fusion can’t apply to audio as well as food?
This is a great one to use as a bedside stereo digital radio and alarm clock in one. It’s very compact, portable and lightweight, so it’s easy to take into another room or elsewhere whenever you like. In that way, this is one of the best digital radio options out there.
It’s also made by Sony, which for me at least is a massive plus. In my three decades of buying their audio products, some have lasted that long. Yep, 30 years and still going strong. They also offer consistently good quality sound. Even when they were actually made during the 80s or 90s.
- Lightweight & portable
- DAB radio and alarm clock
- Top brand
- Not as ‘retro’ as some
Click here to view this Sony modern and retro design radio
Pure digital radio Evoke H4 review
A Pure stereo digital radio also comes from one of the most sought-after brands when it comes to DAB technology. One of an immensely popular series, this Pure Evoke digital radio combines a classic wooden casking with a sleek, modern inner in – what else? Pure white, of course.
This vintage style DAB radio with bluetooth is also ideal for use anywhere, as it has a kitchen timer, alarm clock and even a built-in silver ‘snooze handle’ at the top. With a 10 watt speaker, this is also more powerful than a number of the products made by Pure’s competitors.
The generously-sized screen is a cool feature of this particular model, and it boasts a cutting edge display so you can view information in full colour.
- Full colour screen
- 10 watt speaker
- Heavier than some
Click here to see this Pure Evoke cool digital radio
Shuman retro DAB radio with CD player review
The final listing is aimed at those who want a retro style DAB radio with CD player – or like the old school look of the rich, warm real wood finish. It can play music via MP3 as well as compact disc, and has USB, aux-in and bluetooth connectivity.
There are two 5 watt speakers for a more rounded sound from a small machine, and it comes complete with a user manual and remote control. Satisfied purchasers say it pleases the ear and eye equally, and it saves having to keep a separate piece of equipment for playing your CD collection.
This is a practical, functional, reliable and aesthetically pleasing bit of kit for anyone seeking a vintage digital radio with CD player.
- CD and MP3 playback
- Real wood casing
- Vintage styling
- Lesser known brand
Click here to see this Shuman digital radio with CD player
Which is the best of the vintage style radios for you?
Whether you wanted a good value Bush digital retro radio, were seeking a red digital radio or are prepared to spend more on the likes of a Pure One digital radio, I hope this guide has helped you pin down a favourite. The handbag-style VQ Hepburn’s already been added to my Christmas list (just in case you’re reading this, VQ in Hampshire – hello from nearby Dorset).
- Top mini hifi systems
- Record players with speakers
- Compact CD players
- Over-ear headphones
- Best children’s MP3 players
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