Digital Radio goes SMALL – BUSH “Walker”

I’m assuming the people at BUSH knew the play on words they were hitting when they named this new mini DAB+ radio the “Walker” – Good fun I say.....

I’m assuming the people at BUSH knew the play on words they were hitting when they named this new mini DAB+ radio the “Walker” – Good fun I say..

This has to be the fastest review I’ve ever written.  I received this at 10.15am, and am writing this at 10.40am.  That’s more an indication of how amazing this unit is than anything else.

The only thing I can’t write yet (but will add later as an update) is the Battery life, the people at BUSH are confident in 8hours + with Alkaline batteries which is better than i’d have hoped to be honest (the official chart shows 10hours)

UPDATE: I got just over 11 hours of continual play from the standard batteries that came with the unit.  SBS Chill tuned and playing continuously.

For my full thoughts, read on…So, it weigh’s just 48grams – it’s hard to notice it’s in your hand let alone your pocket.

BUSH "Walker" Digital Radio (DAB+) BPR07DAB

BUSH "Walker" Digital Radio (DAB+) BPR07DAB

At just 7cm x 4.5cm and a little over 2cm thick, this really is tiny.

For the user, it is simplicity re-defined.  One problem is the Centre Button (unlike the image above) has no image on it, and it is actually the POWER and MUTE button.

Once I looked that up, added the 2 AAA batteries, and pressed the centre button.  On it came, and it scanned and found the 42 Digital Radio Stations in Sydney.

Don’t forget – the earphones are your antenna – so without them you’ll see no signal (which isn’t an issue because with no in-built speaker you won’t hear anything even if there was signal!).

Now here’s the best part, and I’ve seen this on one other model about to hit the market (more on that soon) – to TUNE to a different station – you just click the left or right shuffle,  and it not only shows the station name, but tunes to that station.    I cannot – for the life of me – work out why Digital radio’s seem to all want to make you choose THEN select your station.  This is logical and will be real hit feature which clock and other DAB+ radio’s should adopt.

The little HEART is your favourite station helper.  Press and HOLD to give the station you are listening to a TICK – it becomes a favourite.  Do this with one or more stations and then, while listening to a favourite, just press the Heart – and when scanning left and right through stations, you’ll only be tuned to your favourites.  So easy to use and a much needed feature on a portable (let alone any) radio with over 40 stations already in the market and more coming.

Volume is up and down on the main toggles, and mute is a quick press of the centre button.  Volume goes up to “24” on tis own scale, and isn’t going to set your ears on fire.

Audio quality through the supplied headphones isn’t the best i’ve ever heard, but really, for a portable radio, out in the garden, or on the walk or commute to work, it’s just fine.

At $129 today, and frankly, likely to be at $100 by Christmas I’d like to bet, this is one of the best value DAB+ radio’s available.

The Bush Walker DAB+ Handheld Radio features include:
  • Handheld DAB+/FM Radio
  • DAB+/FM Tuner
  • Dual Line LCD Display  with Icons
  • Scrolling Text Information
  • Multiple Station Favourites DAB+/FM
  • Multiple Display Settings (Brightness and contrast control)
  • 4 Preset EQ in DAB+ Mode
  • Mute Function
  • 10 Hours Playback
  • Keylock
  • Stereo Headphones Included
  • Powered by 2 x AAA Batteries
Buy online at www.bushaustralia.com.au today, and keep an eye out in Harvey Norman and other leading retaillers soon.
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Opinion

Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
15 Comments on this post.
  • Tweets that mention Digital Radio goes SMALL – BUSH “Walker” | Your Tech Life — Topsy.com
    1 June 2010 at 12:16 pm
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  • belljj
    7 June 2010 at 2:00 am
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    Big W have these online – does anyone know if they are available in store?

  • belljj
    7 June 2010 at 2:01 am
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    These are available at Big W online, does anyone know if they are available in store at Big W?

  • RG
    16 June 2010 at 11:22 am
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    Does this radio take AAA rechargeable batteries (1.2V) or does it need 1.5V Alkalines?

  • trevorlong
    17 June 2010 at 12:15 am
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    Bush tell me “we recommend 2 X AAA Alkaline batteries for the best performance and use. If you wish to use your own rechargeable AAA batteries these would work as well, however this is not recommended.”

  • Paulinho
    19 June 2010 at 12:19 am
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    I bought one of these two weeks ago in Harvey Norman ($129). They are not advertised – I saw them simply by chance in the cabinet whilst looking at others.

    This is a great radio. I was initially a little concerned that the sound lacked for something, but when I compared its own rendering of FM and Digital on the same station (ABC Classic) it confirmed that the issue is not with the device at all (i.e. the FM sounded better than digital on the same device with the same earphones). Thus, as I have read elsewhere, the digital is compromised by being overly compressed and transmitted with a relatively low bandwidth.

    The radio really is matchbox size. I have wondered for months, why almost every digital radio on the market is built like something from the 1950s – it's just marketing. There is less technology in these things than even the simplest mobile phone, so it's gratifying that someone has finally decided to scrap the 'retro' marketing nonsense and produce something that reflects current technology (the battery compartment in the Bush Walker is about half the space inside).

    I live some 25km outside of Melbourne in an area that supposedly should require a better aerial. However, this radio picks up everything. Occasionally there is a drop out if I am lying in bed listening to it but a slight shift of the earphone lead is enough to get it sorted.

    I've also used it in the car (mine has a 3.5mm jack for connecting MP3's etc). Presumably the connecting cable is good enough to work as an aerial as it is producing great results.

    The batteries that came with it gave me around 6-8 hours. I've a set of Duracell's in. So far about 4-5 hours and still showing full capacity so not sure yet what overall battery life will be like just yet.

    Controls are simple and easy to navigate. The Equalizer makes a huge difference to the overall sound sound quality – I have mine set to Classical most of the time to get the best base.

    Bottom line – this is a great radio. Get one.

  • trevorlong
    19 June 2010 at 12:22 am
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    Great to hear Paul… I really think you've summed it up perfectly there mate.
    Trevor

  • wally
    2 July 2010 at 10:55 am
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    G’Day, I currently listen to a Sony AM/FM Walkman travelling to and from work for about 1.5 hours/day in the train and would like to replace it with a portable dab+ radio. How do these devices perform inside a train? I realise they won’t work in a tunnel or other places where reception in general is poor, but what about the metal carriage? Does this totally block the signal?

  • Greg Wall
    2 July 2010 at 1:08 am
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    G'Day, I currently listen to a Sony AM/FM Walkman travelling to and from work for about 1.5 hours/day in the train and would like to replace it with a portable dab+ radio. How do these devices perform inside a train? I realise they won't work in a tunnel or other places where reception in general is poor, but what about the metal carriage? Does this totally block the signal?

  • Trevor
    2 July 2010 at 9:39 am
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    Hey Paulinho, I agree, i've used a connecting cable too with the same result – Great little radio all round – at a fantastic price…

    Thanks for your comment!

    Trevor

  • trevorlong
    2 July 2010 at 9:41 am
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    Hi Greg, for sure, DAB+ is outstanding on trains – AM is shocking, never worked – you'll have a great result on the trains, and this is the perfect radio for it…

    Cheers mate.
    Trevor

  • Paulinho
    4 July 2010 at 10:29 am
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    I just tried the Bush Walker with Duracel 800mAh rechargeables and got 9.5 hours from them – they work perfectly well so I am not sure why Bush would advise against their use.

    Given that my last set of 'normal' Duracel batteries lasted about 11 hours ), I've decided on rechargeables as I use this thing about 4 hours a day (11 hours play time is quite short compared to my little am/fm radio which takes one AAA and lasts at least double that). I have one pair in use and another on stand-by. Even after going completely flat, my favourite stations were still remembered.

  • trevorlong
    4 July 2010 at 10:31 am
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    It's one of those things isn't it – i Use 100% rechargables for AA usage, I have a stack of Sanyo ENELOOPS… love them…

    so yeah, what's 30 mins between friends!

    Glad you're loving the radio Paulinho…

  • rb
    26 August 2010 at 12:05 pm
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    can you pause and rewind live radio on this little unit

  • Anonymous
    26 August 2010 at 2:07 pm
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    No there is only one radio that does that, the PURE ONE ELITE…

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