Ok, so I’m no-one to judge – given I’m not lining up for any modelling shoots any time soon. But – when I received this Deluxe WiFi Internet and DAB+ Radio from Kogan my first reaction was not great.
Looks are important when it comes to the shelf buying decision, and I wondered if with Kogan’s online only model perhaps that had gone out the window. I just wouldn’t see myself picking this from a lineup of DAB radios.
However, like many things, this has really grown on me. I’d still prefer several others for looks, but it’s the old ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ that is important here.
This is one heck of a big unit. Packing twin 30W speakers, plus a front tweeter and a subwoofer, there’s a lot to get into any size box.
There is the ‘non-deluxe version’ from Kogan which lacks the tweeter and twin speakers and fits a more standard sized box. However the sound on that would likely be similar to many other radios on the market.
The sound is where this unit outperforms many others. DAB+ is a broadcast medium that allows Broadcasters to set the bit-rate at which they broadcast, different rates mean more or less services for that station or station group.
A great example of sound is Triple M. In Sydney at least, they are broadcasting at 96kbps, of which probably 6k is program added data, so you’re looking at 84-90kpbs for the music. And boy oh boy does it shine through on this unit.
I’m not sure I’ve heard sound quality like this from a DAB+ radio yet. The bass and range is excellent, thanks to the addition of the tweeter and subwoofer at this price and frankly a lot higher you won’t get the depth of sound on many other units.
I personally wish it had a thin mesh layer across the front like good speakers do, which would make it look like a speaker with a digital display – and the sound would suit that – but, that’s not to be.
The control pad is a range of buttons in three circles which is awkward at first, but for basic navigation is just fine. The tactile feel of the buttons is great, not too clicky but also not too soft, dare I say it – just right.
I don’t need to go into chapter and verse about what this radio can do, with WiFi you can get thousands of internet radio stations, plus the same is available via a connected Ethernet. Add to that network music sharing, DAB+ and the iPhone compatible iPod dock and you’ve got a real entertainer on your hands.
The twin 30W speakers are unusually on the side of this unit – which does dull the sound from the front, however, I think that adds to the type of deep sound the unit offers once you get used to it.
It’s big – at 33cm wide, around 16cm tall and 15 or so deep, it’s a big unit that is a bit large for your desk, a bit large for your entertainment unit, and a bit big for the kitchen bench.
The unit comes with a remote so perhaps the bedroom dresser, or a mantle or shelf in the lounge would work – but, without degrading its place (those are excellent places for it) this would be a bloody great shed unit! Out in the man-cave or shed, working on whatever it is, you’ve got WiFi internet radio, iPhone/iPod connectivity and the beauty of DAB+ if you live in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth.
You can’t touch and try before you buy, but if you want solid sound, and an affordable price, check out Kogan online. (http://www.kogan.com.au/shop/kogan-wi-fi-digital-radio-dab-iphone-docking-delux/)
Oh, and the price – a cracking $199 – almost theft.