It is safe to say I get excited with all new Digital Radio’s launched in Australia – mainly because I’ve been so close to the roll out of DAB+ Digital Radio in Australia.
In late July I brought you the news that Grundig was launching its first Handheld DAB+ Radio, the ROAM – Well, I’ve been testing it for a month, and have to say, it’s a ripper.
Not as small as it’s cousin the Bush Walker – However the Grundig ROAM offers you a few reasons to consider it.
Firstly though, at $179 it is a tad on the expensive side – there are larger ‘portable’ models available from the likes of OXX, Sanyo and even some other Grundig models that might offer better value and sound.
However, this is a unit best used with earphones, while out and about, or in the garden perhaps.
Most importantly, this unit has a small internal speaker which means you can listen without headphones, and if you’re further from the transmission towers there is a built in retractable antenna to help you get the most from reception.
20 Presets is a bit of overkill in my books, however with 39 stations in Sydney right now, and Community broadcasters joining soon, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing.
The unit feels quite plasticy which detracts from the sense of quality you get from holding the unit.
Stations and menus are controlled by a joystick style centre stick, with four main buttons – INFO (Switches between Signal strength indicator, PTY display, Mux (transmitter) Name, Frequency, Error Rate, Bitrate and Encoding Type, Time, Date, and DLS (Scrolling Text)
Unlike the BUSH Walker this unit has a built in battery, charged by USB which offers 8 hours of use time. I think I’d prefer interchangable batteries myself.
It holds well in the hand so is a good size, and the screen is very easy to read.
Overall, it’s a great unit – I think at the price you’ll really need a unit this size and function to buy it – however – in my mind the more radios available the better – and as always, shop around for a good price.
Available online at http://www.grundig.net.au/