Relish DAB+ radio review | CHOICE

CHOICE Verdict

Relish DAB+ digital radio aims to give the elderly and people with dementia the independence to listen to music and audiobooks on a unit they can operate themselves. It’s not as quick to set up as some digital radios we’ve tested, but it’s time well spent when the end result is this easy to use. A few nice touches, such as a clear selection of stations and a simple but effective USB music playlist, make this a unique (albeit expensive) offering for those who want to connect to music on their own terms without all the hassle. bells and whistles.

Price: $289

Relish DAB+ radio was created to meet the needs of the elderly and people with dementia by providing a music player thata be operated with a minimum of confusion and a minimum of supervision. All it takes is a little time to set things up.

Our technical expert Scott O’Keefe put the radio through its paces as he would any other DAB+ radio in our digital radios test. Reception, ease of use (including initial setup), listening quality and standby energy were all rated the same as any other digital radio. But with its unique design and features, it’s not your average radio unit, so we dug a little deeper to see if it measures up.

What do you get in the box?

Put simply: a large volume dial, on button, off button and four music selections are the only controls you see.

The Relish looks like a throwback to the 70s with a simple tabletop design showing off a large on/off button, a larger volume dial and four buttons on the top of the device to make selections for a favorite radio station or to access a USB port. with a music playlist. Although it’s intended for use as a powered home radio, you can also use four D batteries (not included) for added portability.

There’s no Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity or auxiliary input, but you do get a headphone port for listening privately. While there’s FM radio for those times when you can’t get DAB+ reception, you don’t get AM radio. There are no programmable alarms or timers to manage – in fact, you don’t even have a clock. However, it becomes clear after a few uses that the point of the Relish DAB+ is to allow it to do a few things simply and not add confusing or unnecessary features.

Link DAB+ specifications

  • DAB+/FM radio tuner
  • 3 assignable presets (plus USB music playback)
  • Telescopic antenna
  • 3-line LCD display
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers (2″ drivers)
  • Power supply: 5.9 V DC Australian mains adapter or optional batteries (4 type D – not included)
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 11 x 18 (W x D x H, cm)
  • Weight: 1.8kg

How does it sound?

Close-up of handwritten labels on a Relish DAB+ portable radio

You can create your own familiar station titles with five included doodle sheets.

Although it doesn’t come close to our top performing digital radios in audio quality, the Relish DAB+ delivers good clear sound from its two small speakers, with crisp vocals and chord response. Reasonable bass according to our three-person listening panel.

The audio tracks selected in our test included an acoustic vocal track, a bass-heavy dance track, and an interview for the news. The Relish scored best for News Interview, and OK for Acoustic and Dance Tracks. Most users will find the audio quality more than acceptable for use in the kitchen, dining room or bedroom.

keep it simple

Rear of Relish DAB+ portable radio with space for four D Cell batteries

The rear of the radio houses the four D Cell batteries, a USB port for music playlists and menu controls to ensure front controls are as simple as possible.

The Relish DAB+ radio couldn’t be easier to use – all it takes is for someone to spend a little time setting it up beforehand. All menu controls, battery box and USB drive port (USB drive must be less than 5.5cm) are hidden behind a panel that keeps the radio looking uncluttered.

You can use the USB port to include a music playlist or audiobooks, and the music playlist is set to loop endlessly (with files limited to MP3 format only). Having linear playback with auto-resume from the last track makes it useful for picking up where you left off and also for stopping and starting MP3 audiobooks.

Thoughtful design

Design elements such as a volume knob that cannot be turned all the way down (avoiding confusion as to whether the radio is on or off) reveal a genuine awareness of the intended user. A separate concave on button and convex off button also provide a clearer indication of the remote control than just any on/off button.

With a cost of almost $300, you could definitely get a cheaper DAB+ radio with more features and maybe even better sound quality. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better solution for someone who wants an easy-to-use radio that offers great reception, good audio quality, and a sense of independence.

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