After the clear sound, the coolest thing about digital radio is the option to pause, rewind and record live radio. Not all digital radios have these features, but they're worth looking out for, because they give you a radically different listening experience. Instead of cursing when the phone rings in the middle of a programme, you just hit pause, take the call and then pick up where you left off. Likewise, if you miss a key detail -- such as a phone number -- you can rewind the broadcast and hear it again. The most sophisticated radios have timer recording, enabling you to record entire programmes and listen to them at your convenience.
The BT Aviator 10M has a simple rewind function that lets you wind back the last ten minutes of the current broadcast. The Roberts Gemini 11 offers similar functionality, but sets it up so you can either pause or rewind the broadcast. The PURE Digital Sonus-1XT isn't a true recording radio, but it does have built-in record timers and an optical out, enabling you to connect it to a MiniDisc player and record programmes. Finally, the PURE Digital Bug has a wealth of recording features, including the ability to record programmes on to an SD memory card.
There's nothing more sickening than a fat radio, and the Aviator is one lardy monster. It's a mystery how the designers managed to create such a behemoth out of the same components we've seen packed into devices half this size. As if the unwieldy scale of the Aviator wasn't deterrent enough, the radio sounds weak and lacks bass -- there's little definition to the low end and broadcasts end up sounding wimpy and flat Read more
Reviewed on 22 April 2005
The Sonus-1XT is a friendly but unobtrusive radio. The voice feedback is useful and entertaining (and customisable if the novelty wears off). The talking clock and twin alarms make it best suited for the bedroom, although it wouldn't look out of place elsewhere Read more
Reviewed on 21 March 2005
Its unusual looks won't be to everyone's taste and we found the navigation pad unacceptably fiddly, but The Bug is packed with features that bring you the best of digital radio Read more
Reviewed on 28 April 2005
The mixed-up styling didn't work for us, but if the Gemini 11 matches your leatherette sofa, you'll find little to complain about. Beyond all the usual benefits of digital, it has the useful and virtually idiot-proof PausePlus function, which is well worth the extra pounds Read more
Reviewed on 22 March 2005