It seems that Intempo has taken a retrograde step from its original offering the PG-01: the KTC-01 feels more like a lunchbox with speakers than a DAB radio. The idea may have been to create a more rough-and-ready model that users wouldn’t mind getting dirty or covered in paint, but for £80 we’re not convinced.
The KTC-01 has a cream coloured plastic shell with mock brushed metal trim. The knobs are plastic with a shiny metal surface -- the overall effect screams ‘budget’. It’s strange because the KTC-01’s predecessor the PG-01 was a very pleasant looking machine. It had a similar layout but a much classier wooden finish.
As with the PG-01, the KTC-01 measures 250 by 160 by 100mm. A screen and the controls run across the top of the face, with two speakers underneath.
The KTC-01 seems to be a DAB radio for people who don’t care for technology. Auto Tuning, DAB/FM, Alarm, Sleep and Info all have their own buttons alongside the Channel Up and Down and the four Preset keys. On the plus side it means there are barely any menus to navigate. The power button isn’t marked, but as it’s the only button without a label what it's for is fairly obvious.
The screen is a black-on-green, two-line LCD affair. It’s easy to read, but could have been made more prominent. Reading it from above is made difficult by the surrounding casing.
Across the back you’ll find the aerial, a battery hatch, a headphone socket and the battery saving button (more about that later).
When it is switched on for the first time, the KTC-01 auto-tunes to pick up the local stations. After a few seconds it’s up and running. Switching between DAB and FM is simple with the DAB/FM button. Likewise, setting the presets is just a matter of finding the channel you want and holding down the button to assign it.
We found the alarm a pain to set. We had to scroll all the way through the twenty-four hour clock to get to the time we wanted. Setting up the sleep function was a similar process. However, while they were time consuming, neither was taxing.
Simplicity is the keyword with the KTC-01. While it may not be gadget heavy, to some users this will be no bad thing. If it’s just something you want to switch on for some background music, it does the job. The alarm and sleep mode are bare essential extras that every radio ought to have, but other than that this radio revels in its straightforward approach.
One useful function is the low-energy button at the back to save the juice in your batteries when you take the unit on the move. Pushing it in makes sure the radio doesn’t drain the battery, meaning that next time you come to use it, it won’t be dead.
In tests around the house the quality of the signal ranged from just about acceptable in the basement to excellent upstairs. As with many DAB radios, the aerial is detachable, allowing you to use a more powerful antenna.
The sound quality is reasonable, which is lucky because there are no alternative equaliser settings. One gripe is the unnecessarily huge range of the volume control. We had barely got it to halfway when the music, which was very loud by that point, began to distort. We’d advise you not to test the upper limits, because it could well lead to broken speakers.
Additional editing by Michael Parsons