Providing genuine stereo sound in a unit this size is always a challenge due to the fact that the speakers can only be so far apart and really high-end stereo needs a big gap. However, once you start to listen to the R2 you can hear where much of the development time and money has gone. A rich and surprisingly detailed sound stage is provided in FM and DAB and while the sound quality is not as good if you connect up a walkman or iPod, this is due to the format being used and not the quality of the product.
The real test of any music system this size is it give it some volume and see where the cracks appear. The R2 copes really well, even with bass effects. The sound can also be tweaked if there are signal problems. The unit automatically adjusts between mono or stereo to suit what is being broadcast. However, if a stereo input has been chosen by the unit and there is still a little hiss, the user can manually change the delivery to mono.
There is also a 3D sound option that delivers an extra layer of richness. We found that it was best to keep this on the whole time unless listening to speech radio when the effect echoed a little. Overall, sound quality wise, the unit has enough subtlety to deal with a gentile evening listening the Radio 3, but it would be equally happy blasting out a few hours of Planet Rock after the pub has shut.
Should you require them, the alarm functions are simple to use and on buzzer mode there are different levels of volume that kick-in to bring you around should the initial attempt fail.
This is a really likeable little radio which has the ability to handle a wide range of sound demands and delivers an above average range of features and connectivity. Ultimately, like its space-travelling robotic namesake, the R2 has enough tricks up its sleeve so you forgive any minor operational quirks that the unit has.
Vita Audio R2 DAB/FM stereo radio
Seemms a bit steep for me for a DAB radio. I work at a radio station and they're really pushing DAB although at this price I won't get one.
I'll stick to the £30 DAB radio from Tesco.
It ain't Hi-Fi
Since the bitrates that DAB radio is broadcast on here are so pathetically low, there is no way they could market this as anything approaching high fidelity - so I suppose it is more appropriate to give the appearance of a crusty old tranny.
Fancy listening to "The Hits" at 96kbps in MP2 format?
We'll soon have DAB+ with us, requiring another round of upgrades.
Why do DAB radios look naff?
And I mean all of them. Is there something about DAB that causes people to forget that said radio needs to be desirable?