Revo Heritage DAB/FM radio and iPod dock
Retro styling meets state-of-the-art tech
Review Most of us have music all over the place - on PCs or Macs, phones, PMPs and USB sticks. If you also like to spend time listening to the radio - FM, DAB or internet - things can get complicated. With this in mind, Scottish audio specialist Revo has concocted a one-box-does-it-all player that promises to tie all those musical loose ends together.
Revo Heritage: 1960s styling, 2010 tech
Revo describes the Heritage as a "contemporary reinterpretation of the classic European table radio designs from the 1960s", which just about hits the nail on the head. Unlike some DAB radios that simply try too hard to be retro, the rather Presbyterian Heritage doesn't look painfully artsy or over styled.
The handsome looks are enhanced by the use some high quality materials, so it's all brushed aluminium and walnut veneer. The Heritage is larger than a traditional transistor radio, but it'll still sit on a shelf in any room. The telescopic aerial retracts fully into the body when not in use.
As well as being a combined RDS FM/DAB radio, the Heritage also works as a UPnP Wi-Fi music streamer, internet radio player, iPod/iPhone dock, and it can play DRM-free Flac, MP3, WMA and AAC files from USB storage. The Heritage isn't fully iPhone compliant, so you'll need to stick your handset into Flight Mode or hear bleepy interference whenever it communicates with a cell station. Nor can you use the Heritage's USB port to sync content.
Solid build quality
On the plus side, it works as a fully functioning alarm clock.
@ Alex Johnson 1
The Heritage does indeed play all the BBC's "Listen Again" broadcasts. Since the BBC stopped using Real Player for its listen-again services last autumn (21/09/09 to be exact) access to said is becoming more and more common on internet radios. If it didn't support the service, I'd have mentioned that fact.
Lack of Detail in Review; 2007-era Features
1. "Internet Radio." Is the reviewer aware that this is not nearly detailed enough? Which standards does it support? Does it support BBC Listen Again? Reciva? If you listen to "internet radio" this matters. In the past, Revo didn't support Listen Again (and Real). I guess that hasn't changed? You are writing for the Reg, not a lifestyle magazine. This is so imprecise as to be shoddy.
2. For £230 to release a radio with an iPod dock which is not iPhone compatible and which doesn't support 802.11n is frankly ludicrous. (Yes I know 802.11g is plenty for the stream, but it also drags down other devices on the network.) I think Revo could have stumped up the £5 for more modern chipsets.
So, an imprecise review for a nicely featured radio which seems to demonstrate a pennywise, pound-foolish approach to procurement.
You guys are obsessed with cost. My wife's 5 year old Fiesta works just fine as a car but I don't drive it in preference to my new Prius.
If you want to pay £35 for a tinny grot box from Asda go ahead, if you want to pay more for something that is better made, better sounding, better looking - like Alun I rather like the look of it - and has more functions, the choice is yours.
Where not all penurious geeks with the aesthetic judgement of a blind man.
Way too expensive
Styling choices notwithstanding -- I rather like it actually, although it needs a colour screen -- this thing is just too damned pricey for what it does.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up an FM/DAB/iPod dock STEREO clock radio from Asda. It had garnered mixed reviews on shopping forums because of a couple of odd design choices, but it was just £35. It lacks the built-in internet streaming capabilities of this Revo model but it's being used with an iPod Touch so there were dozens of internet radio programs in the App Store to choose from. If I wanted to stream my own media I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to set up a suitable server that could talk to one of the iPod apps, or to Safari.
For what it's worth the design problems were a excessively bright backlight quite unsuited to use in a bedside radio (solved with the low-tech application of a piece of paper between the backlight and the LCD) and an overly loud, unadjustable alarm volume (solved by switching to iPod mode and using the iPod as the alarm source). If it's not being used in a bedroom these problems are moot; in fact I bought a second one for use in the kitchen.
Quite a bit of faffing around you might say, but remember that this thing was £35. Even if I hadn't already owned an iPod Touch I could have picked up an 8GB for £140, the Asda radio for £35 and still been £55 better off compared with the price of the Revo.
There are probably countless arguments about convenience, build quality, sound reproduction and reliability that might allow some price overhead for the Revo. But it's more than SIX TIMES the cost of the bargain-basement Asda set. That's pretty hard to justify.
It does'nt though...
A slab of rather nasty cheap wood on the side of a plastic silver box does NOT equal retro. Nore does it equal stylish. Its just unpleasant and has been done to death.