View Quest Retro
Here's another retro-styled one, with a modern touch of iPhone dockery and a hint of a 1980's plasticised kiddy gadget. The View Quest goes for a minimal look, opting for buttons instead of dials and comes in a range of bold colours.
The tacky plastic fronting is unattractive, though, with its plastic grille ridges big enough to noticeably collect dust. Then there are some awfully clunky buttons that reek of cheap manufacturing. It's too much of a fiddle for ideal kitchen use, but does have alarm settings and a commendable size, backed up by reassuring weight.
Audio is booming through stereo 10W speakers and won't disappoint. No trouble hearing tunes as the kettle-pot whistles. There is a slight distortion, but only at extreme volumes and a premium bass response helps to keep things sounding warm and enjoyable.
There is, of course, an iPhone/iPod dock built-in too and if you fill her up with Size-C batteries, you can take her on the road. The power lead is shorter than average and while there is an aux in, the View Quest is the only model not to include a headphone port.
The bonus of a dock may swing this in favour of the Apple collective and audio is certainly commendable, but I think there are better choices here for kitchen use. Still, you could do much worse too and the Retro is reasonably priced.
Reg Rating 75%
Services DAB, FM
More info View Quest
Vita Audio R1
Here's one for the executives. Construction is smart, with a sturdy build and minimalist look. All operations sit on top, a single dial surrounded by control buttons and highlighted by a subtle blue glow. It looks slick and isn't hard to use with five, hold-to-save, preset buttons and an excellent display, including a handy DAB signal bar and an ambient light sensor for auto brightness adjustments.
The Vita is audiotastic, pleasing with a monster output, free from distortion, from its 3.5in mono speaker. Low frequencies thump like Bam-Bam thanks to a smooth bassport built-in to the base. This beaut is bound to beat the bellow of the blender.
A perfect size and a solid weight, the R1 is a real gem that would look fab in any kitchen. It does cost a fair wad, though, but, if money isn't an issue the R1 could be up your street. It oozes class and has an optional battery pack, should you wish to take it out to a barbecue.
Hasta la Vita, baby. ®
Reg Rating 85%
Services DAB, DAB+, FM
More info Vita
Ten... DAB kitchen radios
Has someone in reg hardware been smoking crack?
I'm usually the first one in the queue to spend on a gadget but £180 for a radio that has to compete with the magimix, extractor fan, oven and microwave noises? A kitchen radio should take 4 double AA's, cost no more than £25, be stuck on 1 station for years on end and sit on the windowsill in full view of burglars without them being in the least bit interested in smash and grabbing it through the window for THEIR next crack fix.
FM is perfectly adequate and unless you work for ofcom or the BBC you need take no interest in the marketing/technical fail that is DAB.
DAB misses again.
It's a kitchen radio: an AM/FM radio will do, doesn't run the batteries flat in 30 mins when hiked out to the garden and costs about £15.
Less of a problem - but still a problem for most people - and the environment if that's your thing?
The lack of those stations is not due to any lack in FM capability - it's due to the unrelenting push towards DAB replacing FM/AM.
surely time to upgrade from that grease-gunged FM box?
Don't bloody think so. My kitchen-based FM set is about 30 years old, and I'm very nearly used to it now.
Controls on top in a kitchen?
Why haven't you marked down all the radios with top surface controls?
The top of anything in the kitchen is the bit that gets stickiest, so surely top surface controls is the last thing you need in a kitchen, especially if you're putting the radio on a shelf where you'll be unlikely to see the controls and display, let alone work the radio without picking it up.
I'd say this misfeature is worth a 10% penalty at least.