The Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Radio Deluxe DAB+ With iPhone Docking Station Deluxe is, as its name might suggest, a collection of awesome features packed inside a rectangle made of fancy plastic.
It's a mouthful of a name, so we'll stick to calling it the Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Radio — anything more and we'll get RSI.
The Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Radio Deluxe features Internet radio (via 802.11b/g or 10/100 Ethernet), digital radio and an iPhone/iPod dock, and it can connect to almost any audio device via its auxiliary port — you'll have no problem plugging in a Creative Zen MP3 player, for example, and a 3.5mm auxiliary cable is included in the box.
The design of the radio is very minimalist. A glossy piano-black finish wraps around the outer shell of the unit while the face is a matte black panel. The face is home to an OLED screen, a dome-style tweeter and a circular control panel. The navigational controls are slightly awkward to use at first; we found the main problem to be with the select arrows, which are in line with the volume controls. It takes some time to learn to avoid hitting the volume controls instead of select controls and vice versa.
The digital radio function worked perfectly. Reception was crystal clear and scrolling through station options was straightforward and easy. FM radio is also available and it uses an old-style telescopic aerial.
The audio of the Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Radio relies on the afore-mentioned front-facing tweeter and two end-facing mid-range speakers — that is, the left and right speakers don't face forward. The left speaker sits on the left end and the right speaker sits on the right end. This means you can't plonk the radio on a bookshelf or anywhere else where you might want to put objects either side of it. The overall sound quality from these speakers won’t set the world on fire, but playing with the equaliser can make a huge difference.
We tested a variety of different music genres off our iPod — from Scarface (hip hop) right through to Captain Beefheart. We found that hip hop sounded muddy and the mid-tones were overpowered, but a little tweaking of treble and bass helped make the audio clearer. In general the high frequencies didn’t sound as bright as they should have.
This isn’t to say that the audio quality of the Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Radio Deluxe is terrible. Given the features, price and size, we’d have to say that the audio quality is actually fair — and powerful. Its sound can easily fill a room, but at higher volumes there will be some distortion unless you tweak the bass and treble levels. The Kogan's sound quality isn't as good as some similar priced digital radios such as the Pure One Elite (which also costs $199), but it's definitely louder.
Overall, the features you get for the price are what make the Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Radio Deluxe DAB+ With iPhone Docking Station Deluxe a desirable product — and also a mouthful. For $199, not only do you get a digital radio, you also an iPod dock, Internet radio streaming via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and even a conventional FM radio. It's a good deal.
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