Tivoli Audio SongBook portable radio
Tivoli Audio SongBook radio: A portable AM/FM radio with pleasant sound for its small size
- Clear sound quality with warm mid-range, great AM/FM radio reception
- Far too expensive for a simple AM/FM radio -- it needs to include DAB+ at the very least
Tivoli Audio's SongBook portable radio is aimed at professional travellers. It has a great quality AM/FM tuner and excellent sound quality for its compact size, but it lacks DAB or DAB+ digital radio and is very expensive. It's a pretty product that should fit nicely in a jetsetting executive's briefcase.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The Tivoli Audio SongBook is a premium radio — it has great sound given its size, it's well built and we think it's attractive — but it comes with a seriously premium price tag. At $399 it's not going to be a product you pick up in the department store when your old radio breaks, but we can see it being taken out of the box for an executive's picnic trip.
Tivoli Audio SongBook: Design and construction
The SongBook is, for a transistor radio, quite tall but reasonably slim — it is roughly the same size as a thick paperback. Its telescopic aerial slots into the body at the top, and all the buttons on the front are clearly labelled. You've got five presets for AM stations and five FM ones, and the radio has clock and alarm functions. If you don't mind its size (it will easily fit into a day-pack or briefcase), it would be a nice hotel-room companion on a domestic or international trip.
The Tivoli Audio SongBook is well constructed, with a high quality glossy painted finish on its fascia. It feels dense and not at all cheap — although tipping the scales at 810g with batteries loaded it might be a bit heavy for lightweight jet-setters. It's water-resistant, with the side-mounted audio input, headphone jack and DC power socket protected by rubber plugs, although Tivoli doesn't go so far as to suggest it's waterproof. It's important to note that the Tivoli Audio SongBook does not have DAB+ digital radio compatibility — it's just a good ol' analog radio, albeit one with a high price tag.
Tivoli Audio SongBook: Features and sound quality
Like with the Tivoli Audio Model One, the SongBook extracts excellent audio from a small speaker — we measure it at around 2.5in, but it has simultaneously warm mid-range and very clear treble. This pleasantly musical sound persists from low volumes all the way to moderately loud — only at maximum volume, which is surprisingly loud, does the SongBook's sound quality start to become slightly unhinged and harsh. Unless you're listening in a large room, or outdoors more than a couple of metres away from the radio, you won't need to hit maximum volume. For almost all users the Tivoli Audio SongBook will have more than adequate sound quality — it's possibly the best we've heard from a portable radio.
As well as tuning in (with the help of the digital tuner which lets you hit station frequencies spot-on, rather than an analog dial) to AM and FM radio, the Tivoli Audio SongBook has an auxiliary input port on the side to which you can connect any 3.5mm-compatible device. We used an Apple iPhone 4 for most of our testing, but you could also hook up an MP3 player or portable media player — the SongBook acts as a useful portable speaker to boost your music player's sound output, even if it is a bit bulky for this purpose.
Tivoli Audio SongBook: Conclusion
The price is what holds the Tivoli Audio SongBook back from being an easy recommendation. If it were $100 or $150 cheaper we'd have no hesitations in recommending it to mainstream buyers, thanks to its impressive sound quality. At $399, it's restricted to buyers with deep pockets.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Google quietly kills its Nexus Player as Chromecast overshadows Android TV
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCEnvironment Manager - POSVIC
- CCSystems Monitoring Specialist - Foglight focusNSW
- CCServiceNow DeveloperVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 160704/AP/601Asia
- CCContract Junior Programmer (HTML/JAVA/MySQL) 160613/JP/921Asia
- CCInside Sales Specialist / Customer Service - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCProgrammer (IT Security/Website Administration) 160711/P/565Asia
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCContract IT Assistant (IT Security/IT Audit) 160621/ITA/361Asia
- FTIT Senior Business Analyst (12M)NSW
- CCSystems Engineer | Defence intelligence projects | NV2 clearanceACT
- CCTibco DeveloperWA
- CCArchitect (AWS)NSW
- CCSAP Business Analyst - FinanceNSW
- CCMicrosoft .NET Developer (Server and Applications)SA
- CCSecurity Engineer - SUMO focusNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160616/AP/185Asia
- CCWindows 2003-2012 R2 Active Directory Consultant/ManagerNSW
- CC.net DeveloperACT
- CCBusiness Analyst- Process Mapping Specialist- Gov / Bank backgdNSW
- CCApplication Support Analyst and Database AdministratorVIC
- CCIT Change Coordinator / AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- FTProcurement SpecialistNSW
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA / SQL) 160621/JP/224Asia