Top 5 digital radios of 2009

Pure and OXX Digital compete for top spot

The OXX Digital Classic DAB+'s combination of value and features won it top place for 2009.

The OXX Digital Classic DAB+'s combination of value and features won it top place for 2009.

Digital radio launched around Australia in 2009, although it's still restricted to metropolitan areas. We've rounded up the best digital radios we've tested so far. Many of then don't merely receive digital radio, though — our top awards go to all-round performers.

Winner: OXX Digital Classic DAB+

It was a very close call between the OXX Digital Classic DAB+ and the Pure EVOKE Flow for top digital radio of the year. In the end we gritted our teeth and chose the OXX unit, for its combination of all-round functionality and a very reasonable price tag. It's well built and OXX has continued to support the unit with bug-fixing firmware updates.

What's Hot: Great design, useful four-line display, decent speaker, simple interface

The Final Word: OXX's Classic DAB+ digital radio is one of the most well-rounded digital radios we've tested. It can receive digital and FM radio frequencies, play podcasts, stream music from your PC and work with an external audio input. These features, the great design and a good screen mean we wholeheartedly recommend it.

Runner Up: Pure EVOKE Flow

Let's just reiterate that it was a very close call between the OXX Digital Classic DAB+ and Pure's brilliant EVOKE Flow. The EVOKE Flow is aimed at a different segment of radio listener, with great build quality and an exceptional OLED screen. Listening to the radio on this unit is an exciting experience. If price is no barrier, we don't hesitate to recommend the EVOKE Flow.

What's Hot: Wireless music streaming, great interface and screen, stylish design

The Final Word: The Pure EVOKE Flow is a digital radio that adds extra multimedia features and integrated Wi-Fi networking to a well-designed piece of hardware. It’s expensive, but you get a stylish device for your dollar.

Highly Commended: OXX Digital Vantage

Digital radios have been expensive from the get-go, with very few sets available for under $200. The Vantage is one digital radio that breaks the trend — you can find it for less than $150 in major retail stores. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come.

What's Hot: Good reception, light, comes with a 12-month warranty (or 24 months if online registration is completed)

The Final Word: We are very impressed with the Vantage: it has great features, it's aesthetically pleasing and, for a digital radio, it's cheap!

Highly Commended: Kogan Digital Radio with Wi-Fi and iPod Dock

The Kogan Digital Radio with Wi-Fi and iPod Dock may be a mouthful, but it packs in an equally large range of features for a low price. It's not a particularly polished system but if you're looking for a cheap all-rounder (and let's face it, who isn't) this is one to seriously consider.

What's Hot: Plenty of multimedia features, reasonable USB and iPod support

The Final Word: The Kogan Digital Radio with Wi-Fi and iPod Dock is a product that's chock-full of features. If you're going to use all of these on a daily basis we'd recommend it, but if you're looking for a stylish tabletop radio there are better choices on the market.

Special Mention: Pure Sensia

We haven't actually reviewed the Pure Sensia, but we can tell it's an extremely important contribution to the digital radio market. With a 5.7in colour touch screen it's one of the first units to support future digital radio features such as picture streaming and Web browsing.

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Campbell Simpson

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