Ricability has been working with Which? our sister charity during 2011, to test the ease of use of digital radios for people with poor sight or dexterity difficulty, such as arthritis. See Recommended Radios for the ones that scored best.
For further performance information on these radios and test reports on a wider range of DAB radios see the Which? website (subscription fees apply).
We also tested digital radios in 2009 with funding from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Many of these radios are still available and are included in this report. All prices were updated in August 2011.
How to use this guide
- For the radios that did best in all our tests, see Recommended Radios.
- For our report on each radio tested see Summary test reports and Detailed test reports.
- To find out more about going digital, see Digital vs analogue.
- One important difference, particularly if you are blind, is the ways digital radios are tuned see Tuning for more on this.
- If you are considering other radios, see our What to look for guides. There's also a Checklist to take to the shops.
What is digital radio?
Radio is now broadcast in a variety of ways. Analogue is the system used since the 1920s, with a significant quality boost in the 1960s when FM radio was introduced. Digital Audio Broadcast, or DAB for short, was introduced in the 1990s. Digital broadcasting is more efficient and takes up less space on the frequency band, allowing more stations to be broadcast. You can also listen to digital stations on your TV and the internet see Alternative ways to get digital radio.
Most traditional stations are broadcast in both analogue and digital, but there are lots of digital stations you can't get on analogue, and some local analogue stations that have not gone digital.
After you have read this report, please answer two simple questions about it. Click questionnaire - it opens in a new window.
Next page: Digital vs analogue