Which? Best Buy radios
Which? Best Buy radios sound fantastic, are a breeze to use, and pick up all your favourite radio stations. These are our top scoring radios on test.
No one wants to invest in a radio that only works for a month or two. Or one which is essentially rendered useless because it distorts the sound so much. Our aim is to help you make the right the right purchasing choice, so you don’t end up out of pocket or with a useless product. Unlike other review sites, we go out and buy every digital radio we review, just as a normal customer would.
We test over 35 new radios every year and we look at everything from simple, budget models to pricey, feature-packed radios with the latest in streaming technology. We examine radios from big brands such as Pure, Roberts, Sony, John Lewis and VQ, as well as the cheaper supermarket own brands.
When a digital radio is awarded with a Best Buy distinction, you can be certain it’s a genuinely excellent device, whether it costs £30 or £300. Our thorough lab tests look at every aspect of each radio and include:
- Checking for ease of use by setting up every radio out of the box. We comment on each bit of the process – Was connecting the aerial straight forward? Are the menus clear and easy to navigate? Can you save your favourite stations? Are alarms easy to set?
- We enlist an expert listening panel of five people, each with an established background in audio and a well-tuned ear, who can tell you which radio will sound best in your home.
- We broadcast our own DAB signal in the lab, enabling us to check each the reception capabilities and aerial sensitivity of each radio – essential if you live in a rural area, or live in a property with thick walls.
We’ve been testing digital radios in our labs for more than 20 years so we know what separates the good from the bad. And we don’t just reveal the best – we also highlight the poor scoring Don’t Buy radios, so you don’t inadvertently end up with a dud that you’ll soon be keen to replace.
How we uncover the best digital radios
We test and measure nearly 200 aspects of each radio, from sound quality to setting alarms. This enables us to directly compare hundreds of different models and recommend the best radio for you.
- Sound quality: The most important aspect of testing radios, sound quality accounts for 45% of the total test score we award each radio.
- Ease of use: This is the second most critical assessment we make and it makes up 30% of the final mark out of 100.
- Features: Can this radio play analogue and digital radio? Can it stream music and can it will it work as a good bedside radio alarm clock? These considerations comprise 15% of the final score.
- Power use: It’s only 10% of the total, but we measure the energy consumption of radios to make sure that they do not cost you, and the earth, once they are plugged in.
We’ll never rate a product as a Best Buy if our data shows it’s from an unreliable brand – no matter how well it does in our lab assessments. Only brands that receive a three star or above reliability rating, based on our annual survey of radio owners, are eligible.