Product Review: Tevion DAB 319
Trying to convince someone to go for Digital Terrestrial televsion such as freeview is easy "53 extra televsion channels, uncluding E4 with new episodes of Lost, More 4 with the west wing and the latest documentries from the US and tons of others all for a one off payment of £30" Trying to convince someone to go for Digital Radio is far harder You may say
"roughly 38 radio channels per region, many of which are just digital versions of Medium Wave stations"
Reply "but havn't I got most of those on that freeview box you recommended"
DAB hasn't quite been the revolution that it was touted as 2 years ago and I was one of those people who really didn't see the point. But then after spending half an hour trying to tune in my favorite station only to find that the only way it would work is if I posed as if I were a greek statue with the radio upside down on my back I decided it was time to update.
No way was I going to spend alot, this was an impulse buy where the only requirements were basic tuning and preset abilities. The most popular DAB radio is the Pure EVOKE series, its an icon for DAB and has been receiving rave reviews for over two years, £89.99 is too much though. Ok lets look at the budget range, now one of the lowest price sets a £40 Matsui looks tempting lets give it a try, very flat and tinny are the words I would use. I know I was looking for somthing basic but I want to at least hear it. Also both units are mono, great.
Its not looking good, the top units are too pricey and the cheap ones are just that, cheap. It was whilst doing the weekly shop that I saw somthing that caught my eye A tevion DAB radio with DLS (A Dynamic text service) for £45, I checked out the Demo unit and was immediately impressed. The sound quality was fantastic tuning was a breeze and it had ten preset stations for both DAB and FM stations. Aesthetically it was very nice, with subtle styling which follows the typical DAB radio mode of light wood casing and aluminium touches.
The people who don't know who Tevion are treat it as a budget brand and consider it amongst the lower end of the quality spectrum. But I have quite alot of experince with there products both with Medion (The computer equipment division) and Tevion (Audio visual equipment) and have never been dissapointed, it is litterly a case of high quailty at lower prices.
Then and there I bought it. Being a DAB radio its a high enegy use device so it takes 6 1.5 size C batteries and comes with its own mains adapter (which is so big it has its own post code).
First thing you so is press scan, this will find all of the digital radio stations in your area, ensure that the aerial is up to get the highest amount of channels you can. The system of tuning is wonderful you cycle through the stations by name then press select, no worrying about MHz or fine tunning it goes straight to the channel, to preset the station hold one of the 5 present buttons for a few seconds or hold shift and the preset button to place it on the second tier of presets.
The display is bright a clear and has a very pleasent indigo backlight (which can't be turned off, not helpful when your trying to sleep), the station name is on the top line with the scrolling DLS text service, this text service may sound gimmicky but there's no more wondering "whats that song" or "Who's on next" the first text I read on the radio was "Nigel Martyns groin" I knew then, that I'd made the right choice. Some stations make better use of the service with Talksport having an extensive list of sports news updated every few hours. There are several display modes including time/date station type, kbps output etc.
Stereo on a DAB radio this price is very unusual, as is ported speakers and L/R Phono outputs (I love phono ). The sound quality is very good, its not mind blowing anyone expecting CD quality will be dissapointed but it is certainly better than FM output. It also has headphone output.
The overall build quality is excellent with nice big, responsive buttons that have a satisfying click to them. The unit although light feels solid and the handle is nice solid and secure.
One problem though the FM side of the radio is very average. Tuning is clumsy and slow and the quality of both the sound and reception is poor. BBC Radio WM is a great test bed (you can pick up this station on DAB) every region in the UK has there own local radio station for myself in the west midlands its Radio WM. This station is notoriously difficult to pick up despite the fact that as I write this I can see the transmitter mast out of the window. IT didn't pick it up, anywhere this was the case for quite a few stations such as galaxy and heart (both can be found on DAB). To test FM quality I used the ever relible Classic FM, picked it up no problem but the quality was decidedly average. A shame but I didn't by it to listen to FM so it wont prove too much of problem. Presets are performed in the same way.
If your not convinced by DAB then this possibly wont convince you but if your on the fence or looking for a DAB unit I would strongly reccommend this unit, just don't expect FM to blow you away.
A few years ago I wouldn't have been interested in DAB but its an exciting time at the moment, reception and coverage is better than 2 years ago and new stations are cropping up every month.
Talksport (superb DLS service)
Cap DSNY (if you like pop)
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