Kmart Home & Co DAB+ Digital Radio Review
$24 rarely means you can buy a decent radio. Kmart is Australia's version of America's Walmart, a big national chain with trendy goods at discount prices.
This humble radio packs a big punch for it's price and far exceeded my expectations for a discount DAB+ radio.
I have reviewed other cheap DAB+ radios and found build quality issues, easily damaged plastics and screens and really poor quality sounding audio. This Blaupunkt I purchased for $48 on Catch Of The Day's black Friday sale was one of the worst sounding and fragile radios I have ever purchased!
This Kmart radio comes with an AC adapter but I generally run it on 3 alkaline AA's rendering approx 10-12 hours of listening time. That may not seem like much, however DAB+ radios chew through more battery power than traditional analogue radios do due to the additional decoding power required on DAB+. Generally I have to change the batteries each month as I listen to around 3 hours per week. The AC adapter does not charge batteries so rechargeable batteries would have to be taken out to charge.
How does the radio perform? Really well. The buttons on the top are well made, easy to press and navigate. It has RDS on FM with all the major stations coming in clearly. The community stations that are weaker however don't get received well and highlight that this radio isn't very sensitive on FM. That doesn't matter to me as I purchased this radio to work on DAB+ and it does that fine. It does have one little quirk. The screen can only be seen when you look at it on an angle, but directly or in direct sunlight the display will be near impossible to see. The screen however is a really nice size and displays scrolling text clearly. On DAB+ this radio decodes well with no additional decoding noises coming through the speaker.
In fact this is one of few DAB+ radios I have that sounds really good. The speaker is loud and very clear and can easily fill a room full of music or talk. The build quality is excellent and the plastic is quite hard, I've taken this radio outside, its been in the rain, in the dirt and covered in grass clippings and has only a few minor scratches to its name. If you can look past the few minor quirks this is an easy to operate simple to use portable DAB+ radio at a decent portable size.
In a nutshell: Cheap and cheerful. A quality-built radio that performs well at a rock-bottom price.
- Quality build
- Very cheap price
- Battery life
- Great speaker, very loud clear audio
- Screen can be very hard to see at different angles
- Not very sensitive on FM
Retail price: $24 AU