If you thought Dualit’s first DAB radio, the Kitchen, closely resembled the company’s classic toaster design, you’ll find it even harder to resist stuffing its latest wireless with mighty white. The FM and digital DAB Lite’s silhouette is almost the spit of its famous bread browner.
We’re not sure this makes it the face for radio but at least, as the Lite moniker suggests, it’s less strain on the wallet – its asking price is half that of the Kitchen. Now all that remains to be seen is what sacrifices have been made to cut costs.
The most obvious difference is the construction. While the Kitchen radio came encased in Dualit’s gleaming metal finish, the DAB Lite is plastic fantastic.
Admittedly, the glossy plastic is moulded and solid enough, but after tasting the hefty cast iron casing it feels like a massive compromise. Similarly, the buttons and knobs also feel a tad tacky and not in keeping with Dualit’s reassuring quality.
But dodgy kitchen appliance design and plastic construction aside, the DAB Lite still delivers a feisty DAB/FM audio performance from its mono 3in, six-watt speaker. Like its older Kitchen brother, there’s plenty of driving bass boom and although it’s inclined to be over obtrusive and muddy at times, it’s not enough to spoil your listening enjoyment.
Strong DAB and FM signal
Sitting on your worktop, the DAB Lite’s integrated receiver finds its digital signal quick smart and didn’t waiver once in an area with a strong signal. Similarly, the FM reception also proved robust with only a soupcon of background hiss.
Its entry-level status means radio mods are kept to a basic level. This includes a tidy white-on-blue LCD display for station info and a handful of alarm settings such as snooze sleep and egg timer options. Strangely, its ample 20 presets (ten DAB and ten FM) is double the Kitchen’s quota so aren’t to be sniffed at.
But even taking its more affordable status into account, we still feel a tad underwhelmed with the DAB Lite. While the Kitchen model was a welcome gimmick, this just blends in with the crowd of solid but unremarkable home radios.
Dualit DAB Lite radio
A capable and affordable digital radio, but lacks the star quality of its metal sibling