Most DAB radios at this sort of money – and there’s no shortage of choice – like to pile on the functions. Every manufacturer frets that its radio’s spec is underdeveloped. All except Vita. Its R2 is too self-confident to get caught measuring its features.
If the list of things your DAB radio has to do starts with ‘sounds great’, finishes with ‘look great’ and has nothing in between, you want to see and hear the Vita R2 sharpish.
Just a radio, really
Other brands offer electronic programme guides, or memory card slots. Other brands offer pause-and-rewind ability, or multiple alarms.
The Vita R2 can’t even summon the competitive spirit to feature more than a cursory display. No, it’s too busy wallowing in its own lavish build quality and seductive sound to worry what everyone else is up to.
It’s not without useful features: there’s a 3.5mm headphone socket and a 3.5mm auxiliary input. That’s about it, though. The R2 fights on its desirability as an object and its sound as a radio, and in both respects it’s a winner.
The combination of wood veneer and aluminium looks and feels good. The rubberised controls on the top are strangely compelling to the touch, making the lack of station presets weirdly enjoyable – any excuse for another twirl of the controls.
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The longish chassis with a speaker at either end means the Vita puts out a wide, tall sound that’s much bigger than the box it’s coming from. There are two downward-firing bass reflex ports: low frequencies are deep and substantial but not over-rich or lazy.
The midrange is sweetly expressive, there’s no treble end hysteria and all the information fits together smoothly. It’ll go respectably loud if pushed, too.
In short, the R2 is a brilliantly-realised radio, and that’s all. More than enough, in other words.