Oono’s MiniDAB 01 promises to be the Holy Grail of pocket radios: a super-compact DAB that happens to sport a workable MP3 player. And it does a whole lot more besides – time for a list:
- DAB and FM reception
- 128MB built-in memory
- MP3 and WMA playback
- SD card slot supporting up to 2GB of extra memory
- Recording from DAB, FM, line-in jack and voice via built-in or included external microphone
- Built-in speaker. It’s a bit small and tinny, but hey
The main function the MiniDAB 01 lacks is an electronic program guide (EPG). But then again, so does every other pocket DAB, so we don’t begrudge Oono any. Also, it’s still possible to schedule recordings using the timer function.
Remarkably, it packs a rechargeable battery (good for a claimed eight hours of DAB and 22 hours of FM or MP3) into a body that’s significantly smaller (and lighter) than that of Pure’s PocketDAB 2000. All this, and it’s available in iPod-esque glossy black or white. Clever chap.
But is Oono trying to blind us with functionality? Thankfully, no. With a decent DAB signal – something surprisingly difficult to find in the wilds of Teddington – the MiniDAB 01 sounds excellent. It’s crisp and detailed, throttling radio stations for every bit of data they’re capable of outputting. It’s no slouch with MP3 either (not quite iPod-standard, but still very good), and FM performance is perfectly serviceable.
Not everything’s so rosy – the interface is a bit of an effort to get to grips with (though probably fine after you’ve lived with it a while), and the supplied headphones are fairly useless. Substitute them for a £20 pair of Sennheiser MX500s and you’re laughing. Also, it would have been nice to see the headphone socket placed at the top of the MiniDAB 01 rather than the side, as it decreases the pocket-friendliness of the design.
All in all, we’re seriously impressed. Most users won’t be particularly interested in some of the Oono’s more esoteric features, but as a DAB radio and MP3 player, it’s top-notch. Oono, we salute you.