Saturday 7 July 2018

Sony XDR-V1BTD Portable DAB/DAB+ Clock Radio

There are many bedside clock/radio units out there. Some decidedly basic and 1980's style, many modern and slick, loads top-end and expensive, fantastic quality sound, cheap and nasty tinny output - but very few are fully functional, have great sound, are a good portable size and yet also have a built-in battery for taking OffGrid. That kind of thing is usually reserved for simpler Bluetooth speakers.

This Sony unit, which I've now had for some time and have been using whilst camping and back at base, ticks most of the boxes that I need for a clock/radio/DAB/Bluetooth/FM/Audio-In and crucially has a lithium-Ion battery which is good for 25 hours of Bluetooth use (16 hours for other uses) depending on volume and use of LCD light of course. A remote control would have been icing on the cake, but sadly not with this one. I guess it's not really an issue, as you ain't going to be far away from it.

It's perfect for bedside use at about 6" x 4" x 4" and stands like a small tower in orientation. It's only 860g so decidedly portable when needed for the BBQ in the garden/on the campsite. The top 40% of the unit has a wood-effect finish whilst the bottom 60% is metal grille, right the way round. All the controls are on the top and LCD status panel on the front. The status panel has three levels of brightness to choose from, though sadly no auto (when powered). When the power is plugged in, the panel stays lit at the level set but when it's running on battery, turns off after 30 seconds of no input.

Round the back there's a 3.5mm Audio-In socket and headphones-out too. Sadly there's no Bluetooth-send with this unit, for that you'll need a dongle for that socket. There's a telescopic aerial tucked away for when needed and the reception in the areas I've tested is superb. But, of course, that'll depend where you are. There's an auto-tune auto-scan function of course, station pre-set buttons (five for DAB, five for FM), sleep-timer, on-timer and clock/alarm/radio settings as you'd expect. Selection of settings is executed by a range of buttons and a scroll-wheel with easy-access Volume up and down via dedicated buttons. It boasts DAB+ too but doesn't show up here as the UK has very limited access to this service.

The sound that comes from the two 45mm stereo drivers is surprisingly spacious and will fill a large bedroom or lounge happily, with controls available for Treble and Bass. The bluetooth works as you'd expect and even has NFC for quick pairing with phones and other devices and sending your sounds straight into the unit. It's a crackingly attractive little device, portable (to a degree) with the usual Sony style for £109 from AmazonUK just now, with the killer feature being that built-in, rechargeable battery. Recommended highly.

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