Reviewed: Freeplay Devo wind-up DAB
6 Music always gets a lot of airplay in my house, but this week - thanks to the arrival of the Freeplay DEVO, right - Phil Jupitus, Craig Charles and Co have been on virtually permanent rotation. The DEVO, see, is the first and still the only DAB wind-up radio money can buy. And it's a mighty good one. The design's cute - it's about the size of four DVD cases stacked together - and the build is generally solid, though my one's aerial snapped rather easily. Sound quality's reasonable for a mono radio: it certainly holds its own against similar DABs from the likes of Pure and Intempo. The hand-cranking side of things is not so good. After a week's winding, I have biceps the size of a footballer's thighs. Although the handle is easy to wind, one minute of hard sweat only bagsies you about 5 minutes of DAB radio, which means you have to sit down and do the odd 10 minute crank if you want to listen without the battery regularly going dead. Or you can switch to FM - 1 hour per 1 minute crank - which defeats the techno advance. Or plug it into the mains, which kinda negates its eco prowess. Nonetheless, if you can handle - bad pun intended - the physical labour involved, this is a great little radio. It's £100 from John Lewis.
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This shows how much more energy the conversion to DAB radio is going to take from the national grid. Hopefully they will become more efficient in years to come...
Posted by: Andy | 1 Feb 2006 11:44:43
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Posted by: Andy Morgan | 11 Aug 2006 08:47:06
@Andy: I'm afraid DAB is inherently a more power-hungry technology than FM, because of the digital decoding involved. This is one of the reasons DAB is not a very good step forward!
Posted by: Dan | 7 Dec 2006 13:54:49
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