I’m not one to listen to the radio other than when I’m in the car but then I’m very limited to local FM radio stations or the bigger national stations like BBC Radio 1. Apparently DAB Radio is the future of radio broadcasts so we grabbed a hold of the View Quest Retro Radio so I’m going to share my thoughts on this great looking bit of tech!
When first getting hands on the View Quest Retro Radio you’ll notice that it’s covered with a soft-touch faux-leather exterior which obviously gives it its ‘retro’ look, this faux-leather is easy to clean and comes in a handful of colours to suit your interior decor. As for quality it does feel very nice, but it also feels very delicate and could scuff easily if dropped or knocked, but with it being a fairly bulky table-top radio I doubt you’ll be throwing it around your living room that often.
The overall build quality is great, it has a nice bit of weight to it and it everything fits in its place quite nicely which is perfect for storage.
The View Quest Retro Radio has three main functions, it’s a DAB and FM Radio, its also an iPhone and iPod dock complete with a pop-out lightning connector on the front, and finally it accepts an AUX cable so you can play your non-lightening devices though the radio. The little shelf is solid and comfortably holds your iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPhone without risk of your high value tech accidentally falling off.
The Radio itself has a few functions aside from the different modes such as the ability to set a snooze timer for those that like to listen to music as they sleep, and the ability to choose what’s displayed when listening to the DAB radio such as the time, date, volume and radio band.
As for sound, this is where the Retro Radio really shines. The speakers in the radio pack a punch, even on the lowest volume the device pumps out a fairly decent and equalised sound. Overall is slightly higher on the bass side of things, but for me that’s perfect. Unfortunately there’s no way to chance the equalisation via the radio itself, but if you’re using an AUX cable you can of course change things up on your device.
In terms of usability the View Quest Retro Radio is pretty much a plug-in-and-play experience. Turn on the radio and you’re welcomed with a little ‘View Quest’ on the radio’s screen. You’re then immediately introduced to the DAB radio mode which has one or two stations already preset. If you’re looking to discover more DAB stations all you need to do is press the little globe button and it’ll start searching, providing you have the aerial up, of course.
This is where the View Quest Retro Radio hits a bump in the road. Though it’s a DAB Digital Radio it still suffers with the age-old problem of having terrible signal depending on where you place the radio and point the aerial, it’s not a problem if you’re storing the radio in a fairly open room with a lot of free space, but if you’re adding it to an already cramped office, you may be limited to what stations you’ll receive.
Another little pothole in the road is the iPod connectivity. It seems to be a little temperamental at times thinking that the iPod or iPhone isn’t plugged in, even though the music is coming through the device, this does mean that it takes a little jiggling for the radio to recognise that it has something connected to it. Personally I don’t see this as much of a problem or inconvenience, but it can be a little frustrating. One good point is that it also charges your device when using it which is a huge plus!
Overall I commented on how I felt that the View Quest Retro Radio was built well, and it certainly is, there’s just one thing that lets this radio down and leads me to question it’s £79 price point. The buttons on the device are a little plasticy and give back a hollow “clack” when pressed. This may just be me being a fussy bugger, but for something close to the £100 mark I expected something that not only felt great as a whole, but the finer details were great too.
Do I think the View Quest Retro Radio is worth the £79 price tag? It entirely depends on how often you think you’d use it and whether the few minor points I mentioned were something that would bother you, but for me it’s not something I’d personally purchase.
If you’re looking to grab the View Quest Retro Radio yourself, you can head to the Viking page here.
The View Quest Retro Radio was supplied to us for review by Viking.co.uk, all thoughts on the device are my own.