(Pocket-lint) - MagicBox are hoping to offer something different with their Touch DAB Radio, which, as the name suggests has a touch interface. But does this give you anything over the competition?
The MagicBox Touch is a fairly large radio, measuring 28 x 15.5 x 7.2cm, but part of this is to allow you to insert six C cell batteries in the back to go portable, however, there is no handle if you do take this route.
Housed in a black gloss casing, the touch interface gives the MagicBox a minimalist appearance, emphasised with a neat chrome line. It is a shame that the body moulding has a join running right around the sides, spoiling what could have been taken as a fetching design. As a result, it appears fairly average, but without any buttons.
The top quarter of the front of the radio is given over to the controls and a two-line display, which gives you the normal information options – station, time and date, scrolling information and so on. The touch panel is for the most part backlit with colour-du-jour blue, but not over-poweringly so.
You can find all the main controls ranged across the touch panel, including access to the presets and the volume. There are no dials or buttons, except on the back where you get an off button, as opposed to the standby on the front.
The buttons are all laid out in plenty of space so it is easy to hit the one you want and the response is good. Some touch panels can be a little imprecise, but in this instance it works without any problems. Unfortunately it will not respond to a gloved hand, so if you are thinking of using it whilst gardening or on a building site, you’ll have to remove your gloves.
The advantage of the touch panel is that it can be wiped clean to remove dirt and grime that might accumulate whilst in use in the kitchen or garden, and a cloth is supplied to polish the radio back up to a shine.
The bottom three-quarters of the radio are given over to the 3W stereo speakers, which provide a rich balanced sound. The radio copes fairly well with volume, although at maximum there is a lot of distortion to the sound – about 85% of maximum seems to be an acceptable compromise between volume and quality.
There are also a range of connection options – a 3.5mm input for any other music device, your MP3 player of CD player, for example, as well as left and right aux out, so you could hook this up to a hi-fi system to take advance of the DAB tuner. You’ll also find a 3.5mm headphone socket on the side.
Overall there is little to fault with the MagicBox Touch DAB Radio – it does exactly what it sets out to do and delivers performance comparable to other DAB radios we’ve seen here on Pocket-lint. It is a shame that a little more emphasis was not put into design, because this would have given this radio a little more edge.
However, the touch interface isn’t a gimmick, it works without a hitch. It is worth considering that if you work wearing gloves, then this radio won’t respond to your delicate touch, so this is probably more at home in your moderns kitchen, perched on your granite worktops.