The radio is one of the longest-standing bits of home technology going. Through world wars, technological revolutions, the arrival and rise of the internet and the age of the smartphone, it's never lost relevance and never stopped being useful to people around the world.
That said, the radios you can use now are, obviously, rather different to the ones your grandparents might have used decades ago. A perfect example is supplied by Sharp's newest Internet Radio, the DR-1470 Pro, which takes many of the brilliant features of a wireless speaker but also brings the great functionality of a radio.
It's the perfect device for a time when we're all keen to keep abreast of the news and goings-on around the world. In fact, we'll run you through some of the reasons you might want to consider picking one up - because there are plenty to look at!
Gorgeous, mature design
This is a radio that isn't hiding its identity - it has the look and feel of a classic device, updated for the modern world. A wraparound wooden finish with a brushed texture is classy and not at all flashy, while the main screen is flanked by function buttons to let you quickly and easily control the speaker. Its actual speaker units are hidden behind a subtle, premium metal grille.
Plus, on top of the box, you've got something we always want on any speaker, but especially a radio - a dial, perfect for volume control and skipping through the stations to find your desired soundwaves. It's a lovely little touch that speaks to the heritage behind a radio like this.
A superb radio
Of course, since you're picking up a speaker that is specifically a radio, you'll want to know how it works on that front. DAB+ is obviously on board, meaning you'll have access to all the latest national stations, receive a better signal and in higher quality (vs. standard DAB). The DR-I470 Pro can also connect to your Wi-Fi and stream tens of thousands of Internet Radio stations from around the world. Plus, you can save up to 60 of those in the radio's memory, to make sure you can access them quickly.
A foldaway aerial on the back of the unit means that you can also get hold of FM stations. It's about as comprehensive package as you could ask for, but if that wasn't enough it's also got a great companion app. If you prefer to use your phone to find stations and control the radio, that's entirely up to you, with a traditional remote control also present and correct.
Wireless speaker features
This being 2020, though, you don't just have to be satisfied with whatever you can find through the radio. The DB-1470 Pro also has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity on board, meaning that playing music through your smartphone is extremely easy, while another ace up its sleeve comes in the form of Spotify Connect, which any music enthusiast knows is a superb feature.
That means that it can also act as a great little speaker for parties or gatherings, or could lull you to sleep of an evening with the sound of the spoken word through the radio, or your favourite soothing tracks - with a Spotify Premium account, it can connect directly to Spotify to stream your playlists and albums. The audio world is your oyster.
When you're looking into picking up a speaker, whether it's a radio or not, sound quality is clearly going to be one of your top concerns, and Sharp knows that full well. With two powerful speakers to play with, you can expect full, crisp sound from the D-1470 Pro, with great stereo playback. The tone of the audio is really rich and warm, filling and resonating around the room nicely.
Plus, you'll also get some other great features, like alarm functionality with either buzzers or radio sound, and a snooze feature. That nice 2.4-inch screen, meanwhile, can also display handy information, whether it's the time, the weather or your alarms, to make sure that you can get useful info at a glance.
In short, this is a delightful package for one speaker to boast and makes for a compelling option if you're on the lookout for a new radio. You can buy the Sharp DR-1470 Pro radio now, if it sounds like it could be the one for you.