As DAB radios become more mainstream, so more become available. One of the latest is from Sony.

Coming in at £60, the Sony XDR-S50 is an entry-level model that challenges Pure Digital's Move and other basic players from companies like Intempo.

The smallish unit is compact and neatly designed. The front boasts a largish speaker and display, while the top a plethora of controlling buttons. Even the sides don't miss out with the all important station select and volume buttons on the right.

With built-in clock, but no an alarm, you won't be using the XDR-S50 to wake yourself up any time soon, however with a sleep options of 60, 45, 30 and 15 minutes you can at least use it to go to sleep.

And, if that bright two line orange backlit display is too bright? No fear, as with the press of a button on the front of the unit you can turn it off.

Other features of note on the DAB radio are the three presets for your favourite stations and an auto tune button that allows you to reset the channels if you want to use it in a different area after your first auto tuning experience.

When it comes to power, you can either choose to run it via the wall with the included power adapter or a very picnic suitable four AA batteries.

In use and we found the station select dial button a tad annoying, especially as you have to click the dial every time you want to change channel rather than just being able to hold it down and watch the channels scroll through. It might be fine if you are jumping from Radio 3 to Radio 4, but anything more than 5 stations and it's a frustration.

As for performance when it comes to sound, the Sony XDR-S50 is good, but it won't blow you away, this is after all a budget (ish) DAB radio.


The Sony XDR-S50 is a good DAB radio for a budget price, small and pocketable it's ideal for picnics or sports events (there is headphones jack on the side).

So what's the catch? Well there is no FM radio tuner to fall back on and we would expect more than three memory presets for the money.

In our tests we would say that it performed better for spoken word rather than music, but that's not to say that it shouldn't be over looked for music fans.