Review: August DAB Clock Radio Review (MB415)

This is a review of the August MB315B DAB Clock Radio. I was provided with the radio for free in exchange for this review and another on Amazon's website.

Visuals and Design:
The packaging leaves a lot to be desired as can be seen below. When I reviewed another August speaker product last year, I complained about how the packaging devalues the item. Here, I feel the same once again. It is certainly a huge improvement on what I saw last time, but it makes the product look cheap!



First of all, the radio comes in two colours - Black and White. Once unpacked, aesthetically, this is quite a simple but elegant design. There is nothing here that screams modern radio, and high-technology but this piece of equipment well fit well in the home and is packed full of features. The radio feels well-made for the price point it is in, and even comes with a lovely carry handle integrated into the design.



Inside the box you'll find the manual, a charger/power cable (not pictured), a battery and an aux cable. I was surprised to find a battery in there (it looks like one of those old mobile phone batteries from the nineties) as I didn't expect this radio to do anything other than plug in to the mains.

I was even more surprised when through testing I found I could get at least four hours of constant playback from a three-hour charge. This makes it perfect for taking into the garden on a nice summer's day without needing to worry about finding a plug.

On a short trip, as the battery is replaceable, you could take a few spares away with you and this could last you for a weekend away camping for example.

If you simply keep this plugged in all the time, you won't even notice the battery in there. If anything were to happen where the mains power disconnects, you'd still be able to listen to the radio in an emergency. This is an added benefit that not many devices can say that still have nowadays.


As far as the screen is concerned, it is clear and easy to read but I feel the menus could have been simplified. The buttons on the device are the kind that don't move when pressed which takes some getting used to, but they work fine. I would have positioned the buttons next to the screen, however, as you constantly have to look back and forth between the two to make sure you're pressing the radio button.

The fact that you can not only dim the screen but also turn it off completely, whilst keeping music playing is fantastic. Especially, if like me you hate hating extra light in your bedroom when trying to sleep. The time updates automatically as soon as you connect to a DAB station which is handy.


I am a fan of the volume knob which allows fine adjustment of audio levels, and also the way it is well integrated into the handle of the device.

Sound:
As far as sound levels are concerned, I managed to turn this up to the maximum which easily fills a room with no distortion. I was very impressed. Clarity was also very good and I heard things on certain songs that I hadn't heard before through my normal computer speakers.

Features:
The most basic feature of the radio is the ability to tune into FM radio, but the DAB capabilities are what modern radio listeners will be looking for. The quality is perfect and there is no degradation with DAB - you either get the channel, or you don't. I found that I never really needed to extend the antenna beyond the minimum to get a good signal - it was strong. I am sure living in the London suburbs certainly helps with that.


You can of course set an alarm to wake you up to the radio (with DAB or FM) which is relatively simple to do.

As well as the radio capabilities, the radio can act as a bluetooth speaker for your devices. I tried this with my iPhone, the speaker paired quickly and playback was perfect. Apparently, this also has NFC capabilities which means that instead of going into settings and configuring bluetooth, you can just tap two devices together and they will pair. My iPhone 6S does not offer NFC speaker connections so I could not test them.

Finally, there is even more connectivity with the USB and SD ports on the back giving you even more options, as well as the AUX in port which (with the supplied cable) you can play music into from any device with a standard headphone jack.


Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars. This is a solid choice, and probably the best radio I have seen in this price range. It is packed full of features, and is a good-looking appliance (at least from the front - the back looks terribly plasticky). I just wish the interface were a little bit better as it can be confusing at times!

The RRP for the product is £74.95, but at the moment you seem to be able to get it for £50 to £60 online, depending on where you get it from. You can purchase the radio directly from iDaffodil here, or from Amazon here.
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About Giovanni Costa

Radio journalist, newspaper editor, travel writier, tour guide and Disney Cast Member. These are just some of the things Gio has done in the past few years. He loves visiting new destintions, trying new food and wants you to come along for the ride!
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