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ViewQuest DAB Radio Review: Retro chic for your iPhone

A DAB radio with Lightning dock is a welcome blast from the past


Compatibility • iPhone 4S and above • iPod nano • iPod touch

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Price: £99.00/$167.93

You know us at iCreate, we love our shiny black and white surfaces and futuristic chrome unibodies. However, an emerging trend in design is a love of all things vintage. The View Quest Retro DAB+ Radio finds a stylish middle-ground: providing a docking station and speakers for your next-gen iPhone or iPod in a finely crafted, old-school chassis.

This 70s-inspired creation is made with real wood and wrapped in a high-quality leatherette, which comes in a variety of colours from classic browns and greens to vivid yellows, reds and blues that work nicely with the iPhone 5c. If you’re willing to pay £30 extra, there are also some more elaborate patterns, including polkadot and love hearts.

As well as being able to listen to the music on your device while you charge it, the Retro radio can pick up DAB digital radio or, if you don’t have coverage, it can be switched to good ol’ FM. Up to ten stations can be preset for easy listening. The sound quality in either mode is excellent, with two 10W speakers providing a solid mid-range sound, though upper levels distort.

The Retro can be used at home or on the go with a mains adapter and 15 hours of battery life, but using the dock while running off the battery is a guaranteed way to burn through those chunky C size powercells it requires. There is also what View Quest calls a ‘lifestyle alarm,’ which is a nice way of saying it has two alarms for ‘him and her’ or for weekdays and the weekend.

As well as offering the Retro with both 30-pin and Lightning connectors, so it will work with both the iPhone 5s and older models, it has a 3.5mm auxiliary input in the rear to connect any other audio device.

The LED screen, which displays what channel the radio is tuned to and when your iPod is connected, lets the otherwise quality design down. It is out of step with the Retina display touchscreen of your iDevice or the knob-controlled dial of a classic wireless, and just looks cheap. The same could be said for the front panel of the radio, which is made of plastic, but this is in-keeping with the 70s design.

The design is going to be hit or miss for many, however for the most part we found it a refreshing, finely crafted blast from the past.

Buy now?

Pros For the most part, a high- quality build with good sound

Cons LED display and plastic front ruin the overall vintage effect

Orange 4 Stars