The aptly named OXX Digital Pocket is the smallest and lightest I’ve reviewed by a longshot with a similar size/weight to a matchbox so it easily fits in the palm of your hand or pocket.
This is the only DAB+ digital radio sold in Australia which has the 3 key characteristics for a portable radio of: small size, a rubberised case that protects it from dirt or any splashes of rain and includes good quality earphones.
Introduction to Digital Radio
Digital Radio is an established broadcast platform in the UK, Asia and parts of Europe which replaces the old analog radio idea of AM/FM stations and tuning via specific frequencies like 106.5FM with a screen on the radio which lets you choose from all the digital radio stations available in your area by name.
Initially Digital Radio will be available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth with plans underway for the future extension of services to regional cities and rural areas at least 3-5 years away. There are currently digital radio trials being run in Canberra and Darwin.
Digital Radio will not replace current analog AM and FM radio stations for at least 10 years, instead it provides you with more choice in how to listen to your favourite existing radio stations at better quality as well as some new extra digital radio exclusive stations like ABC Grandstand Digital and NOVA Nation.
I’ve been interested in Digital Radio in Australia since it launched in mid-2009. In fact all 4 of my favourite radio stations (KOFFEE, ABC Grandstand Digital, SBS Chill and SBS 6 BBC World Service Relay) are exclusive DAB+ digital radio stations which aren’t broadcast on traditional Australian analog radio frequencies.
OXX Digital Pocket and A-Jays One earphones Review
The OXX Digital Pocket managed to tune all 41 digital radio stations currently available in Sydney once the included A-Jays One earphones were plugged in (it uses them as antennae). It rarely dropped the audio signal whether in my office, outside while walking or on the bus and achieved close to its stated 8 hour battery life.
We all know that earphones bundled with consumer electronics products are ultra-cheap and output horrible audio quality into your ears. Luckily the A-Jays One earphones included in the OXX Digital Pocket package provide decent audio quality (they’re sold separately for $49.95 RRP) and have a great design that uses fettuccine pasta-like cables which prevent tangling.
Although it has a small screen the OXX Digital Pocket manages to display the current station name, scrolling program information, battery and signal strength as well as whether you have it set to FM or DAB+ digital radio mode.
I strongly recommend using 2xAAA rechargables and keeping another 2 spare charged batteries with you when using the OXX Digital Pocket outdoors because digital radios use a lot more power than analog radios so the battery life is about 8 hours. Using lots of throwaway batteries every week would cost a lot of money and be bad for the environment.
Overall this is the perfect portable radio for listening to your favourite DAB+ radio stations like interrupted summer cricket coverage on ABC Grandstand Digital due to its size and simple menus. It’s amazing that OXX managed to output decent audio quality with 2xAAA batteries taking up most of the internal space inside the radio case.