How to choose the best digital radio for your living room

The John Lewis Cyber has a big sound – ideal for a living room

It can be difficult choosing a digital radio for the living room – most models are designed with the bedroom and kitchen in mind, and aren’t up to the job of filling a larger room. So what features should you be looking for when picking the right radio for the largest room in the house?

Is it loud enough?

This should be your first question when looking for a digital radio for your living room. Smaller models are all very well and good in the bedroom, but they don’t have the oomph to fill a large space. Immediately discount any models with just one speaker – they aren’t going to be up to the job.

Something like the John Lewis Cyber is a good candidate for the living room, thanks to its ability to kick out a nice big sound. Unusually, the speakers on the Cyber are located on the sides of the model, which illustrates the importance of positioning. In our testing, we found that a radio’s position in a room has a big impact on how it sounds.

Can I access internet radio?

The Pure Sensia 200D can stream music over your local network

Internet radios can offer a wide range of content, with thousands of stations to choose from. Whether you want to listen to 24 hour Jazz, or a local station in Wyoming, it’s probably available. However, if that isn’t your bag, internet radios also offer a great way to catch up on content you may have missed, through listen again and podcast services. These can be a boon, and offer more options to you when you’re relaxing in your living room.

Most internet models will also offer you the chance to listen to music on your home network. The Pure Sensia 200D allows you to stream music from your PC or Mac, or mobile/tablet, and listen to it through the radio. If you have a large collection of music on your PC in another room, having access to it all via the radio saves you traipsing from one room to another.

Read our review of the Pure Sensia 200D

Both the models mentioned also have remote controls, a feature worth considering for the living room.

Do I need to buy a new radio?

If you fancy listening to radio in your living room, but don’t necessarily want to pay for a brand new device, don’t forget that you can access a large number of digital radio stations through Freeview on your TV.

Read our reviews of the latest TV’s

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