Recently, I decided to buy an emergency radio receiver that would double as a radio for the kitchen. On of the main “must have” features for me is of course to be battery driven, so it will still work should power fail. There is a wide choice of radios for this purpose but the more I looked, the more I noticed that I would like to have a number of features beyond just a battery driven radio.
One of the most important features I wanted was a standard USB connector for power. Most cheap radios come with a more or less ugly power supply with a round plug, but I definitely didn’t want to have yet another power supply. I already have so many USB power supplies at home already, so I wanted to use one of those.
Another advantage of a USB power supply: I can connect the radio to a USB battery, which I also use to charge other devices such as my mobile phones and notebooks. In my case, I didn’t want to use it for charging purposes but to power the radio, as the next power socket is too far away from the place I wanted to put the radio in the kitchen. It turned out that a small USB battery can power the radio for 8 hours and can then be recharged, again with a USB power supply. Perfect!
And one more feature I wanted to have is that the radio wouldn’t only do FM, but also DAB+, and, if at all possible, also support Bluetooth, so I could stream from my smartphone. It’s hard to find in combination with a USB power supply, but they do exist.
And finally, the radio must not take ages to boot before a station is received. I had an online radio in the kitchen in the past and we threw it out again, because it would take ages before it connected to Wi-Fi and started streaming radio stations. Fortunately, since we are not streaming music now (except over Bluetooth) but listen to DAB+ radio stations with the device, it takes around 5 seconds after power on before it starts playing. That’s not quite as fast as that old analog transistor radio after power on, but still quite all right.
So here we go, my requirements for an emergency radio that also serves as an everyday kitchen entertainment system are the capability to be battery driven, with a fast startup time, FM, DAB+ and optionally Bluetooth support and power over USB. It’s not easy to find, but they do exist!