The last time we came across Lava was to take a look at their portable speaker, the BrightSound. This time round they’ve sent us one tiny FM radios to check out.

The product is sleek, standing at just over 5″ making it truly portable. The aesthetic of the body is clean, with the fascia split into two sections. The top, which is cream sort of colour houses the front-facing screen which when in standby displays the time, and when switched on, shows you the radio frequency you’re tuned into. The bottom half is a metal mesh that houses the speaker inside. They come in a variety of colours: Blue, Cream, Purple and Teal.

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On top you will find an array of buttons which include power, change radio station and volume up and down. The buttons are enlarged so you can feel the function if you can’t see the written description in a low lit room. The carry handle is also placed here incase you need to transport it anywhere.

Sound wise, when we managed to get a signal to the device sounded very warm. High frequencies here have seemed to be ignored somewhat is favour for a more bassier sound. FM signal audio isn’t the best quality anyway so this may have been a conscious decision by Lava to try to improve the sound. Depending on genre of course, this works well. If you like Kiss FM you’re in luck. If you’re more of a Classic FM listener, then I would avoid this radio.

Turning the radio up to full volume is a big no. Distortion sets in quite quickly and you’ll be gunning for the decrease volume button in no time. But, this is a portable radio don’t forget. It hasn’t been designed for higher volumes.

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You have a choice on whether to power the Lava FM Radio on AA batteries or an AC adapter for a wall socket. Bear in mind that it needs four AA batteries to power that way. This will however give you several hours of listening. If you’re by a power socket, I recommend plugging it in, to save your wallets from constant battery changing.

The Lava FM Radio looks great and has a passable sound at low to mid volumes. If you need something louder, then maybe some sort of Hi-Fi system is for you. For your every day background kitchen listening, there is no reason why the Lava FM Radio won’t fit. go portable with the simple addition of 4 x AA batteries.

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Stef Murphy

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