- Great wood shell and gives off a nice 1950s vibe from a distance
- Works well for a background radio while working or cooking
- Faux metal details look cheap and made from plastic
- Sound at louder volumes and on Bluetooth is poor
It’s quite rare now that you see any kind of retro radio come out of a manufacturers factories, but it is pretty refreshing when they do. I like that kind of style, which drew me to the Groov-e Encore DAB/FM radio, but upon closer inspection, I found it doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by Roberts or even Pure.
But you have to keep in mind the price. The Groov-e Encore DAB radio comes in at £69.99 on the Groov-e website so we cannot expect the quality of Pure or Roberts as they cost so much more. But from a distance, things look really aesthetically pleasing here.
If you do get close though, you will start to notice where Groov-e has saved money. The bits that are supposed to look metal are actually made from plastic with a metallic finish. However its saving grace is the shell being made from wood rather than a plastic coating. It gives it a fresh finish.
The whole thing looks very symmetrical, which is the reason this gives off such a 1950s vibe. The fabric which spans the top half is also styled to fit that retro styling. There are two control knobs at either end, one for volume and the other to peruse the menu. Each button which again spans across the front are for various functions like power, your alarm settings and also which output you want to use being DAB, FM or Bluetooth.
The screen itself is small, yet clear. There is a brightness setting but if this is going to be sitting on a bedside table, there’s no chance of it interrupting sleep on its brightest setting, unless you are an extremely light sleeper.
The nice features that are included are things like a sleep timer so your radio switches off when you’re falling asleep, as well as the option to play a radio station – DAB or FM – or a buzzing sound for your alarm. I favour the radio, and have it come through really loud so I can wake up with a jump scare.
Functionality here is key, and I never once felt like the menu systems were complicated, or even setting an alarm which I know can be a pain sometimes was bothersome. Setup was fairly simple, with the DAB radio auto-finding all of the available stations in my location.
Sound quality here though – and this is probably the Groov-e Encore’s biggest downfall – is really poor. There are far superior speakers out there for sub-£100. However, it’s not entirely made for that. At low to medium volumes, it’s not bad, but you in no way can push this speaker towards the louder side due to distortion the speakers throw out. Using Bluetooth to play some tracks from a mobile phone is very scratchy, and almost feels like signal is being interrupted.
I don’t think the Groov-e Encore is meant to be used for this though. After all, it is a radio. And when playing DAB, it was okay. It sounds a lot stronger than listening to an FM signal, and the added bass from its size makes even the more talkative radio shows pleasant to listen to. Think of this as a bedside quiet chill out radio, or even one for the kitchen for some low background ambiance. Plus you have to remember, if you are wanting a DAB radio with a more significant sound, like the Goodmans Heritage 2, then it’s going to cost you a hell of a lot more. For more info though, you can check out the Groov-e website.