The Revo Axis FM/DAB/Internet Radio, with ability to stream Last.FM and local music content over the network, plus the ability to play you iPod and connect another device is only 125mm (H) x 220mm (W) x 150mm (D) in size. The small size makes it an ideal bed-side radio, but the big sound makes it ideal to place anywhere in your household.
The reason I wanted a new radio was because I was obsessed with the TuneIn radio application found on mobile phones and tablets. As I've always been a bit of a radio geek, it was important that my new radio had the ability to play the stations I wanted to hear, plus have superior sound quality. Thankfully, after a lot of research, I picked up this award winning radio, and thankfully it's an amazing piece of kit.
The Revo Axis is about the same size as a mains operated portable radio/alarm clock. It's a graphite black colour and is made of super-smooth plastic. As can be seen in the picture, the radio is aesthetically very pleasing; with the left of the radio being the speaker encased in a graphite black mesh, a volume knob near the centre and the main display the right.
The main display on the Revo Axis is a 3.5 inch colour TFT touch-screen display. At first start-up the display if very bright, in-fact bright enough to light up a room! The display shows the main menu, station features or station ID photos depending on which mode and which station you are tuned in to.
At the top of the device is an input which you can sit your iPod onto. The Revo comes with a few attachments for the various iPods/iPhones that are available out there, and once the right one is selected, the iPod fits nicely on top of the radio.
The touch screen is the main hub of the radio, and lets you control everything from it. Unlike modern phones, it is only single point touch responsive, but that’s not a problem as there really is no need to touch more than one point at a time.
Depending on the mode you are in will depend what you have shown onscreen in front of you. Thankfully, the software in the Revo Axis is very intuitive and without a second thought you’ll be moving around the menus swiftly, and finding what you need to do at just a couple of touches.
The volume is controlled by the knob at the centre of the radio, and the only thing missing from the radio is a display that shows how loud the volume is. There are no numbers, no graph, nothing. It’s an odd omission but one which you won’t even realise is missing once you start using the radio.
Stations are chosen by simply pressing on their names, and favourites are added etc in exactly the same way. The touch display is responsive, but you do need to actually press the display as opposed to just glancing over it as you do on modern mobile phones.
This is a radio that does everything. The first thing I wanted it for was internet radio, and there are just short of 18,000 radio stations available to stream on this radio. They are grouped in a way that makes them very easy to search for, or you can search by name if you know what they are called. If you want to search for blues stations, you can do this, if you want to search for stations in the USA, you can do this, there are so many options, and it is quite unbelievable. You can add unlimited favourites, and folders of favourites, so you’ll never get stuck on where to look for the stations you’ve added.
The Revo Axis connects to the Frontier Radio Portal, and you can access this on your PC. Simply type in the code that your radio gives you while you are on the Frontier radio website, and set up an account and you can manage all your stations easily from the comfort of your armchair. I’d never used anything like this before, and when you realise how much is available and how easy it is to manage, you really will be one happy little radio listener.
The DAB radio section initially scans to find all the DAB stations in your area. It seems to be very responsive, and picked up everything that I expected it to very quickly and easily. Even on the weaker multiplexes, the quality of the DAB stations was very impressive. Just like the internet radio, it is easy to add favourites and manage the stations you listen to.
There is an FM radio also with RDS, and just like the DAB radio it is all very responsive and gives excellent results. Favourites are easily added and moved, and station names were displayed as they should be, with no missing character’s etc that can occur with a system struggling for signal.
The radio offers Last.FM compatibility for those with an account, plus you can stream music from your PC and connect an iPod and via the line-in you can also connect any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. So many options on such a small radio, but they all work seamlessly and perfectly.
With everything this radio offers, it would be let down if it didn’t have good sound quality. The radio boasts a single speaker with NXT Balanced Radiator technology, pumping out 8 Watts of sound. It has a bass-cone at the back of the speaker to help with the bass sound.
On playing any form of music, the sound is remarkable for such a small device. The bass notes are thumping, the mid and high are well produced and the radio gives out an award winning rich sound that belies it small size. In the menu section you can alter the bass and treble, however initial settings it comes with sound perfect and really do not need to be changed.
Internet radio stations sound stunning on this machine, as do DAB and FM. For anyone not used to listening to internet radio on decent speakers, it really is an eye-opener as every station I have tested has sounded amazing.
The Revo Axis if bought from the products maker is expensive, however shop around and you’ll find it with at least 30% off the RRP. Given it’s size, it sounds brilliant and has enough features to keep even the most ardent radio fan happy.
There is a sleep timer for those who like listening to the radio while falling asleep, plus there is the ability to set two alarms. You can wake up to DAB, Internet Radio or FM and the device is easy to setup.
The display shows a clock when not in use, although you can turn the display off if you need to. The controls work well, and a dedicated remote can be bought for as little as £10.
This is a brilliant radio, and well worth every penny.