How to benefit from podcasts: Denver DAB-18 digital radio review

By Dmitry Kann 4 min read This post in Russian 0832

For the first time in my life I won a prize: a digital radio receiver Denver DAB-18.

That happened thanks to the Met het oog op morgen (which roughly translates as “With a view to tomorrow”) podcast, which I’ve been listening to for about a decade now. It’s double useful because you learn the news and improve your Dutch at the same time.

This nightly podcast is being made by the NPO and published around midnight, so I’d usually listen to it the next day.

Week of the digital radio

The other day I was rollerblading (skeeleren), listening to the episode of June 6. Somewhere towards the end I heard an announcement about the “Week of the digital radio”, during which they raffled off a DAB+ receiver each day.

The idea was to promote digital (DAB) broadcasting, as opposed to analogue FM, which is to be phased out in the Netherlands some time in the future. By the way, a similar transition in TV broadcasting (to DVB-T) took place here quite a while ago, back in 2008.

To participate, you had to send in a photo of the place you usually listen to this podcast at. What I in fact did straight away by taking a selfie on my rollers and sending it to NPO Radio 1. Without any high hopes.

Yet, a week later I received an email from the station informing me that I had won, and asking for my postal address for the prize. A few days later, I got a box wrapped in gift paper:

Prize by NPO Radio 1.
Prize by NPO Radio 1.

Denver DAB-18

What’s in the box? A DAB+/FM receiver Denver DAB-18 (ca. €50 on bol.com) and a greeting card.

The box contents.
The box contents.

As for my name on the card, I’m quite used that people struggle to spell Dmitry correctly.

The receiver supports the digital DAB+ as well as the analogue FM transmissions, and even Bluetooth. Apart from the manual, the package only includes a DC adapter (5 V, 1 A) with a round plug tip for an unclear reason — it’d be much better if they used a regular Micro USB or USB Type C plug.

Denver DAB-18: the package contents.
Denver DAB-18: the package contents.

The device’s appearance is faux vintage, with a big STEREO on the speaker grille (by the way, I remember the time when stereo was cool). That said, the cabinet is made of real wood.

The front panel features a volume knob, six push buttons, a tiny two-line monochrome LCD with blue backlight, and a select dial.

Denver DAB-18 powered on.
Denver DAB-18 powered on.

On the rear side you find a telescopic antenna, a battery compartment (it takes as many as 4 type C/LR14 batteries), a DC power socket, an AUX sound input, and two bass reflex ports (it’s STEREO after all).

Denver DAB-18: the rear side.
Denver DAB-18: the rear side.

Technical specs

ModelDenver DAB-18
Radio systemDAB+ (174–240 MHz), FM with RDS support (87.5–108 MHz)
External sound sourcesBluetooth, 3.5 mm audio jack
Sound outputStereo, 2×2 W
Power~230 V, 4 type C/LR14 batteries
DisplayTwo-line monochrome LCD with adjustable brightness
Dimensions21.6×11.3×14.8 cm
Weight1.4 kg

Conclusions

After a few days in service I’m positive about this receiver.

  • DAB reception is stable even with the antenna retracted. On the other hand, the sound is not that great, especially the bass response.
  • Manual or automatic channel scan.
  • The right dial switches channels with some delay, which allows for quick browsing by name.
  • The display shows the current station’s name, the bottom line provides additional info, which can be customised after a long press on INFO.
  • In standby mode the display shows the current time and date; the clock is radio-controlled.
  • There’s also an alarm clock that triggers either a buzzer or a preset DAB/FM station.
  • The price is about €50 on bol.com (or free if you get lucky).
Denver DAB-18 dwelling on a shelf.
Denver DAB-18 dwelling on a shelf.
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