Hugh John finds appropriate expression for his iPod
Based in Hampshire, View Quest is an innovative technology company with a happy knack of identifying a gap in the market and then producing a reasonably priced solution. Retro 1, a combined DAB radio and iPod dock, follows hard on the heels of the company’s entry-level ebook, Bookbox.
Those old enough to remember the original 'swivel' Roberts radios will surely recognise a lineal connection not least in the reassuring heft of the Retro 1.
The wooden chassis, which houses a pair of 10 watt speakers, is sheathed in – well let’s say ‘flaming’ – red leather (more colours will soon be available). Throw in an old fashioned carrying handle (that Roberts thing again) and you’ve got ‘retro’ by the bucketful.
However, looks are not the only thing the Retro 1 shares with a vintage Roberts. The solid build and well powered speakers deliver impressive sound quality.
There’s nothing retro, however, about the digital intestines. Retro 1 is a fully functioning DAB/FM radio with 10 presets and an autoscan function. ViewQuest thoughtfully provides an AUX socket which is always useful for any additional audio sources. The backlit LCD screen is perfectly adequate and the unit can be powered by mains or battery. (Battery life is estimated at 15 hours).
The docking system, unobtrusively mounted between the two speakers is compatible, says ViewQuest, “with the iPhone and the latest iPods.”
All told, the Retro 1 is a snazzy piece of kit, competitively priced, that would brighten up, sonically and visually, any classroom or staffroom. It might even give you extra cred with the kids!
Ratings (out of five)
Fitness for purpose 4
Ease of use 4
Value for money 5
Combination of DAB/FM radio and iPod dock, portable with good sound quality.
£99.99p Available online from www.play.com