Unfortunately my phone isn't very loud, so I started using a small bluetooth speaker, but I found that the battery would never last very long, and it just wasn't suitable for my needs. I also like to keep up to date with the news and the latest new song releases, and so it was frustrating to also not be able to listen to the radio through the device.
I had a search online for a digital radio, and whilst there seems to be plenty on the market, the majority didn't really stand out to me, as I also wanted something that was funky and would look great in my home, and definitely not something that I felt I would have to put away all the time, or one that would look bulky and boring.
I then spotted an advert for a VQ Retro Mini, and although the one pictured was white, it definitely didn't look boring, and I loved the design. I had a read through the description on the MyVQ website and was delighted to find that it came in a whole host of colours and patterns suitable for all tastes. There are even some exclusive Emma Bridgwater designs available, and I could imagine these looking great in a kitchen, conservatory or summer house.
The product looked great to me, but I needed to ensure that it offered me the sound quality I was after, aswel as being able to run on mains power so that I didn't need to worry about the battery going flat. I was therefore delighted to be offered the opportunity to review this product and discover more about it.
The box it arrived in was also stylish and had a sticker over the edges claiming "Quality Assured". It is great when brands are confident in their product, and it instantly makes you feel more reassured in the item. It also features the Which? great value logo, which means it has also been recognised by unbiased reviews that it is a product that consistently provides quality and great value to consumers. I thought that the colour coding at the bottom of the box was great, as rather than it being an image of the product colour inside, or a simple tick box like some companies do, it featured a soft leatherette sample of the actual casing so you could even feel it too.
On opening the box, there was an envelope placed at the top which contained the warranty details and underneath this, was the quick start guide. Placed at the top of the inner packaging was the plug and on removing the inner packaging it revealed a white dust bag underneath. I pulled this out to then reveal my fabulous new digital radio & bluetooth speaker. The wonderful VQ Retro Mini.
I had chosen the light blue design, as although I am a big fan of monochrome, I wanted something that would inject a bit of colour into my home. I immediately set it up in the kitchen and connected the mains power to the power port. I pressed the circular VQ button in the middle to turn it on, and it began to scan for radio stations. The LCD Screen was lovely and bright, and easy to read. It visually looked fantastic, and I waited for it to complete the DAB scan before exploring the range of buttons.
The VQ Retro Mini, boasts a whole host of features including DAB radio tuner with 30 presets, bluetooth connectivity for smart devices and MyEQ equaliser for personalised sound. The quick start guide easily explains how to use the product, and which buttons to press for each function. I was really pleased to find that not only was I getting a digital radio, but that I could stream my music via bluetooth, use it as a clock, and even set it as an alarm. I was also really pleased with the size of it (224mm height, 147mm width, 105mm depth), and the fact that it was really light, weighing in at less than a kilo. As we are a family that travel regularly this was a big bonus for me as it means that we will be able to take it with us on our adventures, and have music wherever we may go. The handle also means that this can be easily carried, and the dust bag which is included will also help to protect it from dirt whilst we are out and about, so it had already ticked so many boxes for us.
You can easily save your favourite channels by simply pressing the star button when tuned into the station or if you want to play your own music, you can connect your device to the speaker using the "Bluetooth mode" which will allow you to pair your phone/tablet. The alarm can also be set using the clock icon, and again it is a really simple process, you can even use the arrow keys to select your desired alarm volume.
The price of the product is £59.99 if choosing one of the 11 block colours, and is available for a slightly higher price of £79.99 if you would prefer one of the Emma Bridgwater designs. I was surprised at how fantastic it was, and it really does offer excellent value for money with so many functions and features. My initial instinct was that this was a product for adults, however since receiving the product my teenage stepson has commented on how much he likes this, and my daughter who is 10 has been consistently dropping hints that she would love a pink one in her room for Christmas.
There are so many people that I would love to buy one of these for as a Christmas gift as I could just imagine my dad working out in the shed listening to his, or my mum cooking and singing along to some ballads in the kitchen, so I would definitely recommend this product as a great gift idea, and if my daughter is very lucky, then Santa may just bring her a pink one too!
MyVQ.com have kindly offered the chance for one of my readers to win one of these fantastic VQ Retro Mini's and if you would like a chance to win, then simply enter using the gleam form below:
Win a Retro Mini Dab+ Radio from VQ
Terms and Conditions:
Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 or over. Any bulk/third party entries will be disqualified. The winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entries. The winner shall be notified via email and will have 14 days to confirm that they wish to accept the prize. Should the winner fail to respond, then a new winner shall be selected at random from the remaining entries. The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfillment, which shall be sent directly from the promoter. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery, though every effort shall be made to try and get this to the winner before Christmas. There is 1 (one) prize available of a VQ Retro Mini.
*Disclaimer - I was provided with this product free of charge for the purpose of this review and to give my honest opinion and experience of using the product. All opinions are my own.