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Whats is the Best DAB Radio for an Elderly person?

This article will help you choose the best dab radio for an elderly person, however, if you are looking for a dab radio for someone who is recently retired and might need a radio to listen too whilst cooking in the kitchen or pottering about the garden check out our guide here.

When choosing a dab radio for an elderly person you have to keep a few things in mind that may vary from person to person and depend on the age of the person. It is recommend that when purchasing a radio that you look at the individuals specific needs which may include:

Ease of use

Digital radios can have many different functions along with the actual radio such as bluetooth, usb, ipod dock, alarm clock, fm am, mp3, auxiliary input, etc. Many elderly people will not have any use for these extra functions and they may indeed just add extra confusion for a user who is not very savvy with technology.

Do they need a large display?

A large display on a radio will be necessary to help those with sight problems. At a minimum the user must be able to see the display to be able to choose the right station and to adjust the volume. It can become very frustrating for an elderly person to mess around with modern technology without being able to properly see what they are trying to do.

Do they need large buttons?

Large buttons on a DAB radio can not only help those who can’t read the text on smaller buttons but it will also help people who have trouble with their fine motor skills or who have arthritis and aren’t as agile as they used to be. Large buttons can usually be programmed to do one task at a time making the radio easier to use and less confusing for the user.

Do they need a Loudspeaker?

Elderly users who are hard of hearing will obviously need a radio that they can hear properly. Having a loudspeaker built into the unit is a must and being able to control the volume of the loud speaker is also very important so that they can adjust the sound levels to suit their hearing needs. Listening to a digital radio through headphones may work better for some users but remember that this will limit their ability to hear other things such as phone calls and the doorbell.


Although most elderly people will have a set room for their radio they may from time to time need to move the radio. Larger radios may hinder that ability to move the radio about especially if they are cumbersome and do not have a handle. Depending on the person it may be better for them to have a lightweight handheld radio that will sit in their pocket so that they can take it wherever they want – the only downside is that if they have memory problems or dementia a small personal radio may be easily misplaced and hard to find again.

Based on our research we find the following DAB radios to be most suited to elderly users:

Roberts Radio Play10 DAB/DAB+/FM Digital Radio with Simple Presets

Our top pick is the Roberts play 10 portable radio that ticks all the boxes mentioned above. The DAB/DAB+ radio has a large backlit display, has multiple pre-sets to save stations on the easy to use buttons and is small and lightweight (350g) with an attached handle making it easy to carry. It has a built in loudspeaker and also has a headphone socket so the user can listen via headphones if they prefer.

Roberts Elise DAB FM RDS Digital Radio

The Roberts Elise digital radio is also ideal for an elderly user. It comes with 9 station pre-sets and even a favourite button allowing the user to very simply select their favourite station with a touch of a button. It has an easy to navigate menu and a large clear LCD display and also features an easy to use large rotary volume control. Users can listen via the built in loudspeaker or headphone socket provided.

One downside to this model however is that it is bigger and heavier (650g) than the Roberts Play 10 and does not come with an attached handle.

During our research we have come across two other models of easy to use radio. Both however do not have DAB and are therefore only FM radios but both are suited for use by an elderly person.

RD-L80 Mini FM radio

The RD-L80 Mini FM Radio has an ultra large screen making it very easy for the user to see, the controls are large silicone buttons so are also easy to see and soft to touch. A useful bonus feature of this unit is that it includes an auto shut-off feature meaning it can be pre-set to turn itself off at certain time intervals so the user can set and easily fall asleep without worrying that the radio will stay on all night.

This radio is a small and lightweight (240g) and also comes with a handle attached.

Y-618 Mini speaker FM radio

The Y-618 Mini Speaker FM Radio is similar to the RD-L80 with the exception of a large screen. It slightly sacrifices the larger screen but adds another speaker to the setup for a better sound quality. It also boasts that the included antenna gives a superior quality signal.

This model is also small and lightweight (222g) and has an included handle. It has the same large soft silicone buttons and the ability to plug in headphones as well.

Thanks for reading our reviews – one thing not included in this article is the fact that many older people may still enjoy listening to casette or cd – we have covered this topic in our article about DAB radios with cd players which you can find here. You might also find our review articles on personal radios and retro radios also useful for an elderly person.

Choosing the best dab radio for an elderly person can be tricky. Read our research and reviews as we guide you to what to look for before purchasing.

Best DAB Radios for the Elderly (UK 2020)

As radios become more complex, they often become harder to use.

While many elderly people have no problem at all with complicated technology products, others find them too difficult to use. This can make trying to listen to the radio frustrating.

Many radios are overcomplicated or have an unintuitive design, which can be particularly problematic for those with deteriorating eyesight or cognitive problems such as dementia.

Choosing a DAB Radio for an Elderly Person

Whether you’re buying for yourself or for an elderly friend or relative, the most important thing to look for when choosing a radio for an older person is the ease of use.

Ease of use is determined by lots of factors, which we’ve explained in more detail below.

Good button layout

On some radios, all of the buttons are the same size and are laid out in a straight line, making it hard to find the button you want. Look for a radio with clearly distinguished buttons that can be found in the dark or without having to look closely at the radio.

The most-used buttons on a radio are usually the on/off button, and volume and tuning buttons or dials. Look for a radio where it’s clear which buttons/dials perform these functions, and where these buttons are easy to find and use.

Dedicated preset buttons

Many radios require you to scroll through menus to select and tune into stations. This is quite fiddly and can be difficult to do if your eyesight isn’t great.

Having dedicated preset buttons means you can tune into your favourite stations just by pressing a single button. Most people only listen to a handful of stations anyway, so this makes things much simpler.

In general, a radio will be easier to use if features can be accessed by buttons rather than using a menu, so try to choose a radio where other important features can be quickly accessed via buttons.

No more features than necessary

A lot of elderly people are unlikely to use features such as Bluetooth, USB charging and internet radio, so having these features could just be confusing and make the radio harder to use.

While having fewer features is usually thought of as a bad thing in electronics products, it could actually be a good thing when buying for an elderly person.

Clear clock display

This isn’t always essential, as not everyone will use their radio as a clock. However, if you’re buying for someone with deteriorating eyesight, look for something with a large and easy-to-read clock display.

Best DAB Radios for the Elderly

We’ve researched the market and picked out five of the best DAB radios for the elderly available in the UK.

We’ve ranked them in order of which we think will be most suitable for elderly people, though this, of course, depends on your particular needs and level of comfort with technology.

1. Sony XDR-S61D

The Sony XDR-S61D is one of the easiest DAB radios to use on the market. It has five preset buttons on the top of the radio, making it easy to switch between your favourite stations. The volume is adjusted using a dial, which is also easy to use.

This radio has a classic-looking Sony design and comes in a choice of either white or black. If you like the look of this radio but would prefer something smaller and cheaper, you might prefer the Sony XDR-S41D, which is the model down from this one.

    FM/DAB/DAB+ radio Saves 10 preset stations Alarm clock Sleep timer 5 preset buttons Headphone jack Can be mains or battery powered (4 x AA) Auto-dimming display

Dimensions: 22.7 x 13.9 x 9.5 cm
Weight: 998 g

Roundup of the best DAB radios for elderly people available in the UK. Easy-to-use radios with preset buttons and other helpful features.