The new DAB+ tuner from Plum Audio allows a user to give their existing Hi-Fi systems an inexpensive upgrade. It may not have a lot of features, but this device is perfect for those who just want to listen to digital radio.
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Unlike the Maximum MR-2000 that we reviewed three months ago, the Plum Audio makes do without the Wi-Fi / Ethernet, digital audio playback (via USB), and Internet Radio. Instead, the box only does one thing – provide instant access to digital radio stations.
The unit is fairly small, measuring 150 x 70 x 60 mm. This allows a user to put it somewhere where they can see the station information being displayed.
The two line display and power LED indicator are located up front, while the analogue audio outputs, antenna, and DC power input are behind the unit. There are no controls found on the tuner, so make sure that the included remote won’t get lost.
Connecting the tuner to a system is easy – simply install the antenna, connect the tuner to an available RCA port, and plug it in. The unit automatically turns on and scans for all available DAB+ stations.
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The remote controls everything from rescanning the digital stations (Auto+) to switching between DAB+ and FM. Users can also store up to nine of their favourite digital radio stations, change stations (using the Tun+ or Tun- buttons), and adjust the information display.
The unit shows the station name and one of the following – Song title and album information; Program type; Signal strength; Time and date; Program Type; and Transfer rate. There is no way to adjust the screen’s backlight, so users would have to get used to the bright white text on a blue background.
The reception quality of the unit is dependent on where you live. If the included pigtail antenna does not provide you with the best signal despite moving it around, then you may have to attach it to an external TV aerial. Plum Audio recommends that the antenna be placed ‘vertically out the back of the unit for best reception’.
Overall, the Plum Audio DAB+ tuner is a simple box that provides access to digital radio. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it certainly gets the job done. It is currently available for $175 through Hi-Fi retailers or via the Music Saved My Life website – msml.com.au.