OXX has produced an ultra-portable digital radio with good sound quality and ease-of-use but absolutely nothing else.

20110110113335d3279 200x180 Review: OXX Digital Pocket Radio

Except for a free pair of earphones.

And they’re pretty good for a pair that comes stock with the product. The Digital Pocket digital radio comes with a pair of a-Jays One in-earphones which normally retails at $49.95, and for its price range, it packs a pretty high sound quality punch. Featuring an extensive range of ear canal fittings, the earphones will suit any ear size comfortably while blocking out background noise to improve audio performance. Unconventional fettuccini-looking cables are a visually disturbing but practically useful feature that’ll keep tangling at bay while making them easy to coil. It’s one of the few cord designs that can legitimately boast being ‘tangle-free.’

For its price range, the a-Jays Ones are some of the best in-earphones you can find, with smooth low-end and sharp treble that are actually discernible as opposed to the usually flat sound you get from $50 earphones. While they’re still not the best money can buy, they do sweeten the deal on this tiny radio.

The OXX Digital Pocket mimics its larger brothers in the Classic and Vantage range, meaning that while it sits at a short 7cm high it also inconveniently sits at 4cm wide; not a pocket-friendly shape. OXX Digital’s decision to abandon the typical, flat form of most portable audio players works against the benefit of the Pocket being one of the smallest digital radios on the market. Otherwise, it sits comfortably in the hand, especially with its smooth, rubbery texture. Just don’t try stashing it away in tight jeans.

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The Pocket picks up a top quality signal, even in indoor and tunnel areas that tend to receive a degraded signal, without the need for an antenna, though it may take a few seconds to find a signal when you turn it on. At times we experienced a lack of any signal for around a minute before the device abruptly picked up a full-strength signal. The impressive sound quality is enhanced by the a-Jays earphones, making this more than value-for-money quality. Add to the mix FM and AM tuning for anyone looking for non-digital stations and you have a mini-radio fit for anyone.

The simplicity of this device pays tribute to that very idea, where simple volume and station changing controls on a circular, rubber ring enclose a middle play button. Apart from these straightforward buttons are only another two: Mode and Preset. Muting the radio by ‘pausing’ it with the player button makes the Pocket feel more like an MP3 Player than a radio which is a welcome addition.

Everything from the tactile buttons to the outdated 2-line LCD display make the device feel low-quality, but the sound quality and signal strength (when it actually finds the signal) put this up as a high quality product for its price range of $140 (including the earphones). But since it is limited to radio functionality rather than branching out into other stored media, this is still a severely limited product. As a radio, it’s great. As a media player, it’s one of the last on the list. But hey, free earphones!

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