Ah, radio. A medium that encapsulates all it is to be British, from Home Truths to Test Match Special, from the top 40 to regional gardening tips. A classless medium, where quietly passionate men like John Peel and Terry Wogan become national icons. And yet for such a comforting, cosy medium, radio is tear-arsing into the 21st century like few others (t'Internet excluded, natch).
Look at this PURE Oasis digital radio, for instance. It's come straight from the future! Simply designed, intuitive to operate, it immediately picks up a brilliant signal through its twangy rubber aerial, which you can twist off and store in a little gulley on the back while you carry it around.
Speaking of which, this is built for the great outdoors. It looks like Apple has started supplying AV gear to the military. With a metallic frame that could deflect surface-to-air missiles and its four inputs protected by weather-proof rubber plugs, the Oasis will survive the most extreme picnicking. The only downside is the weight -- this thing's 15-hour battery and frame make it a suitable replacement for your freeweights, should working out ever get too dull. However, the ergonomic handle makes it very easy to carry (or rep).
Most importantly, the sound the Oasis provides is top-notch. Speech is crystal-clear and music offers a wealth of depth and detail. The single speaker copes admirably with high volumes, and stereo output is available through the headphone socket. The PURE Oasis will cost £120 when it's released in November. Expect a full review soon. -NH
Update: this review is now live here.