Sony's portable digital audio debut


With all of the fuss about Sony’s iPod, here’s a product that seems to have been completely overlooked: Sony’s first portable digital radio (another market it should have entered a long time ago). Set to launch in September, the Sony XDR-S1 includes both Band III and L Band capabilities for use in the UK and other European countries.

Features include auto tune, analogue tuning (FM/MW/LW), alphabetic channel listings and auto tune function. A Memo button on the supplied remote enables you to store web addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses that are displayed on the screen while a line input is provided for hook up to other portable audio devices.

However, unlike Pure Digital’s Bug the Sony device doesn’t have built in flash memory, or the Sky+ like instant record facility. Instead to record from the radio you need to hook up a cable to a separate recording device via the digital line output which seems like a complete faff in this day and age.

Sales of digital radios now account for more than 60% of total sales by value in the UK portable radio market. The XDR-S1 will cost around £155.

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