Been doing my favourite thing of all time this last few weeks – sitting out in the sunshine writing and reviewing. I absolutely adore sitting out in the sun as it tops up my tan as well as gives me that much needed Vitamin D that my body craves.
I always like to play some music when I’m writing too as it helps with the thought process, and normally I’ll fire up Spotify but other times I just want to listen to the radio. We have a Christie (which I reviewed a while back) which has pride of place in our kitchen but I don’t want to take that one outside because I’ll be moaned at for taking it out of the kitchen.
So by chance, the lovely folks at VQ recently contacted me again, and asked if I’d like to review their Retro Mk II. I loved their Christie with it’s clean lines, ability to swap the orientation and the quality of sound, that another VQ radio was very welcome!
It arrived very quickly as it does when you order it from the MyVQ website and I was excited to open it and see the colour that I was asked to choose and to test it in the garden the very next day.
It comes boxed and very securely packed. When you open it, first thing you see is the plug. Pull that out, pull the packing out and then together with its dust bag, out comes the radio. And oh, what an absolute beauty it is.
The reason I like VQ is simple – all of their radios are incredibly stylish. Roberts Radios are nice, but VQ always go that extra mile, giving you a huge selection of colours to mix and match with your surroundings as well as other amazing features to utilise your other items via Bluetooth.
Now on to the radio. I chose the beautiful Radiant Orchid which is like a creamy lilac colour. The band goes all around the radio and coordinates with the handle. This hugs the unit which is an off white. The handles have huge buttons with the VQ logo and are really secure, so there’s no way it would fall off or loosen itself.
To the left is the LCD which features the clock and the station ID. Opposite that is the control panel. Mode changes it from DAB to FM, then to iPod and Auxiliary, plus there is a bluetooth mode where you can pair your phone to. But what I love about this radio is the Apple Lightning Dock at the front. Just push the little panel with the VQ logo on and out pops a charger for your iPhone, you can then play directly from your phone right there. Once charged, tilt the phone towards you and pull the phone upwards and off the charger. Ingenious idea that.
Tuning is pretty simple. Just press mode, go to DAB, then it should come up and say Full Scan. Press the middle button on the control panel and it will take you through the full DAB set up. When I did mine it did find a couple of strange looking stations, but they both turned out to be Radio 5 Live just under a different name. Depends what area of the country you are in of course, you might get a completely different line up to me (you might even be lucky enough to get JackFM2 – I can’t – boo hoo).
But that’s not all it features. It has a dual alarm feature which if you get up at different times than your partner is perfect for you. You can even set it to different times for work during the week or if you are having a lazy weekend in bed.
Sound is clear and crisp, plus the louder you turn it up (you can see how loud it is by the additional squares coloured in on the LCD when you press the buttons) it does not distort. I played numerous things through it to start with, iPhone, MacBook and each time turned it right up, then down, and all the time it was clear, not tinny or bassy (obviously didn’t turn it right down because quite frankly that’s just stupid).
It’s one of those radios that you want to be seen with. As soon as I popped a picture up on my FB page, giving a sneaky peak into what was coming, a comment followed shortly from a friend stating how she would “love to have one of those” and I only put up the side picture of the control panel. That’s how iconic VQ’s range have become when they are just noticed by their colours. What a range!
Well now you’ve read about it, and how much I love it, how about you try to win one for yourself? Our friends at VQ have given you, our readers the chance to win your very own Retro MK II. Just pop over to the competition page for your chance to win.