The Revo SuperConnect Stereo is the best DAB/internet radio on the market and a superb all-in-one home audio system
- Gorgeous design
- Easy to use
- Consistently impressive sound
- Voice control would be useful
- Undok app looks and feels behind the times
The Revo SuperConnect has spent years being the best internet and DAB radio on the market thanks to an irresistible combination of style, usability and top-notch sound. Yet it’s always had one limitation: with just one speaker, it’s a mono-only affair. You can understand, then, why there’s some excitement about the new Revo SuperConnect Stereo. If Revo’s radio sounds this good with a single speaker, how good can it sound with two?
Revo SuperConnect Stereo review: What do you get for the money?
Of course, Revo has done more than just expand the casing and bung another speaker driver in the box. The SuperConnect Stereo is an evolution of the SuperConnect design, taking the same basic lines and luxury materials as the original but scaling them up into a stereo design.
It comes in two finishes, with a walnut shell and either black or silver anodised aluminium on the front. Additionally, Revo has stretched out the buttons beneath the speaker grills to give you your mode, menu, info and alarm buttons, then your six presets and then your playback controls in a neat row. A headphone output takes up the final spot on the right-hand side.
The front is dominated by the square gloss black panel surrounding the 2.7in monochrome OLED screen. This displays the time when the radio is switched off and delivers access to channel lists, features and settings when it’s turned on, helped by clear and very legible text. A small joystick and button just beneath the display allow you to flick through the menus and make selections and while that sounds fiddly, it’s actually very responsive and easy to use. Of course, you can always use the bundled remote control instead. This is compact but chunky enough to grip, with a fairly intuitive layout and soft-touch buttons.
As for functions, the SuperConnect Stereo almost does it all. Not only does it support DAB+, FM and internet radio along with Bluetooth audio but it also has built-in Amazon Music and Deezer streaming plus Spotify Connect. You can also connect other equipment through it via the 3.5mm audio input at the back. There you’ll also find a pair of stereo phono outputs along with a S/PDIF digital out.
However, the lack of a built-in CD player means you can’t pitch the SuperConnect Stereo directly against the Roberts Stream 67 and Pure Evoke Home, both of which sell for between £500 and £650. Nevertheless, in all other respects it’s in the same league, working more as an all-in home audio system than just a DAB radio with bundled streaming.
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Revo SuperConnect Stereo review: How easy is it to use?
Revo has cracked most of the usability issues that hold many Internet and streaming radios back. The DAB+ and FM radio stuff is rarely a problem and it certainly isn’t here. Scanning for stations, switching stations and adding and recalling presets is about as easy as it can be. Where most fall flat, though, is on how they handle internet radio stations and podcasts and on making these easy to discover and access, and simple to switch between.
The SuperConnect Stereo is different. While you can rely on the usual text-based search, picking out letter by letter awkwardly on the remote, it also has effective options for finding stations by location, genre, language and more, and these feel snappy, bringing results quickly to the OLED screen. What’s more, the internet radio menu has a useful “Discovery” option that encourages you to browse for more. This makes it easy to fall down the rabbit hole of checking out different specialist channels from around the world, and I happily lost an hour or two to switching between jazz and rock stations from Chicago, New York, Boston, Tokyo and Bristol. This is one of the great pleasures of having a good internet radio.
Navigating in and out of stations and podcasts still takes some getting used to and, for a while, I was preparing to grumble about the lack of a back button, before I realised that pressing X on the remote control would take you back to your last set of options. There are still moments where I was left wondering how to get back to the selection I saw earlier but with a few days of use these grew few and far between.
If you don’t like working with the remote control, you can also use the thirdparty Undok app. This is a necessity for setting up the Amazon and Deezer streaming services and it can make finding podcasts and Internet Radio stations easier as well. The downside is that Undok feels a little slow and clunky, and browsing for tracks, artists and albums doesn’t feel as slick, speedy or intuitive as it does on the Amazon Prime Music or Deezer apps. While it’s a popular choice with internet radio manufacturers, Undok could do with a spruce-up. It’s beginning to look and feel old.
Revo SuperConnect Stereo review: How does it sound?
Let’s cut to the chase: the SuperConnect Stereo is a fantastic-sounding radio, and one of the few to slip into real hi-fi territory. Revo has done wonders with its balanced mode radiator (BMR) drivers and 30W of power. It’s not just that there’s a weight to the tone with a powerful but well-controlled bass and good mid-range dynamics but that there’s also an impressive level of detail.
I actually spent longer with test tracks than I meant to simply because I was hearing instruments or subtle moments I only usually hear through headphones, a proper hi-fi system or a really good streaming speaker.
It’s superb with folky stuff, rock or small-group jazz where small details become perceptible, like the scraping of a plectrum on the strings or the way a repeated chord sounds slightly different each time it’s played. There’s a lovely ‘plunk’ to acoustic bass lines, while heavier rock tracks have all the roar and rumble you could want.
It’s also great for classical, provided the source material is good enough. DAB+ stations like Radio 3 or Classic FM can still sound a little congested but give it internet radio or UltraHD content on Amazon Prime Music and there’s a detailed, spacious presentation that’s great with tricky transients or the full orchestral blast of Wagner or Mahler. It says a lot that the SuperConnect Stereo is one of a very few digital radios of any type that I’d happily use as a streaming or Bluetooth speaker as well as just a radio.
Finally, talk radio, news and drama is yet another strength. You’ll have to watch the volume – turn it up too high and it’s a little like being lectured by the Radio 4 news or Melvin Bragg on In Our Time while you’re standing in the same room but it’s hard to grumble when the sound has this much authority and presence.
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Revo SuperConnect Stereo review: What could be improved?
The Revo SuperConnect Stereo is one of the best internet radios when it comes to finding stations and podcasts but it would be great if it incorporated voice search, either stand-alone or through Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa. And, while it’s not really a complaint, you need to be careful about positioning. Placed too close to a wall in an alcove in a corner of our dining room, the bass is magnified, becoming slightly boomy and strident. Still, that’s nothing pulling it forward a few centimetres or a little tinkering in the EQ settings couldn’t fix.
Otherwise, the one grumble in my household was that the power button, placed discreetly in the gloss black surround around the screen, is hard to find if you don’t already know where it is. I guess that’s the price you pay for style.
Revo SuperConnect Stereo review: Should I buy it?
If you’ve got the budget, buy away! This is an expensive radio but it’s good enough to work as a Bluetooth and streaming speaker, too, and the sound quality is excellent. It looks fantastic and seems to enhance almost any music or spoken word material it touches. For my money, it’s a better buy than the Roberts Stream 67 and Pure Evoke Home, even without CD playback, and one of the very best DAB and internet radios I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to.