Any advice on radio sets?

Hi all.

I’m thinking of getting a radio. Not though using an internet connection.

I long ago lost track of the choices and various technological options there are to choose from so I’m not sure where to start.

Basically, I just want a radio (mains connection) that will pick up UK radio stations from the south of France without any problem.

I keep seeing the brand “Marshall” in some shops and although they look like they may do the job, they’re quite pricey. Often they tend not to be in specialist shops and the staff are never sure if the radios would pick up UK stations.

Would anyone know or be able to tell me what might be the best way to find what I need.

Many thanks in advance for replies.


The only UK radio stations that you will pick up on a normal radio in the south of France are those that are broadcast locally. To pick up a full range of U.K. programmes you will need an Internet radio or a device connected to the Internet with an App like Tuneinradio.
I’m not an expert on satellite tv but you will possibly be able to pick some UK radio stations through a satellite receiver.

The good old days of Long Wave, when you could pick up stations around the world are Long gone. These days it is all digital that can’t bend around the curvature of the earth.
But an alternative to David’s suggestion is to “listen on television” using a Sky or Freeview box and a dish pointing at the appropriate satellite. There are a good number of sound channels available.
Incidentally, Sky now claims to have gone dish free, with all channels available on Internet. Whether that includes free to air channels and whether that means they intend to decommission their satellites, I cannot say.

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How about digital radio? It doesn’t seem to have got here in the Pays Basque yet.

World Service on Short Wave? (current frequencies look to be 6195 kHz, 9410 kHz, 12095 kHz and 17640 kHz depending on time of day), I don’t think even R4 on LW is going to get to the south of France.

Honestly an Internet Radio is the easiest way of listening to BBC radio (and other UK stations) these days as others have pointed out (or satellite, ditto).

If you want to explore the short waves, knock yourself out with one of these

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Right, forgot World Service.

OK thanks.

My limitations are that we don’t have or want a satellite dish. We don’t as yet, have internet connection at home and only use my android phone to access the internet. Of course, when I’m out of the house with the android phone, my wife can’t listen to the radio as the phone is our only way of doing that at the moment.

It may sound a little backward but we have no real interest in TV, French or English so we haven’t geared ourselves up to access any of it. All we need to watch or listen to is done via the Android phone.

So, for an internet radio, do you need an existing internet connection or router or does it have its own built in?

And would I be right in thinking that short wave would not be enough to get a decent selection of UK radio channels?

It needs an existing (usually Wi-Fi) connection.

Could be an Android phone with a personal hot spot enabled.

Well, none, basically, except World Service - there are other SW stations in English though.

It sounds like the simplest solution might be a 2nd phone for your wife.

Actually, we finf the UK stations crap these days and watch some very good programs on French TV - mainly TeleMatin in the mornings and France5 all day Saturday after switching from CNews «La Matinale» at 10am.
The rest of the time we listen to radio par internet to a very small but powerful Anker Bluetooth speaker with 24 hour continuous running battery life connecting to iPad or mobile. Plugs in using USB in the same way a mobile does.

Not a chance, it doesn’t get far at all if you want to listen to a reasonably quality. Internet radio is so easy these days I can’t imagine wanting to use anything else. The data allowance on my phone these days allows me to listen to whatever radio I want when driving too.

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If you have enough land…

Frank, I’m with Paul. Any Android (or IOS) device, like a cheap phone or tablet, will allow you to install a radio app. I used to use and love TuneIn, but they suddenly excluded many French radio stations so I turned to MyTuner.

There are several alternative radio apps. I often use my phone with a Bluetooth speaker. It’s just as good as a “proper” radio.

You could also consider an Amazon Echo Dot: the sound quality is excellent (considering its size etc) and you can use MyTuner (and TuneIn) on it.

As for Marshall - their guitar amps are good; their bass amps not so much (or not to my taste); their radios trade on their name. I would steer clear.

With Paul? Didn’t I say that in my first reply?

And with @Charente David!

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Nor have I - but I need a good internet connection for work so I listen to the radio via my trusty orange livebox using my computer/tablet/telephone.

Forget shortwave for everyday listening. The sound quality will be poor. It will be better on medium wave but still poor compared with FM or internet and you’re too far away. You will need a radio that has at least bluetooth to connect with your smartphone/pc.
If you want the best possible sound and ease of use buy a Roberts 94i or their previous model 93i secondhand (cheaper but less attractive case). This is an internet radio. I have two and I’m a hifi enthusiast.

Marshall … now, there’s a name to conjure with. A bit of badge engineering and you too can be very remotely connected to the sound emitting kit of guitar heros like Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

Clapton, in his days with a perm and a modest 2 x 2-stack Marshall rig. There are 16 x 12" speakers in those cabinets… The late Jim Marshall’s nickname was ‘The Godfather of Loud’ for very good reason

Pete Townshend mistreating his Marshall speaker cabinet. I saw Jimi Hendrix do exactly the same thing.
image .
Bad behaviour - good for business

But this is indeed a DAB radio by Pure Digital, along with Roberts, the best DAB radios to be had.

The Marshall logo is some rock station tie-in, and with a nod to that great spoof rock-doc ‘Spinal Tap’ ,


the volume knob goes up to 11.

I bought an admittedly cheap portable radio when I moved to south-west France and it couldn’t pick up even local stations unless I stood on the roof. Presumably a mains receiver would work better, but not for British stations. Orange TV, which I have as part of my internet package, offers a multitude of UK radio stations. I’m still addicted (in a good way) to Radio 4. Can’t remember if there’s an extra charge for Orange TV, but it may be worth it for radio alone. It has several English-language TV news services, including the BBC, CNN, France 24 and Sky – useful for keeping up with world events if your French is less than fluent.

Thanks everyone for the very useful comments and recommendations. I now have a few good options to choose from.

Hopefully I’ll have something up and running very soon.

Many thanks again.