In the test: Lenco PDR 045/046: A portable DAB+ radio with a surprising sound

lenco-pdr-046 featured image

Lenco sent me a portable radio for a review a few days ago. For me it was an interesting opportunity to get my hands on a DAB+ radio, because up to now I have only used music streaming services for my music needs.

The radio we are talking about here is the Lenco PDR-046 GY, which not only supports DAB+ but also FM and Bluetooth. However, the FM area fell by the wayside because I simply couldn't find any stations.

Lenco PDR 045 or 046 - what's the difference?

If I'm right, the two models are identical and differ only in color. The PDR 046 is the light gray model that was sent to me and shown in the photos here, while the PDR 045 is the black variant.

Basically, the operation and the range of functions is the same.

9,01 EUR
Lenco PDR-046GY portable DAB+ radio - DAB+ radio with Bluetooth® - PPL FM - 5 memory buttons -...
  • Portable rechargeable DAB+ radio with USB and Bluetooth
  • DAB+ for crystal clear digital radio reception
  • Stream music from your smartphone or tablet
Lenco PDR-045 portable DAB+ radio - DAB+ radio with Bluetooth® - PPL FM radio - 2 x 3 Watt RMS - 5...
  • Portable rechargeable DAB+ radio with PLL FM radio and Bluetooth
  • Top sound thanks to 2 x 3 watts (RMS), integrated subwoofer and equalizer function
  • Stream music from your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth

Technical data

  • DAB+ / FM radio
  • 2.0 stereo
  • 30 preset stations
  • Bluetooth version 5.0
  • Range up to 10 meters
  • 2 x 2,5 watt speakers with passive cooler
  • AUX input 3,5mm
  • Integrated rechargeable lithium battery 2000mAh
  • Dimensions (H x W x D) 6,8 x 18 x 5,50 cm
  • available in the colors white and black
  • Price: approx. 85 euros (at Amazon)

What's in the box

The Lenco PDR 046 comes with a USB-C charging cable and a quick start guide (photos: Sir Apfelot).
The Lenco PDR 046 comes with a USB-C charging cable and a quick start guide (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Design and workmanship

The Lenco PDR 046 is made of high-quality plastic (ABS with wheat fibers) and natural bamboo and, in my opinion, is quite nicely designed. I have the white or light gray version, which I personally liked better than the dark version.

In particular, the bamboo element with the light gray buttons on the top somehow goes better with the light variant.

Operation is entirely via the buttons on the top, while the display is via the 2,4-inch color display on the front.

I find the processing of the radio successful. I couldn't find any corners that would have indicated any cheap production. When you pick up the Lenco PDR 046, it feels finished.

It's barely longer than my iPhone 14 Pro Max, but that makes it a really handy radio that's also quick to pack in your backpack.

The 2,4-inch display isn't touch-sensitive, but it's enough to read all the important information in a comfortable readable size.
The 2,4-inch display isn't touch-sensitive, but it's enough to read all the important information in a comfortable readable size.

Sustainability in many points

In the product description you can read that sustainability was an important aspect in the development of the product:

Sustainable eco-radio - great importance was attached to sustainability during development:

– Product made of high quality ABS with wheat fiber and natural bamboo

– Packaging made from recycled FSC cardboard, no plastic was used for the packaging

Basically a good idea that doesn't come at the expense of quality or appearance. However, there are criticisms that the ecological approach has not been taken to the end, as the battery is not easily accessible and cannot be replaced by ordinary users. This means that the device is electronic waste as soon as the built-in battery has reached the end of its life.

In fact, there are no visible screws on the device that would allow the case to be opened.

The packaging of the radio is completely without plastic and underlines the idea of ​​​​sustainability.
The packaging of the radio is completely without plastic and underlines the idea of ​​​​sustainability.

Surprisingly good sound

But let's come to the sound, which is also very important for a radio. The Lenco PDR 046 is roughly the size of three iPhone 13 (or 14) Pro Max placed on top of each other and then placed upright.

Considering this size, the sound of the radio is quite good and even offers a "stereo experience", which of course is somewhat spoiled by the small distance between the two speakers.

For comparison: I still have a Bose Soundlink Mini, which is about the same size as the Lenco radio. However, the Bose is a pure Bluetooth speaker and it offers - in my opinion - an even better sound, which sounds like pressing the "loudness switch" on the Lenco (which doesn't exist).

I assume the better sound is due to Bose doing some internal electronic sound enhancement. The drivers should also be larger, which will certainly have an effect on the sound.

However, the Lenco PDR 046 is well suited as a radio for on the go, for listening to music at a picnic or while gardening.

Here you can see how the channel search is currently activated and the Lenco PDR 046 is looking for the channels.
Here you can see how the channel search is currently activated and the Lenco PDR 046 is looking for the channels.

Various modes to choose from

The Lenco radio is much more than a radio. You can use the "Mode" button to switch between DAB+, FM, Bluetooth and AUX, turning the radio into a small speaker that can be controlled via an Aux cable or Bluetooth.

I connected it to my iPhone via Bluetooth, which worked quite well. You only have to remember to turn up the volume on the iPhone, because the volume of the iPhone and the Lenco are not linked.

In my case the music was very quiet even though I turned it up on the speaker. The reason for this was that the volume on the iPhone wasn't turned up yet.

Here you can see the four different modes you can use to play music on the Lenco.
Here you can see the four different modes you can use to play music on the Lenco.

Operating the PDR 046

The Lenco PDR 046's menu system isn't quite as self-explanatory as I had hoped. After some trial and error, I eventually had to consult the instructions to figure out how to activate the sleep timer function or switch between different modes.

When it comes to operation, it is positive that the important volume buttons are on the right side of the control panel, away from the other buttons, so you can find them “blindly”.

The left side of the control panel is a bit confusing with many of the same buttons. After a short time, however, one has memorized which button does what (photos: Sir Apfelot).
The left side of the control panel is a bit confusing with many of the same buttons. After a short time, however, one has memorized which button does what (photos: Sir Apfelot).

All the other buttons on the left side, which you need for example to change the channel or change settings in the menu, are a bit confusing for me. The lettering is small and, especially in the evenings when the light is bad, it's more of a guessing game for me as to where to press.

Sure, at some point you realize that the fifth and sixth buttons on the bottom bar are up and down for stations, but it's confusing, especially at first.

But I can also understand that many of the same buttons were preferred here for design reasons. However, I'm more of a friend of "form follows function".

On the back of the Lenco radio you will find the USB-C charging socket and the AUX input with the typical 3,5 mm jack input.
On the back of the Lenco radio you will find the USB-C charging socket and the AUX input with the typical 3,5 mm jack input.

Advantages and disadvantages in brief

Since the article would be a bit long if I exaggeratedly explain all the praise and criticism, I would like to briefly summarize in semicolons what I noticed about positive and negative things.

Benefits

  • beautiful design
  • processed cleanly
  • good DAB+ reception
  • good sound
  • many languages ​​selectable in the menu
  • Charging via USB-C
  • Packaging completely plastic-free
  • Can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker
  • 2,4 inch color display easy to read
  • automatic station search
  • The date and time are set automatically

Disadvantages

  • Control panel is not intuitive
  • Labeling of the keys not easy to read
  • Battery not easy to change
  • Volume gradations could be finer
  • Alarm function only works when a power source is connected via USB-C (according to one user)
  • although a 3,5mm headphone output is advertised, it doesn't exist (the AUX input doesn't send any audio to my test headphones)
  • iPhone volume out of sync with speaker volume
  • the way via the menu to the snooze function is too cumbersome for everyday use
  • Firmware update apparently only possible with a PC (Windows).
You can scroll through the list of stations with the arrow keys, but you can also save your favorite stations on the 5 quick selection buttons.
You can scroll through the list of stations with the arrow keys, but you can also save your favorite stations on the 5 quick selection buttons.

Summary of my test

Overall, the Lenco PDR 045 is a really nice radio that, despite a few minor operational flaws, scores with its high processing quality and impressive sound.

There's certainly room for improvement, but if you don't need the alarm and snooze function often and are looking for a more portable DAB+ radio, then this is it Lenco PDR 046 or 045 is a good choice.

9,01 EUR
Lenco PDR-046GY portable DAB+ radio - DAB+ radio with Bluetooth® - PPL FM - 5 memory buttons -...
  • Portable rechargeable DAB+ radio with USB and Bluetooth
  • DAB+ for crystal clear digital radio reception
  • Stream music from your smartphone or tablet

Contest!

If you want to win my test device, you can subscribe to the newsletter. I will raffle it off in one of the next issues with a small prize question. I'll remove the reference here as soon as the competition is over. The competition is over, but you are welcome to join subscribe to my newsletter, because I give away new things there from time to time.

User manual for the Lenco PDR 046 and 045

Since people keep asking about the operating instructions for my test products, I have you here the operating instructions as PDF linked. You can find them in many different languages, such as German, English, Dutch, Spanish, French and Italian.

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

2 comments on "In the test: Lenco PDR 045/046: A portable DAB+ radio with a surprising sound"

  1. Hi Jens,

    I have subscribed to the newsletter for a long time and would have liked to take part in the competition mentioned in the latest issue.
    I just couldn't figure out how to participate. (Send a postcard?? 😁)
    In any case: You took the photos at xx:xx.

    Greetings from Eve

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Hello Eva! Ah, I forgot to mention that. You can simply reply to the mail. But now I have your email address and I'll take you into the win! But I still have to quickly delete your correct answer from the comment, so that others have to ponder a bit. 😊

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