It's an incredible 100 years since German AV pioneers Siegmund and David Loewe founded the company that now bears their name – although back then they called it the rather less snappy Radio Frequenz GmbH. Their first products were innovative radios, so it's rather fitting that the firm has launched a nifty new radio to mark the centenary.
It's fair to say the new device, called the radio.frequency in an homage to its history, is a bit more advanced than the radios of the 1930s. It's a DAB+ radio with Bluetooth 5.0, two full-range speakers and a passive bass radiator, an integrated clock and a wake-up alarm. There's even a Kensington lock to prevent anyone tempted by its good looks from stealing it.
A beautiful blast from the past
What makes this particular speaker stand out from the crowd is its design, which subtly references the very first Loewe radio receiver, the Loewe local receiver ("Ortsempfänger") OE333. We say "subtly" because the original OE333 was a very chunky-looking wooden box with triple tubes that made it look like some kind of mad professor's appliance, whereas its modern counterpart is sleek, slim and modern.
You can recognise the DNA in the materials and colours used: the inlays are fine oak wood and the basalt-coloured acoustic fabric is designed to resemble the strange appendages that protruded from the back of the OE333. I've included an image of the OE333 here so you can see for yourself how the new radio compares to its esteemed ancestor.
I think the new radio.frequency is a pretty thing, and it's pretty practical too: you can expect 14-plus hours of playback from a single charge and those twin speakers are stereo for an impressively wide soundstage. Charging is by USB-C.
I haven't heard this particular radio yet but I know Loewe's reputation, and its products such as its brilliantly named Klang (German for "sound") soundbar have been well received. So I don't doubt it'll sound as good as it looks.
The radio.frequency has an RRP of £199 and is available now from Harrods and Tekzone.