View Quest Hepburn Bluetooth speaker & radio review

We love the vintage look of the View Quest Hepburn, a DAB radio with the added functionality of wireless Bluetooth audio streaming and USB charging, making it an all-round speaker ideal for iPhone, iPad or iPod.

It has its downfalls, including a £150 price tag that might put some consumers off, no built-in battery and a terrible app, but overall the Hepburn is well worth investigating if you're after a stylish radio/Bluetooth speaker combo for your home. Read on to find out what we thought about the View Quest Hepburn in our full review.

See: All audio reviews

View Quest Hepburn review: design

As mentioned above, we find the design of the View Quest Hepburn really appealing. It comes in black, cream or red and a new blue or yellow, so you can choose which will fit best into your living room, bedroom or kitchen, for example.

It's a fairly large speaker, at 18 cm high by 9.2cm wide and 31.3cm long, but the handle does make it portable should you want to move it around the house or take it outside.

Unfortunately, though, the View Quest Hepburn requires four D Batteries to be fully portable. We'd much prefer a rechargeable, built-in battery.

If you're near a plug socket, you'll be able to use the power adapter to plug the Hepburn into the mains rather than relying on battery power.

View Quest Hepburn review: Set-up

Set-up of the View Quest Hepburn is easy. Simply plug it in, press the power button on the top of the device and then wait as it quickly scans for DAB/DAB+ radio stations. The Hepburn has two knobs on the top, which you can turn to change the channel, and an aerial that you can adjust to help get a clearer sound.

Once you've got the channel and quality you're after, you'll be able to sit back and relax, checking the signal strength and station info on the easy-to-read screen if you choose. We particularly like that the Hepburn has plenty of buttons to enable quick and easy control over playback. There are no complicated menus to navigate through here.

When it comes to connecting the Hepburn to your iOS device, you'll need to pair the two together via Bluetooth. Pairing is easy, requiring just the press of a button. If there are multiple devices in the room, you can pair each of them to the Hepburn and then smoothly switch between them to access your friend's iPhone music, for example.

View Quest Hepburn review: sound quality

The Hepburn sports two front-facing 58mm full-range drivers. We thought the sound was clear, with satisfying depth that isn't ruined by overly exaggerated bass or tinny treble. We tried several tracks, ranging from soft pop songs and smooth jazz to heavier tracks and dance music, and found that quality was generally pleasing for all genre, though not outstanding. Playing about with the EQ settings can help improve the Hepburn's delivery of some songs to an extent, but it's not ideal.

We found that the Hepburn was able to reach high volumes without sacrificing much clarity, though there is definite distortion at the absolute top volume. The speaker has no problems filling a large room, though, so we doubt you'd ever actually need to crank the volume up that high. Positioning the Hepburn in the room will be key, though, as the sound only emits from the front of the unit.

View Quest Hepburn review: other features

View Quest has also added some additional features to the Hepburn, including an Alarm Mode and USB port at the back that can be used to charge your iOS device.

There's also a View Quest app, but we'd definitely give that a miss as it's pretty much unusable in its current state. It's not necessary to enjoy the speaker, so it's not the end of the world, but we'd like to see an iOS 7-esque update for the app to allow us to have better control over the radio aspect of the Hepburn.

Based on the sound quality alone, we'd probably have given the View Quest Hepburn a three star rating, but thanks to its good looks and easy to use nature, we've been charmed by the Hepburn and would consider it as a speaker for daily use in the home.

OUR VERDICT

Overall, we'd suggest that the View Quest Hepburn speaker is ideal for anyone with a love of vintage or retro-style, as it'll sit nicely in a living room or kitchen and provide satisfactory sound that will suit a dinner party, barbeque or general background music for a day bustling around the house.

Plus, if you want a speaker with the ability to listen to radio stations too, this is a contender well-worth considering, though it is rivaled by the likes of Pure.

For audiophiles looking for top-notch sound, or someone looking for a speaker to supply sound for a busy house party, it's definitely worth looking elsewhere.

Find the best price