Roberts PlayBT 

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This is a small portable DAB/FM/Bluetooth radio shaped rather like a small intercom radio. It has a very solid belt clamp but instead of an earpiece being an essential part of the unit there is a small but very effective top mounted speaker.

Roberts Radio PLAYBT DAB Internet Radio
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The Roberts PlayBT radio measures 18x7x4cm with the solid collapsible aerial adding 10cm to the first figure when deployed. The unit weights 243grams.

At the base of the back is a snug fitting rubber bung that covers Auxiliary and DC inputs. Above this is the substantial belt clip. The base has four tiny rubber feet that allow you to place it on a table or desk. The left side has a silver flash and the right side is where the aerial is stored. The top has the 3x2.5cm speaker when I checked the specifications I was surprised to find the speaker was only 1watt this is covered by a mesh grill in the same black colour as the rest of the unit.

This leaves the front, towards the top is the 3.5x1.5cm four line black on grey display however any button press will light the backlight which will stay on for six seconds. Under this are two columns of four well marked rubberised buttons.

Also in the box is a mains to micro USB lead of 1.8metres long.

There is also an 88 page Instruction Book sadly although this is in English it is small at 10x7cm. While I can understand the need to shrink it as the box is only 15x12cm I do not see the reason to make it that small. However it is not written in tiny text on thin paper that can show through and make it almost unreadable but larger would have been better,

As with all Robert’s manuals it is well written and comprehensive.

The volume level can be adjusted between 1-20 and I found for personal listening in a quiet room that 10 is perfectly acceptable.

With the aerial extended on first tune on I found 75 DAB stations.

Switching to FM and you are at the bottom of the wave band but pressing the << button moves you to top and then you can search for your station. There are of course Presets, twenty each for DAB and FM, in FM mode I found the aerial could be collapsed into the side of the unit.

The next stop on the sequential mode button push is Bluetooth and the unit becomes discoverable.

The final stop before returning to DAB is Auxiliary where any external unit can be plugged in via the 3.5mm port on the back.

Using the 3.5mm headset/earbud port on the top gives you stereo assuming the station you are tuned to supports stereo.

One unusual feature is a ‘keylock’ feature which is useful when attached to a belt. The unit has a clock which will normally be kept updated by radio signals.

Out and about using headphones is probably required both to cut noise and disturbing your hearing but also to avoid upsetting others and having the connection on the top means it is easy to connect/disconnect.

I found that with normal volume the internal battery lasted around 8 hours between charges, this increases by around 50% when using headphones.

So my only moan is that the manual is small that means there is very little to moan about.

The Roberts Play BT is available from the link below for £99.99 with free delivery.

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OverallRoberts PlayBT rated 84 out of 100

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