It’s been a couple of years since I have been offered a Roberts DAB radio to review. While I have looked at offerings from other manufacturers the Roberts units have not been available. This I assume was down to the excellent PR lady I have been in contact with for some years moving on.
This is a DAB/FM Alarm Clock Radio, it is 19x11.5x6.5cm but you will need another 3cm behind it as the power lead sticks out by that much. Instead of the more normal rod aerial this uses the wire type offering it is 60cm long and emerges from back right it should either hung down or be stretched up especially for the initial scan of DAB stations, in my area it found 96 stations. This is a mono unit but you can listen in stereo via headphones or earbuds.
Having recently told you about Roberts new entry level Internet offering, it seems only correct to move up the scale a little to what they call a DAB/FM/WiFi Internet Radio with Music Player and this even comes with Spotify Connect built in.
It is 26x17x9cm disregarding the handle that can slot back behind the unit and the 75cm six piece rod aerial. My unit was a mixture of matt and shiny black with the front dominated by the centre of the 6cm stereo speakers shining through the grill. Both sides and the bass are clear. This unit can run on ‘C’ cell batteries but it is of course mainly a mains unit. At the base of the back is the entry point for batteries.
Today there is a wide choice of radios that also have Internet options. Here from Roberts they openly admit this to be there entry level option, so is there anything missing that could be found in a unit costing more money or is it super value.
The Radio Stream 104 measures 21x12x5.5cm with an additional 2cm on the left side for the power lead, as it can be run from batteries I did not include this in the main measurements. So lets go round the unit on the back is a slide open bay to take 6x‘AA’ batteries rechargeable ones work fine and at the top the dock for the six piece rod aerial that extends to 72cm. The right side is clear while the left side has three near identical sockets the bottom one is for the power lead -1.
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.
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.
A new DAB and FM offering from Roberts that looks more like something from many decades ago. It is however packed with modern technology, so instead of having to continually move around to get a good signal and sound its just there.
It is 17x12cm at the back and 15x12cm at the front and 12cm deep. The front has a grill behind which is the speaker this is 9.5x8.5cm. Both sides are clear with only a connection point for carry handle that is in the same fabric that covers the whole unit, my unit was in a lime green colour. The exceptions are the back that is a gold colour as is the top. The back has a battery bay which optionally takes 4 x ‘AA’ batteries.
This is a DAB/FM/Internet radio that works via Wi-Fi and can be used as an input or output as well as having Spotify built in. It can be run off batteries which can be rechargeable and even off a battery pack for when mains power is not available.
The Roberts Radio Stream 207 radio measures 29x13.5x6cm; this figure is without the seven piece rod aerial extended which can add 66cm to the middle figure. The case is made of black plastic which does show fingermarks and rubber buttons that do not. The front has a 7cm circular speaker on each side the 8.
This is a small unit which Roberts describe as portable and indeed it works in all modes via six AA batteries but even when used in DAB or FM mode time between charges is not great, when used in Internet or UPnP mode even less.
The main body is 21x11.5x4cm this does not include the six piece rod aerial that would add 64cm to the middle figure the height when fully deployed but this is not required for Wi-Fi and UPnP use. As a portable the weight is important it is 781grams with the six ‘AA’ batteries inserted in its back (166grams). As a mains unit the story is good the single speaker is the left third of the front.
This is a DAB, FM, CD, SD, USB and Bluetooth sound system. There are many other systems that can do some of the things mentioned, but very few can record to SD or USB this system gives you the option to record to both.
The Blutune 200 DAB radion from Roberts measures 35.5x26x14cm, the middle figure the depth includes cables inserted in the back. The last figure the height does not include the rod DAB aerial which extends to seven pieces and 63 cm. The controls are either by the supplied remote control or the nine silvered buttons three rows of three and large silvered knob on the top centre of the unit. The central area of the front has a 7x2.
This looks like a conventional DAB/FM radio and indeed it has both those functions, it is also able to be an Auxiliary output, play anything from a Media server and is also the best and easiest to use Internet Radio I have seen.
The Roberts Stream93i measures 24x17x19cm, the last figure is the height to the top of the built in carry handle, the middle figure assumes you have the mains lead plugged into the back. It has a 45cm five piece rod aerial for reception of DAB/FM radio. My unit had shiny black sides, top and bottom, the front and back are matt black. It has a 6x4.5cm colour display in the centre of the front in the top half of the unit, level with this are two large knobs on the left volume and the right tuning.
This is a DAB, FM and Internet radio; however it is also a music player and has a full Last FM trial. Roberts are one of the main names in these devices so how does this mid sized unit shape up overall for both quality and value.
The Roberts Stream 205 measures 28x22x9cm which include the handle but not the five piece rod aerial that will add 60cm if used vertically. It can be used on mains or on batteries but the latter requires six ‘D’ cells. The control panel is on the sloping top of the unit there are 15 well marked buttons of different size and shape spread along the top and a large silvered knob to change station. There is a large clear display 6.5x3.4cm which shows relevant information.
With a lot of people downloading everything I rarely get the chance to review few audio systems with a CD now. While the number of us still buying media is falling we are still a substantial part of the market and CDs need to be played.
While my own unit is smaller in width the total size of this includes the speakers so with everyone having less space for everything this could make an extremely good multi-unit. It is 34x20x11cm, the middle figure is with leads inserted in the rear. The only other requirement is for the built in five piece rod aerial that rises 68cm when fully extended. On first switch on make sure the rod aerial is extended and it should Auto tune for DAB in my case it finds 67 stations very quickly.
I have reviewed a number of large DAB units, a few units that can be considered audio systems but I think only two units previously that are small enough to move out and about without the tether of a mains lead connected.
This is both a DAB and FM unit. It is 16x9.5x3.5cm this figure is without leads inserted into mains input or optional earbud/headphone output or the six piece 67cm total height aerial extended. It is mains or battery powered the latter by four ‘AA’ batteries. I tried both standard and rechargeable units without problem. It was possible to charge the latter in situ by using a tiny flip switch in the battery bay. The left side has a line of three sockets. USB for firmware updates, 3.
This is a DAB/FM radio and i device player. That is the bare bones of a quiet stylish device, not the least of these is the i device placement. Certainly I have never seen one in a similar place or one that comes up in such a way.
The main body is 32x10x15cm, however when the metamorphic ‘i’ device holder rises it adds 10cm to the 15cm height and 5cm to the 10cm depth, so the overall in ‘action’ size is 32x15x25cm. The height will be more with an iPad. It comes with a 5x8.5cm remote control that has 22 buttons however virtually everything can be done from the 14 buttons on top of the unit. These are bar type with one end doing one thing and the other end something else.
Just over a couple of months ago I told you about the smaller sibling the Sound 100, here the slightly larger offering from the Roberts brand that does almost everything connected with Audio & in this case it includes Recording.
The Roberts Sound 200 measures 35x27x11cm, the last figure increases by 60cm when the six piece rod aerial is fully vertically extended from the back. You can record to SD Card and USB Stick. You can record from DAB, FM and CD as well or of course listen to them. It also has a dock so you can throw your iPod or iPhone into the equation mentioned for recording or listening.
Maybe its the wooden case but as soon as you take this from the box you feel quality. It is not just a DAB and FM radio it also supports iPod and iPhone as well as Auxiliary input and for dinosaurs like me it also has a CD player.
It is 32x21x10cm, the middle figure the depth is taken at the point where the mains lead enters as this is the deepest point. You can control it either from the buttons on top of the unit or from the provided landscape shaped remote control. There are four lines of three well marked buttons on the top centre of the unit, the ‘i’ dock is behind this. The central area of the face has the 6.8x2.5cm white on blue display, either side of this are the stereo speakers of the unit.
Roberts products are always towards the higher quality end and therefore cheaper alternatives are always available. So what exactly does this stereo iPod dock with clock and DAB and FM radio offer that others do not?
It is semi circular in shape with the front being a flat edge. The dimensions are 15cm deep with power lead inserted, 17cm across and 7cm tall. Whatever iPod or iPhone you insert will add to the height as the dock is on the top. The rear has aerial socket, auxiliary input, headphone/earbud socket, USB (for upgrades) and finally the DC input. The power lead is 1.5metres which is okay, the aerial lead is .
This is both a DAB and FM radio but it has an extra twist. This is not the slightly unusual shape, however the upright form factor may give a clue as this could be most often found in the family room or perhaps even the kitchen.
The Roberts MessageR measures 20x12x14cm the last figure with leads inserted in the back. It can be run of 4x‘C’ cell batteries but most will use mains power. The rear has connections for headphones/earbuds, DC input, Auxiliary in and the aerial. The DC lead is adequate at 1.4metres to the power brick that is in the plug. However the .65metre length of the aerial lead is short and most will tie something to the end to allow a decent signal. There is a 7.5x2.
If you only listen to Internet Radio then this could be for you. It also means providing you have a decent Broadband connection almost any station anywhere in the world is available to you even if normal radio reception is naff.
The Stream 105 from Roberts measures 26x8x15cm and weights 700 grams (without batteries). There is a 2cm difference between back and front and the whole unit is a stretched oval, with the carrying handle raised the height is increased from 15 to 21cm. The rear has a battery bay should you wish to run it on 6x‘C’ cell batteries. Above this are USB (for upgrading only) headphone socket, auxiliary input and the DC input, the supplied lead 1.85 metres long, just adequate.
Very few DAB radios have the ability to record (in MP2) to SD card, the original Bug by another manufacturer was one and here from Roberts their RecordR offers this extremely useful feature both for timed and instant recording.
While this is a perfectly acceptable DAB and FM radio the main selling point is its ability to save (pause) or save for replay later anything broadcast on any DAB or FM radio station so if you are a fan of a regular program that you always seem to arrive home just as its ending never fear you can set it to record it and then listen whenever suits you.
This looks a lot like a radio I had in my youth, leather covered with a leather handle, the differences are of course immense with the top manual tuning dial replaced by a rather nice screen display, so I assume we call it retro.
It is 24x10x14cm, the last figure the height is with the six piece 70cm rod aerial retracted. The radio (without optional batteries) weights close to 1.3kilos. The rear has the rod aerial, line out socket and DC input. The left side has a flip clip that opens the back to allow 4x‘D’ cell batteries to be inserted. All the controls are on the top of the unit. The centre of which is a 6x3.5cm black on white five line display.