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5 March 2013

REVIEW: Roberts Classic DAB Radio


Yes, you may love your iPod or your streamed music through your fancy-pants speakers, but are you aware there is music all around us for free? Our grandparents called it ‘The Wireless’, a name our gadget obsessed generation seems to have appropriated for our own uses. But what part does radio play in our lives these days, when music is so easily available on-line? Hopefully, it will continue to play a big part, thanks in no small part to the Roberts Classic DAB Radio.

Digital radio has been around for a while now, with many of us accessing the thousands of stations through our computers. But there is a lot to be said for having an actual radio in your home, particularly if you’re interested in hearing local stations and don’t want the occasional glitches inherit in internet streaming.

This nifty boom box from British company Roberts is a small and portable gadget that looks as modern as it does functional. It can be plugged into the mains, or if you’re out in the garden, can run off batteries. Straight out of the box and switched on, we happily discovered that the radio automatically found all the available stations, displaying their names on the scrolling blue back-lit LED. We were immediately able to save our favourite channels for quick access later – no more fiddling with a dial to get the brain deadening thunder of Radio One! Yay!

The quality of the sound was very good as well – not ground-breaking like some other speakers we’ve reviewed – but still very good and, well, exactly what you might expect from a digital radio. Sitting on the windowsill of the kitchen while we did the dishes, the Roberts Classic DAB was a wonder to behold, fuelling our domestic grind with clean sounds and crisp vocals. It won’t fill your home with multi-layered music, but close up and in the same room, the sounds were perfect.

Included in the unit is a headphone jack (which, with headphones in, improved the quality of sounds as you might expect, creating a more immersive feel) and a USB socket for future software upgrades. The mere fact that this socket is included is a good sign – clearly Roberts are keen to keep their existing range of radios up to date, and in a world where we’re constantly being informed of changes to digital bandwidths and performance rights, this is certainly a welcome addition.

Compact, easy to use and stylish, this is a radio that any tech fan should welcome into their midst.

Around £40 depending on where you buy.

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