I stayed with my parents last week and took note of the tech in their house, since discovering dooyoo I pay more attention to my surroundings and the things I use.
The Roberts Classic Life was my dad's choice for the kitchen and with a sleek black design I can see why it would appeal to a man of his age and tech abilities. Mum said she likes it now but she has more modern tastes and has said it took time for the design to grow on her.
It's a simple one to work and at first glance you should be confident with it, there are minimal buttons and dials so not at all confusing. The display is helpful as it makes each process as you do it, the repetitive nature of changing channels and functions helps the user understand it without even knowing they're doing (my mum is an example of this and has taught herself to use this after years of refusing to touch their other DAB radio).
Battery life is excellent. Dad takes it fishing and the 100 hour battery life is more than he needs even when he's doing an overnight or two. It takes a while to charge but plug it in overnight and by the morning it'll have a full charge.
A very good function is the ability to connect an iPod, something I took full advantage of while I was visiting as they don't have a dock. Connection using the iPod is very good but I wouldn't want to use the radio as an iPod speaker for long simply because it doesn't turn up loud enough.
Sound quality is very good through DAB and also on iPod setting. There is never any interference and when using the radio the scanning for stations and favouriting systems work as they should in timely fashion.
The £70 cost is steep and though it works well I doubt I'd pay that when there are equally good if not better models available for nearly half the price.
The DAB radio is in danger. Internet radios are swiftly coming down in price, and now that even technopohobes have Wi-Fi in their homes, they are a fierce rival for the kitchen-top DAB unit.
It is an unassuming little radio, it looks traditional. From just a quick look, you wouldn’t necessarily assume it’s anything more advanced than a DAB set. There’s no big colour display, for one.
Turn the unit around and you’ll notice the first dead giveaway – there’s no aerial. While many Internet radio units back-up their streaming with an FM or DAB tuner, this doesn't. All the radio’s controls are laid out intuitively on the top panel, which is helpfully sloped to make viewing from a distance easier. The control you’ll end up using the most if the large knob to the right, used to scroll through menus and as the select button – it depresses with a substantial click. This dial is great. It’s big, it’s rubbised on the sides and it’s pretty well-made.
The speaker grille, covering the single speaker cone, is coated metal and fairly strong. It flexes a little under pressure, but this is normal.
Next to the competition though, it does otherwise seem a bit light and plasticy. This, along with the carry handle, helps keep the radio super-portable – but it’s important to remember the lack of DAB/FM tuners limits the usefulness of this gadget outside of the home. It’s happy to be powered by six C-type batteries instead of the AC adaptor, but take it into a summery meadow and you’re unlikely to find a Wi-Fi hotspot.
It’s not a complete dead loss out in the field though. Around the back there’s a 3.5mm auxiliary input, and with the help of an up-to-date smartphone there’s a good chance you could tether your mobile internet connection to get up its streaming and running. Or alternatively you could let the smartphone do the streaming legwork.
I wouldn't recommend getting this radio because as I said at the beginning of this review DAB radios are a dying breed and new versions are constantly being developed, and given that fact these are not priced low enough to warrent buying one. It doesn't have the looks or the features to make it a desirable item.
Roberts ClassicLite is a stylish and energy saving stereo radio that looks amazing with its black finish and white LCD display. Thanks to line in socket you can connect your iPod or MP3 player and enjoy your favourite tunes in high quality stereo sound. The ClassicLite uses less power when is used on the mains or in standby mode and boasts up to 100 hours battery life.