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.