* Prices may differ from that shown
With the logo and general description most people will assume that this is a radio controlled clock but it is not.
I bought this alarm radio because I assumed that it was radio controlled. My experience of this unit is the clock runs slow by 2-3 minutes after a month or two, recently I noticed that the date was wrong, corrected it and all was fine until this morning, weekend alarms were fine but Monday came round and once again it's a day behind - this caused me problems today as I was late for work because the alarm didn't go off! I've had the unit for about two years, it's been a poor time keeper from the off, you can reset date, time, year and timezone but you cannot reset seconds, so your clock may be up to 59 seconds out already.
I just spoke to Roberts customer service who confirmed that the unit is NOT radio controlled at all. The gentleman I spoke to was very honest and explained the unit is preloaded with time and a calendar at the factory in the far east, the time and date was derived from a GPS satellite (hence the dish logo on the front) this data is preserved by the backup battery and checked by a an internal crystal control in the unit. In time the crystal degrades and time keeping will become less good, it's nowhere near as good a timekeeper as a quartz watch for example.
In my case with the date problem he said that I might consider returning it for attention in the future.
An unpredictable alarm clock is isn't a good thing to have in the house! I'll check my receipt for a guarantee (2 years) but I'm disappointed that a decent brand like Roberts have somehow compromised what is otherwise a decent compact device.
Otherwise the device is good - Sound is quite good for a small box, some buttons such as alarm off and the volume control could be better placed but for £20 it's OK, I just wish it was better at timekeeping and it was reliable in use.
ROBERTS CR9971 Chronologic VI Clock Radio - Silver
As the name suggests, this little alarm clock radio comes from a well established manufacturer and does a pretty good job of waking us up on time. It has dual alarms and weekday/weekend options, as well as automatic time, summer/winter and date settings (see below). There's a backup battery to preserve these too.
The radio is not digital, so the choice of stations is limited to fm and medium wave, and the clock isn't radio controlled. But sound quality is quite acceptable for a compact clock radio.
This may not be the cheapest analogue model, but at under £20 it is well presented, functional and good value compared with DAB units.
BACK TO BASICS
When our digital clock radio expired prematurely (reviewed previously here), I was reluctant to replace it with like-for-like and resigned myself to relying on phones for those morning alarm calls. But we both prefer to wake up to the gentler sound of the 'wireless' (Radio 4, to be precise), and we do sometimes need to rise at different times. A dual alarm radio clock ticked all the right boxes, and I was very lucky to be given one as a present not long afterwards.
I was actually quite relieved to see this was a relatively 'old tech' analogue model from a quality manufacturer, as it seemed less likely to break down before its time, so to speak. That was many months ago, and the Roberts is still going strong.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICE
This model is widely on offer at the moment for just £17.99, which brings it well below the price of most digital alternatives.
SPECIFICATION, PERFORMANCE, USABILITY AND DURABILITY
While the time setting is described as 'automatic', this may be slightly ambiguous. 'Semi-automatic' might be more accurate. It is initially set at the factory and then largely self-adjusting, which is good enough for me. It can be manually adjusted too. I'm not so sure about the term 'chronologic' or the satellite icon on the front, but these are minor quibbles really, at this asking price.
Setup is straightforward. Channels do have to be tuned in manually but date and time are preset.
The dual alarms and weekday/weekend options work well, as do the automatic summer/winter settings.
There's an automatic dimmer, which is a nice touch at night, but the display remains very clear at all times.
Radio reception is good, though limited to the range of local and national analogue stations. Tuning is manual only. Sound quality is as good as you might expect from a bedside device - fine for voice and occasional light music.
'Look and feel' (design and build quality) seem ok to me. It's solid enough and fits well into the corner of a bedside table.
Controls may be slightly fiddly, with the on/off switch three (small) buttons in from the right-hand-side and the volume control behind the tuner, but I'm used to these now and don't find it too much of a problem.
It's all quite self-explanatory really, but the manual covers everything quite clearly if in any doubt.
So far, we have had no problems with this clock radio. It may be quite basic but it does the job at a very reasonable price. We might not be winding the clock back to steam radio here but there is something reassuringly familiar about this product.
USER MANUAL AND HELP
The 22 page manual is clearly written and fully illustrated. This includes the (UK) postal address and phone number for Roberts Radio Technical Services and Helpline, as well as the web address (below).
Reliable; good value for money
Somewhat basic; limited range of analogue broadcasting stations; controls slightly fiddly
A good basic clock radio at a very reasonable price
* Roberts Radio website : www.robertsradio.co.uk
[© SteveS001 2013. A version of this original review may appear on other review sites under the same name]
I'm quite a heavy sleeper so I need an alarm clock to shake the heavens to wake me up and I need it to wake me up enough to keep me awake.
The alarm clock allows you to set 2 alarms for different times. This is a must for me as I can set one for 7am and then another for 7.15 to make sure I haven't fallen back asleep.
There is also a radio, I don't particularly use this, but the signal is great and it sounds perfect. You can set the radio as the alarm tone if you wish which I find is a nice feature to have.
Another great feature is the ability to select which days you would like to set the alarm for so at the weekend you can set the alarm for a later time. Personally I disable the alarm at the weekend, but this is useful so your weekday alarm can stay set permanently.
I purchased this alarm clock for £20 from amazon a while back. While not the cheapest, for £20 you get many features which aren't included in cheaper models. The reviews on amazon really made me opt for a more expensive clock, previously I have used £5 models and they seem to break after a while. This clock has been used daily for over 12 months and hasn't missed a beat or failed to wake me up.
The alarm clock looks nice, wakes me up every day without fail and is a reasonable price for the quality. I am 100% happy with my purchase and wouldn't hesitate buying another if I ever needed to. It is nice being able to set the alarm to wake me up with the radio or the usual alarm sound and the flexibility of this alarm clock makes it stand out from the rest in my opinion.
This Roberts alarm clock with 2 separate alarm settings is the one I have by my bed on the floor. It was bought as a Christmas present about 2 years ago when I asked for a digital radio. Just to make it clear this is not a digital radio, it is analogue, it was a gift.
I was hoping to have a digital radio and avoid the wandering radio signal of my old alarm clock, which eventually gave up after about 15-20 years, but have another analogue one. As luck would have it the signal for the radio is very strong, and I have had no trouble finding and staying on all the major stations. It has a small wire lead for an aerial that finds a signal just lying on the floor.
It sets up in less than 10 seconds I would say and is very impressive. You simply plug it in and it automatically finds the time and date. It is easy to set the alarm either alarm 1 or 2 you just select either buzzer or radio then push the alarm button on top and the up and down buttons until it gets to the time you want.
I have digital radio via my Sony tv and freeview now so this Roberts alarm clock works just fine. As I understand it some local and community radio stations will still be available on analogue radios after radios have switched over to digital ( DAB ) so old radios can be kept for sentimental reasons.
This is available from Currys or Amazons for £18. However it should be stressed that it is not 'future proofed' as it is an analogue radio and most of the radio part will cease to work after the DAB switchover on 2015. The clock and buzzer alarm and some local radio will though, and that along with the fact that my Mum bought it ( main reason ) is reason enough for me to keep it until it breaks.
There is another intermittent problem though, this clock automatically resets the time and date for 'accuracy' via some transmitter the same way it finds the right time when you plug it in. The problem is the time seems to change, at first I thought it was because it was near the microwave so I moved it, but it still gets 10 or 15 minutes behind. I worry that it will not go off so I use my mobile as well. I have read that it may be the back up battery.
Overall I would say there are better analogue alarm clocks if you do not want to go to the next level up at £50 to £70 for a digital alarm clock.
I bought this alarm clock because I'm sick of waking up to the boring same old alarm every day, and instead I wanted to wake up to a different song or Radio 4 news. So I bought this.
For build quality this scores top marks, It's made of solid plastic all round, the buttons depress only very slightly and the little aerial that comes with it is quite strong too. It's quite resistant to knocks and scrapes; no scratches on this so far and I have dropped it accidentally (shoved it off the side table in a rush) with no harm done.
The speaker in this thing is disgraceful, but for £18 what do you expect? I wasn't too bothered about this given it's price tag really. The radio sounds tinny, there's no bass at all and all presenters sound like they're either underwater or have colds. At high volumes the sound is strained and whiney, it really struggles here.
The alarm is easy to use, set and get used to. You will need the manual to understand the menu's and settings but it only took me about 10 minutes to fully understand and get going. There are confusing things in the menu which require a little more knowledge before fully understanding. like A AO (Radio set) 1-5 1-7 5-7 (The football scores, or could be the days for the alarm to come on. )
After the alarm goes off it will spend 1 hour with the radio on before it switches off. You can use the buzzer alarm if you prefer but this kind of defeats the point of spending extra money on an alarm clock radio. You can also use this as a regular radio and just turn it on during the day without the alarm going off.
The volume does go quite loud for a little alarm clock and I often find that any more than a quarter of the volume is more than sufficient to get me out of bed. Any more than this and I'd be startled out of bed in a blind panic to immediately turn it off. It should really be a gradual thing.
The dimming feature on this works extremely well. Within half a second of me turning the light off the screen dims down and vice versa. The display is quite dim when the lights are off but not so much that you can't see it. The display is just green and is very clear.
Overall a great little alarm clock and worth every penny at just £18. It helps to keep the volume low if you want a gentle start to the day. Nothing like waking up with Chris Evans screaming at you under water with a cold...
I bought this clock to take away to university with me. The alarm clock cost me £17.99 from amazon which for the quality you get is a reasonable price. The alarm clock looks aesthetically pleasing and fits in nicely on the wooden bedside table i have in my room.
You are able to set 2 alarms on the clock with minimal effort. All you need to do is hold down the appropriate 'alarm set' button and set the time using the other buttons on top of the alarm clock. When the alarm goes off, the sound is loud enough to wake you up easily so there is no worry of sleeping through your alarm.
The alarm also has a snooze function and a feature allowing you to set which days you would like your alarm to go off which is very handy if you work monday-friday and start work at the same time each day. You are also able to set the other alarm for a different time for the weekends (although i don't as its nice to have an uniterrupted lie-in!)
The radio feature is fantastic too. It is easy to choose the station you want and function the radio feature. The best feature with this alarm clock is the fact that it automatically sets the date and time so if for any reason your electricity goes off, you don't have to reset it and it even stores your alarms set which is brilliant.
Overall, this alarm clock is great, it has several brilliant features that make it worth spending the money on.
I bought this alarm clock around 6 months ago now, to replace my old one as the screen display was so bright, it lit up my room at night and I need nearly pitch black to be able to sleep! I went for this one as it has an automatic dimmer display on it. When you turn the light on the display turns bright, and when you turn the lights off, the display automatically goes dimmer. It is so much better at night, the display does not give off loads of light at all but you can easily read it in the dark too.
This radio alarm clock cost me around £20 off amazon, and I am so pleased with it for the money. It is not the best looking alarm clock, but it doesn't look really cheap. It looks decent enough on my bedside table. The only thing I don't like about it, is the aerial is a really long wire, and in my bedroom to hear the radio you have to have the wire right up pointing towards the ceiling, which meant sticking it up on the wall, which doesn't look nice in your room, although I did manage to hide it behind my mirror so you couldn't see it. It just doesn't work unless you do this.
The alarm clock side of this radio is brilliant. You can set two alarms, by just holding down each alarm button and setting the time. The first one you can set as a normal alarm sound, which is more than loud enough to wake you up, and the second one I set for the radio to come on. It also has a snooze function on it, and you can choose what days to have the alarm on too, so you don't have to put it on each night. Mine is just set up automatically for Monday to Friday and it never lets me down! You can also set it for a different time at weekends, which is handy.
One thing I would have found better with this alarm clock is having an easier to each off button, as the snooze button is easy to hit as it is at the front. But all the rest are quite small buttons all in one long line, and to turn it off you have to press the third one along, which can be annoying when you have just woken up and you are trying to feel for the third button to turn it off! I always end up keep pressing the snooze button!
The radio is so easy to control and select different stations, mine seems to automatically go off after one hour though, then you have to switch it back on again. The time on the display is really big and clear, I wish it would display the temperature of the room like my old alarm clock did.
When you plug this alarm clock in, you don't even have to set anything up, it automatically sets the date and time for you which is handy when you unplug it and move it to another room, you don't have to reset anything, it even remembers all your alarm times! It takes no time at all to find the right date and time when you plug it in, I would say in about 20 seconds it is ready to use.
Overall, this alarm clock was cheap, it is compact, looks decent on my dressing table, the alarms never let me down, and its great having the radio come on in the morning, I am pleased with this alarm clock, and would definitely recommend it for the price!