I really enjoy owning this little radio. I try to keep it out of the reach of my kids so I can keep it to myself – that’s how much I like it. It’s a good old fashioned transistor radio size – too big to fit in a pocket, and too heavy, at nearly 600g. But unlike an old fashioned radio, it is digital, which is great. There is a large, easy-to-read digital display which shows the exact frequency you are tuned to – no mucking about with thick red lines and illegible small numbers. The display can be illuminated for night time, or bedside, use. One of the unusual features is that there are so many ways to tune to radio to a frequency: there is an “old fashioned” rotary knob on the side, you can key in a particular frequency on the numeric keypad, you can press one button for a preset, or you can use the up and down buttons, or an auto-scan. Wow. All work fine, though the unique rotary knob is tough to beat. The sound quality is simply excellent. Far better than any other portable radio I know. Partly this is because its fairly large size allows Roberts to fit in a relatively large loudspeaker. And the solid “feel” matches the excellent sound. This is all just as well, given the very high price – at £100, it really is expensive. The radio offers FM, LW, MW and SW. Honestly, I only use FM. There is nothing on MW or LW I want, and I cannot pick anything up on SW – but then again, I never have been able to, on any of the radios I have owned. I think it may be something to do with the aerial, and one of the web retailers selling this device offers a free SW aerial (damn, I wish I had one!) Lets not forget other features. Number one is a clock, which provides an alarm facility. As you’d expect, this can wake you up with the radio tuned to the station of your choice. As you might not expect from a company as British as Roberts, it also has something with
the appalling title of “Humane Wake System” – this is simply an alarm which beeps quietly at first getting gradually louder, so as to wake you “humanely”. Yuck. A little slip case is provided for travel or storage. Mercifully this makes little attempt at even pretending to be leather – it is just soft plastic. It does not have holes and perforations to allow you to switch the radio on and listen to it with the case on. The radio also has a “lock” switch to disable all the controls; useful when the device is packed in a suitcase. And a mains adapter is provided, but it does not fit in the slip case. The final “feature” is some sort of tie-in to the BBC, which has its logo – oddly – printed on the front. The package includes a tiny BBC booklet and voucher for a World Service magazine. I sent off for one, but never received anything. Strangely appropriate, given that I can’t pick up short wave! My only dislike is the manual, which is poorly written and illustrated – probably by the same genius who dreamed up “Humane Alarm System”… Expensive, and good. Naughty but nice.