There's one area of manufacturing where the Brits still lead the world - radios, and what better way to celebrate it than with the quintessentially British Roberts Revival DAB. It's even lovelier to look at than my old Roberts, which didn't even have FM!
But it's not just a pretty face - it's solid and easy-to-use too. You just twist the dial until you see the station you want, and then push down to select it. If you set your own favourites (again, very easy), you can save going through loads of stations. (The Revival does have FM as well as digital.)
Some of the colour choices are glossy, but I think they could be easily scratched, and I prefer the tactile leatherette anyway. I've never had to put the aerial up, the reception's that good, but I realise that depends not just on the radio but also where you live. I've never used the battery.
The only down-side I can possibly think of is that it's quite large (much bigger than the Pure One, for example) but it couldn't be much smaller without losing its looks.
I must admit to being a little bit of a radio nut! I have worked in radio for a good few years and would consider myself a bit of a geek!
When it came time to buy a new radio for myself I wanted something somewhat special. I wanted to utilise the ever growing number of Digital stations appearing on the new multiplexes and I wanted a trusted name.
That is exactly what I found in this Roberts Revival radio.
First of all. the looks: It looks wonderful, I love the old style that wouldn't look out of place in an old cottage somewhere.
I was also told by our engineer at work, to consider not going for the cheapest DAB radio on the market and to try and spend a little more. After all, the gubbins on the inside are what really matters.
I don't know much about the gubbins on the inside apart from the fact that they seem to do what they are supoosed to do. The sound quality is clear, It has a great volume range and the battery life is just incredible! I also like the fact that I can plug it in to the wall if I need, but also just pick it up and tkae it around the house if I am cleaning.
I found the ammount I spent, a little discinserting considering that I have never spent much on radios my whole life, despite working in the industry.
However, having spent a little time getting to use my new radio, I think the cost is absolutely reasonable and I wouldn't hesitate recommending this radio to a friencd in the future.
One thing to consider and this is something that does bother me, is the leather style cover on the outside. While it looks amazing, it is somewhat thin and I am a little worried it may wear, well before the actual radio itself needs replacing.
I am yet to experience any of this, but I have heard of other people having a few issues with this. I think for the price, it is a rather large flaw, that may need to be adressed.
Overall though. this is a fantastic radio that I am pretty much in love with! I use it all of the time and when I'm not actualy on the radio, I'm listening to it, so this is standing up to my demands very well.
Iconic 1950s Roberts design (hence the 'Revival') brought up-to-date with DAB Digital radio (in addition to FM). Rotary tuning and volume knobs atop the radio, with other features (including the 'Pause' function - see below) accessed via four buttons. Backlit digital display with good sized text meaning it's legible in virtually all conditions. The radio features a head-phone socket and a line out to hook up stereo speakers if desired. Powered by battery or mains, though the former run out quickly meaning the portability of the radio is limited (also by its somewhat hefty 2.5kg weight). Nevertheless, good quality sound (if not as exceptional as 'Pure' DABs).
Seven colourways available: pastel cream, pastel pink, pastel blue, red, navy, burgundy and racing green in addition to limited edition options (e.g. Cath Kidston print). Main body of this traditional box radio is covered with coloured leatherette (which is also used for the handle), while the grill concealing the speakers is in gold (as are the dials and buttons atop the radio). The 'Roberts' brand is indicated by a gold metal 'badge'. Altogether a very attractive design that makes the premium price worthwhile.
The leatherette is not very hard wearing. My pastel blue radio was packed up for a house move (complete with bubble wrap, etc....) and what can only have been a very small amount of rubbing has effectively destroyed the leather around the corners. It's now a complete eyesore and I'm ashamed to have it on display so it lives in a box in the loft. Unfortunately it seems (according to Roberts) that there is no way of repairing this damage and my only option is to buy another radio....
'Live Pause' enables you to Pause a programme/music for up to 45 minutes.
For some reason I seem to spend quite a fair bit of my time in the kitchen. I must admit that despite my love of food, I don't really enjoy cooking. Along with washing up, wiping up and cleaning in general it all seems too much of a chore that is never ending. (I realise this makes me sound like a bit of a messy/ lazy bum - really I'm not, I just do not enjoy having to do it.) The only thing that makes my time in the kitchen that little bit more bearable is listening to music. This is why my favourite electrical item in my kitchen has to be without any doubt my beloved Roberts DAB Radio. I had been eying one of these cute radios up for quite some time, and last Christmas I was lucky enough to receive one. After nearly a year's worth of use I feel I am fairly well qualified to review my radio.
This radio initially caught my eye because of its very distinctive style. The radio is inspired by the 1950's and screams retro at the top of its voice. As the styling is so very distinctive, this may not be to everybody's' tastes. Depending on what model you go for, you have a choice between the more traditional leather coated ones' like in the picture, or the more modern plastic coated models which are highly glossed. The model I have has a high gloss piano black finish with a gold coloured grill, knobs and aerial. I was extremely pleased when I received this model as it looks a lot more impressive than the photos I had seen of it. It really is very shiny and still looks as good, even after a year's worth of use. This model fits in well with the fixtures and fitting in my kitchen and is one reason why I wanted this model in particular.
Despite all of these different finishes, each variety is the same size and shape, with the buttons on the top and a large grill on the front covering the speaker. Each radio also has a leather handle, which I have found extremely helpful when it comes to moving the radio. If this handle was not there I'm pretty sure I would have dropped the radio by now as it is fairly chunky and not easy to grip. Although the handle looks like it is for show, it is sufficiently strong and I don't worry about it coming apart when carrying it.
What gives this retro radio a modern twist is the fact that it has DAB capabilities. This means that it has a digital display. However, as the retro design is so prominent, you probably wouldn't notice the display unless you were looking for it. Unlike some modern radios, where the display is the main feature of the radio, Roberts have cleverly built there display seamlessly into the top of the radio. This is also where the rest of the buttons are located, which means that the front of the radio is simple and sleek to look at.
Not only this, but Roberts have succeeded in producing a radio with relatively few buttons. In my opinion, unlike a lot of other modern electrical which have far too many unnecessary buttons, every button has a purpose. Another added bonus, for neat freaks like me is that the top of the radio is completely symmetrical. The display is in the middle with four black buttons above it. These are the on/off button, the button to switch between fm/dab, Auto Tune button and a button for information. Either side of these main black buttons are two small grey circular buttons to save your favourite station or preset the radio. There are no other buttons, which is great as it doesn't look cluttered.
Unlike some other models, this radio does not boast a wide range of features. It is a basic radio with DAB capabilities. It does not have a live pause feature, nor an alarm or anything extra like that. However, I do not feel this is necessarily a criticism as it does everything I would expect a radio to do. As I do not use this radio as a bedside radio, I cannot see the need for having an alarm. Also, as I have never had a radio with a live pause button I cannot miss what I have never had. To be truthful, even if it had this feature I really doubt whether I would ever use it.
Another positive side of this radio is that because it does not have a myriad of confusing features, it is extremely simple to use. You literally press the power button; use the dial to scroll through all of the available stations, and then click down the dial to select that station to listen to. The display lights up and is easy to read. The volume can then be controlled through the second knob/dial, meaning it is easy to adjust. Each button is fairly self-explanatory so is very easy to operate. This makes it an ideal radio for those that want to upgrade to a DAB radio, without losing the simplicity of a traditional radio.
A second feature that this radio has is the fact that I can plug my iPod into it using the auxiliary in jack. To be honest, although I love my iPod I tend not to use it like this as I find with the variety of stations fulfil my musical needs. On the back of the radio there is also a line out option in case you want to plug it into a stereo system. Again, to be fair I have not used this feature, although my partner has used it just to test out some high powered speakers that he bought.
Apart from the actual design of the radio, what makes this radio perfect for me is the amazing sound quality. In my opinion this is where the radio comes into its own and justifies the relatively high price. I mostly listen to music on my radio when I am washing up, therefore I usually have the volume quite high. The sound really is very clear and I have never heard it distort, no matter how loud I have it. I would not describe the sound as bassy, although it is definitely not tinny. Considering the size of the radio, the sound produced is very good.
If you have ever used a Bose sound dock for an iPod, I would say that the sound is of a similar quality to that, although slightly less bassy. Basically, you get what you pay for and Roberts delivers a clear sound that meets all my needs whether listening to music or speech. Although there are no options for adjusting the base as there is only one volume dial, the sound is not compromised.
In comparison to other portable DAB radios, the Roberts is fairly large and chunky. As I said earlier, without the handle, it is too wide to get a good hold on it easily. Although it is fairly large, it is not overly heavy so it can be moved about easily, whilst still feeling like a good solid piece of equipment. The radio has four sturdy rubber feet, which also make it feel secure on whatever surface you chose to put it. Everything about it really does highlight the high build quality that Roberts are known for.
The fact that the radio can be powered either by mains adapter or by batteries also makes this radio easy to move around. The mains adapter is not at all cumbersome so that is another bonus. The only downside is that if you are using batteries, it does take up 4 D Cell batteries, which are the large ones. Although this does seem a lot, I have found that they do last ages. I put new rechargeable batteries in it last Christmas and they only began to run out in about October this year. Considering I use the radio most days I was extremely pleased with the battery life. The radio also has a handy indicator that lights up red when the batteries are beginning to run out.
I have also found that like with digital television the reception changes dependent on where the radio is positioned within my house. The fact that it is easy to move helps to get the best possible signal at the time. Although DAB radio is meant to increase the sound quality to be perfectly frank I have not noticed any difference between fm radio. The only real difference is the fact that I have a much wider choice of station.
Overall I am extremely impressed with my Roberts Radio and hope it remains a feature in my kitchen for many years to come. Despite the high price compared to other makes, I would not hesitate to buy another one. I love it so much that I want a second one in a different colour for a different room! Retailing at around £150 dependent on which finish you chose, it costs nearly three times the price of cheaper DAB radios like the Pure range. However, after using the radio for nearly a year with absolutely no problems I would not hesitate to recommend it and believe it is worth the extra money, especially if you fall in love with the design like I did. I would definitely recommend this product, particularly if you want a DAB radio that is simple to use. Although the styling is the main feature of the radio, the sound quality and ease of use does not let the design down.
I love my DAB radio. Mine is pink, with gold detailing, with a handle for easy carrying. One know is for volume, another for tuning and I can get all stations: FM, AM, or digital radio. I mostly use it to listen to Radio 1, which I love and I find it very useful to have a scrolling screen which tells me which DJ is on and what music and type of programme it is. The sound quality is excellent and the volume goes very high. It is easy to tune to your desired station and it is easy to tune to the digital stations as these are clearly labelled, with a description. The range of stations available is great, although this does vary from place to place. All in all, a radio that is easy to use and well worth the extra cost as it is superior in quality to your bog standard radio.