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Firstly, I haven't given a star rating for the category 'Sheerness' as I have absolutely no idea what that is! This is a good DAB clock/radio, with an excellent sound and a small footprint. It is one of the very rare models available which has a USB MP3 input available so top marks to Roberts for recognising that not all consumers are able to (or want to) exclusively use a smartphone to play their own music through via their radio. This radio would have merited 5 starts except for a three significant issues: (1) the display is very small, and the use of dark purple 'highlighting' to select a menu option on a black background renders the display just about unreadable for older users, or those who have poor eyesight, particularly in a darkened bedroom which is, let's face it, the intended usage of the radio; (2); the buttons on the top of the radio (dust gatherers) are silver on silver with teeny tiny grey symbols on them - impossible to see, really; (3) there is absolutely no mention that MP3s will only play in the order they have physically been copied onto the USB, rather than in the usual numerical or alphabetical order. It took me a week of frustration to stumble upon this completely by accident - I'd almost got to the stage of tearing my hair out when I couldn't get my tracks to play in numerical order (and yes, I'm technically competent and know all about metadata, tags etc). From what I have read, most radio purchase and usage is now by older consumers - why are Roberts not catering to this market? Are they missing a trick? Do they actually get older users to test their products whilst still in the development stage? If not, they should!
There’s a lot to like with this radio. It’s packed with useful features - Bluetooth, variable alarm settings (daily, weekday, weekend..., alarm length, volume, etc), USB playback and smartphone charging, DAB & FM presets...It also looks great, in that retro Roberts way, complete with leather carrying strap and old school telescopic aerial. I love the choice of analogue or digital standby clock face. And, despite some reviews to the contrary, I found it very easy to set up and operate.
What lets the whole thing down is the poor, lifeless sound. It’s a small portable radio and unfortunately it sounds like one. DAB generally has never won any points for sound quality anyway, with most stations broadcasting in low bitrate MP2 but previous Roberts radios we’ve owned have always made a good fist of it. And having also owned small Bluetooth speakers in the past, it clearly is possible to put some meat into the sound output of something this small. Sound quality for FM and Bluetooth fair no better.
It’s a shame because I love everything else about this clock radio. It ticked all the boxes for form and functionality, nothing else I could find offered everything I was looking for. I just wish I’d listened to it first. I’ll probably only keep this for a short while and then look to get a Pure Evoke H3 but I’ll be sacrificing smartphone charging for decent sound. Shame.
Nice little unit let down by tinny sound as other reviewers have mentioned. This radio is a great size and feels well made but why oh why didn't Roberts add and equaliser as it's crying out for one to add some depth to the sound . Sent back and I shall revert back to my Pure H3 which is several classes above but just a little more money