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Well, we're not in love yet, but we're on a second date. Firstly, it's not ergonomically designed. The top panel is a hideous gold colour (I already knew that, so I'm observing, not complaining) so obviously it's difficult to operate unless you can see it. All of it. You can't put it on the kitchen windowsill and just leave it there, unless you only need one station. When you've got FM, DAB, Bluetooth, and a few other options to select, you need visual access to the panel, which you can only see from directly above it. If you want to switch stations, you need to tilt the radio through 45 degrees, just to see the panel. If you want to change tone settings, you still need to see the panel, so if it's placed out of the way you need to grab the whole radio, and put it on the table in front of you. Then you do your business and put it back, knocking the vinegar bottle over with the power cord as you go.
That it has a range of alternative tone settings is great. I have a 10 year old Roberts Uno which sounds as though it's in the sock drawer, and this, for 4 times the cost, is marginally better. The default has the bass so heavy so as to make the box unlistenable, but you can dial it down just about enough by adjusting the tone settings. The problem is that you set it up for today's poppy radio station and it's fine, but tomorrow you may want some classical stuff, and you need to reset the damned thing again. Same with the volume setting - YouTube sounds good from the iPad to the radio, but switch to FM from that, and it's so loud you'll need to change your underwear.
Last beef: the batteries are charged, but unlike the 10 year old Uno Logic, instead of seamlessly switching to battery power for the few minutes between charged and flat when you switch the mains off, the iStream just switches off completely! Dead! Battery indicator: full green. Radio? Dead like roadkill.
Overall first impression is not good. I've waited for ages for this thing to budge off its £200 tag, and finally bought one for £25 under, as long as I can survive the gopping red, so it's all a bit disappointing. I'm thinking I'll buy a charger for my Bose Colour Bluetooth speaker, and use the cellphone to select a radio station.
Will report back when I learn something else newsworthy.
This could be the perfect radio, great features but marred by an acknowledged issue that Roberts aren’t looking to fix in any upcoming models of the iStream series. The radio suffers from a mains-generated hum which equates to the sound of a loud mosquito when the radio is at lower volumes (eg when you’re in bed at night/in the morning). This is really disappointing for a supposedly high end piece of audio equipment, especially when you’ve paid nearly £200. Also it’s a total pain to set up the internet radio...
This is a nice device to look at but it’s disappointing to actually use.
The software is poor: expect frequent crashes when using the Bluetooth and Spotify connectivity. It’s not uncommon for the radio to just reboot itself in the middle of a podcast, or to not recognise inputs from Spotify without restarting the app.
The build quality is a bit suspect too: touching the antenna (not hard to do given its proximity to the volume knob) frequently results in a little electric shock.
Radio worked fine for 4 months but then would not charge the rechargable batteries even though they recharged perfectly in an external charger. The recharge light would flash green for a short while then flash red and not charge. According to manual if i pressed info it should tell if a faulty battery was present, but nothing happend when info pressed. Rang Roberts radio they admitted it was a fault but seemed reluctant to do anything except advise me to ask Amazon for refund. Amazon said it was not up to them but contact seller. All in all I bought a very expensive radio which only worked as it should for 4 months
Where do I start. This is not easy to set up. The so called network wizard has lost it's wand. Still cannot figure out how to add it to our home network. The 6 duracell alkaline batteries lasted for 2.5 hours of playing time before the low battery light came on. The radio reception is appalling - loads of interference on DAB, and don't even think of using FM. Of course that could be our house, but we have not had trouble before. We are using it as a Bluetooth speaker with radio set from an Iphone. As we already have a B&W Zeppelin speaker as well as BOSE and PURE devices with Bluetooth facility, this is defeating the object. It does take rechargeable batteries, so we may try those, as we did buy this as a portable device and did not think that it would need to be plugged in permanently. The only plus point is it looks great!
Looked and sounded great, but we returned it after two days because after the first couple of days it wouldn’t hold a DAB or FM signal, it wouldn’t even play internet radio in the same room as the router. Emailed Roberts, no reply. Shame.
The Alexa function does not work! We called the helpline and they just said “yes we know this is a problem” - sooo we just have a very expensive radio. It’s pretty and sounds nice but doesn’t do what it’s supposed to at all - I wouldn’t buy it again
Amazon's recommendation is to bundle this product alongside: Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA 2500mAh Eneloop NiMH Ready to Use Rechargeable Battery BK 3HCDE/4BE (4 x Eneloop pro batteries) However, the Roberts Radio, takes x6 not x4, AA batteries, and I now have to buy another x4 plus postage.
Thanks to the utterly incomprehensible instructions the most I've been able to do is plug it in. Can't understand how you are supposed to get any radio/DAB signal or anything else for that matter. Waste of a great deal of money.