73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
It looks and feels well made. Chunky with a good weight to it. Not flimsy, flexible and light.
It has a proper power cable rather than a mains adaptor, so no need to worry about leaving the power-supply behind in a hotel room when on a business trip.
The buttons are clearly labelled, and work without the need to press so hard the unit creaks under the pressure.
The display is large, clear, uncluttered and easily legible on 2 of the 3 brightness setting.
Sound quality is perfect (for me), as all I intend to use it for is a clock radio.
I was almost able to set it all up, set the alarms, and get it working without having to actually read the instructions at all, the buttons and menus are that clear & well laid out. I only had to read the instructions to find out how to set an alarm to "RADIO/BUZZER/OFF" and how to turn the alarm off once is was sounding. Of those two I would probably found the solution to the first myself had it not been that the location I put the alarm in had those switches against the wall an not in plain sight.
Having 2 alarms is perfect for me. I work weekdays, and alternate Saturdays. So I simply set alarm 1 to "WEEKDAYS" and set alarm 2 to "WEEKENDS."
I can turn alarm 2 on or off as required.
Unlike a 1 alarm radio I do not have to worry about forgetting to turn the only available alarm back on Sundays and then being late Monday as alarm 1 (WEEKDAYS) can be left on all the time.
Q: So why only 4 stars?
A: Because I can not give 4.5 stars.
So why the loss of half a Star?
1. The aerial is a bit of wire hanging out the back. Unlike a rigid aerial you can not position it to get a good signal and let go. I hope (but do not know) that if the alarm goes off and it has no radio signal it will do something other than say "OFF AIR" and remain silent. Unable to get a good signal with the wire hanging down behind the radio & stool it sits on I taped it to the wall at the angle that gave a good signal. Ugly, but it works.
2. The display has 3 brightness setting. "Searchlight," "Bright" and "Barely visibly." The first would make a good night light for kids, the second is good enough to see ones way around the room in the dark, and the third is a smudge in the dark from 6 feet, and hard to make out in full sunlight from 1 and might as well be "off" for all the good it is. It needs a setting part way between the lowest two.
3. There is no way to set the maximum volume for the alarm. It comes on and gradually increases in volume over a short period of time, perhaps 15 seconds. That is OK, and I like it. I just would like to be able to set the maximum volume it goes up to.
Do not misunderstand me, it does not "Turn it up to 10." It stops at a quite reasonable level, but that level is pre-set. For some it will stop too-quiet, and for me it is louder that I need or want. I like to lay there for a few mins listening to the radio quietly burbling away to itself without it being so loud that it is saying "GET OUT OF BED NOW!!"
Another review/reviewer suggests that the alarm volume can be changed. While this is true, it only effect the volume at the time the alarm is going off. The radio does not "remember" that you turned it up or down the next time the alarm goes off. I stand by my statement "There is no way to set the maximum volume for the alarm." You can turn the alarm up or down ONCE it is going off, but can not set the volume beforehand.
P.P.S. (after 2 years of ownership)
It never, ever, notices that the clocks have gone forward or back. It keeps perfect time during the year so must update/synchronise its time using radio time signals, but when the clocks change it never notices. Irritating given the price.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2013
Had the radio for a week so here are my thoughts.
On the plus side, it is simple to set up, has very good reception, the clock is easy to read and can be set to three levels of brightness, isn't too bulky for a bedside cabinet and looks ok.
On the negative side, the tone is too bassy and sometimes makes it difficult to hear a male voice, the sleep timer requires a minimum of three operations to set it which is annoying, the aerial is a wire, the buttons are difficult to navigate in the dark, one with a nipple and the others arranged either side would have been helpful.
It's a big improvement from my trusted old analogue bedside companion but the tone and controls need some working on by Roberts.
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2012
Wanted to replace our 20 year old clock/radio. Decided to go for a DAB. One problem we have is reception of DAB is very limited in our house so a risk as to whether it would be ok in the location we wanted. Reviewed all the ones they had in the bigger retail chains and this Roberts had the best reception in the shop, but didnt have it in stock. Found it on Amazon so decided to get it through them, £5 cheaper as well. Works brilliantly, would definately recommend.
82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2012
Large green display, shame no auto dimmer just 3 level manual but middle option seems best compromise. The display does go bright every time you push a button making settings easier & then times out and reverts to 'dimmer' setting.
Sound quality reasonable, better than my Pure Siesta (that failed altogether after 2-3 years), rear facing speaker takes out any tinny sounds. Buttons spread out OK, not like cheaper Roberts, can easily find positions in dark.
Tuning seemed good, DAB stations fine, no issues with quality or reception (we have generally poor reception normally).
Sleep feature fine, can select 90 mins down to 5 mins but need to push at least 3 buttons (2 if you let 90mins just timeout & revert to normal display).
Volume control very good, low level volume for night-time very controllable (again my Pure was either too loud or too quiet).
Separate alarm buttons on side which mean you can set the alarm for daily operation and easily switch off without re-programming when next used. Setting the 'once only' alarm a bit fiddly as it then asks for the date and defaults to 'today' (rather than tomorrow).
10 station presets (10 DAB, 10 FM) easy to set-up and although no individual buttons, can be accessed from either end of the scan up/down sequence(ie one push on 'up' gives Preset 1 and one push on 'down' gives Preset 10 hence 2 buttons are virtually individual buttons).
I use the alarm buzzer rather than the alarm radio hence fine, others say the escalating volume on the radio setting didn't wake them. It does come on quite loud eventually.
Overall very pleased, would strongly recommend compared to my previous Pure Siesta.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2012
Excellent radio in virtually every respect. It has a very clear large display and plenty of volume. I use it as a bedside radio making full use of the two alarms and sleep function. Easy to use the preset button in calling up stations. Only downside is the volume of the radio on wake up (alarm set to radio) seems much lower than the normal audio volume and doesn't wake me. However this is no problem since radio has a buzzer alarm option and this is an effective wake up sound.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2014
Nice looking and full of hope, set the new radio up on the bedside. We always wake up to the news at 7am. Unfortunately, the radio was too quiet to wake anyone (started nearly inaudible and advanced in stages over 30 seconds to whisper quiet then stopped getting louder). After endless reading of the manual and phoning their help line, discovered it is a "feature", ie the radio alarm volume cannot be adjusted - accept the Roberts pre-setting and that's it. What an incredible blunder for a "Clock Radio"!
100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2012
This might not be the most attractive clock radio...in fact I nearly didn't buy it! However the others that I tried were too complicated to use as alarm clocks...
This has a nice clear (large) time display. You can alter the brightness easily to suit yourself. The medium setting seems perfect - not too dim and doesn't light up the whole room in the dark. The alarm is easy to set and you can turn off before it is due to sound with just one button press, which is a real bonus. The controls are on the top and the side and easily accessed. The sound is good and clear.
If you just want a DAB clock radio, this is ideal. I only gave it 4 stars as it's not very attractive, but it is very functional!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2013
Bought this as per the title - as a radio alarm clock. Everything is great, easy to use etc etc. even the sound quality for a DAB radio is as expected, crystal clear. However, where this product fails miserably is there is no way of setting the volume that the radio transmits when using it as an alarm. Yes, the ascending volume when the alarm goes off is a clever feature but basically the ultimate volume it reaches is way too loud and theres no control over this. Disappointing so I'm looking into returning this to Amazon as a result.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2013
I really searched long and hard. Some people find things too bright, some find radio poor. Then I caught a new thread, 'hard to change once set' or even set alarm initially'. This little beauty does have 3 dimness settings for display. It has two alwarms, a doddle to set, or change before you wake up, with very easily, with sliders on the side to turn on or off. DAB is good, and it comes on gently at first. SOund quality is a revelation for something so small.
Need a clock radio, look no further, and just buy it. You wont look back.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2013
After reading some of the negative review comments regarding the Chrondab, I very nearly didn't buy this unit. For a start my wife is positively puritanical about light pollution. For nearly a year our existing unit, which admittedly was a bit bright, has been wearing one of those eye shades that airlines give you on night flights. Which sort of negates the whole point of having a clock at all really. So I took the plunge and waited for the Roberts to arrive. This is how it went.
Dimmer controls first, as this bit had to be right. The Chronodab has 3 dimmer settings, the lowest isn't even visible in daylight and at night the faint but readable glow should satisfy even the lightest sleeper. If your partner still says that it's too bright then there are only two possible expanations. Either your unit is faulty or you are sleeping with a Vampire.
We live in a rural area and reception can sometimes be pretty iffy, but within seconds of plugging it in it was dsplaying the correct time and playing a DAB music station. However, on cycling through the selection I found only six available stations and nothing at all from the BBC. I fiddled with the wire antenna for a while, switched the unit on and off several times and finally kicked the box across the bedroom. Still only six stations. After a cup of coffee and some humble pie I retrieved the box from the other side of the room and found the manual. I resigned myself to just one quick peek, but no more than one page, Tuning. Easy when you know how, you just press the right button, the unit then does a quick scan and it finds all those missing stations. You can then allocate your favourites to presets. The sound quality is pretty good indeed.
The physical size of the unit is about right in order to give plenty of space between all the various buttons. The top surface, with all the controls, is angled so it's easier to see from a lying down position and usefully, the two alarm selection buttons and the dimmer switch are located separately on the left hand side.
My only real niggle is back where I started, the display panel. We have a Roberts CD/Radio in the kitchen which has quite an elegant display that shows the time, station and 'now playing' all at the same time. The Chronodab has a very large, chunky display. I assume that the boffins at Roberts did this as most people who need them won't be wearing their bins in bed and so designed the numbers to be large enough to be read by all. This is all well and good, but when you're lying there listening to music and your partner suddenly says 'Oh, who sang this?' it can take quite a while for the answer to laboriously scroll through, three of four letters at a time. In fact if it's one of those annoying, really long song titles then you may find the song has ended before you get the answer. Worst case scenario, your partner comes up with the answer to her own question while you're still waiting for the 'Now playing' bit to scroll off the display.
Oh well it's only a minor point, so no regrets as I've not seen anything to beat the Chronodab in this price range.