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4.3 out of 5 stars730
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2010
I bought a wind-up radio that cost about £20 and it was a total waste of money. Wind-up radios are a nice idea but the effort to wind-up every few minutes means you can never really just enjoy listening. Even if you have strong arms it is still a bit too much work to wind enough to give you 20 minutes...which I never managed even once to achieve. Additionally, the sound fades very qickly on a wind-up radio and I stopped using mine very soon after I'd bought it. I was bought this radio as a gift and would recommend it to anyone who wishes to have a no-nonsense, quality radio. Having three ways to power the radio is brilliant. It has a nice tone when listening to Classic FM or talk shows such as radio 4 for example. It is simple to operate and I know I will be using this radio at my allotment, when I do the decorating, for picnics, when I cook and with earphones when I go to bed. The reception of DAB is very good. Although quite expensive to buy I think this radio will prove to be worth every penny because the cost of batteries won't be an issue. The instruction booklet is very clear too. This is not a boom box, so if you want something that can blast out very high volume then this is not for you! It's the sort of radio you want for having background chat and music as you work or play. I hope this helps you choose with confidence!
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on 9 May 2010
Almost bought the 'old' model at the same price until I read reviews, the new version is great and appears to have incorporated all the points raised by reviewers of the original model.

Overall quality is excellent, it is simple to use, sounds great and provides almost complete flexibility as regards power supply. Battery life is exceptional, even on cloudy days or indoors when the solar panel cannot operate to full potential.

This is a replacement for our existing 'portable' DAB radio which lasts an average of six hours using six 'D' batteries.

You may think the price is a bit steep, but I am going to save a small fortune in batteries alone.

UPDATE: 15 Feb 2011.

Still like new and going strong, buying quality really pays off.
Last summer solar power kept it going with minimal mains charging.
During the winter we've used in in the conservatory mainly on mains,
but the solar capabilty came into its own when we had powercuts.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
44 comments|250 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2012
I did a thorough review of all the portable digital radios on the market - their pros and cons - as I wanted to be able to listen to DAB outside whilst camping or working in the garden. I eventually chose this DAB Solar 2, mainly because of the Roberts' reputation for quality but added fun of it being solar too!.
After inserting the rechargeable batteries and leaving the device to charge for over 24 hours (more than the suggested 16), I was VERY impressed by the sound quality, neatness and simplicity in use of this great little portable radio.
I the sat outside in the midday sun( oh yes...on one of the few days we had sun) with it playing next to me whilst I read a book....but alas after 20 minutes it very disappointingly switched itself off! The solar indicator showed it still to be charging - but it was dead. I replaced the proprietary batteries with which it came with some of my own alkalines, turned the switch off Ni/MH accordingly and it jumped back into life again. I checked the proprietary batteries on my tester and it showed they were dead. Thinking it may be the built-in radio charger that was at fault, I charged the proprietary batteries in my own charger for 6 hours until they were full.
Alas, this time the radio went dead after less than 15 minutes. I checked the batteries again and it showed that two out of the three of them needed charging again. I binned them (environmentally of course)
I have since installed three 2650mA AA rechargeables from a reputable brand - and the unit has since been working perfectly for over 3 hours and still going as I write - with NO solar charging.

Final comments:
Why are Robert's tarnishing their good name by selling such an excellent product with such useless batteries? I did read one other article indicating the same. If you do buy this product - be prepared to purchase new rechargeables.
Also - the unit takes an odd number of 3 AA batteries - yet they come in packs of 4. The unit has spare room in the battery compartment to store a fourth battery, so why didn't they design to use 4?
The preset button is also a bit of a waste of time...you still have to scroll through your preset list to find the one you want, just that you are scrolling a few less stations than what might be available! Favourite button is very useful.

Overall - if it wasn't for the niggles above - I would thoroughly recommend this device for the value of money and quality of sound.
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on 17 December 2011
Was hoping the initial battery issues would resolve themselves with use, as other reviewers reported; but that isn't my experience. I've had it several months, and listen to DAB rather than FM. Recharged batteries tend to give up in under an hour. I've tried various batteries, using external chargers, running it on mains whenever possible, and nothing has produced trustworthy battery life (the solar panel is really little more than a gimmick in my opinion). Other than that, it's a decent little radio (a bit bassy); and I like the Aux In which adds flexibility. I'll happily stick with Roberts for my next radio; but it'll need to be more reliable than their SolarDAB.
(Just to add, the battery compartment switch is correctly set, just in case anyone was wondering.)

UPDATE: I previously posted this review bemoaning the iffy battery life of my SolarDAB. I emailed Roberts support but got no response. Eventually I phoned them, and spoke to a helpful techie who suggested bending out the metal connectors in the battery compartment. Since doing this, the SolarDAb has been behaving itself, and finally producing decent battery life. I think the continual swapping of batteries was probably amking things worse by pushing back the connectors and reducing contact. I've been kicking myself for not thinking of the connector bending myself; but thought I'd post an update in case it helps anyone else.
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on 7 September 2010
I wanted a radio for my bathroom that I could plug an MP3 player into, so I started to search the Internet. I quickly came upon the Roberts range of radios and found this model that not only accepts an aux input, but charges itself from solar energy!
My Roberts sits on my bathroom window sill and although I have frosted glass and that window doesn't get direct sunlight, it does seem to be charging itself. I'm sure if it does get low on charge I can simply leave it on a sunnier window sill for a day whilst I'm out.
This is my first DAB radio and on first use it tuned itself in easily. I tried FM and although it's a little slow at manually tuning for the first time, the reception is good. The advantage of FM over DAB is I don't have to wait for a couple of seconds when I turn the radio on to hear sound. I do find DAB slightly annoying in that respect. The aux input works easily and I can now plug either my phone or MP3 player into the radio and listen at quite a respectable volume. There isn't a tone control on my Roberts, but whether in my tiled bathroom or carpeted bedroom the sound is good.

In summary, the good points are: solar powered, volume, tone, aux input, portable & looks British!
The negatives: DAB 'lag' when turning on, time delay when moving from one room to another with a radio on FM.
Wish list: Port for SD card would be nice.

I'm now looking at one of the larger Roberts CD/DAB players for my living room :-)

Steve Boyer, Halifax, West Yorkshire
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on 6 November 2010
Bought this to replace a pure one mini that lasted just over 13 months obviously as the radio is new how long its going to last isn't something I can predict but it's plus points are:

1. Comes with rechargeable batteries that aren't too fearsomely expensive to replace (unlike pure one mini).
2. Large screen and clear display
3. Battery lifespan is good for digital (about 20 hours between recharges no digital is brilliant when it comes to battery life)
4. Sound quality is good for a portable digital radio (this is my third DAB and I think it's almost as good as my old pure Evoke but much better than the pure one mini)
5. Presets are really easy to use and the instructions, while well written, aren't really necessary.
6. Will talk to my iPod and allow me to control the volume from both iPod and radio (not all digials with Aux sockets will allow you to control the sound from the radio)
7. Solar charger is a nice touch and on a sunny day in November it was recharging (but cloud cover stopped this).
8. Can use standard alkaline batteries.

Negative points
1. Solar recharger is unreliable in a British winter on my south facing window ledge (though I haven't tested it outside)
2. Scrolling information wasn't easy to read as it's refresh rate is poor leaving a ghost of the word as it moves across the screen.

Overall a good value product that produces very good sound quality for a small portable radio.
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on 7 May 2011
Looks - excellent
Sound quality - Good enough although it is mono
- you can get stereo through headphones
Ease of use - Very good

Problem! and solution if anyone else has this.

The radio arrived in the evening so having read the instruction manual
I set about charging the batteries.
Following the instructions I first set the switch to the NimH/Nicad side.
(The text inside the radio is a little confusing as it appears to suggest
three positions for the switch, but I'm reasonably sure there are only two)
I then inserted the batteries supplied with the radio and plugged in the
charger.
I was surprised when after only 6 - 10 minutes the charge light changed
from blinking to solid, indicating the charge was complete.
I thought it possible that the batteries had come precharged so I
unplugged the charger from the radio and turned the radio on.
The radio tumed itself in and I selected the station of my choice.
After just a few minutes a red light appeared on the radio and it shut
itself off.
At this point I was unsure if the radio or the batteries were at fault so
decided to try charging again but this time to leave on charge overnight.
The following morning I turned on the radio and again it shut itself off
after just a few minutes.
This time I decided to try some rechargeable batteries of my own.
The charge light was in blink mode for a good number of hours as one
would expect. This was pleasing as I now expected that the problem
had been with the batteries and not the radio.
This has proven to be the case and it ran for 19 hours 39 minutes before
the batteries were exhausted. The radio was in sunlight for about 90 minutes
so will have got some extra charge from that.
For your information the batteries I used for this test
were Duracell DC1500 NiMH 1.2V / 2450mAh.
22 comments|46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 September 2010
we bought this great little radio to take on our camping holiday.we charged it before we went for the week and the only recharging it needed was using the solar panel. benefits include being able to plug an mp3 into it and its eco friendliness. its great to use in the garden and we are really pleased with the sound quality .
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on 22 October 2010
Nice quality sound from a small radio on FM and DAB. It has a single mono speaker (1W) but a stereo amplifier, so can be stereo on the headphone output. I like the Audio-in so that one can use it as a speaker for my mp3 player. DAB reception sensitivity is good and seems to last well on the 3 AA batteries. The solar charging LED lights up inside my conservatory from sun through the window glass but have no idea how much it charges the AA rechargable batteries.

I am very happy to recommend this radio but so unhappy with the price dropping only days after buying from [...] to [...] that hurts, so do check prices for a few days. Caveat emptor comes to mind.
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on 6 May 2010
Being a owner of a a wind up DAB radio I was excited to see roberts release a solar radio as its a lot less tiring on the arm whilst still being good for mother earth! Its good to see they have released the solarDAB 2 with an FM option as that was one thing that put me off buying their original model was the lack of FM.
As you would expect from a roberts the build quality is excellent (you can see why the queen likes them!) and the sound quality is top notch (nice and rich, although no tone control). There is even a small recessed carry handle in the back which a reviewer flagged up as a dissapointing omission from the first solarDAB.
Overall this is a very impressive great value update of the first solarDAB and comes highly recommended.
feel the power!
T
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