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on 5 December 2009
While I agree with the sound quality of this unit being superb, there are several issues with this unit which I think are not highlighted enough in the other reviews.

Firstly the controls are terrible/non-existent. In fact almost every function has to be accessed from the remote control. You cannot even stop/pause on the unit itself.

I found using the unit in alarm/wake up mode in the mornings, I could not use the volume control on the unit itself. So most of the time I resorted to turning the unit off completely.

The backlight is not a problem and can be adjusted via the remote control, and the ipod docking/radio tuning is a smooth process.

For anyone who misses having controls on the unit - I would strongly advise checking out the lower model in the range (without the SD/recording facility).
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on 18 January 2009
This is a great product. The sound is first class and better than any standard micro Hi-Fi with those bulky separate speakers I've had before. It's nice and easy to use in fact when you get it just plug it in and it tunes in all the DAB channels and sets the clock. The functions are easy to use and I've managed to work most them out just with the remote and not using the well laid out and explained book that comes with it. The iPod dock is great but you I don't get the track playing info etc on the MP53 display when my son's iPod touch is connected. I think this is not unusual as it's the same with a friends Sony system. If you've got loads of music on your computer you can copy it onto an SD card you can then slot the card in and play from that...easy....reduces the needs for loads of CD's. The system picks up DAB well all stations are shown as strong signals when I slightly struggle with signal strength normally.
Also I love the look of it, its piano black and glossy and it does have a 10mm wide silver/grey band around the front which cannot always be seen on pictures.
I read loads of reviews on the MP23 and Mp43 and one of the few complaints was that the power and display lights were too bright for some users in the bedroom; I have mine in the lounge but can imagine that the same could still apply for the MP53. I'd compare it to a mobile phone screen level of brightness if that helps.
Would I recommend it to others... most definitely at just over £200 in my opinion because of the sound, looks, functions and ease of use you'll do well to get more for your money...
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on 28 September 2010
The positives of this product are well documented in the other reviews: sound quality is excellent, display is clear and bright, solid build quality, attractive unit, etc.

When I was reading some of the reviews before purchasing the Roberts MP53 I noted a number of people complaining about the remote. I thought this would be a minor negative, that the remote was simply clunky and unattractive.

In fact, the remote control barely functions at all. It is without a doubt the most unresponsive remote control I have ever come across on any piece of electronic equipment. As another reviewer acknowledges (September 2009 I think), you literally have to aim the remote directly at the unit in a straight line for it to function. Even if you are at a slight angle, the Roberts MP53 refuses to acknowledge your button pressing, no matter how frantically applied.

I'm sorry, but for an expensive product like this it's completely unacceptable. The remote renders the Roberts MP53 inoperable at times. You can't just flippantly press the up volume button or the next song button - instead you have to get up out of your chair (or your bed - I stupidly bought this for my bedroom) to align yourself with the IR port.

You might make the same mistake I did, thinking "oh, so what about the remote? I care about the sound quality, the dab radio, etc.". Don't make that mistake. Your whole interaction with this thing is through the remote control, there are very few commands you can operate on the machine itself, outside of volume and power.

I regret buying this enormously, and I've already relocated it to my sitting room where it gets little use. It's a real shame, because everything else about the Roberts MP53 is great but it's let down horribly by the almost criminal neglect of its designers to produce a remote that actually functions.
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on 25 January 2009
This is an outstanding piece of kit. The plug-and-play feature mentioned in Dave A's review is very helpful, and the sound quality is superb, especially for such a small unit.

I particularly like the fact that you can unscrew the telescopic aerial provided, exposing an RF socket so that you can plug it into your loft aerial for perfect FM and DAB reception.

A word of advice, the setup is som simple that you might be tempted just to throw the instructions in the drawer and get on with it. Do have a read through them though, as there are a few functions in the book worth knowing - especially the ability to customise the light settings on the display so you can dim them!

Thoroughly recommended.
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on 3 June 2009
I bought this (from my local independent retailer who recommended it based on my pretty vague idea of what I wanted) about a month ago and it is very very good - sound quality is excellent.
Setup of the DAB stations is very easy (to the extent that I thought I must have missed something) in that basicaly all you do is plug it in and turn it on!
It's pretty intuitive for the radio/cdplayer so these work without looking at the instructions.
iPod dock works using the iPods own controls (again without reading the manual - but two minutes with the manual allows you to use the remote for all the ipod functions, equally 30 seconds with the manual allows you to preprogramme DAB stations. The unit charges the iPod as you use it as well (at the risk of stating the obvious! - note:it won't charge the iPod in the background though if you are listening to, say, the radio)
I haven't used the recording to/playing from USB stick/SD card - or played anything from these inputs but going by track record they will be v. easy.

I paid £280 for mine - but actually the professional advice was worth the extra money, without it I would have spent £100-£150 on a far far inferior piece of kit.
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on 8 April 2009
I've had my Sound 53 for a month now. It has all the features I need, looks and sounds great, and having just one cable (the mains supply) it blends easily into any room. The Sound 53 is better than the Sound 23 or Sound 43 in that it has individual control of bass and treble (as well as preset equaliser settings) and can record to SD card or USB memory stick. Recording is started with 1 button press on the remote control and works beautifully.
If you want to know the full specification and features, do like me and download the user manual from the Roberts website BEFORE you buy.
The unit is not intended to be portable, but I have moved it easily from room to room, and it remembers my radio presets!
I do not use the iPod dock, so I have fitted the dock cover (supplied) to keep the top looking tidy.
My 15 year old Sony hifi has failed, but I am happy to use the Sound 53 as my only hifi in the home. Full marks to Roberts.
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on 19 March 2010
Roberts MP53 Sound 53 CD/DAB/FM Digital Sound System with Dock for iPod-Black

I have had the Roberts MP53 for a few weeks and have found it very easy to live with. I have used my iphone regularly that charges while docked. My young children can use it switching between ipod, SD card, CD and DAB radio using the remote - plug and play really. Good all round sound which can be adjusted through the 'EQ' mode on the remote. I have found the 'flat' setting in 'EQ' produces good all round sound for general use. The DAB reception is fine and reliable. Highly recommended.
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on 11 June 2010
I ordered the Roberts Sound53 a few months ago after spending a lot of time beforehand reviewing many products. I selected this model as it has everything I was looking for - DAB radio, CD player and iPod docking - and came within my budget. It's a sleek looking compact unit, and really is a 'plug in and play' product. I've had no problems with the digital radio reception, unlike other reviewers here. Despite living in London, and on a hill, DAB reception is occasionally generally a bit patchy - however, no complaints so far for this radio's reception. The iPod docking station also takes older models of iPod as it comes with a range of adaptors - another plus!
Generally, for the money, it's a good value little unit and, as my first Roberts purchase, I'm incredibly pleased with it. We use it as our main stereo as the sound is ample for our small cottage. One other thing worth noting perhaps is that the bass is incredibly powerful, and I've found it needs to be adjusted every time the stereo is switched on as it doesn't seem to remember the settings. It could be 'user error' of course, but so far this is the only (very small) complaint I have about this system!
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on 28 February 2009
Beautifully made quality product that worked as expected straight out of the box. Simple intuitive controls, a system that produces a nicely balanced sound from all media, excellent digital radio reception, detail and full spectrum sound from CD and ipod. If like me you want a one box solution and your technology to do everything you reasonably expect without fuss, the Sound 53 is for you. Better than Bose but don't expect big punchy sound, for that you have to buy a Harmon Kardon GO and Play, ipod dock only but excellent auxillary inputs, nothing else comes close.
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on 23 December 2009
I bought this after hearing a friend's, and it sounds just as good as I had hoped. Wonderful room filling sound. Two other people are planning to buy one having heard mine!

I bought this model rather than the M43 because I liked the minimalist design, with a single on/off/volume control - but I have to say that another knob for DAB channel selection would actually be useful. The IR remote is terrible. Big black and chunky, a limited angle of reception, with miniscule buttons and tiny, illegible type. Almost useless - the flat, rectangular remote for the M23 is miles better, so I'm going to borrow one to see if they inter-operate for the basic functions (I've seen them sold as spares, so if they do work I'll get one). [update - Roberts tell me they changed the remote design because people complained about losing the smaller version, and no they aren't interchangeable]

Sadly, my two 3rd gen 15Gb iPods are too old to work with the M53, but I have copied iTunes playlists onto a 4Gb USB stick and that works fine on Random play. I had hoped to be able to copy from the USB stick to some 4Gb SDHC cards but the manual implies that copying can only be done in 'real time' while playing the source, which for my 35Gb of music would take days, so I'll have to buy a USB-adapter for the SDHC cards and do the file transfer on my mac.
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