288 of 289 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabtastic!
Internet radio is the future of radio, and this machine is a great way to enjoy it. The other reviews tell you most of the techie stuff. I'll just say it is really easy to use and has a really good sound. I am a musician and very fussy about sound quality -this is just the bees knees. I use it on the "Jazz" EQ preset -as a jazz bassist I am a bit biased and the sound from...
Published on 25 Nov 2010 by Amazon Addict
210 of 216 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Roberts Stream 83I
This radio is smart in a glossy piano black, and is surprisingly small for all the features packed into it. It is a 'mains only' unit, using an adaptor to change mains voltage to 12 volts DC. This means that you could use it in a caravan or boat as well as your home. On test, the radio consumed about 300ma at 12 volts, so the 1.5 amp adaptor provided is more than...
Published on 10 Jan 2011 by Boilerman
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288 of 289 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabtastic!,
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This review is from: Roberts Stream 83i Stereo DAB/FM/WiFi Internet Radio with 3 Way Speaker System (Electronics)Internet radio is the future of radio, and this machine is a great way to enjoy it. The other reviews tell you most of the techie stuff. I'll just say it is really easy to use and has a really good sound. I am a musician and very fussy about sound quality -this is just the bees knees. I use it on the "Jazz" EQ preset -as a jazz bassist I am a bit biased and the sound from this small unit is really suprising and a delight. I have the wifiradio-frontier.com website (on which you register your favourites) open on my PC in the office, and play a favourite station in both the office and on the radio in the kitchen -the ground floor is filled with music! My daughter immediately figured out how to plug her iPod into it and it worked well for her.
The powerful bass and lack of distortion at high volumes means this will be great for music while entertaining -no more faffing around to put CDs on.
Apart from the superb sound quality, it's nice to use as it's designed as a traditional radio, with knobs and buttons. I like this -I can't be bothered to fiddle around with touchscreens. It's lovely to have the high-tech workings under the cover too. I still can't quite get my head round being able to access 10,000 radio stations and save favourites on a webpage which the radio accesses. As a newcomer to Internet radio I am delighted by the discovery of genres I had never really known.
This is a great radio and a bargain for its price. It might not have all the bells and whistles possible, but if you aren't bothered about rewinding regular transmission (though you can rewind podcasts) and want to enjoy all kinds of radio with a great sound, then get his machine.
Have now registered with Last.fm (30 days free subscription to the service on the radio though always free on a PC) and it really is amazing. It spookily chooses the music I like after I have told it (on my PC) a few of my favourite artists. If I key in to the radio the name of a favourite artist, it plays nothing but that artist and related music in that artist's genre. In the last few days I have discovered bands I have never heard of whose music I am quite in love with. It has kept me very happy during the long hours of cooking over the Christmas period in the last few days! I can't speak highly enough of this radio -so glad I bought it. I am hooked on the Last.fm service and will happily pay a subscription after the free month is up. I hope the artists get their replay royalties as I will be buying music very infrequently any other way.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2011
I'm still very very happy with this radio and all it offers. My major disappointment with it is the ease with which my daughter can clutter up the "recent channels" listing with her own music choices -not at the moment much like mine! Really a very good radio though and lasting well in looks and functionality.
Happy Christmas everyone!
UPDATE MARCH 2012
I have recently upgraded my router from a several-years old one to a modern, top of the range Belkin Play Belkin N750 Dual Band Wireless Router and this has really improved my experience with the internet radio. This router is designed for media streaming -and I hadn't appreciated how much difference this could make. The radio tunes in to internet stations so much faster now, and doesn't hang like it sometimes did. There are no breaks in transmission now. I had tamely accepted these as features of the internet -but it's more about the quality of the router signal. I've also finally networked the radio to my PC so can now stream my music collection to the radio -all 4956 songs of them! Making a playlist on my PC and then running it when I am entertaining will be lots of fun -no getting up to change discs!
Still very happy indeed with my lovely Internet Radio, which just seems to grow and grow as I slowly become more IT-literate.
378 of 384 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well built, good sound and great features,
This review is from: Roberts Stream 83i Stereo DAB/FM/WiFi Internet Radio with 3 Way Speaker System (Electronics)I like this radio a lot. I bought it mainly to get BBC "Listen Again" on a radio that can also be carried between bedroom and kitchen etc. Fits the bill perfectly. I've had it for a couple of weeks now and think it's great. It has a good warm sound with good bass and, thankfully, bass and treble equalizer control (with some presets and personal option). It's the best sounding "portable" I've owned. It is a satisfyingly weighty object with good quality controls. Menu navigation, station selection and browsing/searching (for internet stations, podcasts, "listen again"s and the like) is fairly straightforward. The screen is fine as these things go.
Unlike some internet radios it has an ethernet socket in addition to wifi, which I thought I might need and is worth thinking about. As it happens wifi connects readily from everywhere in my house, even the bedroom from which my laptop's usb wifi adaptor struggles. (I'm still glad of the wired option as a standby but haven't needed it yet.)
The DAB reception is rock solid - I have a JVC mini hifi which struggles terribly with DAB in a corner of the house where the Stream83i just works. I only need to have the aerial pointing up, but not extended, to get a top reception. FM reception is not so good, but I've always struggled with FM in my house so cannot say whether the Stream83i is better or worse than other current similar models.
I have Townky media server (DLNA/UPnP) running on a NAS (Western Digital MyBook World Edition white light version) and it picked this up straight away. I was browsing and listening to my personal ripped music collection and archived podcasts with ease.
I find browsing internet stations quite easy and BBC Listen Again content all seems to be there. The controls are reasonably straightforward (again, as far as these things go on small screen/no mouse/no keyboard devices). In fact I found searching for things by name quick and easy.
I registered with the wifi radio frontier website (as per the instruction book). This is the site used as the internet radio/podcast database for the radio. Registering your radio on the site (which is free and very easy) lets you create a personalised menu of favourite radio stations and podcasts. It also allows you to add URLs for any internet radio not already on their database. You do all this from your PC, and the next time you use your radio, your personal menu shows up on the radio. Very good. (Do not confuse this side of things with the "last fm" functionality, which is entirely separate.)
I plugged my MP3 player into the Aux In and it worked very well as a pair of quality loudspeakers for it (for the money/size etc.).
I also plugged the MP3 into the USB socket and it started charging it, which was nice. The radio read my USB content and it worked fine playing USB content.
I haven't tried the "last.fm" stuff so cannot comment on that. I'll give it a spin one day, but it wasn't what I bought it for.
The only thing that I feel should be mentioned is that this unit lacks the ability to pause and rewind radio. The "Play/Pause/FF/Rewind" labels on the preset buttons are only for playback of Media Player/USB content. They do not control the playback of podcast/listen again or normal radio. I only mention this because I own another Roberts DAB radio that has something called "Pause Plus" - pause and rewind about 20 minutes of whatever station you are listening to - which is brilliant. The Stream83i does not have this feature and is the only thing I would add to make it a perfect device for me. I had a good play with this box in John Lewis before buying (from John Lewis - sorry Amazon!) and knew it did not have Pause Plus. I can live without it.
310 of 316 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great radio,
This review is from: Roberts Stream 83i Stereo DAB/FM/WiFi Internet Radio with 3 Way Speaker System (Electronics)I converted from a Pure Evoke Flow to a Roberts Stream 83i. Ok, so this radio isn't going to win any style or beauty awards but it's inners are strong and it performs exceptionally well. I've had it running for about 2 months now and during that time it hasn't skipped a beat - this can't be said of many internet radios. Not one hiccup or reboot, I hope this continues!
The main part, the internet radio is driven by Frontier Silicon, and although their database is not as large as Reciva's it offers a wealth of good stations from every country and genre imaginable, with the option to suggest one, or if you have a valid URL, create your own station. The favourites option is handy, as it allows you to store the station you listen to often for easy access on the radio, instead of trawling threw lists running into their thousands. It is likely you will want to use this as the 83i only has 5 dedicated preset buttons.
Aside internet radio, you have a very capable DAB/FM radio, (which works for me with the aerial down - pulling in all the stations I should receive with no hassle) and the Media Player function which streams MP3/AAC tracks from my MyBook World Edition NAS with no trouble.
On the back we have a headphone socket, Line out and Audio In, an RJ45 ethernet socket and the power supply jack. A USB socket is on the back as well as front but the rear one is intended only for use by Roberts, or I imagine to update the firmware where an internet connection is not possible on the radio. The USB on the front is intended to be connected with a MP3 player (excluding an iPod) or memory stick and thus it will play the tracks from this.
I have had no trouble with the Stream 83i, and Amazon has it here for a very good price so I recommend getting it from here. Unlike the Evoke Flow, I can find no disadvantages besides the looks and can highly recommend the Roberts Stream 83i. Thank you.
210 of 216 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Roberts Stream 83I,
Set-up proved easy by following the instruction book. You need to configure the internet access before use, so a broadband connection is required to receive internet radio stations. This can be a wired connection to your router, or a wireless connection if you have a router with this facility. Once set up, the radio can tune to stations from all over the world using your broadband connection. There is no need to switch on your computer.
I used a wireless connection, and got good results within about 20 feet of the router. Beyond this, reception became rather intermittant, with the radio reloading the web-site at frequent intervals. My laptop computer however, had no difficulty in staying connected anywhere in my house, so I have to assume that the Roberts has a rather poor wireless card built into it that needs to be improved. Using the wired option provided faultless connection.
I next selected DAB on the set, and managed to tune in several multiplexes. Given I live in a poor reception area, this was an above average result, and I can recommend the Roberts if you are looking for a good DAB radio. However, if you don't want internet radio as well, the previous model is much better value for the price.
FM mode is also included, but proved useless. It just wasn't possible to tune in anything with a clean signal. Putting the radio into mono mode helped slightly, but the main problem seems to be an interference field generated by the internet circuitary within the set, which is picked up through the ariel. The previous model may well be better on FM as it doesn't have what is basically a computer built in. If FM is important to you, don't buy this radio.
Finally, sound quality. This is a small radio with a big voice for its size. Even bass frequencies are heard, due to the large, rear facing speaker and ported cabinet design. The two small speakers at the front provide a little stereo effect and are quite directional. If you move off axis to the radio, it sounds muddy and undetailed. At the front, the results are pleasing and sound as if you are listening to a much larger sound system. You can alter the equalisation by accessing a sub-menu, but the bass and treble controls are crude. An adjustment to optimise for music, results in too much bass on the spoken voice. This effects clarity of speech and you end up with a compromise setting. If it were possible to boost frequencies below 150hz, without changing any frequency above this, the sound would be better.
146 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roberts Stream 83i - Fine Sound - Great Value - Last FM is an excellent feature!!!,
The Roberts stream 83i links, via the internet, directly to the Last.fm web site.
Begin by going online and setting up an account at Last.fm.com and you suddenly have instant access to a vast library of tracks.
From here, you simply type in your favourite artists/bands/composers and this information is used to create a profile which forms the basis for a personalised music database. But things don't finish there - Last also goes on to recommend material from it's enormous music database that you may appreciate also.
You have then the opportunity to enter into the Last.fm Neighbourhood where your musical preferences can be shared with other users and vice versa, expanding further the material available.
Pretty much all of the Last.fm website functionality is available through the Stream 83i.
There's the ability to tailor the music output to suit your taste (in my case - prog rock) by means of the Love/Ban buttons on the receiver.
Whenever a selection is made, the information regarding what you listened to together with likes/dislikes is fed directly to the Last.fm site, further enhancing your musical profile and continually increasing the body of material on offer.
I have to say that I've become quite addicted, having received exposure to a number of artists and bands of whose work I was previously unaware.
Sound quality is excellent for the size of unit, giving a fulsome but well controlled bass response. Distortion is also very low - even at high volume.
DAB reception is superb and Internet stations tune and buffer far more quickly than on the Pure Evoke Flow which I also own.
The media player is also excellent, although, unlike the Flow does not allow me to shuffle my entire music collection - displaying a message saying that there are to many tracks for the shuffle function to work.
Without reservation then, this is a five star product and those who've not yet experienced the functionality of Last FM will discover via the Stream 83i that a whole new musical world will rapidly open up before them.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roberts Stream 83i,
This radio is easily the best I have ever owned and I would recommend it to anyone.
88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roberts 83i Internet Radio,
- Best audio quality of any current (2010) mid-priced internet radio.
- Likes being placed close to a wall or sound baffle.
- Has a software-based 'equalizer', i.e tone control, to set your sound preference, an essential requirement if you are getting on a bit (over 40), as one's hearing changes with age. Typically, the older you get the less high frequencies you can hear; the equalizer can compensate for this loss very well. ['Software-based' means there is no physical knob to turn].
- Produces a satisfying degree of well-controlled bass sound from such a small enclosure, especially satisfying if you like jazz. [And if you like jazz, an internet radio is essential, there are so many marvellous jazz stations available].
- High frequency clarity is excellent
- Note: The high audio quality derives importantly from its employing the FRONTIER SILICON chip. Until recently most internet radios employed the RECIVA chip. The sound quality produced by the Reciva chip is very poor, drastically cutting off high frequencies. If sound quality is important to you - don't buy a radio using the Reciva chip.
- Quick enough in connecting to your wireless network (though not as quick as the remarkably speedy Clarus Magic Box)
- Good network 'reception'. You should not have problems unless there is a competing network from a neighbour on the same channel; in this case, change your network channel.
- As others have observed, the lack of control over 'podcast' material is very annoying. You cannot pause a podcast that is playing, you can only stop it. If you stop and then re-start later it does not remember where you were in the material, it simply starts again from the beginning. How ridiculous is that in this day and age? Where was Roberts's Chief Design Engineer when this was decided? On the golf course?
- To have only 5 presets for a universe of 11000+ stations is perverse
SOME GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON INTERNET RADIO
- The technology is way behind the scope of the medium.
- A conceptual breakthrough is required to make the internet radio an easy and sensible way to navigate the vast number of available stations
- Current design thinking seems not to understand how ordinary users might wish to explore this rich new medium
- If they did, there would be, to give one example, a facility to set up your tastes in different 'schema', then at any point you could either pull in a 'random' station within a particular schema, or 'skip' through stations in that schema until you got something satisfying for you at that particular time
- A simple example of a schema you might have pre-defined for yourself on the radio's website: Stations satisfying: (a) language: English (b) their time of day: evening (c) continent: any (d) genre: easy listening
- The possibilities are endless
- We need Google to take it up!
FINALLY, A PLUG
- ABC Radio National (based in Melbourne, Australia) is the best speech-based radio station broadcasting in English in the world
- Their internet stream can be reliably received in the UK throughout the day
- It is a real radio station broadcasting in the real world to real people
- Its presenters are highly intelligent, yet sensible and likeable, and good communicators. Thankfully, they yet lack the narcissism and deranged speech patterns that have become the hallmark of the legions of phonies at the BBC
- It is for all concerned and intelligent listeners with broad interests
- The fact that the bulk of its output is additionally available as podcasts makes it a rich resource
- It is the next best thing to moving to what increasingly seems to me must be a very cultured city.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic product, but tricky little blighter to set up,
The thing that stops me giving this radio 5 stars is firstly the difficulty I had setting it up for wi-fi. I just couldn't get it to connect to my Draytek wireless router even though I followed the instructions thoroughly. Let me say here that I'm a bit of a technology nut and work in I.T. (networking is one of my job functions) and so I don't think it was me. In the end, I contacted Roberts technical support who gave me all of the troubleshooting steps that I had already carried out. In the end they said to restore the radio to the factory settings and have another go. I did that and it connected to my wi-fi no problems.
Getting it to stream from my XP PC wasn't too bad (although there was more to it than in the manual); but when I moved all of my music to a new Windows 7 PC - could I get the 83i to stream off it? Could I heck as like. In the end I used the previous trick of resetting the radio to the factory defaults and it connected to my windows 7 PC OK.
Don't let me put anyone off this radio - I love it and feel that all the setting up grief was worth it. If the ratings were out of 10, I would still give it a 9.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream stream,
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future of radio,
The sound quality is surprisingly good. I had wondered if the two front speakers might be too small, but they are actually very clear and give a better stereo effect than you might imagine. The output of the rear facing subwoofer is well integrated, adding essential depth without being intrusive. Ultimately it is still only a radio, but it goes loud without distortion and can comfortably fill a medium sized room. Helpfully the Roberts also has a line out connection on the back, which I have successfully used to connect it to my hi-fi system.
I have to admit that this Roberts really is as ugly as it looks in the picture. Yet it does have a certain 80's retro charm, and it is beautifully made with a smooth piano black finish and a nice to hold alloy handle. Importantly, the controls and screen are logically laid out and very easy to use.
Internet radio is rarely mentioned whereas DAB is heavily advertised. Yet once you get used to internet radio, you will realise that internet is the way of the future, and that DAB is really just a blind alley in radio's evolution.
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