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on 10 July 2011
There are hardly any magazine reviews of the Stream 63i which made buying it something of a leap of faith, especially as it is not cheap (but you can shop around). I have tried to make this review as comprehensive and as honest as possible in case you are also wondering whether to buy or not.
I have lived with this little machine for a while and waited before writing this review to avoid getting carried away by first impressions.Having now got used to this box of tricks and having tried it's various functions I can honestly say that I LOVE THIS ROBERTS, for the size of it, the sound and functionality has impressed me no end.
It is a smart looking box perhaps a little bigger than a shoe box and whether it's meant to be or not it is very portable. I wanted something to sound good either in the conservatory or at the odd BBQ, maybe even to wake up to in the bedroom and the Roberts seemed to fit the bill.

I like my music and hi-fi's and for me it has to sound good - for the size of this machine the sound quality is excellent, being full and warm. You will have to set the equaliser yourself to find the sweet spot - this is the only player I have where the treble is set higher than the bass - but it works and produces a rich sound and manages to find very acceptable detail from all sources. It won't sound as good as an expensive hi-fi but it really doesn't disappoint and will fill a room (or patio) beautifully. If you want to you can connect it to your Hi Fi or surround system - no, that doesn't defeat the object because the Roberts has so many sources to choose from - read on...

I found the controls and menus intuitive enough and had no problem with the touch controls on the unit - you can adjust the sensitivity anyway. The buttons on the remote are easy to find even in the dark as you really don't have to use very many of them to control things.

The USB and SD card inputs are a bonus and I think aimed more at being able to record radio to them as opposed to playing media through them - it will play of course but doesn't show the album/track information, just folders. The CD player doesn't either which is strange in this day and age but I can't say I minded too much. The sound reproduction from these digital sources was again excellent. Recording to the devices was easy - but is there anything to record? Oh yes, lots.

I don't actually possess an ipod, don't think they actually sound that good and I have a sony instead, but as this is a made for ipod product I have no doubt that it will work as well with your ipod as with all other sources and with just as good a sound. There is an auxilliary input for us non-ipod owning people, and again this works just fine, just turn the volume up on your player.

DAB reception from the built in aerial is very good and it picked up 50-odd stations. You can remove the fitted aerial and use a coaxial one if you wish - but to be honest I didn't buy this for DAB which I think has very limited choice.

Connection to my wireless network was very simple,(and well explained in the manual which is comprehensive and clear)you will need your network key and if you are not sure where to find this just google the question. It connected and accessed windows media player (I have windows 7)without problems - and it does show album/track information from this. I have not experienced and drop outs or problems with this function. Wi-Fi reception is very good and I have no trouble connecting anywhere in the house or outside - there are more reception bars than my laptop.

If you haven't tried Internet Radio then you really should do. Some stations broadcast in a low bitrate but many are higher quality than DAB, some very much so - and you will find DAB stations here anyway. The fact is that the Roberts makes all of them sound very, very good and you will never be stuck for something to listen to again - there are some really good stations out there, advert free and good music too.
Because there are so many you register the Roberts on the "Frontier Silicon" website (the system information menu will give you an access code, again the manual tells you where to find this) and here you can save all of your favourite stations under different genre's which then show on the radio itself. Find one, write it down, add it via the website and it will be on your radio, you can store hundreds of them. You can also search on the Roberts itself, by location, genre etc.and you can store some via presets, but I find no need to do so.
You WILL find a station playing what you like, when you want it, and in many cases without any adverts. Record it to your flash memory/SD card and you can take it with you wherever you want. You can also get "listen again" programs from the BBC.

Then there is Last FM, don't under-rate it. You are given a month's subscription to this for free and if you like it you can subscribe for £3 per month (pay via Paypal every month or as a one-off for as few/many as you want). I like this service, it takes a little bit of learning but if you get it right you will end up with a personalised advert free radio station that knows what music you like and will play it for you 24/7. It will throw in some tracks it feels you may like, if you do, tell it via the remote, if you don't just press the "ban" button and it won't appear again. Brilliant, gives hours and hours of fun and if you want to move to the next track just press FF as you would on a CD. You can't record from Last FM but I can listen to music I like but have never bought and I have also been introduced to new artists I would never have known existed.

As a clock radio you have 2 alarms - week and weekends- and can choose what to wake up to.The display is dimmable and is NOT too bright at night as some have suggested.

In all I am really pleased with this purchase and don't regret spending the money, I have a really versatile bit of kit that will keep me amused for hours (days actually) on end with a variety of music I can actually choose myself or have chosen for me.

I guess there are some quirks - such as USB and CD not showing details, but I am not at all disappointed by these and I thoroughly recommend this as a worthwhile buy.

I just have to update this to share my long term views on this really excellent product. I have had it now for over two years, it is still going strong and has performed faultlessly. I can honestly say it is my favourite toy and I wouldn't be without it now. Having had a summer this year I can't stress enough what a pleasure it has been to sit outside on an evening being able to listen to such a huge variety of music with such excellent sound quality.

And that's why I am doing this later review - the sound quality. There is a review on here that talks of horrible sound distortion, please, please don't let it put you off. The speakers on this Roberts just need running in and I stick to my earlier advice - set the treble high and the bass low to start with (I know, I'd never dream of doing it normally) and the sound is good to start with but wow, does it get better over time. Set in the right place (a corner is best for reflected sound from the bass ports)the sound is amazing, great clarity from all sources and I now have the bass and treble set where I would normally put them with no distortion. The sound is really full and warm - it manages to have something of that old "radio" quality that I can't quite describe but is different to other hi fi I own and it gets by far the most use. It can stand alone sound wise and I love listening to it.
I am hooked, totally. Internet radio is by far superior and never boring, rarely interrupted by either adverts or presenters and just sounds great. I still subscribe to Last FM which is an excellent music service and I use it most days, it is a such a shame about the recent tragedy linked to it.

If this Roberts broke tomorrow I would buy another another one tomorrow and then worry about the money later.
It ain't cheap - but get one, if you love it half as much as I do you really won't regret it.

This one goes up to 11. Thoroughly, thoroughly recommended.
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on 22 January 2011
I bought this unit as a replacement for my aging and bulky hi-fi. I was looking for something with internet radio and an ipod dock. After looking at many other makes and models I decided on the Roberts Stream 63i. The thing that clinched it was the inclusion of a CD player. I decided that even though I have all my music in MP3 format I wasn't yet ready to take the step of completely abandoning CDs.

First impressions were good. The unit was a little smaller than I thought but this was due to not checking the measurements before I ordered it.

The internet radio was very easy to set up and it's a breeze to navigate the thousands of stations available. The sound is also great for a unit of such size. DAB reception is good and it picked up more stations than my previous system.

Having the ability to play all the music from my PC was an added bonus. Setting this up was surprisingly easy with Windows 7. I just had to click one option in Windows Media Player. I may be showing my age but it seems magical to have access to all the music on my PC by just switching on the PC and not having to touch it.

There were a few minor problems which I didn't expect when paying over £300.

The remote control doesn't always work when more than about 2m away. This isn't a big issue because you can't see the display from that far anyway but is annoying when trying to adjust the volume from distance.

When playing MP3s from a CD, SD card or USB you can't navigate by artist, album, track only by folder and track number. You can only see the track name when it is playing by pressing the info button. This makes it very hard to navigate and my original idea of getting a big SD card and putting all my music on it is now not an option. You can navigate by artist, album etc when streaming from a PC.

Another minor point is although it will work with the iphone it's not designed for it. You get a message when plugging in your phone to tell you that you might get some interference. On a new product at this price I'd expect something with an ipod dock to also work properly with iphones.

Overall this is a great product and very close to five stars. However due to the high price and minor niggles I can only give it four.
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on 15 January 2011
Roberts STREAM63I-BLACK Wi-Fi Internet/DAB/FM Radio with CD Player & iPod Dock in Black

I have had the Stream63i since the beginning of December when it was launched. I was going to buy the MP53i until by luck i discovered that the Stream63i would be released early December. I am glad i waited as this is a very good music player.

Its easy to set up, looks and feels great and covers virtually anyway you could wish to play music other than a 6" single and cassette tape.

Sound quality is good, not mind blowing but the optical link can connect to my surround system if required but i have not bothered yet. I would only do that to get a larger bass sound for say a party, otherwise no need. I did not find the built-in sound settings were up to much so just setup my own, however that is down to personal taste. I had purchsed it for use in a smaller room but have kept it in the lounge so far.

One feature that should not be overlooked is compatibility. I started a account last year because as a family we listen to music on i-pods, computers and laptops, gives you access to a list of saved favourite tracks over the internet. It is like your own personal radio station. It also gives you access to new music to match your tastes or similar to your favourite artists. If you like a track you can save as a favourite, if not it will not play it again. The full account cost £3 per month however after a month or two we stopped using it. With the addition of the Stream63i, with built in compatibility we are more than getting our monies worth. Probably 50% of the music we listen to is sourced. I just think this may be a feature that could be overlooked by some users. Well worth giving a try, there is a free trial offer to get you started.

The only issue i have had so far is the remote can be temperamental as times.

Overall 4.5/5 but as you can only give whole numbers it will have to be a 4/5. Well done to Roberts, its an added bonus to support a UK company.
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on 29 December 2010
I just wanted to update my original review of this device.

After a couple of months of use I am still pretty happy with the Stream63I but, I was curious to know if it supports DAB+ and I couldn't find the answer anywhere so I emailed Roberts. I was informed quite categorically that it does not support DAB+. After a little pushing they told me:

"Products which will work across Europe and Australasia are being developed. These sets will incorporate new 'Profile 1' technology which will enable multi-standard compatibility (DAB/DAB+/DMB/FM). It is unlikely however that these will be fully enabled from launch. There are royalty payment obligations associated with each of these formats which will need to be built in to the cost of the product, these costs may prove disproportionately expensive if the device is to be used in one region only."

Quite honestly I would expect a top of the range item like the 63I with it's top of the range price tag to be both compatible with Europe and Australia and to have been made future proof - It seems rather likely that DAB+ will be coming to the UK at some point in the future and I would expect my investment in this device to reflect that.

So sorry Roberts I have just downgraded you to 3 stars.

I originally bought a Roberts Colourstream but had to return it as something hadn't been fitted quite right and there was a horrid buzz coming from it at certain frequency combinations. I was in two minds about replacing it with the Stream 63i due to the big price difference and the fact that it is so new that I couldn't find a single review of the device.

Anyway I took the plunge and went for the Stream 63i. I have now had it for only a few hours but am absolutely delighted with it. Like the Colourstream it was a total breeze to set up and I had it all configured in minutes.

My top priority was the sound quality of the device and this radio has really pleased me in that respect. It has a much cleaner sound than the Coulorstream had and for its size produces a fantastic sound - Not exactly audiophile quality but then neither is DAB.

We live in a fairly small house and the 63i has more than enough sound to fill and average sized living room without taking the volume above 50%.

The display isn't as pretty as that on the Colourstream and lacks the touch screen but has a much nicer remote control and the device is really easy to control using the remote and a lot less fiddly than the Colourstream.

The addition of the CD player is a real plus and I haven't tried it yet but it also has the ability to record direct from Radio or CD to SD card or USB memory stick. It also has an optical output that I can use into my Logitech sub-woofer system if I decide I need a bit more wellie.

Overall I think this radio is first rate and it is so nice to be able to buy a piece of technology that is manufactured in the UK.
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on 24 March 2013
Just to update the info. Roberts have confirmed to me (by email) last week (Spring 2013) that the 63i is Dab+ ready and displays CD text and File Tags. On this basis I find it difficult to fault the functionality of the 63i and it seems to be a worthy replacement for my Denon S52 Dab that I liked but which wasn't reliable and didn't last long. Can't wait to give the Roberts a whirl. During my window shopping I was told (by a reputable dealer) that given the 30 pin to lightning connector changes Roberts plan to remove Ipod docks next year and rely solely on wireless connectivity. This got me thinking that as I rely on my Ipod Classic now is the time to buy.
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on 13 April 2012
I needed a radio for the bedroom that would play music stored as FLAC files on my WD MyBookWorld server. FM reception is poor and I needed either DAB or internet radio . The Roberts 63i addressed both these requirements very well and using the setup wizard was up and running in less than 5 minutes. The sound is good and clear and I like the piano gloss finish. The only criticism I have concerns Last FM which is included free for 1 month and then chargable which I find difficult to access and a waste of time. I shall definitely not be using it
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on 22 February 2012
We bought this to replace our DAB radio in the kitchen that had gone kaput. What we didn't really realise was what we had bought. Having internet radio on your IPod it seemed a good idea to have the same in the house. What we also got was access to our complete music collection on our home PC. So easy to set up and the sound quality is superb. Recommended.
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on 24 November 2012
Pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. DAB,Internet, FM and IPOD dock all work to a high standard. You can't go wrong with this product.
UPDATE NINE MONTHS ON - The screen froze, making the unit unusable. Five stars reduced to four for that reason. Unit swapped out, so fingers crossed.
UPDATE 2 YEARS ON - Total failure of product (won't power on). Very disappointed with what appeared to be a great product. One star only - look elsewhere.
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on 30 December 2013
Have owned this for 6 months now and still overall really pleased with it.

My requirements:
-Multiple capabilities including: radio (analogue, DAB and internet); CD; computer streaming; external input; line out
-Not iPhone specific (it does have iPhone dock but can use external input.)
-Stand alone unit (not separate speakers)
-reasonable price for whole unit (ie not £500 to 1K+)
-reasonable size

-Multiple sources including standard radio, DAB radio, Internet radio, streaming from computer, Last.FM (requires paid account).
-Good sound: I'm no connoisseur of sound but I do have an ear for hiss or other failings. For it's price range and size I think it does a good all round performance.
-No other unit I could find does as much as this one even if money was no object.

-Build quality isn't all that: the first unit I received had a wonky screen: literally assembled with it at an angle! Replacement was fine however.
-Interface and software are a bit basic/esoteric, being a series of lists that you scroll and select from. In an era of smartphones its disappointing. I don't find it intuitive.
-Internet radio sometimes stalls, presumably it's wifi connection isn't good enough or the caching isn't large enough but the latter is apparently configurable.
-Poor quality remote with odd button layout.
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on 24 March 2013
I purchased this system because I like Robert's products - it arrived well packaged and was quite simple to setup and connect to my WiFi network. The manufacturing quality is superb as is the sound reproduction, however, I have an ongoing issue with the Internet radio 'freezing' on every occation it is used in this mode, this can happen at any time from a few minutes to several hours.

The only way out is to switch the set off at the mains and restart - this seems to be a common problem with Virgin Media SuperHub.

I am currently awaiting a fix from Robert's tech support
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