Customer Review

94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roberts 83i Internet Radio, 23 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Roberts Stream 83i Stereo DAB/FM/WiFi Internet Radio with 3 Way Speaker System (Electronics)
Based on 1 year's experience of the Roberts Stream 83i; 5 yrs of other internet radios; 40 yrs hi-fi.

AUDIO PERFORMANCE
- 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.

NETWORK PERFORMANCE
- 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.

LIMITATIONS
- 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.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Dec 2010 15:04:05 GMT
buzz says:
What a great review - many thanks!

Posted on 22 Dec 2010 23:15:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2010 23:17:33 GMT
John T says:
The comment about the lack of control of podcasts is nothing to do with the radio. The radio STREAMS the broadcast directly from the broadcaster. The broadcaster has not enabled "transport control" on their webservers to allow the pause, rewind, fast forward facility when streamed. Additionally, Frontier Silicon (who provide the firmware and Internet radio database) have not enabled transport control on their servers either. Without that facility, the radio won't be able to pause, fast forward or rewind STREAMED content (don't forget your IPod doesn't stream, it has DOWNLOADED the podcast into memory which is why FF/RW works on there). The inability of the radio to do likewise is NOT a failure of the radio. To get around that problem you could use a PC to download the podcast onto USB drive and then plug the USB device into the radio to play it. You can then use the controls to pause, FF and Rewind to control the podcast.

Posted on 8 Jan 2011 11:39:19 GMT
T. Costick says:
A useful review. Thanks.

Thanks also for the info on ABC Radio National. I'm always on the lookout for good online radio and podcasts. Listening to their live stream as I type this :)

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2011 20:37:40 GMT
An Internet radio could easily provide recording and live pause like Sky Plus and other DVRs do for TV.

Posted on 4 Jan 2013 14:39:28 GMT
Skylark says:
"ABC Radio National (based in Melbourne, Australia) is the best speech-based radio station broadcasting in English in the world."

That is an extraordinary claim. I wonder if you are greatly familiar with BBC Radio 4.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2013 21:46:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jul 2013 21:53:22 BDT
Jezz says:
Thanks we shall certainly give ABC a try.
Re. "...Thankfully, they yet lack the narcissism and deranged speech patterns that have become the hallmark of the legions of phonies at the BBC..."
Hehe, this reminded me that, on BBC TV, it almost seems to be a requirement for the presenters to sport some form of speech impediment!
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