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on 17 January 2010
I bought one of these radios for my wife a year ago (sorry Amazon, not from you on this rare occasion) as she wanted to listen to Planet Rock (probably the best radio station in the world) in the kitchen.

This is quite a good looking product, very well made and with a pleasing blue glow to the easy to read display. Setting up the radio was simplicity itself and we have had no problems at all with getting great reception, even with the aerial only slightly extended.

Sound quality is very good considering the size of the unit and I'm glad I opted for a stereo radio rather than's worth the extra money.

Roberts has a good reputation for DAB radios and I can fully understand why.

I would recommend this product to anyone wanting a very good quality, portable DAB radio.
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on 24 February 2010
If anyone had any doubts about this radio, forget them, you won't be disappointed!

I own a Pure Elan that I bought some years back to use in the bathroom. At the time there weren't many battery-powered DAB radios available. The Elan has always worked well but I was disappointed in the dull flat sound it produces, no bass or depth to the sound. Replacing the batteries was always a challenge as you seem to need three hands to do it without the six (heavy) size 'D' batteries falling on your bare foot and breaking a toe!

So I thought it was about time to look for a replacement. I did my research and the Roberts Ecologic 4 came out top. Now I'm left thinking why I took so long to replace my Elan as this radio has blown me away! Everything about it smacks of quality; good solid build, easy and intuitive to setup and use (very little in the box other than the actual radio), great solid punchy sound with separate bass and treble controls, and what controls! I always test the build quality of an item by it's moving parts as so often it's what the manufacturers skimp on to save cost. I love all of the dials and buttons on this, especially the two big dials at each end for volume and tuning (there are preset buttons too.) It's so much better to have analogue dial control over the volume than the usual stepped up and down buttons. Ok, it might not actually be truely analogue, it could be very small digital steps, but if it is I can't really tell so I don't care if it is. The only things I cannot verify is (1) how well it picks up and holds a digital signal because I receive a strong signal where I live (SE London), and (2) how long the batteries last (I used to have to switch my Elan to FM when the batteries weakened, as FM needs less power than DAB). However, I'd be surprised if it was anything less than good at either if these.

You can just tell when something is built well, and this clearly is. It looks really good too. I'm now a confirmed Roberts fan, although I'm not totally discounting Pure just yet.
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on 28 August 2008
I bought this radio for my wife for a Christmas present and I was so impressed with it that I bought one for myself to use in my garden shed whilst pottering about.

When you first switch it on it searches for all the digital radio stations that can be found in your area. You can then assign these stations to one of 5 buttons, pressing another button lets you set another 5 presets making 10 in all - plenty for me. The sound is great - clear and sharp. Separate treble and bass buttons alow you to make the adjustments you need for your own personal ear. The 9.5 x 2cm display has various settings including a streamed display of the current programme. Tuning is by pressing the "up" and "down" buttons to go through the programmes stored on the radio or by a tuning knob.

The radio looks classy with a black finish and blue display (there are other colour versions).

I haven't yet used the radio on battery, but Roberts claim 150 hours battery life which seems a long time to me. Sorry that I can't confirm this yet.

Overall you can buy this with confidence that you will be getting a good looking radio that sounds great.
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on 25 February 2013
Purchased this radio in August 2010. Up until now I would have rated the radio 5 stars +. Now ( as it appears with numerous other owners) the on/off switch has suddenly stopped functioning. I e-mailed Roberts customer service, but had no direct explanation to my question regarding the apparent design fault with the switch. To have Roberts repair the radio + my postage costs to return the item is around £40.00. Roberts offer a three month guarantee on their repair.
At the very least I think Roberts should offer a free repair service and agree to cover all postage costs for customers who have purchased the RD21 with a faulty switch. I thought the Roberts brand was synonymous with quality and excellence.Obviously this model has slipped through their quality control! I won't be paying Roberts to fix the switch, especially as they only offer three months warranty. All in all disgusted with Roberts and their customer service.
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on 5 July 2009
This is a superb radio with a very detailed sound.
As a former music teacher I am very aware of tone and this little radio has good bass for the size. I use it for Jazz FM on DAB . The only thing to watch is to move the ariel and rotate the radio to get 0 error in the signal error display.
You can easily disconnect the mains and carry it to any room or the garden.Haven't had it long enough to check battery life but I would believe 150 hrs at four hours a day. Surprisingly loud for its size.
As good as it gets for the money. Why pay double for a Pure Evoke? I bought one for my sister.
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on 27 March 2010
I thought the customer reviews of this product must be exaggerated until I bought one - and listened to it. The sound is amazing, both in terms of clarity and of tone, both for speech and for (classical) music. This radio has to be heard to be believed!

Furthermore Roberts have designed a digital radio that actually looks like a radio and has the familiar controls, for volume and, even more importantly, for tone, both bass and treble. It is easy to operate, even for a technical incompetent like me. A quantum leap forward for DAB radios, and a product that I have no hesitation in recommending to others. I am even tempted to buy another one myself...

BUT... after only two months the on/off switch has stopped working. This is the second of three of these radios in our house and the second on which this fault has occurred. Last time it was a radio we had had for some time, but this one is less than two months old. Looking at the other customer comments on here, I think Roberts should be seriously worried about their reputation. Now to start the search for a replacement under guarantee, once I have navigated my away around this website, where the information seems to be very carefully hidden!
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on 16 July 2008
I was after a DAB radio with long battery life, with punchy sound and easy to use. Roberts claim a wopping 150 hours using six D size alkaline batteries. "Which" report found 81 hours when they tested it. So it probably lies somewhere between the two figures, depending on sound volume, and quality of batteries used. This is streets ahead of any other DAB radio presently on the market.

The first DAB radio I bought several years ago was the first edition of the Pure Elan, bought for the same reason as the Roberts ie battery life. At the time, other radios gave 5-10 Hours battery life, whereas Pure claimed 30 Hours with the Elan using 6 of the smaller C type batteries. I found using Duracell + batteries this was correct, however the sound was very, disappointing, muffled, muddy with no treble.

So with the RD-21, Roberts have extended the battery life ( although using the larger D type batteries )by about 3 or 4 times that of the Pure Elan. So is there a catch ?

Absoultely not !!! Obviously technology has moved on. Roberts will be using chips that consume far less power than the earlier Pure Elan. But soundwise, these 2 radios are like chalk and cheese. The 21 has separate Bass and Treble controls which give great tonal adjustment. Speach sounds suberb, great for radio 4 and 7. For music output it obviously can't compete with the bass output from a subwoffer, but in a small room gives excellent presence and balance, and the opportunity to subdue the midrange by wacking up both bass and treble ( the way I like it ! ). Very impressive indeed, for the size of radio.

Simplicity itself to setup and use, with a large display on the top, excellent battery life, fantastic sound, and a radio you can pick up and take into the bathroom, or the garden shed, without having to change the batteries every fortnight.

PS It was not my intention to make a generalised comparison between the sound qualiy of Pure radios and Roberts radios, only the 2 specific models mentioned. I have owned and used the Pure Evoke 3 virtually every day for the past 2 years, and is in my opinion the best DAB radio sofar built.
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on 5 October 2012
Major design fault problem with this model, and coincidentally another roberts radio but different model, is the power on/off button being faulty, you end up with a radio that cannot be turned on.
which is a useless radio.
my first roberts lasted 5 months.
my second roberts has lasted nearly 12 months.
there will not be a third roberts until they sort out their massive quality control issues and design not holding my breath though.

when it does work it is of above average quality and has good sound quality, though beware the next time you turn it off, it may never turn back on again.
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on 30 July 2009
I have recently purchased this radio from Amazon at a competitive price, plus the bonus of free delivery.
As soon as I set up all my favourite radio stations,I was very impressed with the sound quality, and clarity. Additionally, this is quite a heavy product for it's size, which immediately tells you that this is a real quality product. Great,I'm extremely pleased, a first class radio.
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on 3 June 2012
I have had three of these radios since December 2010. The longest any of them have lasted was five months; each and every one has suddenly died, accompanied by a burning odour shortly thereafter. I suspect that a component in the amplifier had burned out because the illuminated display continued to work and it was still possible to change stations albeit with no sound. When it does work, the radio works very well but the reliability is appalling, especially as Roberts are supposed to be a quality brand.
Fortunately I kept the receipt in a safe place and was able to get a replacement at Argos each time but after the third radio died I decided never to buy another DAB radio, particularly a Roberts. Unless you are desperate to listen to a station that's only broadcast on DAB, save your money and stick with a standard FM radio until the government decide to shut down analogue radio in a few years time. By that time there might some decent quality DAB radios on the market.
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