Top critical review
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Good, but prefer the Pure PocketDab 1500
on 10 April 2010
I ordered this radio to replace an ageing Pure PocketDab 1500 which had given me excellent service. I sent mine back because I had the same problem as another reviewer in that it kept switching itself off and on again every few minutes. So, already for me a question mark over reliability. I expect I was just unlucky.
The appeal of this new model was the in-built speaker that gives it extra versatility. I agree with at least a couple of reviewers on here who say that the quality of the sound from the speaker is merely adequate, but it is a useful feature. To use it, though, you need to extend the very flimsy telescopic aerial. My immediate impression was that it could break off at the slightest touch.
Its smaller and lighter than the Pure. The light is visible all of the time, whereas the Pure only lights up when you touch the buttons. This means you can read the DAB text while you listen. I liked that, especially listening in the dark. Also handy was the sleep timer - another plus over the Pure.
The sound quality is good through the supplied headphones. For music stations I found it comparable to the Pure (i.e. excellent) but for speech programmes including 5 Live and football commentary (my main uses), the Pure beats it comprehensively in my view. Voices sound harsh and echoey to me. I did also experience some background hiss as others have mentioned, but again this was only really noticeable when listening to speech channels.
Navigation is fairly simple on the Roberts, but again the Pure scores higher in this area. In particular, access to presets on the Roberts seems slower than actually finding them by scrolling through the channels with the toggle switch. The Pure's presets are accessed in a matter of seconds - surely thats the point of setting them.
The charger supplied with the Roberts is light and compact, like a mobile phone charger. The Pure has a large and heavy one. Makes no difference is you're using it at home, but travellers may prefer the Roberts one for its better portability.
All in all, they're both very good, but for me, the Pure has the edge, even without the speaker.