on 8 August 2013
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - on day one of my ownership of a Roberts Sovereign in Balmoral Blue. Fit and finish of the radio is very good, it looks handsome and the inside of the cabinet is fitted with a high quality plastic moulding which includes the battery compartment. A sleek adaptor/ mains lead with 1.5 metres of cable is provided which looks the same as that bundled with the Roberts Expression. This attaches at the side of the unit, a pity as it cannot be hidden from view. The unit has 2 Watts output, not 1 Watt as described by some retailers. This radio should hold no fears for a new DAB user, extend the ariel, switch it on and after a thirty second scan you are away.
RECEPTION on mains and battery is exceptional, the very best I have encountered having owned many Roberts and Pure radios. The ariel can remain retracted unless you select FM or are listening to a neighbouring region's programmes and my set can clearly receive a station transmitting over fifty miles away.FM reception is strong and clear but the radio favours strong clean signals as opposed to ultimate sensitivity, again very usable and I was able to listen to FM programmes interference free in my poor reception area.
SOUND QUALITY - Is good for music and about perfect for the spoken word. Classic FM, Jazz FM and Radio 2 sound great,good smooth, clear and enjoyable.Compared to a Pure 1XT and Roberts Expression the sound has more weight with the added bass and is superior, in my opinion, but the Sovereign does not have the dynamic range or punch of say a Pure Evoke 3 or Pure Evoke 2S. What it does have is the usual smooth, easy going and listenable tone which Roberts fans love and this is underscored by a nice decent sized speaker which provides some welcome bass. In fact the volume of this unit is impressive, it goes to 30 on the scale and 12/ 14 fills a good sized lounge. The bass/ treble control is very effective and allows you to tailor the sound of the transmission. This is almost essential as dynamic output from stations varies considerably.At high volumes and with the bass turned up, some music will vibrate the cabinet. This isn't really a problem, the cabinet only fizzes when there is an uncomfortable amount of bass or volume levels are very high. Ease down the treble/bass/volume and it disappears. This clearly is not a replacement for a music system / Hi-Fi, but it is a quality wireless which plays perfectly at very low, low and room filling sound levels, but not all music at very loud levels. I'm sure this will not be an issue to the typical wooden radio owner who knows what time The Now Show comes on each week !
ROBERTS- I've bought many radios over the years and many DAB radios from shortly after the introduction of DAB in the UK, ALL the Roberts radios are still working perfectly, glitch free and still a pleasure to use.
SUMMARY - A fine radio, a significant jump up in sound quality from a Roberts RD60 and Roberts Expression, a hyper-leap into space from a Roberts Vintage and most DAB radios and a radio , when adjusted carefully, to listen to with ease and pleasure all day and for many years.