on 25 May 2013
For years I have put up with a Roberts Milano FM radio/alarm clock that I could only use for the radio and clock; the hoops you had to jump through to set it for anything else - alarms, sleep, snooze etc - were just ridiculous, using stupid little pimple buttons with unreadable labels that plagued most Roberts radios for far too long. Minimalism doesn't work for bleary eyes and fumbling fingers! This replaced my favourite Radio/alarm clock of all time, a white Sony cube with analogue clock face and simple buttons that lived by me at home or away. In vain I sought for another. The old one still works, but its aged face is dreadfully discoloured now ; it is definitely more use than ornament.
Recently, after trawling through page after page on Amazon I came upon this black beauty from Roberts ... analogue clock face, DAB/FM, and large, sensible buttons! I looked it up on the Roberts website - it wasn't there. Did it really exist? I took a chance and ordered it from apparently the sole current supplier, Bridport Music. It arrived almost at once, beautifully packed, and is now doing what I needed a Clock/radio/alarm to do for all those years.
It is so easy to set up and set alarms. The only reason it has four stars, not five, is because getting the presets in for FM radio is proving tricky, and the instructions made a mistake in the section on DAB presets (it says hold the Select button down until it says the station is now preset, but in fact you have to hold the Preset button down and press the Select button for a moment and it's done. My favourite digital stations are now all sorted.)
Anyway, with its multiple dimmer/off settings for the delicate bluish backlight, gentle wake-up system with radio or buzzer, and largely intuitive settings, this is the bedside companion I was looking for. Recommended.
on 27 February 2014
Having looked high and low for a wake up radio with analogue display, and I already use Roberts radios, this looked like the winner. The set up proceedure and alarm settings are fairly easy and from a bedside view, the radio look and display is quite compact and not too bulky. The sound quality is ok for the objective of being an alarm radio, and the variable volume control on the right hand side is easily reached.
The analogue face is a good size and display, electronically set and no ticking, which makes a nice difference from all the digital machines we have these days. The clock face has a nice blue light tinge and this can be varied in brightness from no light, to a fairly bright light level. The clock face is easily readable through the night as well.
Station programmes can be set, but I did initially struggle a bit on this simple exercise. Over all I would have given this 5 stars except for the following which are personal complaints, and as you can see from the reviews, some people have other plus or minus points.
1). The lowest level of light setting is still a little bit too bright for me through the night, and takes a bit of time to accept and get use to. I would prefer a very dim click face light, lower than this level.
2). The wake up volume level is set at a pre programmed level by Roberts, which us way above my own preference. It does build up slowly, and then exceeds what I would call a relaxing wake up level of volume. In this case I switch it off, and then switch it on again to my preferred level of volume, which does defeat the object in one way, but then again, it has woken me up in the process.
3) the buttons on top of the radio clock are flat, unlit and close together, and there fire you need to memorise where everything is to control or change any programming etc. these could maybe have been incorporated with the light settings.
If the above negative points were solved it would have 5 stars in my opinion, but it falls short in this case. Good little radio though and recommended to those looking for analogue face and wake up to radio.
This is very compact and ideal for a bedside unit that can sit on a narrow shelf or small table and has a lot of functions/features. I plugged it in, set the aerial straight and on pressing the on-off button, the unit started searching for DAB channels.
Very shortly it had tuned in and found all the DAB channels and had set the time on both the digital display and the analogue clock face. The set-up process could not have been simpler - full marks to Roberts on this.
I liked the large clock face, which is easy to see and read in a dimly lit bedroom, from any distance - but of course, whether you want this kind of "look" is personal preference. I also like the large volume wheel on the side, which you can make sure is near to you in bed and allows you to adjust this easily - i.e. without getting out of bed.
The sound is OK for a bedside unit, but it's not going to fill a room with sound. It's very clear, but lacks bass and dynamic range. In fact the copious documentation points you towards options for compressing the output to make it easier to hear. The instruction booklet is very clear and has good illustrations to make all the functions accessible.
Basically this is a clock/radio/alarm with a quiet radio added that is suitable for some quiet listening and gives you music or chat to gently wake up to, rather than just an alarm. But the sound is not really up to the quality of most small DAB players.
This is mostly down to the provision of a single, mono speaker in the back of the unit - which seems a bit strange - you would expect the sound to come out at you, rather than aimed at the wall. So if you have the clock face pointed towards you (which seems to be the most logical positioning) then the sound is going in the opposite direction.
There are a few useful inputs/outputs on the back - for headphones, auxilliary input and a USB input. But disappointingly, the latter is only used for software upgrades.
Overall I liked this unit and it fulfils the functions I would want from a bedside unit - but some people might prefer a proper iPod dock or a USB that could be used to connect an MP3 player. The pluses for me are the ease of use, with large volume control, the large clockface and the compact nature of the whole unit. Nice for quiet, late-night Radio 4 possibly - but it doesn't do so well for loud music.
on 17 October 2013
This is a wonderfully designed alarm clock - how nice to see a DAB clock-radio with a PROPER analogue face! When you firat plug it in, it picks up the signal and the hands start to automatically whir round on their own to the proper time. It's a bit eerie but it's nice to now the clock is always telling the time right!
There are three alarms you can set up, deciding on time, day, repeat (once, weekends, weekdays etc) and source - whether you want to have a buzzer, FM or DAB, station etc. When the alarm goes off, the face and digital panel on top gradually brighten over a minute or two, as the sound simultaneusly increases in volume, meaning you are gently awoken rather than having that feeling of getting shaken awoke like most alarm clocks!
The sound is fine, though a touch more depth and bass wouldn't hurt. I certainly wouldn't replace my Pure DAB radio in the kitchen with this - the sound doesn't compare to the Pure models - but then it's designed as a bedside companion, to be played quietly. It has all the expected snooze functions, sleep functions you'd expect, presets etc etc. My only gripe would be that the menus could be a touch more straightforward, especially setting the alarm. The button layout also isn't great, and it would be nice if the buttons on top lit up so you could set it in the dark. But these are quibbles really, as this is a great bit of kit.
on 28 April 2014
A retro, analogue clock face, easy to read in the middle of the night, and a contemporary, DAB radio. A winning combination if you like those things. Multiple alarms that can be separately set for weekdays and weekends, sleep function, all the essentials. Only quibble is the rather complicated routine for setting the alarms. Perhaps I'm just an old dog ...
on 12 July 2013
Purchased some weeks ago but only recently had the option to leave feedback/review...not sure why.Anyway..
I had a reliable but ancient Philips clock radio, and decided to replace as fed up with interference at times on FM.
First tried my Roberts Sound 80 for this purpose, but for some odd reason it would not set an alarm date beyond 30th of the month; rang Roberts, who were mystified also.
Happened upon this model on Amazon, which was not on the Roberts web site (??) and really liked the design; I did try to convince myself that a cheaper radio would do the job, but was hooked by this one, particularly as I already have complete confidence in Roberts for ease of set up, sound quality and fantastic DAB reception.
Having by now mastered the somewhat tortuous process of setting the alarm for the Sound 80, this model follows same pattern; I have varying wake up times,as self employed, but if I had a regular work/waking routine there are in fact 4 different repeat alarm options , so this would be simple.
I do think this is an attractive litle clock; restful blue back light, which is easy to dim or brighten,plenty of stations,good sound quality, 'sleep' mode; and I've not seen another one with analogue clock face.
Very pleased with purchase.
on 10 February 2014
Brilliant classy looking DAB radio. Easy to set up. Only slight criticism is the buttons are not raised, makes it a little hard to feel the difference if you want to change settings at night. The clock is very easy to read at night, and the varying brightness helpful . The sound quality is acceptable, while the 'wake up to radio' feature, is a very pleasant way to start the day.
on 15 February 2016
Well, it's OK, but the original really was quite a lot better, in my opinion. Quite a lot bigger, granted, but much mote suited to its purpose. The original had a forward facing digital display panel and indicator LEDs for each active alarm, meaning that even if I couldn't be bothered to lift my head off the pillow (and getting up at 5am each morning means I often couldn't!) I could see clearly whether the alarm was set or not. Also, because the control buttons were raised on the older model, after a bit of getting used to it was possible to easily operate all the functions of the clock and radio in total darkness. The buttons on this model are all uniformly flat and unlit, meaning that some degree of light is necessary to see where the buttons are. There are plenty of other reviews on the remaining features of the clock so I won't repeat them except to say that the one thing I really appreciate on both models, old and new, is the big, clear, accurate analogue clock face. So: not bad but, for me, could be a lot better.
If you are wanting a DAB / FM radio alarm with an analogue clock your choices are very limited indeed. In fact I really couldn't find an alternative to this Roberts model, but fear not, this is an excellent product which succeeds in every aspect except one.
So lets get that negative out of the way. The sound from the less than 1 watt rear facing mono speaker is rather thin at best. It will go surprisingly loud without distortion, but you would not buy this for the quality of music reproduction, which to my ears is barely acceptable. It will produce a stereo output for headphones, so for those who like to listen to music radio in bed I guess that could be the way to go. Or you could run a line from the headphone out into an external speaker. I tried this through to a Bose Speaker and the result was impressive. In practice when listening to radio 4 or similar talk radio the reproduction is ok. And given the compression used on DAB broadcasts these days (64kbs on some stations) I guess that fidelity is not really an option anyway.
In every other respect this Roberts model is a winner. The analogue and digital clocks set themselves from the DAB signal. The choice of 4 alarms is great and I like the option to distinguish week days from weekends. I like that that there is a chip that remembers the alarms once set - a real boon if you are prone to getting power cuts. This will turn itself on when the power returns, find the right time and remember what time the alarm was set to go off.
It is easy to set up (even if the instructions are wrong in terms of storing to the presets) - finds all the DAB stations easily. It is intuitive to use and the option for 4 levels of backlight plus off is great. It is a little bigger than I was expecting - but this makes it easy to use and it is still a very compact unit easily fitting on the bedside table. Reception seems pretty good and the option to force mono on FM broadcasts helps to give a hiss free output even on poorly received stations. In short it functions very well as an attractive bedside clock, speech radio and flexible alarm. Oh yes, the alarm even increases gradually in volume to be a little bit more `humane'!
So if you really want an analogue alarm clock radio this is the one to buy.
on 21 April 2014
I got this to replace an older (non DAB) version which was getting a bit long in the tooth. I'm not one for reading instructions unless I have to, but managed to set up my weekday and weekend alarms straight away. The clock is easy for me to read in the middle of the night when I don't have my glasses on, and the radio can go way louder than I'll ever need it to.
The only thing about this clock radio I'd change is the screen used for the menus. You have to be right on top of the clock to read this, which is a bit awkward given the setup of my bedside table. Sloping the screen more towards the front would have worked better in my opinion.