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on 26 July 2013
Having used the excellent Roberts "Sports 993" personal radio for several years, I was impatient to get my hands on a similar pocket-sized personal radio after I had seen it featuring in a Roberts' advert in BBC's FOCUS magazine back in February, but it didn't become available in UK until late June.

Now having one in my hands, I was delighted to find it continues the high quality of Roberts design and production. It has all the attributes I would expect in a DAB device.

Only one disappointment...the data display screen! So much information is displayed that the size of font has to be minimised to fit within the screen dimensions, which makes it necessary for me to use 'reading' specs when changing stations, especially in broad daylight...an irritating procedure.

Otherwise, a marvellous device.

John T
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on 28 April 2014
Hi
It was the Robert Sports with speaker, pure 2500 or this one. I popped in to a well known retailer and found the Roberts sports just too big for travel - but great if you want a portable with speaker (though I have the Roberts Eco1 and prefer that), I really liked the Pure 2500 - especially with the bass and treble control...but it really is a bit too quiet - I tried it with a number of headphones and if you were out - I think it might struggle. The Roberts DAB4 is a little plastically but the upside to that is its light - its also the smallest of the three. Sound is great - display is too small - but I only want to select the channel then I dont look at it again. Like the on off button - instant click - no holding down for 3secs. The usb charging socket and cover does look a little flimsy but once closed its fine - Ive just been careful when charging.

Overall - its 7-8 out of ten for me - good radio light, loud, DAB+ and great sound - stock headphone are very good too (and I use Sure 535s normally).

It really comes down to what you want to use it for - mine is for the commute and the odd thing around home ie DIY time - I use it once or twice a week on the move - so small & light with high volume when Im in London on the tube/train. FM-RDS isn't on the others either - though the DAB+ is pretty good so doesn't really matter.

However if you are a hard user ie could get knocked about - maybe try the pure - solid metal case - lovely kit just too quiet.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all, this does exactly what it sets out to do; namely to be a personal DAB radio for use when out and about.

However there are a few points about which you might like to know before purchase:

- as other reviewers have stated, the display writing is very small (to the extent that I do need to wear my glasses to read it)
- although you can change how long the display is on for, this seems to make little difference to how long it is on bright (it dims after a couple of seconds regardless of the time you set). The upshot is that the useful text which tells what what tune is playing gets as far as "Now Playin.." and you never get to see what is playing
- reception is variable where I live (although I do have a total of 5 DAB radios) and the reception on this is particularly variable. This is probably due to the headphone lead being the aerial and, when wearing it, it moves out of the optimum position
- you are probably aware this contains no speaker; it is designed to played through headphones only. However, particularly when away on business, I find it useful to play media through a connected speakers. This is where this radio is really, really odd. I connect up an extension lead (3.5 mm jack to 3.5mm jack) and the radio says it has good reception. I then plug it into a powered speaker, it plays for, maybe, a second, and then loses signal. I have tried on numerous powered speakers and the same on all of them. Plug into an unpowered speaker and it is fine (but too quiet). I don't know why this is happening and if you have any suggestions as to how to get round this, please start a set of comments on this posting.

So, 4 stars right now (but if between us we manage to solve the riddle of the powered speakers, I might put this up to 5 stars).
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VINE VOICEon 8 July 2013
This device looks pretty but it has a number of faults.

I sent mine back because the mini-USB cover's delicate rubber hinges snapped after ONE, the first, charge. I didn't use any force at all. One hinge was faulty when the product arrived and this predictably placed more strain on the second hinge which snapped on the second attempt to charge it. OK, no cover - you may say "big deal". I mean my phone's USB slot doesn't have a cover and does its job, but this radio is a top-of-the-range item. It is the Rolls Royce or iPhone 5 of DAB radios, so I think it should be special.

It isn't.

The screen is also tiny and you can't see it in daylight. You can with the "OLED" illumination on but this only stays on for about 3 seconds irrespective of how long you set the screen to stay on for. So, for example, you can't read the scrolling ticker-tape banner that tells you what song is playing because the light goes off so quickly. To switch the light back on you must press a button, but doing this DOES something so the ticker-tape screen disappears anyway! It needs a button JUST to turn on the light and not do anything else. Also, I think a plain, large, ordinary LCD screen would be best.

I'm guessing most people exercise in daylight.

The radio sounded good, looks good and kept a signal but irritatingly each time I switched it on there was no signal for my default station so I had to select it from the menu - just a small irritation, but a daily one. The volume is nice and loud, too - it doesn't seem to have a dumb health-and-safety limit like some devices. Like the sliding locking switch because it is easy to use and hard to slide by accident. Anyway, I sent it back. But I like my Aves Air Handheld Digital Radio better, which I will resume using.

PS: Why only red?
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on 4 November 2013
This is a fabulous radio and certainly suits all my needs - listening in bed to a radio! However, not long after I bought it, the charger cover fell off. It is such a weak flap that I'm surprised it lasted that long, even though I was very careful all the time. The cover fell off when it was closed! If Roberts could find a better hinge, I would give this radio 5*. The shop that I bought it from will not give me a new radio so I am worried now that dust etc will get into the radio and damage it in some way.
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on 3 February 2014
Very nice little DAB radio that is perfect for me when out on my long country walks. There is no built in speaker but it is a personal radio and if I wanted one with a speaker then I would have chosen differently.
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on 21 September 2015
I bought this to replace the Sports DAB with speaker. I would have preferred like for like but Roberts apparently no longer make the earlier model. It works well, reception is largely OK except when it is shielded by a body (we live in a difficult area) or in some hotel rooms. The protection for the USB is not very good, the attachment is weak and I think it lasted about 3 months before it broke off. It is a design fault but does not affect reception or charging. I normally use it with Bose Quiet comfort 20 Noise Cancelling phones in the gym or when cutting the grass or shredding prunings and the two work well together although the phonesa re desigend for Samsung and other Android devices
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on 30 April 2014
Paid at lot for this little device so was expecting good things. I have a good DAB at home which has good clear reception and i also have a DAB at work which also has good reception. this has very intermittent reception and drift in and out like a 70s radio which is really annoying. I had a good signal walking the dog, then i stopped to talk to someone and when i switched back on no signal, had to select another channel first and then flick back and then i got signal, this happens regularly, you have to come off the station go to another and then back again to get a signal? the OLED screen is ok once on a channel but in scroll search mode its so tiny and such a low light its very hard to see - i quite often just click anything to see if i get a channel and hope i like it - work blind most of the time.
would call this a 30 pound device not 80!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 August 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have long been a fan of DAB radio, and bought one of the first of the Evoke series.
I appreciate that I am fortunate to have a good DAB reception location, and others make get a rather less bountiful experience. One of the things I have long looked forward to is the portable version of a DAB radio, as I like to get out of the house now and again, but would miss my daily dose of Radio 4 Extra.
This little radio from Roberts is actually very good. It charges quickly, fits in a pocket and is a very good receiver. It looks a little bit like the high voltage batteries I used to power my valve radios back in the 1950s and 60s!
I note that at least one reviewer has noted the flimsy charge socket cover, but so far on mine this has not been a problem.
The display is rather small, but perfectly readable, and the use of a 'rotate then push' dial to find and select a station is easy to use. It also has a lock switch, so you can drop it into your pocket as you walk around without anything catching on the controls and knocking it off station.
Volume control is via a rocker button.
I have even used it on a train journey and had good reception except in tunnels (d'oh) and when passing through areas of very high cuttings - when you get the 'bobbly' voices experience!
There is a "normal" FM radio for the places you can't get a DAB signal, and it should be possible to get DAB+ when on holiday abroad in certain countries - so that's good news.
So far I think it is wonderful, but do check your DAB reception before you buy if you want to be certain that you will get a good signal.
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on 30 April 2016
I think this ticks all the boxes.
It is small and light, and charges with a standard USB cable.
It connects to stations well and has very good sound quality. The supplied headphones are a bit flimsy, but it seems to work ok with 3rd party headphones.
I don't find the display particularly small, but it is hard to read in bright sunlight - although not a major issue.
For the current price of £40 it's a bargain
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