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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2011
As our Sony micro system (bought in 1992) finally died on us recently we started shopping around for a replacement, which turned out to be the Roberts MP43. The radio arrived in a sturdy box and cushioned with expanded polystyrene at each end. I marked Roberts down for this because they're not using the more usual and much more environmentally friendly recycled cardboard instead. That said the radio was well protected and arrived with a mains cable, remote control (with batteries), a selection of iPod dock adaptor plates and an instruction book.

Setting up is childs play. I connected the mains cable to the radio, plugged it in and turned it on, and then put the aerial up. By the time I'd go the batteries into the remote the DAB receiver was all tuned in and I've yet to open the instruction book, there has been no need.

The radio, having its own telescopic aerial, has excellent reception (both DAB and FM). Playing a CD is as simple as inserting it into the slot, after which the radio automatically switches over to CD and starts playing. The iPod dock will charge your iPod (tested with an iPod Classic from 2007) and as if that wasn't enough you can use the line in socket on the back to feed in an external source. In addition the radio sports line out and headphone sockets (all sockets are 3.5mm stereo). The front panel of the radio sports a selection of touch-sensitive buttons with which you can do everything if you were to mislay the IR remote, which also allows you to do everything.

In summary Roberts have produced a radio that exudes build quality, sounds fantastic and is very easy to use. It may feel a bit expensive (you can certainly get the same features for less money) but for me it has been worth every penny.
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on 21 February 2011
I bought the Roberts MP43 mostly based on the reviews that complimented it on the strength of its great sound and I must say that I was not disappointed.
The Roberts MP43 is a nice compact Radio/CD player which I rated as 4 stars and not 5 due to the fact that there are some things I do not like and if improved could make this as an excellent 5 star product.

Firstly the front control panel is of the touch type design, something I am not very keen about as I find it a bit too fiddly, sometimes being over responsive and sometimes under. I would have preferred a good old push button type. Moreover there are some feautures that you cannot access directly from the front panel (ex. the programmed radio stations) and you have to make use of the supplied remote control.

Some reviewers have mentioned the problem with the backlight of the unit and yes it really is a problem. Even if you dim it to the lowest setting it is still too bright in a darkened room. I use my unit in the bedroom and at night I have to cover it with a piece of cardboard as the backlight is still too bright and irritating. I cannot understand why Roberts do not make a setting to simply turn the backlight completely off.

Lastly the unit is also supplied with a headphone jack that is situated at the back of the unit. Frankly I find this as useless as the headphone jack should be situated on the front panel for ease of use.

All in all this is a very good product with excellent sound which after all is the most important thing.
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on 19 December 2012
I needed an all-in-one music box with good audio performance but I didn't have the space for a mini hi-fi system or want to deal with the mess of cables that a separates setup entails. This compact product gave me an iPod dock, CD player, DAB radio, speakers and amplifier in a single unit that will fit neatly on a small table. Surprisingly, there is limited choice of quality stuff in this particular market. The other options I considered were the Bose Wave and Vita Audio R4, both reputedly excellent but with colossal price tags.

As soon as you remove the MP 43 from its box you can see it smacks of quality. The glossy black finish looks deep and rich while the front panels, speaker grills and iPod dock are all finished to a high standard. There's also a reassuring weight to the whole thing, despite being so small. This is mainly due to its solid wooden interior construction.

The CD drive is slot-loading with a nice clean action. Below the CD slot is the display, which uses an LCD panel, and a touch-sensitive control panel. The display is also commendable for its simplicity and intuitive design. At the top, there's a large clock display that's easily visible from across a large room. Below this, are two lines of generic alphanumeric characters for displaying date, radio station, track, and other info as well as specific icons for displaying volume level, audio source, etc. It's all very straightforward and they've been mindful of light sleepers (or those who are easily distracted) so the brightness of the display can be adjusted for standby mode.

CD playback is quick to start and the quality is very good. CD playback of classical music is my main priority so good undistorted volume and bass response is essential. I use CD-R and CD-RW discs a lot and there's never been the slightest problem. I don't use an iPod but I gather the iPod support is fairly comprehensive with full menu control courtesy of the MP43's remote.

Around the back, things are fairly spartan with just headphone, line level output, and auxiliary input jacks alongside the power socket and aerial. While this may not sound like much, when you're talking about a device that can do so much in the first place, it's probably adequate.

I was really delighted with the DAB radio: excellent sound quality and a much bigger choice of stations than my other (quality) DAB can muster. I live in a weak signal area so this was a pleasant surprise. You can store 10 station presets and all the usual RDS information is supported. There are also alarm features but I don't use these so can't really comment.

Unlike many similar all-in-one systems, the MP43 relies on just two front-facing speakers. Nevertheless, the sound it produces is plentiful in both the bass and volume departments and will adequately fill a sizeable living room with full-bodied sound. It's not without fault, however, and the quality falls short of true hi-fi but it is certainly very impressive for such a small unit. There are preset EQ settings on offer, ranging from Rock to Jazz, as well as individual bass and treble controls, which had noticeably positive effects.

I appreciate a good instruction booklet and this one is the best I've ever seen - clear, comprehensive and well-organised; they appear to have thought of everything.

I've only had mine a few weeks and so I can't comment on medium to long-term durability or reliability. My gut feeling is optimistic though, considering its obvious build quality and the many favourable reviews I've seen. It is a great little audio system that packs in plenty of features and sounds really nice. It is exactly what I was looking for and I think it's worth every penny. Highly recommended.
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on 30 August 2012
I received this item and it was everything I hoped for. Brilliant sound, easy operation and set up. Very intuitive and good remote control. DAB Radio and Clock tuned in immediately. As we are in a little village and I have had trouble with signal on other radios, I was very impressed. The EQ settings are easy to change and do make a significant difference to the listening experience.

The one niggle was I could not find any guidance as to which of the inserts I would need to use for my Ipod. I have selected one by trial and error and hope it is the right one - It is the closest fit but it does not appear exact. Another minor issue is that we have more than one type of Ipod so we will need to keep changing.

However, the major problem was that the CD started skipping after only about 3 plays - It is unusable. The inclusion of a CD was the major reason I chose this model. So it is back to the supplier. I have emailed them and got an acknowledgement from them and from Amazon. However this only said I was "in the queue" and it could be some time before they got back as they get over a thousand emails a day. Not encouraging...

Their ratings are quite good however so I wait to see what happens. Ideally I need a rapid replacement of faulty goods. I will update the review once I see what happens...

UPDATE - The seller in fact replied quickly, saying that we could return the product using the paid reply label. The CD had started working by then so we decided to see how it went. Unfortunately it started skipping again so going to return for a replacement and hope we just got a faulty unit.

UPDATE - We took our time sending the unit back as we didn't want to be without it as it has become indispensible - However, we needn't have worried. Returned unit on Tuesday 13th Nov and replacement arrived on Sat 17th. Excellent service from Seller and unit now working fine. - Hence rating increased.
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on 14 November 2009
We chose this unit after looking at many other DAB radios, though the price was considerably more than we originally intended to pay, because it does exactly what we wanted.

Firsly, it sounds really good! So many of the other units we listened to were dreadful. The sound on this unit is warm and clear and you can adjust the sound quality to suit your own preference.

Importantly for us, the unit can be set to play quietly which is great for a bedside unit. The volume is controlled digitally, so you have to settle for one of the pre-set volume levels. But there are enough levels at the quiet end to offer plenty of choice. Lots of other units go from silent to inaudible to disturbingly loud in three steps and offer nothing in between. No such wories here. Its a smooth glide from silent through inaudible through quiet and onwards to really quite loud!

The controls on the unit are all just touch-sensitive areas on a polished glass front. This looks great but makes the unit impossible to use 'by feel' when you're sleepy or in a dark bedroom. But the remote control offers all the features you need and is actually a more convenient way to operate a bedside unit than reaching over and actually touching it. The remote-control looks fine and works well.

The CD and iPod functions all work as expected. I haven't used the alarms but assume they work since everything else seems to be fine.

The only small complaint is that while the display can be dimmed to a chosen level when the unit is in standby, it cannot be dimmed when the unit is turned on. When you use the sleep-timer so you can listen to the unit while going to sleep, the display is rather too bright in a darkened room. It goes dim once the unit turns off. Small point but would have been great if they just got that right too.

Overall a very well designed and built unit which I'd recommend without reservation provided you are ok with the price, which seems rather high.
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on 7 July 2011
I decided to treat myself to a decent mini-system after having my kitchen re-fitted. Having read the review for the Roberts MP53, I was rather put off, so went for this model as it had everything I needed. I love the design, the sound quality is excellent (nice and bass-y on the 'rock' setting) There are also other preset sound settings i.e. jazz for optimum treble and bass for that type of music. I plugged it in and it sorted itself out - brilliant. I did have a quick scoot through the easy-to-follow instruction booklet to preset my favourite radio stations etc. The ipod doc works perfectly for my son's ipod. I did heed another review and remove it so it doesn't drain the battery when not in use.

I love it and would definitely recommend it.

As it is going to be a long-term investment and I listen to the radio/cd whenever I am in the kitchen, I think it is excellent value for money. I am so pleased I chose it.
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on 4 September 2012
This product isn't as good as the Bose I had on a free 60 day trial, especially in terms of FM & DAB reception, but at a third of the price of the Bose, it's a no brainer! It looks really good and the CD sound reproduction is excellent. Living in rural Pembrokeshire I'm more than happy with 6 or so DAB stations [test cricket on 5 Live Sports Extra!] and the FM reception isn't bad if you're willing to listen in mono not stereo now and again when the signal isn't too clever. I'm already looking forward to the day when Pembs gets good DAB coverage! Overall, a good system which looks and performs really well.
UPDATE: As with other reviewers, I had a problem after a while with playing CDs. The supplier was very good about it [Superfi] & arranged to have it picked up. After examining it, they contacted me to say that it was faulty & that a new unit was on the way. It's coming tomorrow!! I'll keep you posted!
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on 6 December 2012
This is the bees knees!! brilliant sound for such a small unit. Read some of the reviews here about a constant humming on stand by......Must have been a dodgy set because this is totally silent when off. I was going to send it back as I wanted one that I could add a DAB aerial to. thought this was the type that had a crappy looking silver FM type sticking out the back. It has........... but you can unscrew it and replace with an F type connector for Moveable DAB antennae. That did it for me.
The sound is rich and does not need any adjustment. unit self tuned and set own clock.
Thouroughly recommended and well worth the money. Roberts is a class maker anyhow and this beauty fits the bill.
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on 18 October 2010
After speaking to a very helpful man on the Roberts Help line, I took his advice and ordered the Sound 43. He recommended this because he thought that there was very little difference in the sound quality and it was an advantage to have touch buttons rather than have to operate all the functions with a remote. I also noted that many of the reviews for the 53 mentioned the poor quality of the remote.Both models have the same remote.
I received the Sound 43 surprisingly quickly, well done Amazon, and like other reviewers, found it easy to set up. No problems with DAB, or with using the presets. I don't think the equalizer does very much.I have selected the'Flat' setting, and turned the bass down a bit. My iPod Nano works well with it, but it is a bit fiddly to get the right playlists.Easy to use the CD player, and to program it. No real complaints,but I found it much easier to use the remote than the touch buttons, and think that this is probably what I will be doing, and although I don't dislike the appearance of the 43, I think the sleek 53 looks stunning.
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on 8 August 2011
I bought this from Amazon over a year ago to replace a similar box made by Creative. I gave that good review - but subsequently it has proven to be very unreliable. In contrast the MP43 has been rock solid. DAB and FM reception is excellent from the standard telescopic aerial [one reason I chose this over the MP53]- lots of bass to fill a good sized room. The controls are intuitive. It looks good too. Very pleased - would recommend thoroughly to anyone in the market for a discrete, quality CD/DAB/iPod dock. HAS to be better value than the much vaunted BOSE!
4 people found this helpful
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