Top critical review
116 people found this helpful
Some fatal flaws in this radio
on 3 March 2012
I purchased this radio despite mixed reviews as I was fed up with the way that "Listen Again" features on internet radios - Roberts, Pure, Revo, all have problems with programmes cutting out mid-way through. Whilst you can get around this by using the Ipad/Ipod BBC I player application on a docked Ipad or Ipod with the Revo K2, it isn't very portable. Pretty much all of the programmes I want to use the "Listen Again" feature for, are BBC programmes and so are available on DAB. I liked the idea of being able to record the programmes for playback later on.
Straight out of the box, the RecordR looks good, was very quick to start-up and scanned DAB stations very quickly, finding over 30 stations in my location without me needing to extend the antenna. The radio sounds good, has analogue volume and tone controls (a single rotary control handles tone setting) and allows the dialling in of sufficient bass for a warm sound on speech programmes and enough top-end to make the radio handle music content without sounding muffled. The radio sounds better than its size would suggest and I was very impressed. The radio is mono only from the speaker, although there is a stereo facility which works with the headphone socket - I haven't tried this out yet though. Live radio broadcasts can be paused using the Pause Plus button - this is great if you're interrupted whilst listening to a programme you really want to hear the end of - and it is very easy to use - a bright orange button to the left of the LCD display switches the Pause Plus feature on.
RecordR is very portable, a plastic (it feels a bit flimsy) carry handle which can be recessed allows it to be carried from room to room, whilst it takes 4 AA batteries which according to the manual can last for 120hrs - a big plus for a DAB radio.
The small LCD display is adequate for selecting stations and is well back-lit- you can set the contrast of the LCD display as well as the strength of the orange backlighting.
The RecordR allows recording of programmes on 4 separate timers - more than enough for me during a normal week. I worked through the set-up instructions in the manual and found (like another reviewer) that Roberts have been careless in the user manual - the other reviewer states: " "..hold the info button until the display flashes then let go and press the tuning up or down buttons...." The instructions make it sound as though you hold both buttons together." This is certainly the case. Unfortunately I didn't read this review until after I had encountered exactly the same problem and was getting frustrated that I couldn't programme the record function. Once I figured it out, it was relatively easy to step through setting up the programmable record function. No, there isn't an EPG and so you have to set up the timer - but actually this is straightforward to do and once done a couple of times, relatively quick to do - especially if you have a Radio Times in front of you. The four record timers have to record a station that has been selected as a preset, five presets can be set-up. It would have been nice to have a higher number of presets allowed but five is plenty for my recording needs - the majority of the programmes I record come from four BBC stations.
Playing back the recordings is easy - if you can find them - once you have a lot of recordings on an SD card, you have to scroll through them and the only way to identify them is through the date and time of the recording. As other reviewers have stated you cannot delete the recordings from the radio. Roberts really ought to have provided an option to delete recordings after playback. This is the reason the radio gets 4 stars rather than 5. Everything else about it is well thought out and it is a pleasure to hear recorded broadcasts at the same definition as the DAB broadcast - in general the playback quality is much better than is got from using Listen Again and you cannot detect the difference between a recording and the original DAB broadcast.
The RecordR also has four alarms that can be set-up to sound once, daily, on a defined date, weekdays, weekends or weekly.
It should be noted that the recording and alarm functionality can only be used when the radio is plugged into the mains on standby - this is because the internal clock takes time from DAB broadcasts, when the radio is switched off away from the mains, the clock is lost.
All in all I'm very pleased with this radio - it has a lot going for it:
Rapid start-up time - no more waiting for many seconds for the radio to power up
Long battery life
Great recording facilities - 4 separate timers provided
Four alarm settings
Analogue tone and volume controls are a positive joy to use - you can set the volume and tone exactly as required
Excellent sound quality
Good looks and solid build quality (although the carry handle seems a bit flimsy)
The things that could be improved
The Roberts Manual! ( the Timed Recording section contains a mistake as noted by another reviewer)
No delete function for recordings (I struggle to work out why this was omitted)
Only 5 presets provided, more would have been nice
All in all if you're looking for a way to Listen Again to your favourite BBC stations, then this radio is certainly an option, it's not difficult to set-up and use, it sounds good, has a solid feel for the most part, and sounds excellent for speech and music. Oh, and now I don't have to worry about my Listen Again selections cutting out 1/2 way through. Recommended.
Edit: Unfortunately I have now managed(with not much effort on my part) to recreate another reviewers problems with this radio. If the radio is unplugged from the mains than it loses its record/timing memory and the end time for each programmed recording becomes the same as the start time, resulting in a 24 hour recording. First time it happened to me I thought I'd made a mistake. Also I have now experienced several lock-ups with the tuner which have resulted in the radio needing a hard reset (batteries removed). I had thought this radio had some good points but my review has now changed the rating for this radio down to 1-star. Avoid this product if possible as it will let you down unfortunately - I am afraid that Roberts did not carry out enough testing before releasing this radio. As it's not fit for purpose I plan to return mine for a refund.