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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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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 Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The manufacturers of this radio have, I think, set out to impress form the outset, with distinctly iPhone-esque packaging and a minimalist design. That's not to say anything is missing - the neat package contains micro USB charger and earbuds, as well as comprehensive instructions. It's quite a small radio, which makes for the only problem - the screen is also small and to fit in the full DAB descriptions, the text size has to be tiny. I found myself peering at it rather, but that's not a major problem: really, how often do you look at the screen of a radio? (I have another DAB whose screen has gone dead: the device is still perfectly usable).

This radio is pretty intuitive to operate, using a single wheel for tuning and menu access (what does that remind you of?) and a rocker switch for volume - apart from that there's an on/ off button and a lock switch. It has good reception, and seems to have a reasonable sound (I mainly listen to speech radio so I'm not going to comment on music reproduction).

All in all, a decent little device.
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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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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 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 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 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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on 7 March 2015
Added later (March, 2016): Following my DAB4 having stopped working by the menu simply freezing one day, I returned it under guarantee for repair. The seller sent it to Roberts, who were unable to repair it - and I was informed that Roberts have stopped making this model. With such a new radio and the financial layout that involved, I can only assume this means there's a design fault they can't correct. My own problem was dealt with by a caring seller, so I've no axe to grind here - but I'd consider very carefully why this has been discontinued before buying.,

Now, my original review:

I have a Roberts DAB 2, a Roberts Sports 995, Roberts Ecologic 4 and a Roberts Bluetone 50. All receive signals perfectly in the area where I live, which is three miles from Glasgow city centre - and is actually within sight of the BBC's new Scottish broadcasting HQ.
Sadly, the Roberts DAB 4 is inferior to all of those radios in both reception and volume. The personal DAB 2 radio doesn't seem to need charging as often as the DAB 4, and also has the advantage of having a built-in speaker, facilitated by a telescopic antenna - but there's a trade-off. The newer DAB 4 is both smaller and lighter, and therefore more readily portable in a pocket - so one really must decide upon one's own personal priorities when choosing which is the more suitable option.

Now, TWO handy tips I've discovered:
I find, when I leave my house and turn on the radio, if I try to tune it to the BBC's Radio Scotland or Radio 4 Extra, I usually get a message saying, "Signal n/a" (not available), accompanied by silence. However, when I then tune it to any other nearby station, it will get a signal. I can then immediately retune it to the one I failed to get initially - and it almost always works. The whole business takes less than 10 seconds from start to finish. This seems quite bizarre, and I couldn't begin to explain why it happens - but this has now worked dozens of times in the few weeks I've had the DAB 4!
Secondly, and also concerning signal reception:
I found when scanning for stations with the supplied Roberts earphones connected, I didn't get very many stations - but when I used an old pair of Skullcandy Titan earphones, I got literally twice as many stations, with better reception for many of them.

I think the DAB 4 is impressive for it's size, but I've given it only two stars because I feel it's been released a little before it's been fully developed, and now a serious fault seems to have materialised; one they've been unable to address. Added to that, I don't think the current poor reception - and volume - of the DAB 4 can really justify the current cost of it.
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