Top critical review
141 people found this helpful
Clumsy controls let this down
on 2 May 2012
I bought this model to replace my Pure Siesta alarm clock/radio which had died. I bought Roberts because they have a good reputation for quality, and I already have a nice chunky Roberts DAB radio which is excellent. The Roberts has an option for weekday-only alarms, like the Pure Siesta, and this, with the red display, is largely what convinced me to purchase.
However, I'm a bit disappointed. Firstly, I'm not impressed with the sound quality. I like to use the sleep function, and it's nice to have good quality sound to drift off to, but this is rather too bright and bass-weak, like a cheap 'tranny' and hence not very relaxing, but maybe I'm expecting too much of a unit of this size. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the excellent sound of my other Roberts DAB radio and naively expected similar sound quality.
Secondly, the control buttons are a real challenge if you can't see them, either in the dark or due to the position of the unit, as they are all flush with the top of the unit and all packed together in a grid. This product is most likely to be used when you're half asleep or groping in the dark to switch the alarm off, set the 'sleep' function, retune, change the volume etc. You need to really concentrate to find the button you want, or suffer the frustration of having to correct matters when you press the wrong button. Not very sleepy-person-friendly! It would have been nice if the button labels were imprinted in relief so you could learn them by feel, or even if they were not actually flat. I would at least expect the on/off button to have a little pimple on it so that you can identify it quickly by touch, like is provided on phone keypads etc. One weird quirk with my radio is that when tuned to Classic FM, any attempt to use the Sleep button causes the unit to reboot itself! This doesn't happen with any other station! That's a bit unfortunate if I want to drift off to sleep to a bit of Schubert. [Update: the answer is to set the Sleep time on another station and then retune to Classic FM :-) ]
I do like the dimmable red display: on the dimmest setting it's easy on the eye and isn't lighting up the room when you wake up in the middle of the night. You can even switch the display off completely if you prefer. The alarm fades up nicely so doesn't jolt you rudely out of your sleep and make you all grumpy :-)
I'm sure I'll get used to this item's shortcomings and it'll serve me well, but had I known about them beforehand I would probably not have chosen this model.
Update January 2014: recently the increase-volume button has been causing my unit to switch off. Darned annoying! I hadn't really got used to the other shortcomings before this one appeared, so, sorry Messrs Roberts but I'm now in the market for another clock radio... :-(