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Roberts RD-60 Revival DAB Radio
We're not averse to modernist finishes like glossy plastic, chrome trim, and brushed aluminium but sometimes you just can't beat the look and feel of natural materials. They not only look great to start with but tend to age well, still looking good tens of years later. As such we love the idea of this DAB radio from Roberts. You still get all the charm of a classic design but with the functionality of a modern product. At least that's the theory but let's see if the Revival DAB lives up to its potential.
Well, as you will have guessed we're completely won over by the Revival's looks, though we appreciate its going to be far from everyone's favourite style. Indeed, we'd have to say the abundance of gold is not something that would normally appeal to us but when married with this dark green in particular, we think it works. The leather finish is also available in pink, red, maroon, navy blue, duck egg blue, and cream and there's a piano black version as well that looks particularly slick, though it is the most expensive of the range.
Perhaps more important is that those 1950s lines are backed up by superb build quality. The case is made from sturdy MDF (yes, proper wood would have been preferable but it's still solid stuff) and covered in soft real leather which is finished to a very high standard with all edges neatly tucked under where it meets other surfaces. This leather gives the radio a wonderful tactility that just makes you want to touch it.
One particular highlight in terms of build quality is the radio's handle. It's constructed from some sort of flexible core material wrapped in a thick layer of leather, making it very comfortable to hold, while the large, heavy duty white stitching just adds to the visual appeal. What really finishes it off, though, are the all metal pivoting joints that fix the strap to the side of the radio - these things should last for ever unlike the plastic rubbish you get on so many devices.
One surprising result of Roberts' resistance to using plastic in this radio's construction is the way you access the battery compartment - the whole back opens up on a brass piano hinge. From here you can access the speaker and most of the internal electronics, though much of it is protected by plastic boxes so there's no danger of electrocution here. And, yes, I did say plastic. All the internal sections are made of plastic, including the battery compartment but this is perfectly understandable as it's all normally out of sight.
Unfortunately its with the battery compartment that we have our first complaint. Due to the size of the speaker and power of the amplifier, this radio requires quite a bit of juice so in turn needs to use four chunky D-type battery cells to keep it going on the move. At least it can get up to 120 hours use out of a good set. Without batteries the RD-60 weighs 1.5kg and when ready for life on the road this will rise to 1.8kg so this is much more for use down the bottom of the garden or on a caravanning holiday than for packing in your suitcase or backpack.