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Roberts RD-60 Revival DAB Radio - Roberts RD-60 Revival DAB Radio
The RD-60's controls are all kept up top in a neatly recessed panel. Again we see the presence of some plastic but were Roberts to use a glass panel and machined metal knobs and buttons the cost of this already quite expensive radio would have risen considerably.
On the left is an analogue volume dial above which sit 3.5mm jack sockets for headphones and an auxiliary input. Across the middle is a row of six buttons that, from left to right, consist of the favourite button, On/Off switch, FM/DAB switch, Auto Tune function, Info switch, and Preset button. Then, finishing things off is the tuning dial/selector button on the right.
Immediately upon seeing this modest selection of controls we realised the RD-60 has limited extra functionality beyond just tuning into a station. Only one Favourite station can be stored (there's not even one each for FM and DAB, though your one choice can be either), there is no recording facility, and nor is there any pausing/rewinding of live radio. What you can do is whittle down the full list of DAB stations, of which there are hundreds, to a list of your favourites by using the Preset function. You can also choose what DLS information the screen should display using the Info button, while the Auto Tune button will quickly scan for the next station when in FM mode.
The screen itself is an okay example with an amber backlight that matches the gold colour of the plastic surround surprisingly well. Text is large and clear and viewing angles are decent despite it being an LCD panel. The only major flaw is that the refresh rate is too slow so scrolling text tends to flicker, which can make reading DLS information a bit of a challenge.
Another problem we noted with this radio is that it is very sensitive to phone signal noise so if you use your phone as an MP3 player and plan to plug it into this radio's auxiliary socket, you'll have to switch to aeroplane mode. Somewhat making up for this is this radio's ability to pick up a radio signal; it is easily the most sensitive receiver we've tested, picking up many stations even in our office where lesser radios can often fail to pick up anything.
So, with little in the way of features and limited portability the Roberts RD-60 only has two things that can save it. One is the aforementioned design and build quality and the other is of course sound quality and, luckily for Roberts, the RD-60 sounds very good indeed. Thanks to that relatively large speaker this radio can easily fill a sizable room with warm, clear, distortion-free sound. Bass response is admittedly limited with there being no real thump to Dance, RnB, and Rock music and the booming gutsy sections of large orchestral works sounding a little weedy. However, spoken word programmes, lighter classical works, pop, jazz, and acoustic material is all produced with a satisfying degree of warmth and clarity.
The Roberts RD-60 is a bit expensive for what is essentially a very basic DAB radio but, if you like the finer things in life and value that extra touch of craftsmanship, we think it's definitely worth considering.
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