If you enjoy the vintage aesthetic of Roberts’ Revival range but want something a little more compact for on-the-go listening, look no further than the Revival Petite.
- Colourful, retro design
- Big sound for its size
- Long battery life
- Pouch sold separately
- It isn’t waterproof
- No fast/wireless charging
- DAB/DAB+/FM radioListen to digital and FM radio with 20 presets
- Bluetooth speakerConnect your phone to stream music and podcasts
- Bass radiator Designed to offer a richer sound
- Portable designUp to 20 hours of battery life with Micro USB charging
Roberts Radio has been producing its Revival range since 1956, making the Petite the latest (and smallest) update to the sixty year-old plus lineage of radios.
Despite its size, the Revival Petite’s retro design and vibrant array of colours makes it an eye-catching device. Roberts called the radio and Bluetooth speaker “compact but powerful” when it launched in 2021, but can its sound outperform its tiny size?
- The design is bold and retro
- The radio does not have an IP rating for dust or water resistance
- The protective pouch is sold separately
The Petite features the same retro look as the rest of the Revival series with its colourful faux leather finish and the gold Roberts signature emblazoned on the front, squeezed into a smaller, more travel-friendly form factor. In fact, its nearly half the size and weight of the Revival Mini.
It has a wide, rectangular shape and, unlike the other radios in the series, there’s no carry handle on the top. However, its small enough to fit in one hand so I don’t think a handle is necessary.
The display and controls have moved from the top of the radio to the front – a detail I quite liked as it allowed me to see what I was listening to at a glance when the radio was at eye level.
The Petite is available in six beautiful finishes: Pop Orange, Duck Egg, Midnight Blue, Black, Sunburst Yellow and Dusky Pink. I received the Pop Orange model, a bold tangerine shade complimented by bronze stripes along the top and sides.
The Petite has a reassuring weight to it at 436g, but is light enough to carry in one hand or slip into your bag for a day at the park. The rubber coating does a good job of protecting the bottom of the radio from scuffs, though there’s no IP rating so I’d be hesitant taking it anywhere it could get wet, like the beach.
A gripe I have with the radio is that the Revival Petite Travel Pouch isn’t included. It’s a 100% cotton drawstring bag created in partnership with Bag of Ethics and, while I admire Roberts’ sustainability efforts, £9.99 is expensive for the protection the bag offers. I’d have preferred it was included and not an optional extra, or at the very least have the option of purchasing a hard case that offers more protection for the same price.
- Can be used as a DAB/DAB+/FM radio or a Bluetooth speaker
- It comes with 20 radio station presets
- The battery lasts closer to 28 hours than 20
There are two ways you can use the Revival Petite – as a radio or as a speaker. The Petite supports DAB, DAB+ and FM radio, Bluetooth wireless listening and includes an aux port on the back for wired playback.
All you need to do is switch on the device and press the ‘modes’ button to toggle through the source settings, which include Bluetooth, aux, radio and a collection of 20 station presets.
Other controls include volume buttons and a large dial to skip between tracks if you’re using the speaker function or open up the list of presets if you’re listening in DAB mode.
You can also scan for other stations by switching to FM mode and rotating the dial. Once you find the station you want, you can push and hold the dial to save it as a preset, and there’s an antenna in the box you can connect to the back.
I enjoyed how few controls there were as it kept the experience simple, though it took me a few sessions to get used to using the dial to rotate through tracks or stations, as I often found myself reaching for it to adjust the volume on instinct and skipping ahead of myself.
I also found that the volume was much quieter when using the Petite as a speaker as opposed to a radio, so I needed to adjust the volume as I moved between the two modes.
I was very impressed with the battery life on the Petite, which Roberts claims should last 20 hours. In reality, I found the radio ran for closer to 28 hours while playing audio consistently at a medium volume, so I was able to get well over a days use out of the Petite without stopping to recharge.
The radio is charged via Micro USB, which is a small annoyance if, like me, you have an abundance of USB-C cables strewn around your home. There’s also no support for fast charging or wireless charging, so don’t expect to get a full charge if you plug it in before heading out the door.
- The radio features a bass radiator for more power
- The sound is crisp and detailed
- The bass sounds great, too
The Revival Petite packs a surprising amount of punch for a radio of its size with a bass radiator for additional power.
Get Into It (Yuh) by Doja Cat sounds bouncy and energetic through the Revival Petite. The speaker picks up every breath and croak in Doja’s voice, delivering a decent amount of detail. The tonal balance is good too, with the bass making itself known as it bumps below the track.
Next, I switched over to Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, a song that allowed the low end to truly shine. The bass is dimensional producing a satisfying amount of detail definition, and the build up from the nimble guitar riff and symbols to the bass solo at the bridge is dynamic for a device of its size.
The audio quality will depend on the bitrate and encoded on the station you’re tuned in to and the soundstage does feel slightly cramped, but the Petite sounds great overall.
I’m not convinced that it’s powerful enough to entertain a large party, but it can certainly hold its own during small gatherings and would be ideal for slipping into a bag for a sunny day at the park.
Should you buy it?
You want bright and capable radio: The Revival Petite is a portable radio with a vibrant, retro design and enough power behind it to fill a room.
You want a rugged radio: The Petite feels sturdy for its size, but there’s no dust or water resistance rating and it doesn’t come with a protective case.
The Roberts Radio Petite is an incredibly eye-catching radio with a bold vintage design available in a wide array of colours to fit your home.
It’s also small enough to be taken on-the-go, though the lack of IP rating means I would hesitate taking anywhere it might get splashed.
The radio sounds great and supports DAB, DAB+ and FM radio with a range of 20 presets on board and the ability to set your own. It also functions as a Bluetooth or wired speaker and there’s an antenna included in the box.
The controls are easy to use and I found the battery life long outlasted Roberts’ claims, but there’s no wireless or fast charging available here.
How we test
We test every radio we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Tested for over a week
Drained the battery to determine how long it lasts
Listened to the radio and through streaming apps with Bluetooth
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The Revival Petite has 20 hours of battery life, but we found it lasted closer to 28 hours.
No, the Revival Petite does not support Qi wireless charging. You’ll need to use the Micro-USB cable in the box to charge the radio.
The radio is available in six vibrant shades: Pop Orange, Duck Egg, Midnight Blue, Black, Sunburst Yellow and Dusky Pink.
BluetoothBluetooth - named after 10th-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth who united Denmark’s tribes into a single kingdom - is a method of wireless transmission that allows for the exchange of data between devices over short distances.
IP ratingAn abbreviation for ‘Ingress Protection Code’, which lets you know to what extent a device might be waterproof or dustproof.
USB-CThe modern USB connector you’ll find on most Android phones, new laptops, cameras and games consoles. It’s reversible and used for charging along with data-transfer.
Qi Wireless Charging
The most common format for wireless charging and the one supported by the majority of devices. Charge speeds vary a lot by the phone.