Roberts is probably one of our favourite brands for retro-designed radios here at Radio Fidelity. If you want your radio system to look as good as it sounds, then it’s hard to find something that contends with the unique design of a Roberts Radio.
However, there is more to Roberts radios than aesthetics alone. Sure, these devices are great to look at, but they’re also fantastic for their functionality too. Some radios allow you to listen to your favourite DAB stations on the go. Other sets give you everything you need for a robust in-house radio and CD player. There are even all-in-one offerings like the Roberts Blutune 200 to consider.
The Roberts Ortus 1 is the DAB alarm clock radio from Roberts intended to combine easy listening with a fun way to wake up every morning.
Read on for our full Roberts Ortus 1 review.
Roberts Ortus 1 review: Design and build
The Roberts Radio Ortus 1 DAB alarm clock is a stylish and efficient bedside companion available in black or white. There’s not a lot to this device at first glance. It’s a simple rectangular machine with a shiny black face and the iconic Roberts logo printed just above the time display. The display itself is clear and bold, with dimmable options so you can make sure that your alarm doesn’t distract you too much when you’re drifting to sleep.
Speaking of adapting the display for when you’re falling asleep, the Roberts Ortus 1 radio also comes with a nighttime display with a digital clock that will fade to black within ten seconds.
The buttons for your DAB alarm clock radio are situated on the top of the Roberts Ortus 1, so you can find them easily when you’re half-asleep. What’s more, there’s any-button snooze built-in, which means that even if you can’t find the actual snooze button, you can still get an extra five minutes of rest when you need it.
We were particularly fond of the speaker that wraps around the outside of the clock, rather than appearing on the front of the device. There’s something about that aspect of the design that really speaks to the Roberts values of sleek and seamless design.
Roberts Ortus 1 review: Features
When you first take the Roberts Ortus 1 DAB alarm clock radio out of its box, there’s not much to it. The device is small and simple, although it feels high-quality and well made. It’s only when you turn the system on and start exploring when you see how useful this device can really be. More than just a standard FM or DAB alarm clock, the Roberts comes with an auxiliary input socket so that you can play music from your smartphone and use it as a temporary speaker when you’re laid in bed.
The Ortus, similar to many other device from Roberts, also comes with a headphone socket, so you can choose if you want to listen to your music privately, or share it with your loved ones.
For those worried about getting up each morning, the Roberts Ortus 1 comes with 2 alarm timers, and you can set either of them to wake you up either with a standard buzzer, or DAB/FM radio. There’s also the option to set your alarm duration for 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes, depending on your needs. Other features include:
Built-in FM, DAB and DAB+ radio
Smartphone aux playback
Nighttime display mode
Any button snooze
Bedtime listening function
Multiple alarm settings
Beautiful Roberts design
Roberts Ortus 1 review: Performance
As a radio, the Roberts Radio Ortus 1 has plenty to offer. This small but mighty device comes with built-in DAB, DAB+ and FM connectivity that means you can listen to your favourite radio stations wherever you are. There’s also the option to adjust your listening for bedtime, with a function that automatically fades your audio out slowly when you reach the end of your sleep timer.
The Ortus DAB alarm clock radio also comes with extra features like an auxiliary input socket for playing music from your smartphone, and a set of speakers that produce good quality sound.
As an alarm clock, the Ortus is pretty impressive too. There are two alarm timers to choose from, so you can set different options for your weekends and weekdays. There’s also an array of alarm durations to choose from, and the option to choose what kind of sound wakes you up. The adjustable snooze, sleep, and nap timer are all there to help you have complete control over how you wake up. What’s more, the any-button snooze function makes it easier to put any morning on hold.
Roberts Ortus 1 review: Verdict
Ultimately, the Roberts Ortus 1 is a DAB alarm clock that gets the job done when you want a reliable and attractive bedside companion. If you need a device that you can set to suit your schedule, as well as something that you can rely on to provide excellent performance via sensational speakers and a high-quality build, this is the radio for you.
However according to other DAB radio alarm clock reviews, and based on our own experience, we’d say that there are simpler and less expensive clocks out there. The Roberts Ortus can be a little difficult to get used to at first, and sometimes setting your alarm can be quite a hassle. Additionally, it’s worth noting that this device is quite an expensive option for a DAB alarm clock.