We conduct quite a lot of DAB radio alarm clock reviews here at Radio Fidelity.
That means that when a truly impressive piece of tech crosses our desk, we can really appreciate its value. That’s exactly what happened when we got a chance to try out the Roberts Ortus 2.
Now if you’re a fan of our radio guides, then you’ll know we’re admirers of the Roberts brand. We’ve checked out some of their leading tools before, like the Roberts Stream 94i, and various versions of the charming Revival. However, the Roberts Ortus 2 radio is a little different – because it’s designed to combine the convenience of a bedside alarm with a portable radio, in one neat package.
This radio alarm clock comes with all the functionality and sound quality you would expect from Roberts, as well as a few surprise features to enjoy.
Read on to find out more…
Roberts Ortus 2 review: Design & build
Design is usually an area that we love to comment on when it comes to Roberts radios, and the Ortus 2 is no exception. Like other leading devices, such as the Roberts Radio Revival RD70, the Ortus delivers a great blend of form and function.
While you probably don’t think of most DAB alarm clocks as stylish, there’s something about the Ortus 2 that really stands out. It might be the intriguing surround-grille or the sleek black surface – we’re not sure what appeals to us here – we just like it.
The Roberts Ortus 2 radio manages to be both modern and sophisticated at the same time. Unlike other digital radios that have just had alarm functionality thrown onto them at last minute, the Ortus 2 DAB clock radio was created as a clock radio first. That means that you get some extra special design bonuses.
For instance, how about the fact that any button on the surface of the Ortus 2 will act as a “snooze” button when your alarm goes off. That saves you from fiddling with your clock when you want an extra five minutes in bed. What’s more, the display on this DAB alarm clock radio can be dimmed to suit the needs of your bedroom. If you’ve ever been kept awake by a blaring digital screen at night, you’ll know how valuable this feature can be.
Other handy design components include a USB socket for charging your phone, and a rotary dial so you can search through stations manually.
Roberts Ortus 2 review: Features
While the Roberts Ortus 2 radio looks and feels incredible, it’s the features that really make it stand out. Since no-one likes to be stuck with a single radio station, you’ll appreciate the fact that the Ortus comes with 5 direct-access preset buttons on top of the kit. That means that you can switch easily between DAB and DM stations in seconds. There’s also a 3.5mm input available, so you can listen to your streaming services like Spotify via your phone or iPod.
One of the things we really loved about this Roberts clock radio, is how intuitive it is when it comes to alarm functionality. If you do set an alarm, you can have the noise start gently and softly, before gradually increasing in intensity. This means that you’re less likely to wake up with a sudden jolt in the morning. There’s also dual alarm functionality, so you can set different alerts for different days.
From the display that you can fine-tune for your bedroom, to the touch-any-button to snooze feature, this Roberts clock radio is just another example of the Roberts brand taking the unique needs of its customers into account.
DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
Dual alarm clock
Any button to snooze
USB socket for charging
Aux input for external devices
Gradual alarm setting
20 preset stations
3 preset buttons
Night-time display (shuts off after 10 seconds)
Adjustable display brightness
Roberts Ortus 2 review: Radio performance
So we know that the Roberts Radio Ortus 2 is pretty, functional, and all-around easy to use. Now all we need to check is its sound quality. From the moment you take it out of the box, the Roberts Ortus 2 feels like something that’s going to deliver quality. It packs a lot of weight for such a small device, which is always good news in our opinion.
The reception for DAB channels is great – and we had no problem finding the stations that we wanted to listen to. What’s more, since there are 10 preset station options available, you can keep your fiddling to a minimum if you’re pressed for time. You’ll also be able to set your own stations on the dedicated preset buttons.
As you’d probably expect from Roberts at this point, the sound quality is pretty impressive, particularly when you consider how small this device is. When we first saw the Ortus 2, we weren’t sure whether to expect a reduction in bass or volume. However, there’s very little sound-wise to differentiate this device from any of your other high-quality radios.
We particularly liked the fact that you can plug your headphones into the system, this means that you can listen to tunes at night without disrupting your partner if you’re sleeping in a bed for two.
Roberts Ortus 2 review: Verdict
Ultimately, like most products from Roberts, the Ortus 2 clock radio is a well-made device that gives you plenty of control over how you listen to music, and how you wake up. Although there are few buttons to get used to when you first set the system up, we definitely wouldn't describe the Roberts Ortus 2 as complicated. However, if you want something that's just "plug and play," you might want to consider a different device.
For those in search of a customisable, high-quality clock radio, the Roberts Ortus 2 has plenty to offer, including an adjustable display and any-button snooze. However, do keep in mind that it's a bit more expensive than your standard bedside alarm clock.