The Roberts brand of radios is well known for keeping things retro, as well as being recognised by the British Monarch as producing one of the highest quality radios in the market. The Queen herself bought a radio from the company back in 1939, paving the way for the rest of the Royal Family to sample a few more products from the distinguished manufacturer. This saw the brand get awarded a Royal Warrant, which is an achievement that no other radio brand can boast of.
Today, Roberts Radio still maintains the same yesteryear design aesthetic that its customers have come to love. The nostalgia that most of its radios evoke should, however, not be mistaken for any lack of prowess when it comes to technology. These radios are every bit as capable as those from any of the brands peers.
In todays review, we’re going to be looking at the diminutive Roberts Sports DAB 5 radio.
About the Roberts Sports DAB 5
The Roberts Sports DAB 5 presents itself as a worthy companion for anyone who is constantly on the move. Its pocket-friendly size allows you to have a DAB radio that fits firmly in the palm of your hand, with a rather limited display that shows you just what you need to know. One handed control means you won’t really have to take it out of your pocket to change the volume or even scan through your saved channels, since it sports a jog wheel on its side and a series of channel preset buttons on its top surface.
The lack of a telescopic aerial shouldn’t be misconstrued for any difficulties in reception. The Sports DAB 5 uses the included earphone cable as its antenna, with the chances of getting better reception increasing if you have it fully extended and vertical.
Roberts Sports DAB 5: Design
The Roberts Sports DAB 5 is designed to only be heard and not seen. Its small frame allows you to hide it in your bag or pocket, having only the earphones extending from it. Both the power buttons and the five preset buttons are located at the very top of the radio, and right next to these you’ll find a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. The fact that the jack is on the radio’s top side might let you stretch the cable just a bit further, compared to [say] your iPhone or other pocket radios that tend to house the headphone jack at the bottom.
At the back of the radio you’ll find the battery placement area, as well as a lock button to prevent any involuntary presses while the radio is in your pocket or bag. One thing you’ll notice is that the radio gets considerably heavier when you slot in the 2 AA batteries, but this is somewhat better than a socket powered option since you’ll always be able to replace them once they run out.
The Roberts Sports DAB 5 also doesn’t offer any colour choices apart from white. So, if you do have your heart set on this device, you’ll have to make peace with this one disappointment.
Roberts Sports DAB 5: Features
The Roberts Sports DAB 5 radio offers a good selection of handy features designed to keep you listening regardless of whatever you’re up to. The list of features include:
Stereo earphones included
Two line LCD display
Lock button for involuntary pressing
10 presets (5 FM & 5 DAB)
Adjustable backlight delay
USB port for software updates
Powered by 2 x AA batteries (10 to 18 hrs playback)
Dimensions: 62mm (W) x 105mm (H) x 20mm (D)
Roberts Sports DAB 5: Performance & connectivity
As far as features are concerned, the Sports DAB 5 doesn’t have many to ring home about. It’s basically a pocket sized radio that’s able to connect to FM, DAB and DAB+ stations, and keep you listening to your favourite stations while on the move. It’s a great choice for those who have an active lifestyle, since with batteries included, it still only weighs approximately 118g.
This radio allows users to have up to 5 presets for FM, and another 5 for DAB/DAB+. For those of you that’ll spend most of their time listening to digital radio, you’ll be pleased with how fast you can change the channels. Stations on the same multiplex change instantly, but it might take a second or two when switching to another multiplex.
The radio doesn’t offer Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, so you’ll have to contend with whatever’s being played on air.
Roberts Sports DAB 5: Sound quality
As you’d expect, sound quality (to an extent) depends on the quality of your earphones. The supplied earphones are adequate, but you’d probably want to replace them with something offering better dynamic range and comfort. There’s no way to customise the equaliser, so you’re limited to the default output, which is decent enough.
Roberts Sports DAB 5: Usability
Usability depends on whether you happen to be right or left handed person. The radio’s jog wheel is located on its right side, and is meant to be used through your thumb. If you’re left handed, you’d have to handle the radio in such a way that your palm covers the LCD display especially when you don’t want to take it out of your pocket. This really isn’t a major concern if you’re right handed, but is worth noting for the rest of the population.
Thoughtfully, the backlit LCD display can be set to switch off after 12 seconds of inactivity, instead of staying on throughout. This helps conserve battery life.
Roberts Sports DAB 5 radio: Verdict
So to the end of our Roberts Sports DAB 5 radio review. Hopefully, you’re now more enlightened on what to expect if and when you make your purchase. If you already own this petite little radio–and you’ve been using it for a while–please tell us about your experience.
Battery powered, no need for charging/mains connection
Convenient key lock to prevent involuntary pressing