Roberts Sports DAB 5 Review

Roberts Sports DAB 5 review

The Roberts Radio Sports DAB 5 is a small stereo personal radio, perfect for the smallest of pockets! But, is it any good? Let’s find…
Compact and light
Battery powered
Great reception
Very limited display
Few presets options
Plastic build



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 brand’s peers. 

In today’s 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 Review 2

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 portable 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 two 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 includes:

  • Stereo earphones included
  • Two-line LCD display
  • FM/DAB/DAB+ support
  • Lock button for involuntary pressing
  • 10 presets (five FM and five DAB)
  • Adjustable backlight delay
  • USB port for software updates
  • Powered by two x AA batteries (10 to 18 hrs playback)

Weight: 66g

Dimensions: 62mm (W) x 105mm (H) x 20mm (D)

Roberts Sports DAB 5 Review 3

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 five presets for FM and another five for DAB/DAB+. For those of you who spend most of your 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 switching to another multiplex might take a second or two.

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 Review 4

Roberts Sports DAB 5: Usability

Usability depends on whether you happen to be a 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 it 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 we’re at 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 own this petite little radio–and have been using it for a while–please tell us about your experience.

For more in-depth reviews of the best of Roberts Radio, you can view our articles on Roberts Revival RD70 and the Roberts Elise DAB radio.

Just so you know… This article contains affiliate links. The commission we earn helps to cover our costs, and comes at no additional cost to you. For more information on our affiliate program, please refer to our disclosure policy.

Roberts Sports DAB 5 Review
With DAB/DAB+ and FM stereo wavebands and compact size, the Sports DAB 5 is the perfect match companion that you can take along to those important games and stay tuned. It also has 10 direct access pre-sets, key lock and a large blue backlit LCD display.
Build quality
Battery powered, no need for charging/mains connection
Convenient key lock to prevent involuntary pressing
Compact and light at 66g (without batteries)
Great reception despite lack of telescopic aerial
Very limited display
Few presets options
Plastic build
Where to buy

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