Roberts is easily one of the best-known radio brands, both in the UK and around the world.
The Roberts Radio company doesn’t just produce some of the products with the highest-quality sound and streaming solutions in the market. This quintessential British company also stands out thanks to the incredible beauty and aesthetic appeal of the products that it produces.
Just take a look at the portable version of the Roberts Revival, for instance, the Roberts Revival Uno, and you’ll see what we mean about style.
The Roberts ZoomBox 3 takes a slightly different approach with its retro appearance, focusing on the boombox-type aesthetic that was common during the 90s and early-2000s. However, just like every other piece of the Roberts portfolio, the ZoomBox is brimming with charm and charisma.
Read on for our full Roberts ZoomBox review to find out more…
Roberts ZoomBox 3 radio review: Design and build
We always start our radio reviews here at Radio Fidelity with a close look at the style that went into making a specific audio product. As mentioned above, the ZoomBox has an interesting bubble shape that might be familiar to you if you had a portable CD and cassette player back in the 90s or early noughties. The ZoomBox is also very similar in style to another CD and cassette-playing analogue radio from Roberts – the Skylark.
While the Skylark and the ZoomBox share a very similar appearance, there are some important differences between them. For instance, the Roberts ZoomBox 3 is a DAB radio with CD player, while the Skylark is an analogue player with a cassette function. The ZoomBox digital radio with FM tuner comes with a range of ways to listen to music, including DAB+ tuners, a USB driver that you can stream content from, and a CD tray.
Design-wise, however, the two pieces are very easy to confuse for one another. The ZoomBox has the same bug-eye speaker style as the Skylark, the same bulky carrying handle, and even a series of easy-to-use chunky buttons. There’s also an extendable aerial built-in to help you get the best connection for your music.
It’s not the most stylish radio that we’ve seen from Roberts, but there’s still something about this device that appeals to the nostalgia of the millennials on our team.
Roberts ZoomBox 3 radio review: Features
So, what kind of features can you expect from this Roberts DAB/DAB+/FM CD radio if you’re intrigued by the design? Well, first and foremost, Roberts makes sure that you have plenty of ways to listen to the music that you like most, including your CDs, and your FM, DAB, and DAB+ radio channels. The system comes with 40 stations presets to make it easier for you to track down the shows that you love. What’s more, there’s MP3/WMA playback available from SD cards or CDs.
The Roberts Radio ZoomBox 3 is also one of the few DAB radios with CD players from Roberts that comes with Bluetooth streaming built-in.
With the bulky and reliable carry handle, you’ll have no trouble carrying this device around the house when you’re listening to music, and you can even plug content straight into the machine using a USB drive if you prefer.
Now that we’ve looked at the style and features of the Roberts ZoomBox 3, it’s time to explore the performance quality. After all, if you’re going to be spending a little under £70 on a DAB radio with a CD player, then you’ll expect to get something more than acceptable for your money.
The Roberts Radio ZoomBox delivers high-quality music and streaming however you choose to use it, whether you’re playing your favourite CDs from your collection, or enjoying the FM, DAB, or DAB+ radio. It’s also reasonably easy to find a Bluetooth connection on the ZoomBox when you want to stream from your phone too.
For private listening, you can plug your headphones into the unit and enjoy your favourite music without disturbing anyone nearby. On the other hand, if you’re listening to tunes with friends, we recommend taking advantage of the deep bass boost button from time to time to give your music some extra depth. Remember – this feature probably won’t be suitable for everything that you listen to.
Just like stretchy jeans that are a little too big, bass boost is something you won’t always need – but it’s nice to have.
Roberts ZoomBox 3 radio review: Verdict
If you’re looking for a radio that will fill the gap in your life that’s been there since you stopped taking your portable CD and cassette player wherever you went in the noughties, then have we got the product for you. The Roberts ZoomBox 3 is a nifty and reliable digital radio with a CD player that’s sure to tick a lot of your audio requirement boxes.
However, if all you’re looking for is a basic speaker and CD player that can stream from your phone using Bluetooth, you may be able to find a device that’s a lot sleeker and potentially cheaper than this one. The ZoomBox 3 isn’t everything you could ever need in a radio – but it’s a fantastic addition to your home in the right circumstances.