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Which DAB Radio - Roberts in particular

30 replies

cupcakes · 03/01/2005 19:47

My dh has promised me a DAB radio for Christmas (it's v late as I can't decide what I want!)
What I really like are the Roberts RD10 ones in the coloured leather (now in pastel pink, not shown on link) - just like the revival range but with digital. But are these style over substance? Do I need more facilities on one?
I don't really understand what DAB radios offer in terms of display etc so am not sure what I really need.
All I know is I want something which can be battery operated and have a carry handle (so we can take it camping). I do love the look of the revival style. Can anyone offer me any guidence?

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JanH · 03/01/2005 19:53

FWIW Which recommended 3 Pures and an Intempo. They tested 3 different Robertses and found them all below-average sound quality and the RD10 has no presets.

For the same price (I think) you can have the Pure-Evoke 2 which has 6 presets, above average sound quality, battery and mains and has a handle.

The Roberts does have 78 hours battery life though; the Pure only 18. Maybe that's down to the display?

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cupcakes · 03/01/2005 19:57

JanH - you keep coming to my rescue!
Are the presets much use or do they only serve a purpose when you first get it (ie before you programme it yourself?)
I hadn't thought to check about battery life though and that is a consideration as we need it to entertain us for long weekends!

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bakedpotato · 03/01/2005 19:59

hi cupcakes. i got a portable dab radio in nov, a roberts gemini 15, lovely-looking thing, and it has been a disaster. what no one had explained to me about digital radio is that reception seems to be affected by all sorts of things, such as geography, proximity to mobile phone masts, even stuff like whether there's a metal beam in your house (no, really). i started a thread about this before xmas and though several people had blissful reception with DAB, one or two had had similar problems, and ended up returning the radios.
there's a website where you can check your postcode for compatability, and according to this we should have been safe, but i've finally worked out that the terrible electronic stutter from my DAB roberts wasn't due to a technical fault, but the DAB signal itself.
(can you tell how bitter i am about this, btw?)
so i'm not really answering your question. Though i also have the revival analogue, and love it -- even more so, now. Perhaps you have DAB elsewhere in your house and it works fine. basically what i'm trying to say is that DAB isn't the piece of p*ss i was expecting it to be.
agree though that presets are essential -- if it works, there's so much choice on DAB

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bakedpotato · 03/01/2005 20:01

sorry to be the voice of doom

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cupcakes · 03/01/2005 20:09

So did you return it?
And do you have to preset half the channels yourself as when I looked at the Gemini 15 it said it just had 5 presets.
I wish I knew someone who had one then I could try it out here and check it's reception first. Although that wouldn't be much good for listening to on the North Norfolk coast camp sites!
The RD10 also has fm which I thought we could fall back on when out in rural places but I would have hoped it would be good at home... I did check the website which said what stations you would receive but I guess that's no guarantee of good signal (and we are relatively near a mobile phone mast which might interfere?)

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JanH · 03/01/2005 20:10

Which says this about tuning/presets:

"Tuning in
DAB radios tune in automatically to all the available stations when you first turn them on. You can then scroll through the names of the stations and store favourite stations as presets."

So presumably with the Roberts you would have to scroll through every time (but without a display to see them??? How does that work I wonder?)

(It also mentions the timelag between FM and DAB which is a PITA - I am one of those people who likes to have R4 on all over the house, I sometimes add it in on Sky and it is several seconds behind the rest like a late echo.)

I want a DAB radio too - in the kitchen ideally - but there are at least 2 RSJ's in the vicinity and from bp's post I do wonder if it would work OK. The website here says we are OK but I am sceptical...

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maretta · 03/01/2005 20:13

I have teh pure-evoke 2 and the sound quality is really good.

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bakedpotato · 03/01/2005 20:14

i rang the website DH bought it from (it was a present) and they said this was fairly common.
the presets are just a way of saving your fave channels so you don't have to search for them manually each time.
it's not that much of a hassle to return it though if neccessary, i suppose (which could be why it has taken us 2mths plus to get around to sending this one back .

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cupcakes · 03/01/2005 20:15

Yes, we are also 'very likely' to have good coverage but I am now doubtful.
I did have a look at the RD10 in John Lewis the other day but it was too busy to find anyone to help. There was a small digital display screen but I am not sure how it found the stations - I had just assumed I would tell it "1" and it would just go there but now I am not sure how... It does seem a bit awkward and not really the point of digital if you have to scroll past other stations to get where you want.

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bakedpotato · 03/01/2005 20:16

jan, you have reminded me that the timelag drove me CRAZY. i kept missing chunks of desert island discs as i moved from room to room

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bakedpotato · 03/01/2005 20:17

fortunately it was only dreary old tracy emin though

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cupcakes · 03/01/2005 20:17

Yes, I hate the timelag! Moving from where I have it on the computer to the stereo in the kitchen on fm and then sky in the sitting room!

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cupcakes · 03/01/2005 20:18

And it makes a mockery of the pips on the hour...

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JanH · 03/01/2005 20:20

My kids hate my multiple-radio habit and get very cross when I tell them off for going away and leaving theirs on...but they still don't appreciate the difference between listening to speech and music!

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cupcakes · 03/01/2005 20:31

If I do go digital I will get one with fm as well as a backup. Am now considering the RD11 as this seems to have more digital options (even though it doesn't look quite as gorgeous and isn't in pink ). Any thoughts on that?
I could go for the analogue revival but I just feel if we're spending a lot of money we ought to go digital...

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bakedpotato · 04/01/2005 18:47

cupcakes, a man came round to fix our TV aerial today. i asked him about DAB and he said Roberts digital radios aren't very powerful -- Sony is safer.

in the process of returning our roberts, I rang its cust service no, and woman told me there's only 85 pc DAB coverage nationwide but they're putting up more transmitters all the time: she was implying it's worth my holding on to the machine. i queried this and said that, according to the DAB website postcode checker, we were already covered, and that i'd heard mobile phone masts/steel beams in kitchen could adversely affect reception, to which she then unblushingly replied, 'Oh yes, there's that too.'

anyway, aerial tuning man also said even with portable DABs made by sony you'd be wisest to get one with a thingy that can be connected to a DAB aerial. IYSWIM.

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cupcakes · 04/01/2005 18:50

Thanks for that bakedpotato! Am still deliberating about what to do - next time I'm in town I'm going to have a good look round at what is on offer. We're supposed to get full coverage here but I am now doubtful about that claim!

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JanH · 06/01/2005 09:41

DAB radios reviewed in the Guardian today, cupcakes!

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bundle · 06/01/2005 10:25

we have a pure evoke, it's v good. and we listen through our freeview on the telly. the delay is irritating tho.

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cupcakes · 06/01/2005 18:50

Thanks for remembering this thread, JanH!
I still haven't been into a shop yet so that was really good food for thought.
xx

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JanH · 06/01/2005 18:59

I am toying with the idea of this one because I really want a CD player too but it is not portable and only has 5w per channel so would it be audible over the dishwasher and extractor...???

And micro systems are much bigger than they look in pictures - this one is 18" wide and 6" deep!

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cupcakes · 06/01/2005 19:06

I'm interested in the 'scrolling text' on that one. What goes on with the display? I know that it says which station you are on but does it tell you anything else (like what programme is on)?

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JanH · 06/01/2005 19:11

Oh gawd, cupcakes, I have no idea!!!! Hadn't even read the features!

Have seen a couple of reviews of it though and apart from the lack of power they were v keen (and that was at upwards of 150GBP, this looks like a v good price). (Apart from the fact that there aren't any of course!)

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JanH · 06/01/2005 19:12

Oh, yes, I believe it does name the station, like a car radio does. (Don't know what the scrolling text is though.)

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tamum · 06/01/2005 19:16

I got dh a little portable one for Christmas and his tells you what program you're listening to aswell as the station. It even tells you what music you're listening to apparently It's the Gemini 4 here .

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