Roberts ChronoDAB Alarm Clock Radio Review

The Roberts ChronoDAB is an FM/DAB clock radio from respected radio brand Roberts. It’s not the most stylish clock radio, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in its quality of construction.

Let’s see what this clock radio can do…

Features

  • DAB and FM wavebands
  • FM has RDS which shows the station name being played (DAB already does this anyway)
  • Set 2 independent alarms with choice of alarm sounds: radio or buzzer alarm
  • Snooze and sleep timers that can be adjusted
  • Save up to 20 preset stations
  • Large dimmable LCD display
  • Time sets itself automatically
  • Includes an AC mains adapter
  • Headphone jack
  • USB socket

Weight: 862 g
Dimensions: 23 cm wide x 11 cm high x 7.5 cm deep

Performance and use

The instructions manual is easy to follow and it shouldn’t take you long to get the radio up and running. The buttons on this clock radio are laid out logically, so you’ll quickly get used to how it works.

The clock sets the correct time automatically, and it will automatically change when the clocks go forward and back. It uses the 24-hour clock format, and can’t be changed to the 12-hour format.

The alarm can be set to either the radio or a buzzer sound. It gradually gets louder, meaning you won’t be woken up suddenly by a really loud alarm. The alarm will last for an hour unless you cancel it, and you can press the adjustable snooze button for 5 to 20 minutes extra rest.

You can set two different alarms, which you could use to have one alarm for weekdays and another for the weekends.

The LCD display has three brightness settings, and the lowest is almost completely dark so it shouldn’t disturb you at night. If you need to see the numerals, you just tap the clock radio and it will light up briefly. The LCD is fairly large, and the numbers measure about 2 cm or 1 inch high making them easy to read.

The USB socket at the back of the radio can be used to charge a phone provided you have the right cable (which isn’t provided with the radio). There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack at the back of the radio for private listening.

The ChronoDAB has a wire rather than a metal aerial. It has good reception on both FM and DAB.

Pros

  • Large, easy-to-read display
  • Decent sound quality
  • Easy to find buttons in the dark
  • Good reception on both FM and DAB – better than most other clock radios
  • Adjustable sleep and snooze features
  • Two alarms
  • Alarm increases in volume gradually
  • Chunky and sturdily built

Cons

  • Not especially attractive
  • Relatively expensive

Verdict

The Roberts ChronoDAB is a very functional radio that does everything you’d expect of it. There’s nothing remarkable about this radio, which is actually a good thing if you want something reliable that does the job.  This isn’t the cheapest DAB clock radio, but it’s well constructed and should last for years.

Alternative radios

One of the ChronoDAB’s main competitors is the Pure Siesta Rise. It’s arguably better looking than the ChronoDAB, and features a large, easy-to-read display.

If you’re looking for something cheaper, check out the Majority Abbey DAB Bedside Alarm Clock. It costs about half what the ChronoDAB does, but is unlikely to last as long.

For an overview of clock radios, see this article on the best alarm clock radios.

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