Roberts Expression DAB/FM Radio Review

The Roberts Expression is a portable FM/DAB radio with a built-in battery charger. Its stylish retro design is paired with modern features such as DAB digital radio and FM RDS. Let’s take a closer look…

Features

  • FM/DAB radio
  • FM has RDS, which means the display shows the station name and other information
  • Built-in battery charger
  • Stereo headphone jack
  • Powered by mains or 4 D-size batteries
  • Aux-in
  • Carrying handle so you can easily move it around the house.

Dimensions: 26.2 cm wide x 18.3 cm high x 9 cm deep
Weight: 1.48 kg
Batteries: 4 x D batteries

Design

The Roberts Expression looks gorgeous, with contoured ash-effect wooden edges and a metal grill on both sides. The Expression uses old-fashioned rotary dials for tuning and volume control, which are more satisfying to use than buttons. The radio looks expensive and has a reassuring weight to it, unlike cheaper portable DAB radios which can feel plasticy and flimsy.

Power

This radio can be either plugged into the mains or run on batteries. It takes four D-size batteries, which can be rechargeables. One of the best things about this radio is that it features a built-in battery recharger, so you can charge batteries while it’s plugged in.

Ease of use

The Roberts Expression is straightforward and easy to use. It has rotary dials for adjusting the volume and changing the channel, which are easier and more pleasant to use than pushing buttons. You can also save preset stations for quick access, and doing this is straightforward unlike on many other radios.

The display is clear and shows the station name on the top and extra information such as the time and date underneath.

Sound quality

The Roberts Expression has good sound quality, probably due to the relatively heavy construction and use of wood. The sound is quite warm, which is good for music but less so for speech, as it can make the sound somewhat muddy.

Pros

  • Built-in battery charger is very useful
  • Sturdy and well built
  • Looks attractive and expensive
  • Good sound quality, especially for music
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No alarm function
  • Can sound bassy and muddy on speech programmes
  • Batteries aren’t included
  • No EQ or tone control

Verdict

The Roberts Expression is a good looking radio that also delivers when it comes to sound quality. It has a sturdy construction and feels like a serious radio unlike many of the cheaper DAB radios out there.

The built-in battery charger is a great added feature, and makes using it as a portable radio cheap and convenient. The radio is easy to use, and you don’t need to press five buttons just to access your saved preset radio stations.

Not everyone likes how the Roberts Expression sounds, as it can sound quite bassy and even muffled. Unfortunately, the radio doesn’t have bass and treble controls so the sound can’t be changed.

Another drawback is that the radio’s features are quite limited. For example, the radio doesn’t have an alarm or Bluetooth.

Similar radios

If you’d like something similar to the Roberts Expression but with Bluetooth, you should consider the Ted Baker London Finisterre. Despite being made by a fashion company, it’s one of the best DAB radios currently available, although unfortunately it’s mains-powered only.

Another Roberts radio with a built-in battery charger is the Roberts Vintage DAB/FM RDS Portable Radio. It has a stylish retro design with very similar features to the Expression, but it has a higher price tag (at the time of writing).

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