Roberts Play Digital Radio Review

Summary:
A great portable DAB radio with a built-in battery charger.

Buy it online:
£59.99 on Amazon.co.uk

The Roberts Play Digital Radio is an FM/DAB/DAB+ radio with a built-in battery charger. For a portable DAB radio it’s mid-priced, and might be a good choice if you’re looking from something made by a respected and established brand.

The Roberts Play comes in a range of colours: black, white, grey, orange, purple, yellow and light blue. Find out what it can do and how it performs in this review…

Features

  • FM RDS and DAB/DAB+ wavebands
  • Save 10 preset stations, with 5 dedicated preset buttons
  • Headphone jack
  • Automatically finds DAB stations
  • Built-in battery charger

Dimensions: 16 cm wide x 10.5 cm high x 3.5 cm deep
Weight: 392 g
Batteries: 4 x AA size (not included)

Performance and use

The Roberts Play Digital Radio automatically searches for and finds DAB stations when you turn it on for the first time. It has good reception, and you probably won’t need to adjust the extendable aerial much to get a good signal. The layout of the buttons makes this radio easy to use.

You can use the radio on mains power or with four AA regular or rechargeable batteries. The radio recharges rechargeable batteries when it’s plugged in. This radio doesn’t come with AA batteries, so it’s a good idea to buy some pre-charged rechargeable batteries like these from AmazonBasics.

On DAB, the radio should last between 10 and 15 hours before needing to be recharged. On FM, the battery life should be significantly better.

The radio feels durable and well made. It has a rubberised exterior which makes it harder to drop and provides it with some protection against knocks. The Roberts Play Digital Radio is 16 centimetres wide and 10.5 centimetres high, which is a good size for the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen.

The Roberts Play Digital Radio sounds decent, until you turn the volume up loud at which point it starts to sound distorted.

Pros

  • FM RDS displays the station name on the LCD display (DAB radio does this as well)
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use design
  • Takes rechargeable AA batteries rather than an expensive battery pack
  • Good reception
  • Clear sound quality (on lower volumes)

Cons

  • Sounds distorted at higher volumes
  • No alarm
  • No advanced features like Bluetooth

Verdict

As long as you’re not going to use the radio in a very noisy place, the Roberts Play is a good portable FM/DAB radio. It doesn’t sound very good at higher volumes, but it’s easy to use and sounds clear and crisp at lower volumes. Being able to use rechargeable batteries is very convenient, and it’s nice to be able to use regular AA batteries rather than a bespoke battery pack.

Similar radios

If you’re looking for a portable radio that you can use around the house or in the garden, see this roundup of the best radios for the garden, or this review of the best portable DAB radios for less than £50.

The Roberts Play Digital Radio is quite similar to the older Roberts Unologic radio. Both have a straightforward design and a built-in battery charger.

Another good portable DAB radio from Roberts is the Play 10, which is quite similar but doesn’t have a built-in battery charger.

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