Roberts Sound38 Radio Review

The Roberts Sound38 is a very versatile clock radio. It offers FM/DAB radio, as well as a CD player with a special bookmark feature for saving your position on a CD and resuming it later.

This small radio is designed for use in the bedroom, with a dual alarm as well as adjustable snooze and sleep timers. Let’s look at the Sound38 in more detail.

Features

  • DAB and FM RDS radio
  • MP3/WMA CD player
  • Alarm function with choice of buzzer, radio or CD
  • 5mm headphone jack
  • CD bookmark feature that resumes playing the disc where you left off
  • Adjustable sleep and snooze timers
  • Dimmable display
  • Save up to 20 preset stations
  • AC adapter
  • Headphone socket
  • Aux-in socket

Dimensions: 13.8 cm wide x 13.2 cm high x 16.8 cm deep
Weight: 1.1 kg

Pros

  • CD bookmark feature lets you pick up listening where you left off
  • Very good customer service
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Excellent sound quality for its size
  • Automatically sets the correct time and date

Cons

  • The CD player can be temperamental, and some reviewers have reported it stopping working after a few months
  • Speakers aren’t powerful enough for large rooms
  • Not portable

Performance and use

The Roberts Sound38 is a straightforward, no-fuss radio. Everything is simple to set up and use, except perhaps for setting preset stations, which is a bit more complicated. The user manual is clear and well-written, unlike with many other radios. The user manual can be found online in case you lose the paper copy.

You might be surprised at how small this radio/CD player is: just 13.8 cm wide and 13.2 cm high. Its compact size makes it a good choice for the bedroom. As you’d expect from such a small radio, the Roberts Sound38 isn’t very powerful. However, it should be fine for a small room.

The DAB radio should pick up between 30 and 50 stations in most parts of the UK, and offers good reception. The CD player can play MP3s and WMAs, so you could have about 150 songs on one disc. There’s also a handy CD bookmark feature, that saves the position on your CD and then starts playing again where you left off.

The radio is great as a bedside alarm clock radio. You can set multiple alarms, so you could have one for weekdays and another one for weekends. The display can be dimmed very low so it won’t disturb you at night.

Verdict

Lots of radios are cheaper than the Roberts Sound38, but for the range of features and sound quality, this radio is a bargain. Roberts are a very respected and reliable radio brand, so you can expect the Sound38 to last many years without any problems.

This radio is ideal for the bedroom, but might not have enough power for a large room. It also focuses more on features than aesthetics, so might not be ideal if you want your radio to also be a fashion statement.

Similar radios

One similar radio is the Pure Chronos. It’s slightly more expensive, and like the Sound38 it’s an FM/DAB clock radio with a CD player. It has an attractive rounded-cornered triangular design, but is quite an old product (released in 2009), so you might want to go for something more modern.

One such modern DAB clock radio is the Ocean Digital Internet Radio WR233, which uses wireless internet to access 25,000+ radio stations from around the world (including all the regular ones in the UK). You can save up to 250 of those stations as presets. The station can also set two alarms and has snooze and sleep timers.

You should also check out our roundup of the best clock radios with a CD player.

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