Roberts CD9959 Swallow Review

Roberts CD9959 Swallow Review

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A reliable CD player radio combo that offers good value for money.

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The Roberts CD9959 Swallow is a portable CD player/radio. It can be powered with batteries or plugged into the mains, and offers LW/MW/FM radio as well as a programmable CD player. If you’re not ready to ditch analogue radio and CDs for DAB radio and downloads, this radio could be a good choice.

The Swallow seems fairly priced, especially since it has the prestigious Roberts brand name, but how does it perform? Find out in this review…


  • LW/MW/FM radio
  • Stereo speakers
  • CD player with the option of programming up to 20 tracks
  • Bass boost function
  • Telescopic aerial
  • 3.5 mm headphone socket
  • Carrying handle
  • Uses mains power or 6 x C (R14) batteries

Dimensions: 25 cm wide x 25 cm deep x 13.5 cm high
Weight: 1.8 kg
Model number: CD9959

Performance and use

The Roberts Swallow sounds good for the price, and has a warm tone that isn’t tinny. It can’t compare to more expensive Roberts radios, but the sound quality is above average for a CD player radio in this price range.

This radio has some useful features such as the bass boost function and the ability to repeat tracks and program the CD player. There’s also a headphone socket which is great if you want to listen to CDs without disturbing other people.

The Roberts Swallow weighs 1.8 kg and has a carrying handle, so it’s fairly easy to carry around though not the lightest radio out there. It can be plugged into the mains or powered with 6 C-sized batteries, which should a long time before they need to be replaced or recharged.


  • Low price
  • Small, compact size
  • Easy to use
  • Controls are clearly labelled
  • Light and easy to carry


  • Sometimes you can hear a hiss when listening to CDs on headphones
  • No tape player (for a radio with a tape player, see the Sony CFD-S70 Boombox)
  • No batteries included
  • No bass or treble controls (just the bass boost feature)


The Roberts CD9959 Swallow is a good, straightforward CD player radio combo. It’s easy to use and has decent sound quality for the price. It’s a good buy if you want something you can just plug in and use without needing to learn how to use it.

Alternative CD player radio combos

The Roberts CD9959 Swallow radio only has analogue MW/LW/FM radio, so if you’d like to have DAB radio, you should consider the Roberts Zoombox2. It has a similar design to the swallow, but offers digital radio in addition to FM, and also has a USB port for playing MP3 files.

If you’d like something similar to the Roberts CD9959 Swallow but with the addition of a cassette player, you should consider the Sony CFD-S70 Boombox. It’s one of the few radios you can still get that comes with a tape player.

For some more options see our roundup of the best radio CD players.

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