Roberts iStream 2 vs. 3 – What’s the Difference?

The Roberts Revival iStream 2 and the Roberts Revival iStream3 are both internet radios with a very similar retro design.

What’s the difference between them and which should you choose? In this article we’ll be answering these questions.

Similarities

First of all, let’s summarise what these two radios have in common:

  • FM/DAB/DAB+/Internet radio
  • Saves 30 preset stations
  • USB port for playing MP3s and other digital audio
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Adjustable sleep timer
  • Stereo headphone jack
  • Aux-in and line out
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect
  • Use your phone as a remote via the UNDOK app*
  • Available with a 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee when bought new

*Earlier iStream2 models used the Roberts ConnectR app, but this was replaced by UNDOK in 2015.

Now let’s look at their differences.

Differences

Alexa compatibility

The iStream 3 is advertised as being Alexa compatible. This means that you can control it using voice commands via an Amazon Echo. However, it can be quite fiddly to set it up so that it works with Alexa, so this may not be a huge advantage.

Availability

Since the iStream 3 was released as a replacement for the iStream 2, it’s now more difficult to buy a new iStream 2.

Battery usage

The iStream 2 takes four D-size batteries, whereas the iStream 3 takes six AA batteries.

The iStream 3 has a built-in battery charger that can be used to charge NiMH batteries.

With the iStream 2 you can use rechargeable batteries, but you need to charge them separately.

Bluetooth

The iStream 3 has Bluetooth that lets you use it as a Bluetooth speaker. The iStream 2 doesn’t have Bluetooth.

Price

You can compare prices below. Since the iStream 2 has been discontinued, it may no longer be available to buy online.

iStream 2:

iStream 3:

Release date

The iStream3 is an updated version of the iStream 2. The iStream 2 was released in 2014 whereas the iStream 3 was released in 2018, so the iStream 3 is four years newer.

USB port

Both radios have a USB port that can be used to play MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, ALAC and WAV files from a USB stick. The difference is that the USB port on the iStream 3 also allows you to charge USB devices, whereas the USB port on the iStream 2 does not.

Summary

To summarise, the iStream 3 keeps the classic retro style of the iStream 2 while adding some new features.

The iStream 3 has lots of advantages over the iStream 2, including the following:

  • Built-in battery charger
  • Bluetooth
  • Compatibility with Amazon Alexa
  • USB port for charging devices

If you’re interested in buying the iStream 3, you can see it on JohnLewis.com here.

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