Roberts Radio was founded in 1932 in London and now operates mainly from Mexborough, South Yorkshire, with other facilities in Surrey and Suffolk. It’s now owned by Glen Dimplex and is the biggest seller of radios in the UK, selling more than double its nearest rival, Sony.
Pure is another British company, founded in 2002 and based in Hertfordshire. It’s most widely known for designing and manufacturing DAB radios, with over five million sold worldwide.
Product Ranges and Features
Both companies have the stated aim of building quality products, Roberts’ philosophy being never to compromise on quality with an emphasis on style, finish and performance. That’s won it four Royal Warrants and numerous awards.
Pure’s aim is to create beautifully crafted products with great audio quality and which redefine the radio listening experience. It’s also the recipient of numerous awards for its products and is highly regarded in the industry.
Besides DAB radios, Roberts also produces speakers and accessories, turntables and sound systems. Its radios include the Revival and Heritage retro ranges that have 1950s styling combined with modern features that include multiple connectivity and colour displays.
The DAB range features both mains and portable models and includes some from the Revival and Heritage ranges. Most have FM and DAB/DAB+ tuners, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity for access to internet radio and streaming services
Pure, true to its name, focuses exclusively on DAB radios, either mains or portable and car adaptors. All have the Digital Radio Tick Mark of approval and carry a three-year warranty.
Ranges include the well-known Evoke music systems and radios, Move and Élan portables and Chronos CD players with DAB and FM radio. Each has Pure’s stylish design, great sound quality and connectivity.
Popular models include:
- The Roberts Stream 93i won a What HiFi? award for three consecutive years and was commonly thought to be the best radio for the price. It’s been upgraded to the 94i and both have similar features: FM and DAB/DAB+ radio, Wi-Fi for internet radio, Ethernet and USB connections, 120 pre-set channels, multiple alarms, mains or battery powered with an optional re-chargeable battery pack and operation by on-device controls, a remote control or by phone with the UNDOK app.
The nearest equivalent from Pure is probably the Pure Evoke F3, which has similar features but is cheaper.
- The Roberts Revival iStream 2 has a retro design with synthetic leather and a metal grille but up-to-the-minute features that include DAB and FM, internet radio and streaming via Wi-Fi and USB connectivity. There’s an alternative Blutune model that has Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, there isn’t a model that combines both.
Pure’s radios have a more modern finish, so there isn’t really a Pure radio that compares with the Roberts Revival iStream 2.
- The Pure Move T4 is a small portable radio with DAB/FM and Bluetooth.
- The Pure Evoke H4 Prestige Edition is another portable with DAB/DAB+ and FM radio. It also has Bluetooth for music streaming, multiple alarms, a colour screen and either mains or battery power from a ChargePAK rechargeable battery pack. This product has a similar price tag and a somewhat similar design to the Roberts Stream 94i, but without internet radio.
- The Pure Siesta Rise is a clock radio with twenty preset stations for DAB/DAB+ and FM, and a USB charging port.
The nearest equivalent from Roberts is the Ortus 3, which has a sleek black design and a large clock display.
All Roberts radios are sold through approved dealers and have a reputation for high quality construction and great sound. For those reasons, they tend to be more expensive than rival products; you’re paying extra for the Roberts name and style.
Pure radios are also of high quality, however, but tend to be slightly cheaper and all have a three-year warranty as opposed to the two years for registered products that Roberts offers.
As ever, it’s about comparing the features, assessing the quality and choosing the radio that meets your needs and budget.