ROBERTS STREAM83i DAB/FM and Wi-Fi Internet Radio....My review....
My ROBERTS STREAM 83i review....
For quite some time now I've been wanting a Wi-Fi internet radio as I found trying to listen to the radio through the computer speakers not very convenient, the sound left a lot to be desired and I couldn't listen to the radio anywhere else in the house other than the living room, which wasn't any good if the television was on.
Last Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a ROBERTS STREAM83i, it was the radio of my choice and has exceeded my expectations in terms of what it offers as a radio and its of ease of use - I'm a bit of a technophobe!!
This is my review -
ROBERTS STREAM 83i radio....
ROBERTS STREAM 83i radio - description....
This Roberts radio comes in a high gloss black finish and is nice and sturdy in design with a good solid handle on the top for carting it around by. It's dimentions are: length - 23cm, width - 10cm and height - 17cm, which is a nice size allowing plenty of room for the buttons and knobs, without them being cramped together.
There are prettier radios out there on the market, but where this radio lacks in grace it does make up for in sound quality. It has three speakers in all, two situated on the front and one bass speaker in the back, you can also alter the sound to suit your listening taste by using the bass and treble equalizer controls or you can select one of the preset equalizer sounds. If you like to enjoy your music at a high volume this radio will play at a high volume with very little sound distortion.
It has a Last Listened tab in the menu, where you can see the last ten settings you've listened to. Which I find handy to see which podcasts I've listened to.
There is a large, well lit display panel on the front of the radio, which display information. The brightnss and contrast can be altered to suit.
There is a USB socket on the front of the radio, so you can play your own personal music using a USB memory stick.
On the back of the radio there is a line out socket, where you can connect your MP3 player and use the radio as a loudspeaker for your MP3 player.
There is also a socket for plugging your headphones into for those times you just want to get lost in your own radio heaven......I would highly recommend using wireless headphones, there are some good ones on the market, which you can buy at bargain prices at the moment. Speaking for myself, our house can get a bit crazy at times and it's my favourite way of zoning out!!
All the knobs and buttons have a nice solid feel when pressed or turned, which makes you appreciate that this is a strongly made item.
It also comes with a fully operational remote control, which is handy for changing channels, modes or volume control all from the comfort of your sofa.
This radio is mains operated only, which may put some people off buying it. Trust me when I say this is a minor flaw only and another reason for getting some wireless headphones, the ones I use can clearly pick up the signal for up to one hundred meters without distortion and that's through walls too, so if I go out into the garden I can still listen to the radio without a problem.
The booklet supplied with the radio is excellent, explaining everything in steps and in easily understandable English and a multitude of other languages. If I've managed to set up this radio without a meltdown, then anyone can!!.
What the radio offers....
The ROBERTS STREAM83i radio can be used just as a normal FM/DAB radio that picks up your local radio stations without the need for an internet connection, which can be handy if you want to take it somewhere there is no internet connection - not all internet radios offer this. It has an extending ariel which helps pick up a clear signal. You can also preset up to five FM and five DAB radio stations and recall them at the touch of a button.
To pick up internet radio, the ROBERTS STREAM 83i must be connected to your network either by using a wired Ethernet connection or through Wi-Fi, where it can pick up thousands of different radio stations clearly and from all over the world. I can't help myself having a little fiddle to find a new stations to listen to just for my own interest, I've found some good and some not so good. Depending what mood I'm in depends on what or who I would like to listen to and I'm sure that's the same for most people. You can also pre-set up to five internet stations, so you can recall them just at the press of a button.
This Roberts radio can also pick up any podcasts that the station of your choice may broadcast without having to first download them to your computer. I'd like to point out that not all stations broadcast podcasts.
Alternative ways of playing music on your ROBERTS STREAM 83i....
USB Memory Stick...
If you keep a music library on your computer and would like to listen to it using your radio, you can do this by transferring your music to a USB memory stick and connecting it to your radio via the USB slot on the front. You can then select what albums, artists or folders you would like to listen to and press play. You can also make a playlist of up to five hundred songs from your USB stick on the radio, which is ideal for parties or if you have company.
Streamed from your computer....
Your radio can also pick up your music library straight from your computer, the booklet supplied explains how to do it step by step.
MP3 music player....
You can connect your MP3 player to the radio using the socket situated on the back of the radio.
With the Roberts STREAM83i radio you get one months free subscription to something called Last FM, which is an internet radio service where you sign up and tell them what kind of artists you enjoy listening to and working on that Last FM plays music it thinks you will like, if you don't like a song then you can press the BAN button to never hear it again or if on the other hand you find you really like a song then you press the LOVE button, so that Last FM knows you enjoyed it. If you don't feel like listening to a song then you can fast forward over it. Over time Last FM stores your likes and dislikes, building up a nice selection of music for you to enjoy, which you can manage on line.
Again this was something that didn't interest me at first, then curiosity got the better of me and I thought I'd give it a try as after the months free trial, the full monthly subscription cost is three Euros and if it turns out to be a feature I enjoy then I'll happily pay that amount. I haven't finished using my first month yet and I already know that I'll be happily subscribing to it as I've been listening to some good music I've never heard before and some artists I would never have chosen, so well worth it in my opinion.
Frontier Silicon Wi-Fi radio....
Frontier Silicon Wi-Fi radio is an internet site which, when you sign up with them allows you to go surf through thousands of radio stations and podcasts and select them and sort them into groups, which can then be easily accessed from your radio. This service is totally free of charge.
I didn't think I would use this feature as you can access everything using the radio, but I have found this very handy as everything selected here goes into My Favourites on your radio and is so much easier to locate with minimum knob twiddling. So I would recommend using this to get the most out of your Roberts radio.
You can set up to two different alarms on this radio waking you up with a buzzer, a radio station or music of your choice. It has a snooze on it and you can select how often your alarm goes off too - for example, week days only or weekends only - so no more being woken up unnecessarily having forgotten to unset your alarm on our day off!!
I would highly recommend the ROBERTS STREAM83i as it exceeded my expectations as a radio and find it a pleasure to use and to listen to.
If you are looking to buy one of these radios, I hope you find this review helpful. Amazon sell these radios at very good reduced prices in the UK, but unfortunately I could find them on the American site.
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