Latest Gadgets met up with the team from Roberts Radio to have a look at the cutting edge of digital radio. Well over a hundred years old, radio has a hard time qualifying as a Latest Gadget, but is an amazing example of continual reinvention in the gadget world and some of devices on display managed to get my weary, gadget saturated eyes excited.
The most eye catching of the Roberts range is the COLOURstream (pictured) which throws different types of audio into one sleek looking (and apparently acoustically tuned) wooden cabinet. Featuring a nifty little touchscreen (everything has a touchscreen these days) the stream is pretty easy to operate. One of the buttons on the homescreen is for Last FM, enabling direct access, and even cooler apps coming to the platform so it’s perfectly possible that a Spotify App could be released onto the device at some point in the future.
Another unit which impressed me was the STREAM 61i. FM and DAB are obviously included and a little USB port at the front means nothing stands between you and your tunes. Internet connectivity, both wireless and wired, means you can also access your music from your home network. You can also connect to URLs, so streaming Internet radio stations are available to you. An iPod dock is also throw in and thanks to the SD card reader, you can rip tunes to SD as well as record radio programs.
Aside from the workhorse that is the Stream 63i, I was also impressed by the iStream, which is part of the Revival range. The iStream is more of a conventional looking DAB, clad in a traditional leather case but with a fully modern feature set including wireless Internet access.
In addition the award winning solarDAB, caught my eye. A radio with an integrated solar panel, the solarDAB can apparently get approximately 20 hours charge and seems an ideal picnic companion.
The full Roberts radio range should be heading to stores and online retailers near you over the next couple of months.