Reviews

Review: Roberts Play 11 DAB/ Portable Radio – A Stylish and Versatile Companion

Review: Roberts Play 11 DAB/ Portable Radio - A Stylish and Versatile Companion - The Roberts Play 11 is a stylish portable radio offering versatility in design and functionality, making it a compelling audio companion.

Introduction

Introducing the Roberts Play 11, a compact and stylish portable radio that defies the digital age’s trends with its enduring appeal and versatile functionality. In a landscape dominated by smartphones and streaming services, the Play 11 stands out as a testament to the unwavering popularity of radio, with recent surveys revealing that around 33 million individuals in the German-speaking population aged 14 and above tune in daily. Despite its more diminutive and affordable stature, the Play 11 doesn’t compromise on design or performance, offering a sleek and eye-catching device that seamlessly integrates into everyday life. This review delves into its aesthetics, user-friendly controls, and impressive sound quality, exploring how this little musical companion enhances indoor and outdoor audio experiences.

Roberts Radio, a distinguished name in the world of audio electronics, has been a leading player in the industry for decades, consistently delivering quality and innovation. With a rich heritage dating back to the 1930s, Roberts Radio has established itself as a reliable source of cutting-edge radio technology, ranging from traditional analog radios to modern digital models. Renowned for its commitment to craftsmanship and design, the company combines timeless elegance with contemporary functionality, producing devices like the Play 11 that seamlessly blend into the evolving audio landscape. Roberts Radio’s enduring legacy reflects its dedication to providing users with audio equipment and companions that stand the test of time.

Specifications

BrandRoberts
ColourWhite, Black
Special featurePortable, Lightweight
Connectivity technologyUSB
Product dimensions17.4L x 6W x 11H centimetres
Tuner technologyDAB, FM
Power sourceBattery Powered
Radio bands supportedFM
Included componentsRadio, Quick Start Guide, USB-C power cable, Safety and warranty leaflet
Hardware interfaceUSB Type C
Weight:0,36 kg
Connections: FM/DAB antenna

3.5 mm headphone output

Power connection (USB-C)

Stylish Design and Compact Dimensions

The Roberts Play 11 encapsulates a harmonious blend of stylish design and compact dimensions, making it a visually appealing and practical addition to any setting. The device, measuring approximately 17 centimeters in length, 11 centimeters in height, and 6 centimeters in depth, boasts a meticulously crafted form with rounded corners that exude modern sophistication. The light variant, featuring a bright white back and a metallic silver Roberts logo, contributes to an overall aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye and effortlessly integrates into diverse environments.

The speaker cover on the front, appearing in a tasteful gray hue, not only adds a touch of elegance but also showcases thoughtful design with its seamless, casual nesting over the sides. The metallic shimmer of the Roberts lettering on the underside of the front and the controls, including the antenna, further elevates the aesthetic appeal. The attention to detail in the design creates a visually cohesive and chic appearance, demonstrating that the Play 11 doesn’t just prioritize functionality but also strongly emphasizes becoming an aesthetically pleasing accessory in any space. In essence, the Roberts Play 11 transcends the conventional expectations of a portable radio, offering a marriage of style and functionality in a compact and visually delightful package.

Aesthetics and Build

The aesthetics and build of the Roberts Play 11 converge seamlessly to form a portable radio that not only captivates with its visual appeal but also stands out for its robust construction. With meticulous attention to detail, the device exudes a sense of refined craftsmanship. Measuring at approximately 17 centimeters in length, 11 centimeters in height, and 6 centimeters in depth, the Play 11 balances a compact form and an eye-catching design that easily fits into various lifestyles.

The light variant of the Play 11 features a bright white back, creating a clean and modern canvas, while the front speaker cover in a subdued gray effortlessly adds a layer of sophistication. The rounded corners contribute to a sleek profile, making the device visually pleasing and ergonomically comfortable to handle. The metallic silver Roberts lettering on the front and controls impart elegance, elevating the overall aesthetics. Including a USB-C power input socket and headphone jack on the right side maintains a minimalist and functional approach.

Beyond its visual appeal, the build of the Play 11 ensures durability and portability. Weighing in at 360 grams, the lightweight companion easily slips into a travel bag. The robust construction and thoughtfully designed speaker cover reflect a commitment to aesthetics and longevity, making the Roberts Play 11 a testament to the marriage of form and function.

Controls and Display

The controls and display of the Roberts Play 11 exemplify an intuitive and user-friendly design, enhancing the overall experience of operating this portable radio. Two extensive rotary controls sandwich a relatively large display on the top of the housing, creating a cohesive and functional interface. These controls and three small circular buttons offer a combination of simplicity and versatility.

The left rotary control is a power button, allowing users to turn the device on or off effortlessly. Its dual functionality enables users to adjust the volume by rotating the control. On the right side, the second rotary control can be pressed and rotated, facilitating forward and backward track selection functions, with the press confirming the choice. The display, centrally located between the rotary controls, is designed clearly, presenting vital information such as station details and battery levels. Including metallic silver Roberts lettering on the underside adds a touch of sophistication to the display area.

Below the display, three small buttons with dedicated functions contribute to the Play 11’s ease of use. These buttons include the ability to save or retrieve favorite stations, an info button for details like time and sleep timer, and a mode-changing option to transition between DAB+ and FM. The extendable antenna on the back ensures optimal reception, while a battery compartment offers the flexibility of wireless operation using four AA batteries.

Overall, the Roberts Play 11 controls and display are thoughtfully designed, providing users with an intuitive interface that seamlessly combines functionality and aesthetics. Whether adjusting settings or navigating through features, the user-friendly layout enhances the overall accessibility of this portable radio.

Versatile Power Options

The Roberts Play 11 stands out as a versatile companion with its flexible power options, ensuring that users can enjoy their favorite tunes in various settings, both indoors and outdoors. The device can be powered in two convenient ways, catering to different scenarios and user preferences.

Firstly, users can opt for the convenience of playing the radio close to a power source using the included USB cable. This ensures a steady power supply and continuous operation, ideal for home settings or places with easy access to electrical outlets. The USB-C power input socket on the right side of the device allows for a hassle-free connection, enhancing the overall user experience.

For those seeking portability and freedom of movement, the Play 11 can operate wirelessly using four AA batteries. This feature transforms the radio into a truly portable companion, allowing users to take their music on the go, whether in the garden, by the lake, or even abroad. The device’s low weight, at just 360 grams, makes it an effortless addition to a travel bag.

The inclusion of a battery compartment on the back further emphasizes the Play 11’s commitment to versatility. This flexibility enables users to adapt the radio to different situations, ensuring that it remains a reliable source of music, whether at home, during travel, or in outdoor settings. By seamlessly integrating wired and wireless power options, the Roberts Play 11 caters to the dynamic needs of its users, embodying the essence of a truly adaptable and user-centric portable radio.

User-Friendly Operation

The Roberts Play 11 prioritizes user-friendly operation, ensuring listeners can effortlessly navigate its features and enjoy a seamless experience. The controls are strategically placed and designed for intuitive use, enhancing accessibility for users of varying technological familiarity.

At the top of the housing, two extensive rotary controls offer a straightforward interface. The left control, doubling as the power button, simplifies the process of turning the device on or off while also serving as an easily adjustable volume knob. The right control, with its press-and-rotate functionality, enables users to navigate through stations and confirm selections effortlessly. Including a comparatively large display between the controls enhances visibility, providing essential information at a glance, including station details and battery levels.

The three small buttons below the display contribute to the user-friendly interface. These buttons offer quick access to essential functions such as saving or retrieving favorite stations, accessing information like time and sleep timer, and seamlessly switching between DAB+ and FM modes. The extendable antenna on the back ensures optimal reception, while the battery compartment adds an extra layer of convenience for wireless operation using four AA batteries.

To further simplify the user experience, the Quick Start Guide provides explicit instructions, allowing users to quickly grasp the device’s functionality. Whether setting up the radio, saving favorite stations, or adjusting settings, the Roberts Play 11’s user-friendly operation caters to both novices and tech enthusiasts alike. By prioritizing ease of use, this portable radio transforms into an accessible and enjoyable audio companion for various users and scenarios.

Sound Quality and Performance

The Roberts Play 11 distinguishes itself with an exceptional sound quality that belies its compact size, delivering a performance that surpasses expectations for a portable radio. The device manages to strike a balance between portability and impressive audio output, enhancing the overall listening experience across various scenarios.

In FM mode, the Play 11 exhibits a surprisingly good sound quality, offering a dynamic and precise audio output. Even with the inherent limitations of FM radio, the device produces an audio profile that resonates nicely, creating an enjoyable atmosphere. As evidenced by the rendition of tracks like Billy Joel’s “The River Of Dreams” on WDR2, the Play 11 captures a range of frequencies with clarity, making it a delightful companion for morning routines or other daily activities.

Switching to DAB+ mode, the Play 11 showcases its commitment to modern audio standards. Digital audio broadcasting enhances sound quality, providing a richer and more immersive listening experience. Tracks like “We Are Young” by Fun on 1Live come to life with motivating rhythms, demonstrating the radio’s capability to handle diverse musical genres. The Play 11 maintains convincing quality for “normal radio,” offering a testament to its ability to adapt to the evolving landscape of digital broadcasting.

While it’s acknowledged that the fabric cover might not deliver perfectly balanced highs and lows, the Play 11 compensates with a sound profile that complements various activities. Whether providing a background soundtrack to morning rituals or accompanying household chores, the Roberts Play 11 consistently impresses with its sound quality and performance. The device combines portability, versatility, and excellent audio delivery, reaffirming its position as a standout option in portable radios.

Everyday Use Scenarios

The Roberts Play 11 seamlessly integrates into various everyday scenarios, offering a versatile audio companion that enhances daily routines with its portability and impressive performance.

In the morning, Play 11 becomes an integral part of the wake-up routine. In FM mode, its surprisingly good sound quality provides an uplifting ambiance. Whether it’s the upbeat tunes of the Vengaboys or the classics like Billy Joel’s “The River Of Dreams” on WDR2, the Play 11 effortlessly fills the space, making it an ideal companion for activities like morning hygiene and preparing breakfast.

As the day progresses, the Play 11 transitions seamlessly into different settings. In the kitchen, its stylish design adds a touch of sophistication to the environment. The slight and typical FM noise disappears when strategically placed on a windowsill, allowing users to enjoy the radio while doing daily tasks like brewing coffee or preparing meals. The device adapts to the rhythm of the day, enhancing the overall atmosphere with its impressive sound quality and user-friendly controls.

Moving into a home office setting, the Play 11 continues to shine. Its compact dimensions make it a convenient addition to any workspace. Opening the laptop and pressing the power button on the Play 11 transforms the office into a lively environment. With a playlist featuring artists like Nico Santos, Taylor Swift, and Eminem, the radio becomes a motivational companion, making work more engaging and enjoyable.

The Play 11 also proves its worth in household tasks. Whether refilling the washing machine in the basement or hanging up the laundry, the radio easily accompanies users. The portable nature of the device ensures that users can bring their white companion with them, maintaining an energetic ambiance with tracks like Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” The Play 11 adapts effortlessly to various scenarios, providing an enjoyable audio experience while managing daily chores.

Even during moments of relaxation, the Play 11 remains a versatile companion. Its portability allows users to enjoy music in the garden or by the lake, providing a pleasant backdrop for leisure activities. Furthermore, the device’s sleep timer feature makes it suitable for evening use, creating a soothing atmosphere for unwinding before bedtime.

The Roberts Play 11 excels in catering to diverse everyday scenarios. Its stylish design, user-friendly controls, and impressive sound quality make it a reliable and adaptable companion, seamlessly integrating into the rhythm of daily life, whether at home, in the office, or during moments of relaxation.

Connections and Connectivity

The Roberts Play 11 offers a straightforward yet versatile range of connections and connectivity options, catering to various user preferences and scenarios.

Power and Charging: The device features a USB-C power input socket, allowing users to connect it to a power source for continuous operation. This versatile charging option ensures flexibility in usage, whether at home or in locations with available power outlets. The included USB cable simplifies the charging process, providing a hassle-free experience.

Battery Operation: For users seeking mobility and portability, the Play 11 accommodates four AA batteries in a dedicated compartment on the back. This enables wireless operation, turning the radio into a genuinely portable companion. Whether enjoying music in the garden or on the go, the battery option adds convenience and adaptability to different settings.

Headphone Jack: A headphone jack on the right side of the device offers a private listening experience. Users can connect their headphones for immersive audio without disturbing others, making the Play 11 suitable for personal use in quieter environments or during nighttime listening.

Auxiliary Input: While not explicitly mentioned in the provided information, many portable radios include an auxiliary input. If the Play 11 supports this feature, users can connect external audio devices such as smartphones or MP3 players, expanding the device’s compatibility with various sources and personal music libraries.

DAB+ and FM Modes: Regarding connectivity for audio sources, the Play 11 primarily focuses on radio reception, supporting both DAB+ and FM. The device’s extendable antenna on the back ensures optimal reception, guaranteeing a reliable and clear signal. The easy transition between DAB+ and FM modes, facilitated by the intuitive controls, offers users flexibility in choosing their preferred radio stations.

In summary, the Roberts Play 11 balances modern connectivity standards and the simplicity of use, ensuring that users can effortlessly enjoy their preferred radio stations with minimal complexity. Its essential connections and wireless capabilities make it a versatile, user-friendly portable radio for various scenarios.

Usability and Functionality

The functionality and usability of the Roberts Play 11 make it a standout portable radio designed to offer a seamless and enjoyable user experience in various settings.

User-Friendly Controls: The intuitive controls at the top of the housing contribute significantly to the Play 11’s user-friendly design. The extensive rotary controls for power, volume adjustment, and station selection, coupled with the straightforward display, create an interface that is both simple and efficient. Users can easily power on the device, adjust volume levels, and navigate through stations with minimal effort.

Versatile Power Options: The Play 11’s dual power options enhance its functionality. Users can connect it to a power source via the USB-C input or opt for wireless operation using four AA batteries. This versatility ensures that the radio can be used in a fixed location or on the go, adapting to various scenarios and user preferences. The lightweight design adds to its portability, making it a practical choice for travel or outdoor activities.

Adaptable Radio Reception: Support for both DAB+ and FM modes showcases the Play 11’s adaptability to different broadcasting standards. The extendable antenna on the back ensures optimal reception, allowing users to enjoy a wide range of radio stations with clear and reliable signals. The effortless transition between DAB+ and FM modes, facilitated by the user-friendly controls, adds to the radio’s versatility.

Save and Retrieve Favorites: The inclusion of dedicated buttons for saving and retrieving favorite stations enhances Play 11’s usability. Users can easily personalize their radio experience by saving preferred stations with a simple press-and-hold action. This feature streamlines accessing favorite content, adding a layer of personalization to the overall user experience.

Portable Design: Weighing just 360 grams, the Play 11’s portable design contributes to its usability. Whether placed in a home office or kitchen or travel bag, the device effortlessly adapts to different environments. The compact dimensions, rounded corners, and stylish aesthetics not only make it visually appealing but also ensure that it seamlessly integrates into various lifestyles.

Clear Display and Information: The clear display at the center of the controls provides essential information, including station details and battery levels. This transparency in information contributes to the user’s understanding of the device’s status, making it easy to monitor and manage the radio’s performance.

In conclusion, the Roberts Play 11 excels in functionality and usability by offering a combination of user-friendly controls, versatile power options, adaptable radio reception, personalized favorites, and a portable design. Its thoughtful features and design elements collectively make it a reliable and enjoyable companion for radio enthusiasts in different scenarios.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Roberts Play 11 is a versatile, user-centric portable radio that seamlessly blends style, functionality, and practicality. Its sleek and compact design and user-friendly controls ensure that it effortlessly integrates into diverse lifestyles, from morning routines to home offices and outdoor adventures. The radio’s impressive sound quality, adaptability to modern broadcasting standards, and the thoughtful inclusion of features like favorites’ saving further elevate its appeal, making it a reliable and enjoyable audio companion for daily use.

As technology evolves, the Roberts Play 11 demonstrates a commitment to timeless radio enjoyment, debunking the notion that traditional radio has lost its allure. With an emphasis on simplicity, portability, and clear reception, the Play 11 caters to a broad audience, from tech enthusiasts to those seeking a straightforward and reliable audio experience. In a world saturated with digital options, the Roberts Play 11 proves that the charm of radio remains alive and well, offering users a stylish and functional device that effortlessly enriches their everyday moments with music and information.

Reasons to Buy the Roberts Play 11:

  1. Stylish and Portable Design: The Play 11’s sleek and compact design, rounded corners, and a light color variant add a touch of sophistication. Weighing only 360 grams, it’s an ideal companion for those on the move.
  2. Versatile Power Options: With USB-C connectivity for wired use and the option to operate wirelessly with AA batteries, the Play 11 adapts effortlessly to various settings, providing flexibility in how and where you use it.
  3. User-Friendly Controls: The intuitive controls, including large rotary knobs, a clear display, and dedicated buttons for favorites, make operating the Play 11 straightforward. It’s a user-friendly device that doesn’t compromise on functionality.
  4. Impressive Sound Quality: Despite its compact size, the Play 11 surprises with its sound quality. Whether in FM or DAB+ mode, the radio delivers an enjoyable listening experience with clear reception and dynamic audio output.
  5. Adaptable to Different Scenarios: From morning routines and home offices to outdoor activities, Play 11 seamlessly integrates into diverse everyday scenarios. Its portability and robust build make it a versatile audio companion.

Reasons Not to Buy the Roberts Play 11:

  1. Limited External Connectivity: If you’re looking for a radio with extensive connectivity options for external devices like smartphones or music players, the Play 11 may not be the best choice, as it focuses primarily on radio reception.
  2. Solely Radio Functionality: While the Play 11 excels as a portable radio, if you need a device that offers a broader range of features, such as Bluetooth connectivity or internet radio streaming, you might want to explore alternatives that provide a more comprehensive set of functionalities.
  3. Higher Price Range Considerations: While the Play 11 offers a stylish and feature-rich experience, its price may be higher than more basic portable radios. If budget constraints are a primary concern, alternative models at a lower price point might be considered.

In essence, buying the Roberts Play 11 depends on your priorities. If you value a stylish design, versatile power options, user-friendly controls, and impressive sound quality in a portable radio, the Play 11 is a compelling choice. However, exploring other options might be worthwhile if extensive external connectivity or a lower price point is a priority.