What is a Roberts R100?
The Roberts R100 is a multi-room ‘base station’ that can usually as happily be used as a elementary DAB kitchen radio.
Unlike Sonos kit, it’s not sealed off from other devices, and doesn’t have to be tranquil from your phone. It’s a assembly of a aged and new(er) worlds of home audio.
The Roberts R100 costs £249, creation it costly for a radio, nonetheless reasonable for a multi-room orator with all a facilities it offers. Still, a Sonos Play:1 sounds better.
Roberts R100 — Design
Tech fans competence find a Roberts R100 familiar. It’s a stylistic children of a Sonos Play: 1 and a BO BeoLit 12 from approach behind in 2012. That final one is a poetic speaker, nonetheless during £600 has a sincerely narrow, abundant assembly in mind.
Aiming right during a mainstream buyer, a Roberts R100 wants to reinstate your DAB radio and your hifi. It’s not utterly as it appears, though.
The lift hoop screams “I’m portable”, nonetheless there’s no inbuilt battery. You can get one, nonetheless it costs an additional £40, roughly adequate to strike a Roberts R100 adult into another cost class.
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It’s neat hardware, though, doing a best to change a priorities of practicality and flat-out looking nice. There’s a real-metal grille that winds around a R100’s sides and back, a genuine leather lift handle, and a rest is plastic.
Having a angled control row of buttons and a arrangement on a tip means a Roberts R100 isn’t a beauty, nonetheless this blueprint is handy. Roberts competence sell this as a multi-room bottom unit, nonetheless it has a accessibility of a DAB radio.
There’s no fiddly touchscreen either, usually a flattering discerning array of buttons matched with a familiar, maybe even off-the-shelf program interface. A radio-style aerial extends out of a tip image rather than a behind too, definition we can pull a R100 right opposite a wall if needed.
The Roberts R100 is not super-small, nonetheless a footprint is identical to a Roberts Revival radio, for example. It should fit onto windowsills and kitchen worktops if that’s a space we have to fill.
The R-Line array of speakers is a confidant pierce for Roberts, nonetheless a abilities are familiar. This is a wireless speaker, nonetheless one many some-more open than something like a Sonos. It can play audio from a unequivocally opposite operation of sources.
There’s Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, streaming from collections common over Wi-Fi, Internet radio, DAB radio and FM. A 3.5mm hollow on a behind lets we plug-in non-wireless sources too.
The Roberts R100 has a friendly, out-of-date side that we usually don’t get with a Sonos speaker. However, if we don’t use Spotify this does meant you’re left regulating Bluetooth as there’s no some-more specific support for Deezer, Tidal, Google Music or anything else.
There is a smartphone app for this speaker. It’s Undok, a third-party multi-room height rather than one done privately for Roberts gear. I’ve usually used one other code that has used it so far, Goodmans with a Heritage Portable radio, nonetheless Revo, Ruark and Bush are other recognizable Undok clients.
Undok is what turns a normal Wi-Fi orator into a multi-room one. The tech lets we organisation together others speakers in a Undok-supporting family together to emanate a multi room system. It’s not as considerable program as Sonos’s, that is many some-more stylish and crams in some-more streaming services, nonetheless works unequivocally well. It’s quick, it’s transparent and it lets we more-or-less control any categorical Roberts R100 feature.
You can switch between sources, even a aux input, and it’s a distant improved approach to crop internet radio stations, that seem unconstrained when you’re scrolling by them on a sincerely boring on-speaker interface.
The Roberts R100 is a multi-room orator where a ‘multi-room’ bit is a good additional rather than a underline that sits front and centre.
Roberts R100 — Sound Quality
This orator is usually partial of a Roberts R-Line multi-room family. There are already several other models, including a soundbar and others that demeanour like some-more required wireless speakers.
The R100 is a many DAB radio-alike of a lot. Sound peculiarity is churned opposite a range, nonetheless good on this specific speaker, that is means to go much, many louder than any normal DAB radio.
This is a arrange of radio we have been available for a while, something roughly allied with a classical DAB set that uses a tricks of complicated wireless speakers to furnish a many incomparable sound.
We all incited adult in a same dress. It was so embarassing (L-R: Sonos Play:1, Roberts R100, Riva S)
The difference? Where a classical radio this distance competence use one or dual (up to) 3-inch drivers, a Roberts R100 has dual tiny three-way drivers, one vast drum motorist and a drum radiator. This uses a atmosphere changed by a large motorist to pull nonetheless another prosaic motorist that amplifies bass. It’s what creates removing good drum out of a tiny little orator like a Bose SoundLink Mini possible.
I’ve happily been regulating a Roberts R100 as my categorical day-time song listening orator for a week or so now, and it usually doesn’t have a clarity of sound concede we get with even a best normal DAB radios.
However, it doesn’t sound good true out of a box. The Roberts R100’s default DSP (digital vigilance processing) is utterly horrible, with a designedly over-emphasised three-way that creates it seems like a bass/treble drivers are not usually feeble integrated, nonetheless during fight with any other. This tends to make higher-register vocals sound utterly acidic.
It is all usually over-enthusiastic equalisation (and application by a sound of it) from a association a bit too new to ‘proper’ wireless speakers. There’s an EQ territory in a Settings menu that lets we take this oppressive corner off. Even some of a other presets are many easier on a ear, nonetheless we can also set your possess tradition EQ. This is what we did — there are usually drum and three-way settings so tweaking is easy.
Other than a beguiling tinge we can get out of a Roberts R100 post-tweak, what we like about a sound is a scale and abyss of drum a orator can furnish for a size. It’s clearly a lot incomparable than a tiny Bluetooth speakers common in a sub-£200 bracket, nonetheless distinct many pacifist radiator setups even has a go during formulating sub-bass frequencies.
There’s a transparent drop-off in width when a R100 gets to a arrange of ultra-low frequencies we usually unequivocally hear distant in electronic music, nonetheless many other speakers cut these out altogether to equivocate distortion. The Roberts R100 can go unequivocally shrill before it starts sounding strained, shrill adequate that we didn’t brave to highlight it for too prolonged for fear of irritating a neighbours.
It could be all we need for a party.
After fiddling with a sound, a Roberts R100 is a good, nonetheless not class-leading performer. It sounds big, absolute and assured, nonetheless as with a lot of speakers like this, relies utterly heavily on a tip and bottom finish to give sound participation and power.
Listen closely to a good middy outspoken like Jarvis Cocker’s work on Music from Likely Stories and we can hear it consists mostly of utterly drum frequencies and lower-register three-way sandwiched together. The mids that should indeed play a outrageous partial here, don’t. Not many speakers during this turn do that many better, many many worse, nonetheless a Sonos Play:1 and a little-known (but excellent) Riva S have some-more convincing mids.
Should we buy a Roberts R100?
There are signs Roberts is new to a wireless multi-room orator marketplace in a R100. Its default sound form is gratingly bad and it has rather easy wireless program behind it.
However, this is eventually a unequivocally likeable, unsentimental orator that could be a good subsequent step for people who haven’t nonetheless bought into a wireless orator world. It’ll usually take adult about as many space as a DAB radio while still carrying DAB and distant richer, bigger, louder sound.
It’s a empathize it costs so many some-more than a Sonos Play:1, that has improved mid-range and a slicker take on wireless. But afterwards a Roberts R100 offers something utterly different. They competence be both wireless multi-room speakers and a R100 competence be aping a look, nonetheless after that they separate significantly.
A accessible and shrill wireless orator for those not prepared to leave DAB radio in a past usually yet.