Product review: Robert RD60

Roberts RD60
It’s certainly not difficult to tell that British-based radio manufacturer, Roberts, is extremely proud of its 80-odd year history. You can simply tell by looking at their product range that the brand have a penchant for dwelling on their strong and storied past. One look at their latest effort, the RD60, with its gorgeous, 1950s inspired case, shows the affinity that Roberts has for a time before television, when the radio ruled and was something to gather round and admire.

Fortunately, Roberts’ doe-eyed romanticisim stops short of making the RD60 a full-on relic, as this little looker remembers to pack in some modern technology, namely in the form of a DAB tuner, as well as the more traditional FM. Before we get on to how it sounds, let’s take a closer look at that cracking design job, as well as what other features Roberts have plumped for…

Such obviously retro styling won’t necessarily appeal to everyone, but it’d take a heart of stone not to be at least slightly won over by its timeless looks. From the mesh speaker grille to the classic buttons and dials, the RD60 is every inch the period piece. The Roberts logo that adorns the front helps keep the look intact, and besides the absolutely necessary screen on the radio’s top (sat neatly underneath the array of buttons), the Roberts doesn’t let the mask slip once, going all out in the retro-kitsch stakes. Probably the only other nod to modernity is in the connectivity specs, with a 3.5mm socket added to plug in other devices, making the RD60 capable of playing back audio from, say, a laptop or a mobile phone. A headphone socket of the same size also makes the Roberts ideal for quieter listening, whilst a rear-mounted 3.5mm output allows for connection to a full-size hi-fi or speaker system.

The RD60 can be powered by the mains or by battery, with four ‘D’ size batteries powering the Roberts for up to 120 hours at a time! The battery compartment is accessed by opening a small, briefcase-style latch on the side of the unit, opening up the back panel in its entirety, and allowing the operator to see the radio’s simple internals. Roberts have fitted a single drive unit, but one that can kick out a more than adequate sound, as we found out once we’d got it up and running.

Tuning in DAB was as easy as ever, with the Roberts auto-searching for stations after setting BBC 6Music (obviously!) to the Robert’s ‘Favourite’ key, a neat button that allows one specific station to be returned to easily, we were away.

Sounding detailed and clear, with a decent amount of bottom-end punch, the RD60 gave a great showing of itself. Typically, these types of single driver radios favour speech over music, but the Roberts’ performed brilliantly with both. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree, from their latest album of the same nae, is a wonderful, piano-led piece that sounded great through the little RD60. Obviously we aren’t talking hi-fi sound quality, but Cave’s vocal was full-bodied, and all of the instrumentation is clearly audible. Plugged directly into our demo room system, the Roberts’ did a great job at showing what DAB is occasionally still capable of, too.

All told, this latest effort from Roberts’ continues the rich vein of form that spreads back, ooh, 80 years now! When you just focus on the one task, and for such a long time, it’s inevitable that you’ll succeed at some point. That Roberts’ continue to impress with every new release just goes to show why they remain one of the most respected brands in the industry. Great stuff!

To find out more about the Roberts RD60, click here.

Author: Chris, Liverpool store

This article has 2 comments

  1. Does it sound better than the Claasic Blutune that I got from you which, despite looking lovely on the coffee table, sounds like there are a load of socks stuffed behind the speaker grille? The first Roberts product I’ve not liked the sound of, everything sounds like AM! A disappointing purchase.

  2. This is a very nice-looking retro radio. There are better-sounding radios out there, but they’re rarely as stylish as this one.