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Roberts SolarDAB 2 solar powered radio

Another little gem from Roberts?

Roberts has a reputation for producing great sounding and stylish radios with a retro slant. The SolarDAB 2 doesn’t disappoint.

I reviewed the original SolarDAB two years ago and gave it a glowing report. The radio’s powerful solar panel meant that it only needed recharging once during an entire British winter, which was no mean feat. It sounded great too.

The SolarDAB 2 builds on the previous version by including FM reception with RDS. This is a huge step forward because, let’s face it, DAB can be a bit iffy. Dropouts are common and broadcasters often ration bandwidth, which means that even if you’ve got perfect reception the sound quality can be pretty poor. Large parts of the UK still can’t get a decent signal either. FM reception is, therefore, a very welcome step forward.

Sound quality from the SolarDAB 2, however, is slightly less good than with the original version of the radio. It’s still good but it sounds ever so slightly tinny compared to the original SolarDAB. It still compares well to other radios, and is certainly better than any other solar radio on the market, it’s just as not as good as the original.

The solar panel works a treat. We’ve only had to charge the radio once during almost four months of use of about 1.5 hours a day. That’s pretty good. Roberts claims that the radio will run for 20 hours on a full charge so the solar panel is clearly keeping the batteries topped up. The solar charging indicator lights up even on a cloudy day, so we’re hopeful that the radio will only need charging a couple of times a year – which would be rather good.

The radio comes will the usual array of memories for both DAB and FM. It also has an earphone jack for private listening and has a standard 3.5mm aux input for sound sources such as iPods and iPhones. There’s even a USB port so you can update the radio’s firmware/software.

All in all, another wonderful solar powered radio from Roberts.

Price around £79 pounds.

Gadget Guru

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