Roberts RDK-2 kitchen radio
A 'kitchen radio' actually designed for the kitchen
You can tune the RDK-2 manually in DAB mode, but we found its auto-tuning system was able to pick up all stations available in the area we were testing in. FM also has auto and manual tuning, and four RDS playback options.
There's an instant pause function that can record a maximum of five to 15 minutes of a DAB broadcast - you don't need an SD card for this, thankfully - depending on what station you are listening to.
Good on treble, poor on bass
Longer recordings will require a card, and can be begun simply and quickly with one touch. Roberts reckons that a 512MB card will give between eight and 16 hours of recording time, but the machine doesn't work with cards greater than 2GB capacity or SDHC cards. Cards that have been formatted elsewhere have to be re-formatted for the radio to be able to use them.
Sound quality is never going to be a world beater here. You have a down firing 100mm driver outputting 3W. The unit doesn't create bass very well, and we found our cupboard vibrating and negatively affecting the sound. The unit performs well enough to cope with most kinds of broadcast, but it's never really inspiring. The RDK-2 is at its best on talk stations and music that has more treble than bass. Two levels of Dynamic Range Control setting are available to help with quieter stations, and this does improve performance a little.
Other functions include an 'egg timer’ which works fine - and can be used whilst playing music - but it only goes to 99 minutes. If you want to time anything longer, you'll have to use the radio's alarm clock.
The RDK-2 comes across as a very durable unit with decent enough performance to keep most listeners happy. We smeared enough sticky stuff at the touch controls and gave the unit enough punishment to establish that it should stand up to the rigors of a busy kitchen. The sound is acceptable and the functionality is perhaps at a higher level that you might expect for a product of this type. The £100 price tag is a little on the high side, but the build quality just about justifies it.
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