From a hi-fi point of view, the output doesn’t offer a huge amount of detail, and the high end is a little muddy, but there's plenty of presence and a fair bit of kick in the low end. It’s a case of horses for courses – if you want some serious hi-fi, this isn’t the system for you, but if you value the ability to play any of your disparate music sources in the background, or use them for dancing around your kitchen, then the Stream 63i has certainly got what it takes.
As an all-in-one music hub, there's not much more you could want
The Roberts Stream 63i is a decent do-it-all music system which can handle almost any music you care to throw at it from radio, CD, the internet or streaming. While the audio quality isn’t the exactly the highest of fidelity, it is certainly punchy when you need it to be and delivers a comfortable, room-filling level of sound, from whatever source, with the greatest of ease. ®
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with Apple AirPlay
Roberts Stream 63i
But, and I know I'm going to get some abuse for this, AirPlay would seem to be a big miss on this. It's certainly a deal breaker for me...
It's a little disappointing the Roberts name on otherwise anonymous consumer kit like this. It should be covered in wood and leather, maybe even a little carpet, not chasing the shiny-shiny iPod design zeitgeist.
Generally, I am unsure about streaming. So you have 1 copy of your music that you can play in 3 different places in your home. Instead, I keep 3 copies of the actual music on separate players. All right, keeping them in sync adds a complication, but would setting up a streaming infrastructure and keeping a central storage unit switched on all the time. And with multiple copies, you can take one jogging or in the car.
Living with it is a different matter
I've used Roberts kit for years and there's always problems. The predecessor unit I have in the bedroom is quirky to say the least.
The touch front panel doesn't work; one needs to use the remote to control it. The screen is too bright but when dimmed to minimum can't be read in the dark as there's insufficient contrast. Blue is the wrong colour; red would be better at night. The snooze control works on all functions; adjust the volume and it switches off. The remote control's UI is unintuitive and needs to be learned. IPhones interfere with loud clicks & bangs. The radio alarm doesn't specify the channel; go to sleep listening to Radio3 and go through the channel changing rigmarole (snooze, etc.) to change to Radio4 in the morning. It's a bit unreliable and needs occasional rebooting (disconnecting) to reset.
In short lots of niggles.
On the good side, it's a brilliant high quality sound that belies it's size. Much much much better than anything else on the market. It looks great. It's solidly built. The functionality is great.
Would I buy another? Without hesitation as he positives far outweigh the negatives. But it still doesn't excuse the considerable annoyances.
That's the sound of Roberts running off the end of the dock ... and missing the boat.
£350 for an iPod dock that acts as an internet radio / streamer? Why not just buy an iPod dock, the excellent Tune-In app and save save yourself a couple of hundred quid in the process?
If this device was £99 - £120 (which it should be) then I'd be clicking 'buy' now but £350 would (almost) but me an iPad which would be far more usefull or a decent laptop and speakers. I'd really like a unit like this for my kitchen but not at this price.
"£350 for a souped up iPod dock?"
For that amount of money you could have a touch more than half a Bose Wave thingummy with DAB add on. Far more l33t than a Roberts ever will be. And for another £99 you could have an actual iPlod dock for it as well.