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Roberts RD-8BW Duet 2

This test report on the Roberts RD-8BW Duet 2 is one of a series of digital radio reviews. If you have reached this page from an internet search, we suggest you begin by reading the Introduction to our guide to DAB digital radios. For more information about the options listed below, see also the criteria by which to judge performance and what are the main features to look for.

Roberts RD-8BW Duet 2Roberts RD-8BW Duet 2 - test report

Overall verdict

The Roberts Duet 2 gave satisfactory sound quality and was a great design. It is sold by the British Wireless for the Blind Fund, and they were clearly involved in its production. The buttons were light to press, well spaced and easy to learn by touch, if you cannot see their bright yellow colour. The yellow dials were a good size and deep, so could be turned with any part of the hand. The labelling of the controls could be bigger. The radio has five preset buttons - easy to set and use and with illuminated numbers - plus a 'favourite' button for a single station. The display screen was large and bright. The handle had enough space below for swollen joints. Disappointingly, this Duet 2 does not autoselect stations when you scan, which its earlier version - the RD8BW Duet - did.

Features

Size (h x w x d; cm) 20 x 20 x 16
Weight (kg) 2.6
Wavebands FM
Speaker/s mono
Headphone output stereo
Power mains and battery
DAB presets 5
FM presets 5
Preset buttons or menu 5 buttons
Pause and rewind live radio yes - 15 to 35 mins
Electronic programme guide no
Recording no
Selecting the station: rotate dial yes
Selecting the station: press up/down channel buttons yes
Auto-select mode no

Performance

DAB reception ★★★★★
DAB sound quality ★★★★☆
FM sound quality ★★★★☆
Volume control covers useful range yes
Sound quality at maximum volume limited volume but still good quality
Claimed battery life (hours) DAB 20, based on 4 hours a day
Actual battery running time (hours) DAB 28, FM 27.5
Mains power consumption (watts; on standby) 2.1
Mains power consumption (watts; in use) DAB 6.1, FM 6.1

Ease of use

Installation and setting up
by blind people ★★★★☆
by partially sighted people ★★★★☆
by people with impaired grip ★★★★☆
Everyday use
by blind people ★★★★☆
by partially sighted people ★★★★☆
by people with impaired grip ★★★★☆
Advanced use
by blind people ★★★★☆
by partially sighted people ★★★★☆
by people with impaired grip ★★★★☆
Overall ease of use
by blind people ★★★★☆
by partially sighted people ★★★★☆
by people with impaired grip ★★★★☆
Features score
by blind people 52%
by partially sighted people 71%
by people with impaired grip 79%

Note: Star ratings range from poor (★☆☆☆☆ - 1 star) to excellent (★★★★★ - 5 stars).

Last updated: August 2011


Main page: Test reports