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Roberts Sound 23 review

Pity the remote control gives a poor impression all the time, because this is actually a clear-sounding and attractive piece of DAB technology Tested at £250.00

Our Verdict

Poor remote, but the rest adds up

For

  • Great spec, good looks
  • sounds fuller and more engaging than the price and size suggest

Against

  • Nasty remote (which you’ll use a lot)
  • some hardness to DAB broadcasts

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Poor remote, but the rest adds up

Pros

  • + Great spec, good looks
  • + sounds fuller and more engaging than the price and size suggest

Cons

  • - Nasty remote (which you’ll use a lot)
  • - some hardness to DAB broadcasts

With the MP23, Roberts delivers a chunky, glossy CD-playing DAB radio that features all of the accoutrements a lifestyle-conscious consumer will require. FM (with RDS) and MW radio bands are catered for, and the MP23 will play CD-Rs, CD-RWs and disc-borne MP3 and WMA files, too – there's even an SD card slot and USB input for portable memory devices.

At the back, a digital optical output and 3.5mm auxiliary input are joined by 3.5mm line out and headphone out sockets. The display is big, bold and clear, and the shiny black finish looks lovely right until you put a greasy fingerprint on it.

Big sound from little box
For a product not much bigger than a shoebox, the MP23 delivers a wide and well-separated sound. It errs on the side of sonic safety, rolling off high frequencies before they become painful and avoiding cabinet-rattling punch at the low end.

It's a generally successful policy, with only a rather sibilant midrange from DAB broadcasts sounding a false note. CD playback, too, is cautiously competent, offering lively timing and a reasonable suggestion of a soundstage.

Overall, it's only the fact that the majority of your interaction with the MP23 is via the remote control, which is thin and unpleasant to use, that spoils the Roberts's otherwise impressive credentials.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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