Roberts Stream 83i review


Summary

Yes it’s just a piece of domestic technology but (as I will attempt to argue below) this is a deceptive little item that packs a punch and has been a very pleasing purchase.

I think (coupled with some other key bits of technology (some of which are here) it can be part of another step change in user experience. It also gives me an excuse to rave about internet radio as though it were a new invention.!

The Roberts Stream 83i

So it plugs in, downloads an update and then works. It is wireless (works well in my house) and plays FM, internet radio, DAB, connected USB devices, Play.FM and streams from DLNA devices.

The sound is surprising decent, it has a retro look and offers five presets per medium (i.e. five each for FM, DAB and Internet); I would probably like more.

It’s interface is a bit painful for locating music and wandering around internet radio but in all honesty I listen more than I tune.

Why is it so good?

I really like the sound and that it does just work. I also surprised myself – I bought this as a DAB device that could stream from my NAS, I then found the internet radio!

Now internet radio is not new – the first station broadcast in 1994 and before that the Rolling Stones broadcast a concert. This is a device though that looks like a radio not a computer.

If you haven’t used internet radio it is fantastic – as far as I can tell every part of the globe has national stations available, you can pick internet only stations, browse by location or genre and it all just works.

I think also that radio suits the internet – the odd vagaries of UDP transmission and loss of connection to a Los Angeles specialist punk station to me conjures up images of cats whiskers and listening to Radio Caroline on a poor transistor radio at night. It feels pioneering and yet simple. Radio is also ubiquitous – you have a small device you switch on and ignore not a big box you have to watch or a desktop. I suspect a tablet is not far off the cheap transistor equivalent  but this Roberts is a more serious bit of kit.

Anyway if you want to read more have a look on Amazon – Roberts Stream 83i. Don’t agree – contact me as described here!

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About Tony Jones
Big Finish writer, reviewer and blogger, I'm interested in science fiction and Doctor Who. I review for CultBox, The Doctor Who Companion and others. I am also Audio Drama editor for Starburst Magazine, and write the occasional piece for Vortex, the BSFA critical magazine.

2 Responses to Roberts Stream 83i review

  1. Bruvva says:

    Like the ham radio analogy. Alfie would have liked it.

    Like

  2. HelmStone says:

    Yes I think he would. Hey ho.

    Have you got one?

    Like

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