Price (RRP): $299
With its somewhat retro garage-radio styling, copious dials and buttons and quality speakers, the Roberts Ecologic 4 portable digital radio is going to be very appealing to many radio enthusiasts. You don’t have to switch through digital menus to choose stations, control EQ settings or change the volume. There are dials for all these things, as well as 14 more buttons for fast access to preset stations and other settings. With these fast and accessible controls, as well as the very bright backlit LCD we were immediately taken with the Ecologic 4.
Its telescopic aerial quickly picked up all the available digital channels in our area during testing, and we found we could quickly switch through channels using the FM tuning dial. Ten presets for DAB+ radio are also available (as well as ten more for FM).
The twin integrated 7.5 cm drivers produced audio that was rich and deep, even managing to make the sometimes flat MP2 DAB broadcasts sound appealing. It also has a line-out connector, so you can hook it up to a larger stereo system if you want to really blast the audio, as well as a headphone connector if you want a little private listening.
The Ecologic 4 is powered either from mains or six D-cells, and Roberts claims that you can get an extraordinary 150 hours from alkalines using the radio. Admittedly, D-cells are big batteries, and the radio can become quite heavy when loaded with them (it weighs 2 kg as is), but that’s a battery life that will carry you through a long camping trip or many days in the field.
Overall, it’s not a product that has a lot of cool extra frills, like internet access or timeshifting, but its quality speakers, dial controls and long battery life make this an impressive product for its price, and a recommended purchase.