I was going to start this review by saying that DAB radios are languishing in something of a design wilderness. To confirm this suspicion I ventured into a high street electrical goods store and took in their array of DAB and FM radios and reached a shocking conclusion: radios just don’t look cool. The point to all this? Well, the Gemini 46 from Roberts falls squarely into this no man’s land. But is it any good?
Constructed from white plastic, the frontispiece is dominated by a grey speaker grill. Towards the top you find various control buttons and an amber-lit two-line LCD display. Most of the controls are handled by the buttons, except volume and tone, which have dedicated knobs on the side. And fine knobs they are too, rotating with a feel of quality, and allowing you to pick exactly to the tone and volume you want, rather than some arbitrary number.
Sound-wise, the quality is very good, that clean rich sound you’d expect from DAB and at reasonable volumes too. Switch on the unit and it will auto-scan for stations, meaning they are simple to scroll through and select. Should you choose to do so, there are five presets available, but in reality it is so easy to click through to the station you want, you might not use them.
The Gemini 46 is designed as a portable radio and to facilitate this task you’ll find a flip-up white plastic handle on the top. It feels a little cheap to be honest and follows the design trend that looks a little awkward. Around the back you’ll find space for four D cell batteries, which Roberts claim will give you 80hrs of DAB pleasure, thanks to the efficiency of SMPS. You do get a mains connection in the box and the radio features a headphone socket for those Saturday afternoons listening to the football in peace.
Sounds great, but doesn’t look so good, there is little more to say about this portable radio from Roberts: it does exactly what it says on the tin. The white design blends in well in our kitchen, but the size and battery life means it will be equally comfortable in the garden, summer house, or up your scaffolding rig. We liked the sound so much, we now listen to more radio than ever before.