Roberts Stream 65
There’s no doubt the Roberts Stream 65i is eager to please. Sitting at the top of the company’s digital radio line up, it boasts an impressive spec list that combines the best of streaming, physical media and radio playback in a single box. It’s a shame that it falls short of its potential.
It’s not the most stylish all-in-one system we’ve seen. Pure’s C-D6 offers a cleaner, more refined design than the Roberts’ more basic approach, but the Stream 65i does have a large colour display. Alongside FM, DAB and internet radio, the Stream 65i is capable of streaming music via Bluetooth, DLNA and Spotify Connect, and playing directly from the likes of CD, USB, aux in and SD card. It can also rip CDS and radio shows to USB or SD card.
Scrolling through menus and selecting sources with the included remote works just fine, but you can also use the third party app, Undok. There are 30 radio presets available for quick access to your favourite stations, and the option to pick any one of these to wake you up in the morning.
We play The Bucket by Kings of Leon on Spotify Connect, and while the Stream 65i has the power and ability to go decently loud, it lacks the scale to make that volume really worthwhile. The busy rock track is quick to highlight another weakness of the Stream 65i too: it sounds congested and lacks the clarity needed to be able to pick out individual instruments.
Roberts hasn’t managed to deliver the superb balance of the Awardwinning Stream 93i here, and the result is a rather coarse sound. The bass sounds bloated and cumbersome, while the drum beats lack impact.
That coarseness stretches up into the treble too. Voices sit forward in the mix, and in a stripped-back track like Beyoncé’s piano ballad Sandcastles (or indeed, talk radio), it’s a touch more convincing. There’s still not a lot of insight though, and we want more expression from vocals.
Load up a CD and the results aren’t much better. There’s a touch more solidity and a slightly cleaner midrange, but it needs to perform better to justify its £400 price tag. That’s £250 more than the Stream 93i, which is by far the better buy if you can do without a CD player. If you can give up streaming, the Denon M40DAB Cd/radio (£350) has superior sound quality.
Yes, the Stream 65i offers all this under one lid, but if performance is what you care about, this will leave you wanting for much, much more.