Roberts Stream 65

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

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.

Coarse sound

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.