A radio vary has by no means been extra profitable. The present 2021 Award-winning Roberts Stream 94i and the 93i earlier than it obtained a number of awards What Hello-Fi? Awards have been handed out over the previous decade and this new model has no intention of leaving the rostrum.
The Roberts Stream 94L is the most recent iteration of this much-lauded radio, and its solely updates are a brand new emblem, a sooner processor, and built-in Amazon Music and Deezer help.
All the things we love in regards to the earlier Roberts Stream 94i is similar: the identical design, intensive radio and streaming options, ease of use and pleasant sound high quality. In any case, why trouble with a profitable mixture? Even the worth has remained the identical, which is value celebrating in our present financial local weather. At £200, the Roberts Stream 94L successfully replaces the 94i with little fanfare.
Construction and Design
For these unfamiliar with earlier generations of the Stream 94L, it is value exploring how good a radio that is.
It’s a good trying unit with wonderful construct high quality all through. The 94i had already been given a classy makeover, so there was little to vary with the brand new 94L. Visually, the one distinction is the addition of Roberts’ new handwritten emblem on the entrance.
Roberts Stream 94L technical specs
tuners FM radio
digital radio DAB/DAB+
Web radio? Sure
Streaming help Spotify Join, Amazon Music, Deezer
Is the distant management included? Sure
Dimensions (hwd) 16.6x25x13cm
The versatile deal with is elegant and makes it simple to hold the radio round. The Stream 94L is electrically powered, however you should buy an elective battery pack to make it utterly transportable.
You’ll be able to management many features of the radio utilizing the entrance row buttons and two dials for quantity and tuning, the latter additionally used to scroll and choose choices.
A small distant is equipped, however we discover ourselves choosing the superb Undok app (free for iOS and Android) for choosing radio or streaming choices, accessing settings, adjusting customized EQ, and saving a number of presets. It’s a lot simpler and slick to make use of, particularly when trying to find radio stations. You’ll be able to immediately entry your 5 favourite radio stations utilizing the unit’s preset buttons, however way more might be saved and performed by way of the app.
On the rear panel, you will discover a handful of connections: an aux-in and a line-out, a USB port for enjoying MP3-only information, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Inside the brand new Stream 94L lies a extra highly effective processor, which Roberts says ends in sooner boot instances and sooner performance. Whereas we do not have the previous 94i for comparability, the 94L is certainly responsive and straightforward to make use of from the second we plug it in. Choosing totally different inputs and radio stations is intuitive and solely takes a couple of seconds to begin from standby.
This Roberts radio has some ways to play music. With web radio, DAB/DAB+ and FM tuner (antenna included), you possibly can take heed to native and worldwide radio stations. Bluetooth was the large hit on the final mannequin, and together with Spotify Join, the brand new 94L now has built-in help for Amazon Music and Deezer streaming providers.
Establishing the 94L radio requires a number of turns of the dial, particularly when connecting to your property community for the primary time. After that, it failed to attach robotically on startup. A useful wi-fi icon on the full-color LCD display screen exhibits you ways sturdy the sign is, so you possibly can fine-tune the place you place the radio to get one of the best, uninterrupted sign. We solely had two sign interruptions within the weeks we obtained it, but it surely reconnected robotically.
Whereas the music title, artist, and station emblem are essentially the most helpful data to see at a look, we discover it fascinating that the radio can show every station’s bitrate, decoder, and pattern price.
The Stream 94L in fact nonetheless works as a bedside radio clock. You’ll be able to set an alarm to play sure radio stations and you can even set a timer.
Whether or not you are listening to six Radios utilizing DAB+, Bluetooth or Spotify, BBC 4’s Kitchen Cupboard or Seattle’s wonderful KEXP 90.3 FM station, this radio is a pleasant performer. We play all day lengthy and we by no means get uninterested in it.
Acoustically, the ‘subwoofer’ on the rear of the unit and the 2 smaller drivers on the entrance remained unchanged within the new 94L mannequin. That is nice information for sound high quality, however we hope Roberts can push efficiency even additional in the case of the subsequent replace.
Iggy Pop’s Traveller It sounds sharp and detailed, with all the ’70s punk vitality intact. Dynamically, this little radio manages to pack plenty of finesse and has a pure ebb and circulate to songs that even some devoted hi-fi kits battle to speak at twice the worth. An agile voice with a great sense of timing.
Whether or not you are radio DJs, listening to plenty of sludgy grunge rock or podcasts, the midrange continues to be a excessive level, the place sounds come clear, targeted, and full of spectacular element. Sounds have loads of texture and everybody’s persona shines by way of on the radio.
Play one thing heavier like Deftones’ My Personal Spell (Knock it out), and whereas it will possibly get a bit of messy when the quantity is turned up, the 94L nonetheless places an honest quantity of weight on rumbling guitars and drums. Above the combo of devices the sounds are nonetheless crystal clear and the melody is admirably confidently superior.
You will by no means get deep bass stacks from such a compact unit, however the bass strains in Digital Underground Stroll in Actual Kool harmonious and tense. The Stream 94L’s clean, understated nature masks what a proficient performer he’s, particularly in his potential to be so fluid and able to sounding in no matter you play.
We additionally suggest tweaking the EQ settings if you wish to rein within the bass and draw extra consideration to the sounds—particularly when you take heed to radio and podcasts extra typically—however we discovered the default Flat setting to have one of the best steadiness between music. and speak.
It’s a very pleasant radio to take heed to. The updates could seem trivial, however we applaud Roberts for providing extra streaming choices and never upping the worth tag one iota.
His efficiency stays as pleasant as ever, and with the world’s radio stations at our fingertips, we by no means run out of issues to take heed to. The brand new Stream 94L stays a wise, well-featured and great-sounding radio at this worth level. Extremely really helpful.
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