Of course DAB wasn’t around in the 1950s, but the modern-day Roberts Revival DAB radio design is faithful to that era and a retro essntial.
Roberts was founded way back in 1932, with friends Harry Roberts and Leslie Bidmead making portable radios from a small shop in London. It wasn’t an easy job and quality was key, so just three radios came off their mini production line each week.
But that approach worked and over time, the company grew, picking up Royal Warrants along the way and pushing the boundaries of radio production over the years. But it’s a design from the mid-20th century that has been the company’s calling card for years.
If you have a look on eBay you can still see a selection of its R-range radios for sale from days gone by. They look very similar to the models available today, although the technology is very much of the era. That’s the selling point then and now, as well as keeping those quality levels up. Yes, you can buy other vintage DAB radios (and many have been featured on this site), but ultimately if it isn’t a Roberts, it isn’t at the top of the pile. It just has that special something. In fact, I would say if you are working a 1950s or midcentury interior, this design is pretty much essential.
Saying that, the radio has subtly over the last decade or so. When I started writing this site it was the RD-50, which then became the RD-60 and now the flagship is the RD-70. Same look though, just more advanced inner workings.
The current Roberts Revival RD-70 has DAB and FM reception, with 20 presets shared between the two. There’s also the hand-crafted acoustically–tuned wooden cabinet , Bluetooth connectivity, a colour display, dual alarms, a sleep timer, snooze and rotary tuning and volume controls, Power is mains or battery. All of that and a ‘drop dead gorgeous’ look too.
If you want one, take your pick from several colour options or go for a limited edition like the Scion variation pictured below (yes, the one with the fixes). At £199.99 it isn’t cheap, but this is a solid, retro investment. A timeless design that will keep you entertained for years. We are speaking from experience here too.