Roberts Sound MP-53 Review

The Roberts Sound MP-53 is a self contained DAB & FM radio, CD player, amplifier and stereo speakers, with an iPod/iPhone dock. This is good because in an environment like a kitchen it means a minimum of trailing wires to get good sounds from a variety of music sources.

Despite its compact 358mm(w) x 120mm(h) x 260mm(d) dimensions it provides a rather good sound, with the ability to reach good volume levels with minimal distortion. It's a rather beautiful looking device, finished in an acoustically tuned wooden cabinet with an attractive high gloss piano black finish and an ice blue display backlight. This makes it easy to keep clean. The nice flat surface on the top is an ideal and safe place to temporarily store iPods and iPhones, when they are not being charged.

The DAB and FM wavebands allow you to listen to your favourite radio stations. Reception is good, with the in-built telscopic aerial. A multi-format CD player is incorporated for playing audio CDs and recorded CDs with MP3 or WMA files. You can also use a USB stick or an SD card to record any of your favourite songs from the radio or your CDs, or to playback MP3 or WMA files from your PC.

The multi-mode alarms let you choose whether to wake up to a buzzer, the radio, or to your music from your iPod, CD, SD card or USB stick. Each can be set to operate once, daily, at weekdays or weekends. The SOUND 53 also comes complete with a multi function remote control, making it easy to navigate all functions. It also features 20 station presets, a 6-position equaliser with separate bass and treble, an optical (S/PDIF presented via a Toslink connector) line output socket, headphone socket and an auxiliary input for iPod/MP3 playback.

Likes

  • Sounds good. It provides good volume and bass levels with low levels of distortion.
  • Looks good. Modern and clean lines. Particular sits well on our black granite worktops.

Dislikes

  • Not a lot really. It could come with some universal dock inserts but this is just us being picky.

Several people that have seen our device in action have been impressed and have gone also bought one, my brother included.

Updates

Sep 2012

With the arrival of an iPhone 5 in our house, this dock is a little less useful now. Fortunately, it does have a 3.5mm aux input, so we can still use it in our kitchen. We have tried plugging a Lightning charging cable into the USB port on the front but this does not work. It does not provide enough power to charge an iPhone.

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