Roberts’s Stream 93i radio gained extra What Hello-Fi? Award than we care to depend – so how do you enhance on one thing that’s clearly one of the best in its class? The reply is rigorously and conservatively.
Roberts has solely made just a few small adjustments for its alternative, the Stream 94i, together with the addition of Bluetooth – the one vital factor we felt was lacking from its predecessor.
With that characteristic and a snappier new design, the Roberts radio units the bar even larger.
In addition to its Bluetooth connection, the Stream 94i has an entire host of how during which it performs audio.
It has entry to FM, DAB and web stations, so you need to by no means be missing for sounds – whether or not out of your native radio or linked to the world broad internet through the Stream 94i’s built-in wifi or ethernet port.
Different bodily connections embrace USB and three.5mm inputs, whereas the Stream 94i may also entry digital music over a neighborhood space community (LAN) in MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC, ALAC and WAV codecs.
You may also use Spotify Connect (supplied you’ve got a premium subscription) to get the radio to seize your tracks immediately from the location’s 30 million robust database.
If we had been being choosy, we’d prefer to have seen Chromecast help, which would supply larger integration for companies comparable to Tidal and Deezer, but it surely’s unlikely to be a deal-breaker for many.
You may also handle the radio’s playback via the UNDOK app for iOS and Android, which is helpful if the Stream 94i’s easy-to-use distant is out of attain.
Should you want to hook some audio system as much as the radio, there’s a line out connection subsequent to the headphone port.
Roberts has given a contemporary look to the radio, with a line of rectangular buttons changing the segmented ones that had been on the Stream 93i. They’re good to make use of and make the radio look a bit extra elegant in our eyes.
Whereas the fabric high quality hasn’t modified a lot, the change from the shiny, deep black exterior implies that the Stream 94i seems to be extra trendy and smarter.
The deal with has additionally been changed – gone is the stiff metallic arch in favour of a versatile materials one, which makes the radio simpler to hold about.
If you’re trying to take it out and about, you’ll should pay a small premium to purchase the battery pack essential to make this radio transportable. If you have already got a battery pack for the Stream 93i, it’s going to work for the Stream 94i too.
Whereas these new modifications are welcome, we’re happy to listen to that Roberts has maintained the sound high quality of the 93i. That’s presumably as a result of the ‘subwoofer’ in the back of the unit and the 2 smaller drivers on the entrance have remained unchanged.
We begin by taking part in Dua Lipa’s New Guidelines via Spotify Join, and the eye to element this radio pays to the midrange is laudable.
The Stream 94i manages to convey the lyrics’ virtually intentionally monontonous character with out ever making it sound boring or disinterested. As she hits the excessive notes, there’s by no means any sense of stress or harshness.
Whereas a concentrate on vocals is an important facet of any audio expertise, it’s particularly essential for a primarily speech-based platform like radio.
As such, the heat and stability from the Stream 94i is pleasant – we may take heed to chat-heavy stations like BBC Radio four for hours on finish with out wanting to change.
Change to one thing extra advanced, comparable to Kanye West’s Black Skinhead via the Bluetooth connection and this radio strikes you with a suitably aggressive rendition.
The relentless, punchy drums and intimidating panting that kicks the monitor into motion attain ahead and seize you, earlier than the Stream 94i comfortably delivers West’s attitude-laden vocals.
Fortunately, these traits stay it doesn’t matter what enter you’re utilizing. Ending our check with a DAB broadcast of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 In C Main – a stiff check of any hi-fi’s dynamism – this radio doesn’t allow us to down.
From the sleek clarinets to the energetic, speedy actions of the strings, this radio has a assured dealing with of dynamics, and a suitably iron fist in the case of maintaining every instrument distinct from one another.
As a alternative for the top-notch 93i, the Stream 94i ticks all the best bins. The dearth of Bluetooth connection has been rectified with out compromising on its enjoyably proficient sound high quality.
The Stream 94i is the entire bundle, and that makes it the best radio (for its value) on the market for the time being.
See all our Roberts reviews