Roberts Ortus 2 Bedside DAB Radio Review

Roberts Ortus 2 radio on bedside table with orange mug

The Roberts Ortus 2 is a bedside DAB radio from one of our favourite audio brands here at liGo. A of "radio alarm clocks" are just an ordinary DAB radio that just happens to have an alarm feature included. The Ortus 2, though, is designed specifically around this use. But is it any good- and is it worth its price tag? Let's take a look!

Related: Top 10 Best Bedside DAB Radio Alarm Clocks of 2024

Design & build

Unlike a lot of Roberts' radios, such as the Revival range, the Ortus 2 isn't based on a vintage model. Instead, it has a bit more of a modern feel to it. Available in black or white, it's nicely compact, so will comfortably fit on your bedside table. The clock display of it isn't enormous; as you can see from the images here, it only takes up a little rectangle in the middle, rather than the full front of the unit. However, it is still reasonably large, so you shouldn't have any issues checking the time if you wake up a little blurry-eyed in the mornings.

On either side of the radio, there's a fabric speaker grille. All the controls are located on the top. Somewhat curiously, the big dial on the top isn't for the volume, as you might expect. Instead, it's for flicking through stations; the volume uses button controls. Generally we've found that a volume wheel is a little more intuitive, but to be fair, with a bedside radio you'll probably set it to the optimum volume once and then not change it again.

The only downside to the design of the Ortus 2 is that it only has a wire aerial rather than a telescopic aerial. This is pretty standard for clock radios, but it does mean that some users may find that they need to adjust it every so often to make sure they can pick up a signal. Having said that, this wasn't an issue that we encountered ourselves during testing.

Sound performance

As a relatively compact radio that's primarily designed as an alarm clock, the Ortus 2 naturally has to compromise a little on sound. This isn't unique to the Ortus 2- most clock radios are the same, since they have a smaller footprint to work with.

As a result, the Ortus 2's sound isn't quite up there with that of some other Roberts radios that we've tested in the past. That's not to say that it doesn't hold its own against other clock radios- compared to those, it performs better than average. Given that it's meant for bedside listening and not as a main home hifi, we can forgive this a little. In addition, most of their other models have a screen on the top rather than the front, meaning they are less suited to use as a clock radio.

Additional features

The Roberts Ortus 2 comes with both DAB and FM modes, along with DAB+ compatibility. This means that you can still listen to any new digital-only stations that use the new format, along with local stations that may only be available on FM. There are three one-touch preset buttons for instant access to your favourite stations. You can also store a further seven DAB and seven FM presets within a separate menu, for a total of ten for each mode.

What's more, the Ortus 2 has a number of features that are just because it's a clock radio. There are dual alarms- great news for those who find it hard to wake up in the mornings, or for setting a different alarm for weekdays and weekends. It also boasts any-button snooze controls, so you won't be left hunting for the right button when you just want a little extra shut-eye.

The Ortus 2 also has a USB charging port on the back. This means you can plug your phone straight in to the radio, without needing to take up a socket by your bed. There's no Bluetooth connectivity, but there is an aux-in port, so you can plug a device straight in to the Ortus 2 and listen to content from there.

Roberts Ortus 2: The Verdict

The Roberts Ortus 2 is a solid bedside clock radio. While it's not the best sounding model we've tested, it is one of the easiest to set up and use. With Roberts' signature flair for design as well, this is sure to make a stylish addition to any bedroom.