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Roberts Wifi Speaker
The Beacon 320 combines Robert’s signature rich sound with clean retro design for a Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds. The Beacon 320 enables seamless audio streaming via Bluetooth from your smartphone, tablet or laptop with its built-in rechargeable battery that offers up to 12 hours of playback time and less than 3 hours of battery charge time. Finished in an elegant charcoal gray color.
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The multi-directional design not only looks good, but together with the dual bass radiators delivers rich Roberts sound from every angle. So wherever you put it, everyone will get a full sound experience.
Play your Beacon for up to 12 hours without needing a charge, so you can listen indoors, outdoors or on the go from sunrise to sunset.
Packaging that looks too good to throw away, but is 100% recyclable if you do. The Roberts Beacon Bluetooth speaker range is designed to sound good, look good and do good.
Enjoy classic DAB quality radio in the form of the Roberts ZoomBox 3 DAB radio. As well as digital and analogue radio receivers, this stylish and portable audio unit…
Roberts Beacon 320 Bluetooth Speaker
The Beacon 320 combines Robert’s signature rich sound with clean retro design for a Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds. The Beacon 320 delivers flawless Bluetooth sound… The Roberts Beacon 330 is one of the most stylish Bluetooth speakers out there, but it falls behind its competitors in some key areas
British manufacturer Roberts has a reputation for creating audio products full of personality, and its first Bluetooth speakers, the Beacon 320 and 330, deliver on that. The Beacon 330 will brighten up any room it’s placed in and, at least in terms of style, is a cut above most mainstream Bluetooth speakers on the market.
However, when you peel back the beautiful facade, you’ll find a speaker that, while capable, lacks the power and versatility of similarly priced rivals.
The Beacon 330 will set you back £200 and comes with a mains adapter to charge the speaker. The 710g, 98 x 98 x 194mm (WDH) speaker takes around three hours to fully charge and provides up to 15 hours of audio playback per charge.
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It has five built-in EQ presets and can be paired with multiple devices via Bluetooth, plus there’s an option to pair two Beacon 330s in stereo mode. The USB-A port on the back of the speaker allows you to charge various gadgets, and there you will also find an AUX input for connecting devices that do not have Bluetooth.
If you’re willing to sacrifice most of those features to save a little cash, you can pick up the Beacon 320 for £150. It has the same great looks, but lacks a USB port, EQ modes, stereo pairing, and can only connect to one device at a time. Battery life is also significant, with the 320 only offering 12 hours of audio playback.
Let’s get the most obvious observation out of the way first: the Roberts Beacon 330 is an amazing Bluetooth speaker. Gold accents line the milled Yorkshire fabric that covers the speaker’s internal components, while the cursive Roberts logo sits proudly on the front of the speaker base. The aluminum controls on top of the device add another premium touch to the speaker’s quality.
The Beacon 330 may be a great example of the vintage aesthetic that Roberts is known for, but the variety of colors available also lends itself to modern interior design. I was sent the Duck Egg version, but there are also Carbon Black, Berry Red and Pastel Cream schemes to choose from, although the latter two are currently available directly from Roberts. They all look great, although the 330 series currently has one less option than the 320 series, which includes Sunburst Yellow, Charcoal Grey, Midnight Blue, Teal Blue and Dusky Pink.
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While it doesn’t provide any practical benefit, I want to commend the thought that went into the packaging of the Beacon 330. It’s designed with sustainability in mind – there’s no plastic whatsoever – and the removable cardboard panel that hides everything but the Roberts logo on the speaker adds a bit of unboxing flair.
The speaker controls are pleasantly simple. The four-button layout is easy to navigate, with the power, Bluetooth and volume buttons neatly arranged in each corner of the instrument panel. While paired with multiple devices, you can press the Bluetooth button to switch between them, which is a welcome inclusion. There’s also a nice click to the pushable buttons, although I found the volume up button stuck occasionally.
The five EQ options – Normal, Classic, Bass Boost, Outdoors and Speech – can be changed by briefly pressing the power button, then the volume up or down button. When you press the power button, a small LED reveals which mode you’re currently in through a series of different blinking patterns.
One flash means you’re in classic mode, two quick flashes are for bass boost mode, four represent external mode, while a steady flash illustrates you’re in speech mode. When in normal mode, the LED will stay on constantly, although whatever mode they are in, the light turns off after a few seconds of inactivity. It takes a little time to memorize the different patterns, but once you do, the LED proves to be a pleasant and unobtrusive way of reflecting your EQ settings.
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Aside from its striking looks, simple layout, and versatile EQ modes, the Beacon 330 has a few other commendable features up its sleeve. The USB-A port on the back of the speaker can be used to charge devices such as smartphones and headphones, while the speaker automatically shuts off after 15 minutes of inactivity to save battery.
If I had to use one word to sum up the sound quality, it would be restrained. The Beacon 330 isn’t particularly loud, but at least it’s distortion-free at higher volumes. It’s capable of filling small rooms, although it doesn’t need the raw power to fill larger spaces with truly impressive sound.
Sound is delivered via a custom 45mm driver that works in conjunction with two passive radiators. The radiators are of different sizes, one is located on the front and the other on the back of the speaker. It’s a setting I haven’t seen used yet, but it works successfully to ensure the sound remains consistent wherever the Beacon is placed.
The mids and highs are clearly articulated, but the bass isn’t as impressive, even with the Bass Boost EQ on. He lacks influence, but is rich enough to support himself. Since the Beacon 330 isn’t designed to be a party speaker, it’s understandable that it’s light on the low end.
Roberts Beacon 330 Review
Other EQ modes fare better. Normal mode is well balanced across the frequency spectrum, while Classic mode – my favorite mode for everyday listening – sounds brighter and really highlights the Beacon 330’s ability to deliver impressive vocals and midrange.
The outdoor mode will be ideal for those who like loud music: when you turn it up, you will get full volume, but with the loss of low-frequency response. Personally, I didn’t think it was worth replacing, but my outdoor use was limited by the weather (the Beacon 330 doesn’t have an IP rating for water resistance, so it shouldn’t be used when it’s raining). The speech mode goes a step further, pushing the high frequencies to the fore. It’s ideal for podcasts, but you probably won’t use it for much else.
Roberts is clearly not targeting home entertainment with the Beacon 330, instead trying to please the discerning listener who probably makes up the bulk of its consumer base. Even after taking this into account, I still feel the 330 could use a little extra oomph through its EQ profiles.
Those looking for a stereo experience can pick up the Beacon 330 package, which includes two speakers and costs £350 – a saving of £50 on buying two 330s individually. Since I was only sent one 330, I wasn’t able to test its stereo capabilities, but it seems easy enough to set up, with a pairing button located on the bottom of the speaker, and should add to the immersion.
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Restrained sound and poor bass response aside, the Beacon 330 has a few more chinks in its armor. Track skip and play/pause buttons are omitted, meaning you’ll have to use your phone for these basic commands. Their absence makes the dashboard nice and simple, so it’s hard to be too critical.
The same can’t be said for the Beacon’s lack of a microphone, meaning you can’t use it as a speakerphone for calls. I’ve gotten used to taking calls on my various Bluetooth speakers, so not having that feature was something I felt strongly about. No microphone obviously means no voice assistant support either. I’m perfectly comfortable living without the smart function, but it won’t suit those who are used to controlling their speakers with
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