My thanks go to British Wireless For The Blind Fund (BWBF) for loaning me this radio to review.
The Duet 2 is a DAB/FM radio made by Roberts that can be purchased, or made available for permanent loan, through the charity. This sturdy set runs on mains or battery, and has five presets for each of its wave-bands. The unit is particularly popular among blind and visually impaired people because it has good tactile buttons and dials, and is not easily knocked off its wide base. For those with some vision, the Duet 2 is a wood effect colour with black inner and yellow buttons. This radio also makes a suitable choice for those who may have dexterity problems, or for anyone wishing to use something less technical.
The radio has a mono speaker at the front, with 10 buttons ergonomically arranged on top. A rotary manual tuning dial, volume and tone controls are positioned on the right side of the unit. A folding carry handle and telescopic aerial are conveniently positioned at the rear above the battery compartment. This can house four D type cells with up to 100 hours of playing time on alkaline batteries.
When you use the Duet 2 for the first time, pull up the telescopic aerial before turning it on. Press the oval-shaped button on top of the radio closest to the left end. The set's default band is DAB, and the unit should start scanning for available stations immediately. The next time you turn it on, the name of the last station you listened to will be displayed on the LCD screen below the five preset buttons on the front of the Duet 2.
To the right of the power button is a small round selector which switches between DAB and FM. When looking manually for stations on DAB, use the rotary tuning knob near the top on the right side of the radio, and press it in to select the station you want. When manually tuning on FM, use the same dial.
Once you have found a favourite station, choose one of the five large round preset buttons grouped in a line near the front of the unit. Press and hold for approximately 10 seconds to ensure you have saved that station as one of your presets. You can repeat this process until each of the five presets are taken on DAB and FM. In addition, there is also a Favourite button which can be found above the five presets. It is a large oval-shaped key which is easy to locate, and used as your Favourite station on DAB or FM.
There are two round buttons, one above the other, near the top right end of the radio. The larger button is for auto-tuning on DAB, and the smaller button is for Info, which displays station and track name, as well as other information on the amber backlit display at the front of the device.
Finally, a 3.5mm socket above the power outlet provides stereo sound through headphones (not supplied), or may be used for another source such as an external speaker.
This is a simple to operate DAB and FM radio. Button layout is uncluttered, and it has a reasonable sound. I found it very straightforward to operate straight from the box. Its dimensions are: 205mm wide, by 205mm high, by 135mm deep, and weighs 1.69kg. Documentation is available in print, audio or PDF formats.