With streaming radio growing at a dazzling rate, you would expect a host of products to support this development. Well, the manufacturers are continuing to answer the call; and they continue to keep us happy, even if we are still wondering how the internet gets into the radio. Let’s try to make some sense of how we can listen to thousands of radio stations from all over the world from our radio. In this article, I’ll look at the table-top devices, otherwise known as Internet Radios. Whether you favor iHeart, Live 360, Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, or Slacker, let’s explore, discover and play.
AR Acoustic Research™ has been around for decades and has proven to have the most sophisticated electronics and high-end speaker technology. The ARIR201 is a Wi-Fi Internet Radio, which allows you to listen to Pandora and Slacker from anywhere in your home. In addition, you can connect to MP3 tunes, AM/FM radio, Internal Memory or USB Input for your MP3 player.
Pandora and Slacker offer thousands of music selections and millions of tracks. You can even customize your stations with built in buttons, such as the “heart and ban” buttons on Slacker Personal Radio. The AR Infinite Radio allows you to listen to your favorite tunes anywhere in the home with Wi-Fi or Ethernet Connectivity. The Wi-Fi Protected Setup makes Wi-Fi setup easy, even for dummies like me.
This model has an internal memory, which will allow up to 10 hours of your favorite music to be stored. A personal portal allows you to choose from thousands of radio stations with six presets per source. Wake up to your favorite internet or traditional station with a customizable alarm.
It might have a silly name but the Chumby8 allows you to take favorite parts of the Internet and deliver them in a friendly, always-on, fresh format. The Chumby8 works independent of your desktop. Just plug it in, connect to your wireless network, create a lineup, and stream everything you like from sports to music to video clips and photos.
The Chumby8 has over 1,500 apps in more than 30 categories. You can customize your content without the need of a computer. It allows links in apps, like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and others. Choose from ready-to-play themed channels. Mix and match photos and videos, while uploading them to photo sharing sites.
Wake up to a news podcast or Pandora Radio. Check your Google calendar, along with the weather. Follow your friends on Facebook and Twitter, or check Craig’s List. Just hook-up to a broadband internet connection, wireless router or wired Ethernet connection and enjoy the day.
Grace Digital audio offers seven radio models with an exclusive feature that all “talk radio” listeners will want. Grace introduced DAR.fm to its entire line of 2011 radios. DAR.fm allows the user to record and playback thousands of popular radio shows, placing the world’s top talk shows on demand, allowing the user to listen when convenient. Over 70 hours of talk shows can be stored, such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller and more. News junkies will think they’re in news heaven.
The Grace Wi-Fi Internet Radio is the first internet radio to allow complete control of your Pandora radio stations directly from the front of the radio, the remote control, or the free iPhone remote control app. In addition to Pandora, you can listen to over 50,000 other radio stations, including NPR on Demand, BBC and iHeart radio.
The Grace Innovator II is another wireless internet radio in the Grace lineup with a remote and auxiliary input, plus Pandora and Sirius radio (needs subscription) with an input jack for your MP3 player. It has over 16,000 internet radio stations from around the world of streaming music, talk radio and podcast, directly from your wireless router.
Are you a fan of NPR? If so, you might want to check out Livio’s NPR Radio, which allows you to listen to over 800 NPR stations, plus 16,000 other stations from around the world in such countries as Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, or here locally in Georgia. You then bookmark your favorites with a touch of a button.
NPR Radio is the only internet radio that offers an exclusive NPR menu that organizes NPR stations, programs and content, like podcasts. You can search and explore stories and special features from NPR, as well as the NPR Newscast, which is updated every hour.
NPR radio is easy to setup up, either wirelessly or with an included Ethernet cable, and it can be connected to your existing sound system. You can add your iPod or MP3 player for versatility.
If it’s compact and portable that you want, then look at the Logitech Squeezebox™ Radio. With the Squeezebox, you have an infinite playlist no matter your taste in music. It doesn’t matter if your library includes 100,000 tracks, you rip your own CDs, or buy music from services like Amazon MP3, eMusic, or iTunes; your Squeezebox lets you browse, organize and play your collection anywhere, including outdoors, using a battery.
Logitech partnered with some of the biggest and best subscription music services, such as Pandora, Rhapsody, and Slacker. With Logitech’s Squeezebox™ Touch, its hands on with a 4.3″ touch screen, or you can use the remote. Select and play music using the intuitive color touch menus and view album art and photos. You can access music and pictures stored on flash drives and memory cards. It supports just about any format, including MP3, PLAC, WMA, AAC, WAV and AIFF.
You can control your Squeezebox, using your smart phone or tablet. Play, search, sync from any room with the Logitech Squeezebox Controller App, which they sell separately.
All though receivers are not truly radios, I think it worth mentioning Rotel’s RCX-1500 receiver. The RCX-1500 supports FM and internet radio, plus access to the premium radio services, such as Pandora and SiriusXM, allowing instantaneous connect through 30 presets. The unit supports both wired and Wi-Fi Ethernet connections.
The RCX-1500 has 100 watts per channel and a CD player, making it the only stereo component you will need.
Wake up to over 16,000 radio stations with the Sangean RCR-8WF clock radio with a standard FM tuner with RDS capability and streaming Pandora stations directly from your wireless router. You can choose something different for each day of the week. Choose by country, genre or your favorite radio stations, or play music stored in your computer. This radio has a minimal footprint at 3″ in height, 7 3/5″ wide, and 8 Â½” deep. The radio has two alarm timers with sleep and snooze timers. A CD player or iPod can be connected through the Aux socket.
German engineering brings you Sonoro elements W, a streamlined internet/FM radio alarm clock and media player. Like most of the other internet radio stations, the elements W allows you to choose a station by name, country, or music from 64 genre selections. This radio has a crisp OLED- display and a matching, high quality RF remote control. An eDock for your iPod is an accessory and can be operated through the remote control. This radio comes in white or black and looks very hi-tech.
Stop searching for the latest news, weather, sports and social network updates. Sony’s Dash streams playlists of personalized apps, as well as internet radio, photos and video through a vivid 7″ touch screen. There are 1,000+ apps available, delivering the information and entertainment that you desire. Your selection is played through stereo speakers, or privately through headphones. You can keep up with what Sony has to offer, such as movie trailers, minisodes, music videos, game trailers and celebrity themes.
The 7″ touch screen is an 800×480 resolution LCD screen with a compact footprint that blends with any decor. Whether you wish to listen to music or watch a full-length movie or TV show, the bright screen makes the experience enjoyable. You can set-up either one time or recurring custom alarms with the option of waking to an internet radio station, built-in alarm sounds, or a favorite video clip. Imagine waking up to a video of a rooster on a fence, crowing away. On second thought, let’s not imagine that.
Most internet radios use an Ethernet or Wi-Fi network interface, and have a USB port so that a MP3 player can be connected. Some models have rechargeable batteries with an integrated internal charger for mobility. All though it is possible to connect an internet radio to a computer, it is more convenient to use wireless technology, such as Wi-Fi, which enables the listener to enjoy internet radio anywhere in their home or place of business.
An internet radio is a great gift idea for all military personnel stationed overseas, as they can reminisce with their favorite music or radio stations back here.
Unlike a PC, these devices deliver the content you desire while blending with your dÃ©cor. Because they are always on, you get fresh content, eliminating searching or booting up. All of the radios supply apps and most programs at no charge. Radio, as we have known it, has morphed into something exciting, where we no longer have to tune-into a program at a certain time, or be forced to listen to music that is lackluster. We, the listeners, now control the media.