Best internet radios on the planet
The age of internet radio is now most definitely upon us, opening up a whole world of international broadcasts. Whether you want to follow political debates from around the globe, enjoy obscure jazz compositions from South America or endure terrifying death metal from Norway, all you need is an internet connection and a web radio. We’ve pulled together a few of the best internet radios around for your listening pleasure:
Pure Evoke flow
As Pure was one of the pioneers of DAB, it’s no surprise to see that it’s also leading the pack when it comes to internet radio. Sporting Pure’s familiar styling, the Evoke Flow has built-in Wi-Fi along with a large, bright OLED screen and four nifty touch buttons.
A search feature on the radio enables you to search stations via various categories including Name, Genre and Country. Pure has also launched a dedicated website - thelounge.com - to help you to manage your internet radio stations. It’s a useful idea but it’s a bit rough around the edges when it comes to usability, although thankfully you don’t have to visit it to use the Evoke Flow if you don’t want to.
Despite a few small flaws, this is a superb internet radio with quality sound performance, and it also offers FM and DAB.
Logitech Squeezebox radio
Logitech has established itself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to affordable internet radio. The compact Sqeezebox boasts a 2.3-inch colour display and an array of easy to use buttons and dials and even enables you to stream your own music collection from a PC or Mac.
There’s no FM or DAB tuner, so you’re heavily reliant on the good ol’ World Wide Web for your radio needs, which may be a slightly daunting prospect to radio fans of old. However, you do get the choice of connecting either using Wi-Fi or the Ethernet port on the back.
Philips Streamium MCi500H
Despite macro hi-fis not being the most fashionable products of late, this sleek system from Philips is equipped with internet radio, along with a reassuringly sturdy chassis.
Offering a meaty 50W per speaker, the spiffily named MCi500H, also offers FM, a CD player and a whopping 160GB hard drive, although you won’t find a DAB tuner. Sporting both Wi-Fi and an Ethernet connection, the unit is all set up for full access to internet radio.
Overall, this is an impressively versatile home audio system that packs a real punch when it comes to sound quality. And if that isn’t enough, you can also broadcast your music to multiple rooms using the Philips WAS7500 or WAS6050.
Monitor Audio Air Stream 10
Premium hi-fi brand Monitor Audio is probably best known for its loudspeakers but, as the Air Stream 10 clearly shows, its talents don’t end there. Along with a quirky design, the unit not only offers web radio, FM and DAB, but also acts as a network music player and includes a wide variety of connections including Ethernet and 3.5mm jacks.
The internet radio offers regionalisation on the stations, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for, while podcasts are helpfully broken down by genre.
Possibly not the first choice for those on a budget, but we think it’s worth splashing out for the splendidly unusual design and the outstanding audio.
Roberts Radio Stream 83i
Although not the prettiest radio in the roundup, the Stream 83i features sturdy build quality with simple and responsive controls. Along with Wi-Fi, DAB and FM radio, the radio also offers streaming from a PC and a handy Last.fm feature that enables you to create your own virtual radio station that learns your musical preference as you go along.
The sound may sound a tad weedy in the mid-range when compared to some of the radios here, but the built-in bass woofer gives the sonics some oomph.