AverMedia USB Radio

The AverMedia USB Radio is a radio that connects to your PC via a USB stick allowing you to get your favourite FM radio stations on your PC or laptop without a fuss.

Okay so you can already get stacks of radio stations on your PC with an internet connection and Microsoft's Windows Media Player, but where this unit differs from the Media Player is that you don't have to be online to receive a signal.

From the outset you know this is going to be a simple device. The key- the same size as USB memory storage keys - simply slots into your USB slot. The first time you load up the accompanying software it will scan the waves to see what stations you can connect to and then give you a list of available options. From here you can name then for quick reference and that's it, setup is complete, letting you listen to the charts on Radio One or the Today programme on Radio 4.

Built into the system is a record option allowing you to do just that to the live stream and again this is not only simple to use, but a nice feature for those who want to replay their favourite programmes at a later time.

For those in a weak signal area, Avermedia has included the longest external aerial that plugs into the end of the USB device. The trouble is while it's a nice touch and something you wouldn't get when buying a big hi-fi tuner, this long flexible cable defeats the object of the compact design and a smaller metal aerial similar to the ones you get on kitchen radios would be better suited. While the cable does extend the aerial and therefore boost the possible coverage, it still has to be hung up somewhere.

Verdict

Like USB Memory sticks, this device simply plugs into an available USB port and gets to work straight away. This isn't the sexiest of packages, but it does get the job done. For the quiet ones there is a headphone jack if you want to bypass the computer's soundcard. Overall it's a simple product to do a simple job and needs nothing more.