BT Internet Radio review

BT has been dabbling in internet radio for some time, so has the latest offering got what it takes against DAB? We get listening to find out.

Coming in a simple box design with two large-ish speakers, the controls for the radio, which allow you to do everything from setup to volume to storing your radio presets are found on the top of the white device. It's strange, as the display of what radio station you are tuned into for example, is on the front.

Simple things aside, the player allows you to connect to the over 5000 internet radio stations around the world rather than the select few that we have on FM or DAB radio in the UK.

Once connected to your wireless network, which takes a couple of seconds, stations can be whittled down to location or genre. Location breaks it down via continent and then country, however for America it would have been handy to go via State as well, as this is where the main bulk of stations are.

Depending on your internet connection at home will depend on the buffering speed, but for the most time in our listening there was little cut out or silence because of this.

Those not bothered about the radio that much can choose to set up the BT Internet Radio to stream music from their PC. Performance here is a mixed bag. On the one side you can stream music over your wireless network to enjoy on the radio's speakers, on the other you can't stream DRM tracks bought from places like iTunes (unless they are from EMI) nor can you stream with any clarity .Wav files either.

When it comes to sound quality, don't expect the BT Internet Radio to blow you away either. This is more portable kitchen radio (although its not portable as it doesn't take batteries) than state of the art sound system that will fill your living room with sound.

Verdict

If you are an ex-pat missing your home radio station and want a simple solution then the BT Internet Radio will allow you to tune in once again.

However with a sound that is more kitchen, than impressive, a price tag that is too steep for what it offers, and no portability via a battery pack, against the competition there are better, if not less simple ways, of increasing your radio station selection.