Do you want to change your old FM radio? Can’t find your way around the myriad of models available?
Here is a complete buying guide on the subject that should answer all your questions …
Let’s see to start the best wifi radio of the moment according to your budget!
The Best Internet Radios
1. Roberts Radio Stream94i
Roberts Radio is one of the most renowned brands in the field of WiFi radios. We often note the fact that its products are particularly practical to use, while not being bulky. If you have a particular preference for this brand, for example its design, you should know that it has a wide range of products, including this Roberts Radio Stream94i which appears in the top of the range. It goes without saying, this radio has a multitude of features to satisfy the most picky.
Design: It must be said that the Roberts Radio brand knows how to do it, on the design side. On this model, we find a particularly charming retro touch, reminiscent of the old models. However, this radio embeds everything that is currently best, in terms of technology. This without forgetting its black piano lacquer finish, which will not fail to sublimate the room in which you will place it.
Very good sound: Nowadays, this type of radio amazes more and more by the sound quality offered, despite its fairly contained size. Precisely, this little radio will amaze you with its superior sound performance. Its wooden box is undoubtedly for many, married with the on-board technology.
Alarm clock radio: Even though most devices today have an alarm function (smartphone, tablet, watch, etc.), it is always nicer to be woken up by your radio. This function was very successful in the days of the old models, and this one of course integrates the alarm function for our greatest pleasure, by providing us with two timers with alarm.
Practical: With its discreet dimensions, it is easy to move this radio anywhere, whether you are in the kitchen, in the bathroom , in the dining room, in the bedroom, it can follow you everywhere. In addition, this model comes with a remote control, which makes its use even more convenient.
Features: Internet, Wifi, digital radio, Bluetooth, alarm …, just with a few words, we quickly understand the full range of features of this device. This therefore implies the possibility of tapping local channels, international channels, streaming music from your various devices (Smartphone, tablet, etc.).
Connections : This radio offers a fairly complete connection, with a USB port, an auxiliary input, an output plug as well as a headphone jack.
2. Bose SoundTouch 10
The Bose SoundTouch 10 is more than just a WiFi Radio, it’s a discreet, multi-functional indoor speaker. Indeed, in addition to its radio function, you can play streaming music on the internet or directly by plugging a storage device into the USB. You can also pair it with a PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet, or another speaker to create a multiroom network. Here are the points that characterize this product.
Compatibility: Thanks to the wireless network, you can access Wifi Radio, but also pick up music tracks from music services such as Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn or SiriusXM without using a phone or to a tablet. If you want to associate it with these or with a computer, you have at your disposal a software compatible with Windows, Mac under OS X, or an application running on iOS or Android. Finally, you can directly connect it to a storage device since it allows the playback of mp3, wma, flac, aac and Apple Lossless files.
The control ecosystem: You can control the Bose SoundTouch 10 speaker in a number of ways. You have at your disposal a control panel, an intuitive remote control, an iOS and Android compatible application, but also by voice command. The latter is possible thanks to the compatibility of the device with Amazon Alexa.
Sound quality: Given its compact size, the Bose SoundTouch 10 offers precise, colorful and absolutely correct sound. The rendering is in V with boosted bass and high treble, and the low regions of the sound spectrum are well mastered. You will then have clear and intelligible voices, but somewhat nasal. Note all the same a distortion if the volume goes beyond 70%.
The design: The Bose SoundTouch 10 speaker is presented in a very compact and sleek format, like the brand’s other products. The screen is replaced by clearly visible light indications on the status of Wifi, Bluetooth, the auxiliary and the SoundTouch Multiroom. It also incorporates the control panel characteristic of SoundTouch products, very easy to access and very responsive.
The quality / price ratio: It must be said that this indoor speaker compatible with SoundTouch 10 WiFi radio is one of the best in terms of quality / price ratio. Not only does it offer quality sound, but thanks to its wide connection possibilities, you can listen to music from several sources (wifi radio, internet, mobile, storage device, computer), all at a very affordable price.
3. Hama IR110M
Fancy a cheap WiFi radio? Why not opt for this Hama IR110M. With this product, the German audio specialist Hama wishes to open up to the world by giving you access to more than 20,000 radio stations and 10,000 podcasts around the globe. Apart from its vintage look, it is worth pointing out that its WiFi module, its USB connections and its auxiliary inputs allow it to be compatible with several other media sources. Focus on the interesting characteristics that we could find on this device.
The multitude of media available: Thanks to the Ethernet cable (to be connected directly to a router) or to Wifi, you have access to more than 30,000 media sources around the world. Reggae, rock, R’n’B, jazz, pop, classical or samba, a giant selection of radio stations and podcasts is at your fingertips and you can access your favorite channel at the touch of a button.
Ease of use: How to find your way around this multitude of stations? Using the free Frontier Silicon TM web portal. Indeed, it puts at your disposal many filtering options so that you can easily find the radio channel you want to listen to. From your selections, you can create a favorites list that can store up to 30 channels. You can also save 2 selections for alarms and the snooze function on this Hama IR110M Wifi radio.
Spotify streaming: Beyond radio stations, you can access more than 30 million songs thanks to the Spotify streaming service. Indeed, Hama’s IR-110 is compatible with Spotify Connect, so you can create your own playlist. Note, however, that you need a Spotify Premium account to be able to benefit from these advantages.
Radio control: If the Hama IR110M Wifi radio has a front control panel, it is more interesting to use the remote control to control it from a distance. On this point, the displays on the color screen are clearly visible even at a good distance. But it’s even better to use a smartphone, thanks to the free Undok app which is Android and iOS compatible.
The Display: As we mentioned before, the IR-100’s display is clearly visible and easy to read, as it is simple and unadorned. You have an overview and complete information on titles or artists thanks to the RDS and ID3 tags. However, it should be noted that this information depends on the transmitting radio station.
How Does A WiFi Internet Radio Work?
Radio has taken on a whole new face in recent years with the emergence of internet radio, a technology made possible mainly by audio compression techniques. Internet radio is a device permanently connected to the Internet through a wireless access point (Wifi) or an Ethernet cable.
From this connection, the device has access to radio stations broadcasting on the web and can broadcast their programs by streaming or podcast (delayed broadcast). The device can also be used as an audio file player present on the local network to which it is attached. Depending on the compatibility of Internet radio, it can allow access to music services such as Napster, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Links to favorite channels or the list of favorite songs on a music service can be stored in presets or in playlists.
Finally, a Wifi internet radio is able to directly read audio files from any external storage device connected to its USB port, if it obviously has one. Note that there are portable WiFi internet radio models, which have an integrated battery, rechargeable via its USB port.
Which WiFi Internet Radio To Choose?
Radio has also moved into the connected world, and has been seeing the plethora of radio stations available on the web for ages. And who says new technology says new brand and new products, inventiveness and ingenuity know no bounds that in the end it turns out to be difficult to decide on the best WiFi radio that really meets the needs. Some characteristics are therefore to be prioritized if you wish to acquire such a device.
Radio reception and tuner
As we explained above, a Wifi radio receives its programs from the Internet. But be aware that some stations allow listening to FM waves as well as DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) also called RNT or Digital Terrestrial Radio . By this triple reception, you can listen to the radio anywhere and in any circumstance without the constraint of an internet connection.
To connect to the Internet or to another device, the radio can have a wired Ethernet connection or a WiFi connection. Prefer the second for its ease of installation, but also and above all because it does not clutter. If you want to use the station as a speaker for your smartphone or tablet, Bluetooth is the best solution, even if its range is limited to 10 meters.
To fully exploit the potential of the radio and the wireless connection, it is best to pair it with an app and control it via a smartphone or tablet. On this point the free Undok application is a good start if the device does not have one from its manufacturer.
Regarding the connection, however, the mini-jack audio input allows you to use the radio as a speaker for the device you are connecting to it. While this connection is available on most WiFi radios, this is not the case for the USB port. This allows the device to be directly connected to an external storage device compatible with UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and to read the files it can support. If the MP3 format is the minimum, some stations can support WMA, AIFF, WAV and even FLAC files . On rare devices, USB can also record broadcasts.
Among the most interesting features, there is multiroom or multicast. This option allows the synchronized broadcast of the same sound on several devices. It is particularly useful if you want to listen to your broadcasts throughout the house.
The compatibility of the radio with music services is also a real plus. Deezer, Amazon Music, Spotify , Pandora, TuneIn, to name a few, constitute a huge reservoir of titles from which you can draw your favorite hits. However, you must have an account on these services to be able to access the titles.
Memorizing the selection of radio stations is also essential given their abundance on the web, otherwise it would be really difficult to find your favorite radio each time you switch it on.
Finally, the presence of an integrated battery is more than desirable if you plan to move your Wifi radio often. Generally, this battery is charged via the USB port.