internet radios - what do we think?

I saw a Logitech Squeezebox radio at the shops the other day. What surprised me was the difference in construction quality between this radio and what we normally see from Sony, Philips, et all.

It might not be the most beautiful thing, but the enclosure was beautifully molded in shiny plastic with no sink marks visible to me. The knob on front felt like it welded on the unit. Very solid. The buttons were of rubber keypad variety instead of the clicky cheapo feeling plastic molded units on most other radios.

Notably, with no instructions at all, I was able to navigate to a variety of stations. The biggest problem I saw was that it is loaded with something like 1000 stations that would be a pain to flip through, but I’m sure one can select a few favs.


After playing with the squeezebox Duet for a while, I can confirm that they did not slouch on this line of products. I have yet to use the radio, but Im sure it carries the same level of refinement. The seams are perfect, and the surfacing shows no signs of obvious manufacturing. The remote also has a weight to it that just feels right somehow. Granted, you do pay a bit for these, but $300 isnt much when compared to the entire $15-30k setup. I always find it interesting to find these sitting on a shelf next to racks of tube amps and pre’s. These units seem to be really pushing the digital era into one of the hardest places (true audiophiles proclamation the superiority of vinyl).

That knob looks like a trimmed down version of these:

And if it feels the same, that’s a nice knob.

As for the concept, sure it sounds nice to have that many options at your fingertips. But, I guess I’d like to have it in my car because if I’m sitting somewhere and I want to listen to internet radio, my computer isn’t far away… Personally I just don’t see myself getting one. Although I’m sure it would be something that my Mom would like, as long as it has Fox News…

Two years ago, I would have bought this day one. I wanted to listen to internet radio while cooking. I eventually just got a netbook and hoooked it up to my stereo. It’s a strange feeling for me to be ahead of a technology trend hehe.

The fact that I have pandora and slacker radio on my android phone + flash now, I can pretty much plug my phone into my headphones, speakers, etc. and have internet radio anywhere. I get pretty decent battery life too, it’ll play all day.

The netbook with a decent remote + boxee option is also appealing, as it is upgradable and could serve additional functions if needed.

Also, if anyone has used the (free) app for xbox360, it’s quite nice. I’ll throw that on sometimes when I want some music in the living room.

I’ve got this Squeezebox Radio, and I have to say, it’s a very nice device. Aesthetics, usability and sound. Clean, crisp, rich sound. As good or better than the Tivoli radio. And this is from a mono speaker. This is the device that Apple would have built if they did an internet radio. I got it mainly to play my MP3s and FLAC (lossless files) music, but I’ve discovered that all the internet radio stations are really nice, now that FM radio sucks dead bunnies through a straw. I’ve discovered new genres and subgenres of music I liked that I never even knew existed. Yes, there are thousands of stations, but they are in a hierarchical structure, so you don’t have to navigate through more than about 20 at a time.

If you are considering buying this system, also consider the Sonos, which is more expensive, but contains a hard drive for storing music. (With the SB, you need to have a computer running their server software). I’ve also got the Duet for my home stereo, but I find that I listen to the SB Radio more. Sure, you can hook up a laptop to your stereo, but this is a nice integrated unit that is really easy, and sounds very good, and is wife-approved :slight_smile:

Drew: thanks for the hands-on report. You’ve made me consider it for my kitchen!