Wi-fi technology is all over the place nowadays. Phones, tablets, refrigerators, and bathtubs, they can all be connected to the internet. Wi-fi has revolutionized the way the internet enters out homes and our lives.
So why radio would make any difference? We all listen to the radio. In our homes, at work, in the car. Music, podcasts, shows, whatever else you like, can be at your disposal 24/7. It’s not something new. However, the scale of it is a lot bigger than before.
I suppose I don’t have to explain to you what a wi-fi radio is. It’s self-explanatory. But why have they become better than the old – school devices? The answer is simple. They open broader horizons.
Advantages of wi-fi radios
Remember when wi-fi was first available for laptops? Or computers and phones? What were the advantages then? Of course, it changed everything. It was a great technological progress. When it comes to the radio, you may not look at it the same way, but it still is amazing.
- There are thousands of stations available. An old-school radio is simple. It acquires a local signal to play music. You search for a frequency, and the radio plays that particular Simple, right? But a wi-fi radio can play any radio station in the whole wide world. Do you want to listen to an Estonian religious station? No problem. If that’s what you’re into. Wi-fi radio gives you the opportunity to listen to anything, anytime. It doesn’t matter what country you are from, you can listen to your local stations even when you are 2000 miles away. I don’t know about you, but I find it quite amazing. All the radio stations in the world are arranged depending on the country and genre. Just pick one.
- Crystal clear signal. You know how regular radios can distort the sound sometimes. The signal may not be very good, or the radio is not of the highest quality, which will make your listening experience a bit unpleasant. A few years back, when wi-fi radios did not exist, we used to say ‘meh,’ such is life. We adjusted the radio, the antenna, we had a couple of tricks. But it didn’t always work, so we settled for the station that had the best sound. But nowadays we do not settle. We don’t give up until we can have a clear sound, which is actually better. We have raised our standards. Fortunately, wi-fi radios provide pristine As long as you have a stable internet connection, your radio will play high-quality sounds.
- It doesn’t matter where you are. You know those spots in your house where there is no radio signal at all? It’s like a black hole for radio stations. But that can never happen with a wi-fi radio. Unless you place the device very far away from the router and the signal does not reach. But seriously, how big is your house? Radio requires very little signal because the number of the necessary kB per second is pretty low.
- No subscription fees. You have the internet bill, of course, but you don’t use that just for radios. I used to hate this thing that I had to pay if I wanted to listen to some shows. But not anymore. That is the beauty of the internet. You can listen to anyone, anywhere. It’s completely free.
- They are very easy to use. You receive a manual anyways. You can preset the stations you love, choose favorites, or even shuffle now and then. Some models even come with a touchscreen, so you will be able to browse smoothly through all available stations.
If you can think of other advantages, good for you. That is everything I’ve got. The decade I was born in did not have all this technology, so every small thing that makes its way into the world, technology-wise, leaves me in awe.
There are disadvantages too
Of course, it cannot be perfect. Like all things. But it’s very close, though.
- Some stations are not online, due to licensing issues. So if you have a favorite show on regular radio, it may not be on the internet as well. It’s not very pleasant, but what can you do? What you should know is that it doesn’t happen often. There are few stations that don’t broadcast online. Everyone knows that the internet is well above everything else, so to not broadcast online is a form of suicide.
- Unlike radio frequency, the internet is not everywhere. I mean there is, in urban areas. Hotspots are virtually at every street corner, but if you go hiking, a wi-fi radio is completely useless. Unless you tether. However, data can cost you and will eat your phone’s battery, so I don’t think it’s that convenient.
- The much hated buffering. We all hate that. Not only on the radio but generally. What can you do? Upgrade your data plan or increase the speed of your internet connection. Whichever the case, buffering will still happen once in a while.
How to choose the best wi-fi radio?
There is an ocean of products on the market. How could you possibly know which one is the right for you? Simple! Make sure they meet these criteria:
- Make sure it has jacks. You want to be able to connect a pair of headphones to it, right? Or an audio system?
- A wi-fi radio that doesn’t have to stay plugged in is preferable. Go for one that has a rechargeable battery, or at least can run on batteries. Having to leave it plugged in all the time is kind of a bummer. You want to be able to move it around.
- Additional features. Maybe a clock, date and time, stuff like that. Also, if the product you choose had a regular radio as well, that would be perfect. You never know when the internet connection will be interrupted. What will you do then? Not listen to music at all? Or maybe you want to take it camping. Last time I checked trees don’t provide wi-fisignal, so a regular radio is most welcome.
What are the best wi-fi radios?
It would be silly on your part not to do proper research before buying any type of technology. Not all of products are reliable, which is why you can refer to the mighty internet. Reviews are basically everywhere around here, so there you go. I picked three products which I consider to be the best wi-fi radios. Hope you go for one of them.
I am not going to bury you in technical specifications. I never fully understand those. And marketing shows those details like they are such a big deal. Like I am supposed to know what those letters stand for. Any regular mortal is just interested in how it works, if it’s any good, and if it has any cool features. Right?
So, this model is pretty great. You can choose from over 15 000 radio stations. That is a lot. Let’s not forget that it is an actualradio as well, it receives FM signal, just in case your internet is down. The battery is rechargeable. You can walk with it around the house, or place it wherever you like.
The Sangean has a jack, and it uses some high-tech features to compress the sound, which means that what you hear is clear as crystal. The search is displayed on the color screen, which will show countries and genres. You can even have favorites and station presets.
What I like about this model is that you can also listen to music you have stored on the computer. It has a USB port and an AUX entry. The radio is very easy to use and will also be an alarm clock for you if you like. But that’s just an easy way to hate the radio, so better don’t. I kid. Use it the way you like. You have the possibility.
SungaleWi-fi Internet Radio
Pandora, Tune-In, iHeartRadio, Spotify, they are all available on this radio. I find it very cool that you can have apps onit. It’sa radio device, after all, not a tablet or a phone. You will have access to streaming music at any time, as long as you have a stable internet connection. The possibilities are endless. Not endless, clearly, just 18000 radio stations, but it might as well be endless because you will never be able to listen to them all.
You can even add your own music. The Sungale radio has 8 GB available for you to fill with your favorite music. The sound is great. It’s not an audio system, but for the size of it, it’s better than expected. What surprised me was the subwoofer. Usually, you cannot find such a thing on radios, but the Sungale has it. There are 2 side speakers and a small subwoofer. It does not produce the best bass, but it’s still something. You can at least hear the difference between regular radios and this model. It’s more than noticeable.
The nextfeature you will absolutely love. It has a touchscreen. It is very user-friendly. It doesn’t display useless features, and it is very sensitive. It measures 4.3 inches so you will not struggle to see. The design is compact and, most importantly, portable. The battery is rechargeable, so you can carry the radio anywhere you like.
One thing that may come as a drawback is the fact that there are no external preset buttons for any of the apps. People usually have preferences, so it would have been nice to have this option. Other thatthat, Sungale is quite good.
Ocean Digital Wi-fi Radio
This product is designed for people who want to attach the radio to an audio system because it does not have built-in speakers. You may wonder why I chose it then. Because of wireless speakers, that’s why. Bluetooth is old technology. Almost everyone owns them, so why not? It’s a fantastic product overall, so the fact that it does not come with speakers is not such a tragedy.
The number of stations you can browse through is the biggest I have ever heard of. 25000 is not a small number. You will never be able to listen to them all, but it’s nice to know that you have the opportunity. You can preset 250 stations, that if you have so many favorites.
So, as I said above, the radio does not have speakers. What it has is a 3.5 mm jack, which is compatible will all audio systems ever built. The color display has a dimmer control, an alarm clock with a snooze button, information about weather, date, and time.
Last, but not least, the radio comes with a remote control. You don’t have to touch the radio to change the channels. Personally, I love this feature. The battery is rechargeable, so portability is not an issue.
The user interface may come off a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will do just fine. Play with it a little, you cannot break it.
Although I like all three wi-fi radios, my personal favorite is the Ocean Digital. I never trust small speakers anyway. I always hook anything to an audio system or high-quality headphones, so this product is perfect from my point of view. I would have gone for the Sungale because of the apps, but in my opinion, you either have a high-quality subwoofer or none at all.
Radio is not a thing of the past, as many may say. I know, we have Youtube now and all kinds of cool apps that stream music whenever, but you will not always be able to set a playlist manually, so radio is perfect for the occasion. Also, sometimes you just want to listen to whatever is on. Radio is not dead yet.
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