Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

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rgs92
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by rgs92 »

Any recommendations for a good portable radio for internet radio stations would be appreciated. It's just meant to be used with my home Wifi.

A quick search points to Grace, Sangean, and Roberts (a British company that seems hard to find in the U.S.).
I have a conventional Sangean radio which has worked well over the years.

I'm not too familiar with these. It seems you have to use each Manufacturer's website or app to use their particular set of approved stations, though I might be misunderstanding this. I was hoping you could just get things from say, radio.com.

Thank you.
[I searched here for similar questions but the posts were from 8 to 10 years ago.]
123
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by 123 »

I think the only realistic option is to use an inexpensive android smartphone (just using wi-fi without any data subscription) or tablet along with a bluetooth speaker of some kind.

The problem with any portable wifi radio would be limited battery life and (usually) inability to upgrade device software. With a dedicated internet device you are at the mercy of the manufacturer to provide access to stations through a server they operate (or support). The internet address of that server is built into dedicated devices. Manufacturers are in the business to sell new dedicated devices so there is not profit in upgrading older devices to accommodate things like new codecs.

It is difficult to build a dedicated internet radio that can compete with a smartphone. On a smartphone all the technical components are built into an app that can be readily upgraded, or you can have multiple competing apps and choose the one that works the best in providing the content you are interest in.

I have 4 classic internet table radios (a Squeezebox and three different Grace Digital models) that I have bought over the last 12 years. I have now migrated most of my listening at home to my smartphone using bluetooth speakers (Edifier R1280DB cost about $130 for the pair from Amazon). I've also found that an inexpensive Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) can be hooked up as an auxillary input to my old stereo system giving magnificant sound. The Echo Dot can be controled with the Alexa app on a smartphone.

Edited to add:

Essentially the smartphone has become the transistor radio of the current day. But for the most part you're limited to listeing via earpieces or external bluetooth speakers because the fidelity of smartphone speakers leaves much to be desired.

Further edited to add:

And of course if you use an android smartphone you can use the (usually) built-in FM radio to listen to "real radio" as well. That radio system requires that headphones be plugged in to serve as an antenna.
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onourway
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by onourway »

I would simply buy a smart speaker, which is, in effect, a modern portable radio. There are battery powered models available, or you can buy the cheapest Google Home speaker and Amazon is filled with adapters that add a battery and make them portable. You simply ask the voice assistant to play the radio station you want to hear. This is more seamless than having a separate smartphone and bluetooth speaker.
Topic Author
rgs92
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by rgs92 »

So something like this isn't good? Just Curious. Thanks.


https://www.amazon.com/Sangean-Internet ... NrPXRydWU=
onourway
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by onourway »

rgs92 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:27 am So something like this isn't good? Just Curious. Thanks.


https://www.amazon.com/Sangean-Internet ... NrPXRydWU=
It’s probably fine if that’s what you’re after. There are a number of these on the market. My guess is that the user interface for selecting stations will not be that great. The advantage of a smart speaker is that you don’t have to deal with any UI - you simply ask the assistant to play what you want.
Afty
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by Afty »

+1 on some kind of smart speaker. "Hey Google, play NPR."
Very convenient.
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catdude
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by catdude »

rgs92 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:27 am So something like this isn't good? Just Curious. Thanks.


https://www.amazon.com/Sangean-Internet ... NrPXRydWU=
FWIW, I used that Sangean 'net radio for quite a few years and while it worked well, the battery drain was a problem. Eventually I used it exclusively with AC power.
catdude | | "I yield to the gentleman for a few feeble remarks." (Congressman Thaddeus Stevens)
Dottie57
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by Dottie57 »

onourway wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:40 am I would simply buy a smart speaker, which is, in effect, a modern portable radio. There are battery powered models available, or you can buy the cheapest Google Home speaker and Amazon is filled with adapters that add a battery and make them portable. You simply ask the voice assistant to play the radio station you want to hear. This is more seamless than having a separate smartphone and bluetooth speaker.
+1. Just bought a Sonos One SL (no voice assist) and play internet stations on it. Works well. You can get a sonos speaker that has batteries.
TravelGeek
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by TravelGeek »

I rather ask Google Home to stream XYZ (which usually utilizes TuneIn or iHeartRadio), or I use the TuneIn app on my iPad or Android phone to play whatever station I bookmarked via Bluetooth speaker/earphones or cast it to a Chromecast device. Wouldn’t really want a dedicated proprietary device for this.
gtd98765
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Re: Portable radios for Wifi/Internet content?

Post by gtd98765 »

The Sonos Move does what you want: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/move.html

It does cost $400, however.

We have had several Sonos speakers (not the Move though) for years and have ditched all old stereos and other sources of music except for cheap clock radios. Sonos is easy to use and comes with a wide range of internet radio sources.
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