Buy an Internet Radio Player

Finding the Best Internet Radio Player

Internet radio is perfect for music lovers. It can expose you to the widest selection of music and other radio features, such as podcasts, from every genre and from every corner of the world. Best of all, much of this is available for free although certainly there are plenty of paid services to assure you get just what you want.

An internet radio player gives you access to listening to all of this without sitting in front of your computer. With these players, you can pick up simulcasts of broadcast radio stations, stream internet-only services, access internet music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, and others, stream music from your computer, and in some cases, listen to the music on your MP3 player with high quality speakers, anywhere in your home. We'll introduce you to some of the best internet radio players, the ones that consumers have rated most highly, on this page.

Listening to Internet Radio

Listening to internet radio is simple. You can listen on your computer of course, but the sound system there might be limiting. You can find it on cell phones with a web connection too. For better quality audio however, a look around a home electronics store will reveal some internet radio players. They are great for listening anywhere in your home or office.

Obviously you will need an internet connection, but these standalone players require no complicated set up. Just sit them on a table top, desk top, or something similar, plug them in (or insert the batteries), and then turn the power and the music on to enjoy.

At the bottom of this page you will find some resources to help you find stations across the world and even some tips for broadcasting your own.

Buying Tips

The best internet radio player is the one that offers the features you want for the price you need. Here are some things to think about, beyond price, when making your choice:

  • Audio Quality
    While listening to a device is the best way to judge audio quality, you can look for a few things that will signal better performance even when you can't listen first. Two or more speakers tend to provide better sound that a single (mono) speaker. A 30 watt amplifier, equalizer controls, and so forth can indicate a more sophisticated sound system than some radios offer so these things are an indication of a better audio experience. While most of the devices on this page are standalone with built-in speakers, there are some that play music through an existing stereo or external speakers.
  • Connectivity
    Most of the devices on this page offer Wi-Fi. These internet radio player models tend to be preferred because they allow you to listen without being tethered by a physical connection. This simply means you can listen in your office/den/study, the living room, in the garage, or out on the deck.
  • Music Sources
    Clearly an internet radio player should give you access to the many thousands of free internet radio stations online. However, you may also want to consider what other sources you will want to access. For instance, services such as Pandora, Slacker, Rhapsody, Sirius, and so forth. Some devices offer one such service, others offer many. In addition, you may want to access your own music library on your computer, if that's the case you need compatibility with those files. Some of these devices will also provide a line-in for your MP3 player, others don't.
  • Remote Control
    Like Wi-Fi connections, a good remote can increase your mobility while listening. Most remotes are infrared, but some are Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi will give you the greatest mobility. Some remotes include an LCD display that allows you more control and more entertainment from the palm of your hand as you can often view album art and photos with them. Even without a remote, having the ability to use presets and to tag favorites can be an important control to have. Without this, finding the stations you want each day can be a hassle.
  • Ease of Use
    Think about how easy menus are to navigate as you examine devices. How fast do they respond and do they give you direct connections to make accessing the sites you use fast and easy? Are the displays easy to read and is set up straightforward?
  • Other Functions.
    Some internet radio players also double as an alarm clock. They may provide multiple alarms for homes where people have different wake times and they may allow the user to designate different wake times on different days of the week. Adjustable sleep timers are also nice for falling asleep to your favorite tunes.

    When available, it's also good to look at current user reviews to see what real world people think about a given internet radio player when in use. For the products on this page, clicking on the item will take you to page for a closer look as well as access to any user reviews.


Pure Contour

Pure's Contour is an iPod/iPhone dock with FM and internet radio included. You can stream music from your computer via Wi-Fi or ethernet. It includes high quality amplifiers, two full range 3.5" speakers and dual bass ports, allowing it to fill a room with sound. It comes with a full functioning remote control, backlit touch sensitive controls, and connections for your TV.

Q2

The Q2 internet radio provides access to music and podcasts from all around the world. It isn't a high end audio system but it's affordable. It allows users to set up four pre-set stations for quick and easy access and doesn't require pushing any buttons to control it. You can simply flip it over to mute it, tip it to the side to change stations, or raise/lower it from the front to change the volume.

This small 6.4" x 7.8" x 7.5" cube is perfect for a bedroom. It features a 2.4" 4 ohm speaker driver delivering mono sound without headphones, or stereo sound with headphones. It includes a Li-ion battery which provides up to 8 hours of playback and provides Wi-Fi connectivity.

Compact Stereo Systems with Internet Radio

Some internet radio players are integrated into compact stereo systems for even more listening options. The Panasonic SC-HC55 is a great example.

Logitech Squeezebox

This internet radio player gives you access to all of the music you want and even some that you haven't yet experienced. You can listen to the free world wide local stations on the internet, pick up a variety of of online services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, SIRIUS Internet Radio, Live Music Archive, and others, enjoy the favorites you have stored on your PC or Mac, and even tap into your MP3 player for more.

This device is lightweight and comes with a built-in handle letting you take into any room you wish. It measures 4" x 5.2" x 8.8" and has built-in high quality speakers. With Wi-Fi, it lets you stream music anywhere in your home, there's also an optional battery pack that makes it even more portable. It's full color screen and access to Squeezebox Network make organizing and finding muscic you love effortless and it's direct connection to your Facebook homepage, photos, and feed is great for sharing with friends. You can even use this internet radio as an alarm clock, waking to music and setting a different wake time every day of the week. This device can also connect via Ethernet cable and there's a remote control available.

The Squeezebox Touch gives you access to the same great music and offers the same rich sound but adds in a 4.3 inch color touchscreen giving you intuitive controls to select and listen to the music you want. With it's SD card slot, you can even enjoy your favorite photos as well.

A Closer Look At Logitech Squeeze Box

Setting Up a Grace Digital Internet Radio

Grace Digital

The Grace Digital Wi-Fi ITC IR1000B has a single 4" speaker with good audio quality. It gives users access to the Pandora service as well as the ability to stream internet stations via their broadband connection and Wi-Fi network. (There is no ethernet connection) Users are also able to stream MP3, WAV, AAC, AIFF, WAA, and Real Media files from their computer. This model however, doesn't allow you to connect your MP3 player. On the other hand, it gives users 5 preset buttons and the ability to set up favorites as well. The LCD display will show artist and track information as well as the station. It also features a stereo headphone jack for private listening.

The IR1000B internet radio player also provides a built-in alarm clock with a sleep function that's adjustable from 30 seconds to 24 hours. It provides up to 5 separate alarm settings and allows you to wake by buzzer or radio.

The GDI IRD4400M gives users stereo speakers, a remote control, and access to Sirius Internet Radio.

Sonos Zone S5

The Sonos Zone S5 internet radio player offers 5 integrated speakers powered by 5 digital amps with 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range drivers, and one bass driver for great sound. The unit has adjustable bass and treble controls. Users can wirelessly control the device with their iPhone, PC, Mac, Android smartphone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

This player provides access to 100,000 internet radio stations and allows users to stream music from their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, or enjoy services like Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody, last.fm, SiriusFM, iheartradio, and others. This device measures 8.5" x 14.4" x 4.8", making it very portable so that it can be moved anywhere in the house. For homes equipped with more than one of these devices, they can be integrated to use like a single system. All that's needed is a high speed internet connection and wireless router to set the Zone S5 up for nearly limitless entertainment.

A Quick Look at Livio Internet Radio

Livio Internet Radio Player

Livio is an affordable internet radio player. It doesn't have all of the features or the level of audio quality that some higher price devices have, but it's outstanding within it's price range. The Livio gives users access to Pandora, an internet radio service that's personalized. It also gives users access to free stations. Via the LCD screen, users can locate new music by location and genre. They can then tag these stations and pull them up easily with the "Fav" button.

The Livio has Wi-Fi and comes with a single speaker and small remote control. Users can also connect with an ethernet jack. The device has a headphone jack for the times when you don't want to disturb others, an auxillary input to connect your iPod or similar devices, and a stereo line out to connect to a home theater receiver.

Higher End Logitech Internet Radio Players

The Logitech Squeezebox Boom gives users access to most popular internet services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, Last.fm, Slacker, Napster, and many more. You can also access free internet radio, stream music from your computer, or connect your MP3 player. This device features a 30-watt amplifier and great audio quality. It has a built in alarm clock, 6 station presets, and an infrared remote control. The Boom is a standalone player that has it's own built-in speakers.

VTech IS9181

This VTech player streams music via WiFi. (a broadband connection and home WiFi network router is needed) It allows users to listen to over 11,000 internet stations from around the world, play music from a CD player or media player, and more. You can even hook it up to your stereo system or powered speakers for even more powerful sound.

This VTech internet radio player comes with a remote control and offers a high quality color screen and the ability to tag your favorite tunes and include them on an easy to access "My Stations List".

Internet Radio Players From Pure

Pure provides a number of reputable internet radio players in the affordable category. They have the Siesta Flow, Evoke Flow, Contour (featured above), and the newer Pure One Flow. Here however, we have featured the popular rugged version that is perfect for indoors or outdoors.

It's 5.5" x 6.1" x 9" size makes it easy to transport and it's built-in rechargeable ChargePak make it ultra portable as well. Users get media streaming capabilities from their computer and other devices via Wi-Fi or ethernet connections. They can enjoy many thousands of stations, podcasts, and more. Using the 3.5mm line-in stereo jack, they can connect to pretty much any external device including CD players, home stereos and so forth in addition to MP3 players, music phones, and more. They can even share their favorites with friends and family on social sites like Twitter or Facebook.

This portable internet radio player is also perfectly capable of handling a few bumps, splashes, and other hazards. It has a cast aluminum frame with rubber seals allowing you to enjoy music from the bath to the rugged outdoors.

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