When a Wi-Fi radio arrives at the office, Crave gets excited. You'd think we'd never seen a radio without wires before -- as if FM was delivered by 3-inch-thick copper cable -- surely wireless is nothing new in the world of the radio? Radio used to be called 'the wireless', yet Wi-Fi radios still get Crave's juices flowing.
The problem with traditional DAB and FM radios is that there's a limited amount of bandwidth available. And despite broadcasters doing their level best to squeeze as many radio stations into the spectrum as possible, and to hell with the sound quality, there will always be a limit. The Internet isn't burdened with such restrictions. So getting your radio via the Web seems like a smart move, and one that offers potentially much higher quality. We thought it sounded okay -- it's Wi-Fi not hi-fi, but it does the job, and the audio quality varies a lot depending on what bit rate it's being streamed at.
The Bush TR2015 will scour the Internet to provide you with a baffling array of stations to tune into. We hooked it up to the office Wi-Fi connection, gave it the passkey and that was it: instantly we were able to listen to huge number of stations. What's more, the radio is configured with a dial, which you use to change menu options. It's a 'one to the left, five to the right' mechanism that makes it feel like you are a professional safe-cracker.
In terms of sound, the Bush TR2015 was acceptable -- it's Wi-Fi not hi-fi, but it does the job, and the audio quality varies a lot depending on what bit rate it's being streamed at. What makes it more worthy is its ability to let you access stations that offer a 'listen again' feature -- like those on the BBC. When you hit a radio station that offers this feature, the radio will present you with a choice: either listen live, or listen again. So you need never miss another episode of The Archers again. The other notable feature is the radio's ability to connect to a computer and stream music off the hard drive. So if there's nothing on any of the world's radio stations, you can just set up your own. -IM