The Squeezebox Boom
has been our favorite Wi-Fi radio for some time now, but any tabletop radio that costs around $300 is going to have limited appeal. The Logitech Squeezebox Radio ($200) is designed to offer almost everything that's good about Boom in a smaller package and for less money--and it succeeds. Like every Wi-Fi radio, the Squeezebox Radio can stream thousands of Internet radio stations, but it is also adept at handling music stored on a PC, tons of online music services (Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, Last.FM to name a few), podcasts, and even photos via Flickr. The Squeezebox Radio's physical design is uncommonly refined, with an eye-catching color screen and superb layout of the front panel controls.
Most of our complaints are nitpicks. Logitech charges extra for an accessory pack that includes a remote and a battery pack; $50 to make the Squeezebox Radio portable is fair, but the remote should have been included. The initial setup will be daunting to those new to streaming music over a home network, but after the initial time investment, it's smooth sailing. The Squeezebox Radio is more expensive than competing options like the Grace GDI-IR2000
, the Livio Radio
, and the VTech IS9181
, but in this case it's worth paying extra for its outstanding design, unparalleled feature set, and solid sonics.