When the Logitech Squeezebox Boom
came out last year, it set a new standard for Wi-Fi radios
. Yes, it was expensive, but it offered excellent sound quality, a smart design, and tons of features in a tiny package--no competing products even came close. The Philips NP2900
is the first real competitor (sorry Tivoli
) to the Boom's dominance of the high-end Wi-Fi radio market. It's the first Wi-Fi radio we've seen with a color display, and it makes the most of it with a graphical user interface that displays your album art along with your music. The NP2900 can stream music from a variety of sources (Internet radio, Rhapsody
, connected PCs), and its Living Sound feature does a surprisingly good job of making the radio sound bigger than its size. The biggest problem with the NP2900 is its street price is currently $330, which is more than $50 than the Boom is selling for. It's hard to justify that extra cost, when the Boom offers more streaming music services, has more responsive controls, and sounds just as good. Judged on its own merits, the Philips is an excellent Wi-Fi radio, with a particularly attractive design and solid sound quality, but its high price will limit its audience.