The Good Wi-Fi radio that tunes into thousands of free Internet radio stations; better sound than step-down models; can access both Pandora and Sirius; uses online Reciva portal to organize your favorite stations and podcasts; fast start-up time; both WEP and WPA security supported; remote included; five separate alarms.
The Bad Rival Squeezebox Boom offers more features and performance (albeit for more money); no auxiliary input; build quality isn't as solid as similarly priced radios.
The Bottom Line The Grace Digital Bravado Wi-Fi radio has a unique component-style design and better sound than step-down models.
Grace Digital Bravado GDI-IRD4400M
The Wi-Fi radio category has grown steadily over the last two years, thanks to greater consumer awareness and the popularity of streaming music services like Pandora. Grace Digital Audio was one of the early entrants to this product category, and the Bravado (model number GDI-IRD4400M) represents a different direction for the company. The Bravado ditches the standard tabletop radio look, instead placing a pair of stereo speakers on top of the unit and giving the faceplate the feel of an old-school stereo component. The rest of the unit will feel familiar to Grace Digital fans, as the radio supports streaming services like Pandora and Sirius, and has access to Reciva's large database of Internet radio stations. We were originally put off by the Bravado's $250 price tag, since that put it into direct competition with the excellent Logitech Squeezebox Boom, which offers more features and better sound. But Grace recently dropped the asking price to a more palatable $200, making it worth consideration over the other models in the company's line.
Most Wi-Fi radios have a fairly generic look, with a single speaker on the left and controls on the right. By contrast, the Grace Bravado looks more like a classic stereo component: it has a square look with sharp corners that makes it feel like it could be rack mounted (it can't). There are six silver buttons on the front panel, and each button serves two functions, depending on whether you're listening to Internet radio or streaming your own music. The large metal knob has a nice brushed=metal feel and it's used to both control volume and navigate menus.