The Good Wi-Fi radio with built-in speaker and color LCD display; stylish exterior design and outstanding button placement on front panel; can access thousands of freely available Internet radio stations; streams tons of online music services (Pandora, Last.fm, Slacker, Rhapsody, Sirius, Live Music Archive); provides access to PC-based music files (on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines); supports nearly every digital audio file format, including lossless formats like FLAC and Apple Lossless; optional battery pack allows for portable operation; extensive alarm clock options; can control the radio using a Web browser or iPeng iPhone app.
The Bad Remote and battery pack cost extra; slightly more expensive than competing radios; setup could scare off tech novices; not a perfect alarm clock; doesn't sound quite as good as the Squeezebox Boom; some stability issues.
The Bottom Line The Logitech Squeezebox Radio has an exceptional design, an unmatched variety of streaming music services, and solid sonics, making it the top value pick for Wi-Fi radios.
Logitech Squeezebox Radio
Editors' note: While the Logitech Squeezebox Radio reviewed here has been discontinued, it has been replaced by the nearly identical.
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.
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