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Oxx Digital Classic 600 review: Oxx Digital Classic 600

Neat, functional and simple to use, the Oxx Classic 600 makes listening to a world of internet radio easy. Its portability and easy-on-the-ear tonal quality make it a pleasure to use around the home.

Nic Tatham
4 min read

Years ago the radio used to be affectionately known as the 'wireless'. Little did radio listeners know at the time that these devices would eventually take this meaning to its full extent. The internet has brought with it a veritable smorgasbord of radio stations from every corner of the planet, but it's only recently that you've been able to listen to them away from the confines of a personal computer.

7.5

Oxx Digital Classic 600

The Good

A doddle to set up and use. Decent audio quality. Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Bad

Reciva portal dependability. Small display can be hard to read.

The Bottom Line

Neat, functional and simple to use, the Oxx Classic 600 makes listening to a world of internet radio easy. Its portability and easy-on-the-ear tonal quality make it a pleasure to use around the home.

Design
Danish brand Oxx Digital makes a number of wireless internet radios with audio media streaming. Its new Digital Classic 600 looks like a conventional compact radio set but it accesses the world of internet radio through your existing Wi-Fi connection. It has an iPod-esque appearance in a glossy white finish (it also comes in black), and a combination of large control knobs and several small buttons control the various functions. A small dot matrix LCD display shows you what's going on.

This is a truly international radio with access to around 12,000 stations from 272 countries from the ever-growing Reciva internet radio portal.  To sort through this vast selection you can choose stations by genre — such as Classic Rock, Jazz or News Talk — by location, or from a list of popular stations. Those that you like the sound of can be stored in a list of 'favourites'. The beauty of this Wi-Fi radio is that you don' t need a PC or software to use it — a broadband internet and wired/wireless router is all that's required for it to work. You can stream audio to the Classic 600 also, from your PC or Apple Mac to anywhere in the home or office or wherever there's access to a Wi-Fi connection. It'll also act as a media player, has a built-in clock, timer and alarm plus it'll receive conventional FM radio from the airwaves.

Performance
Thankfully, it's nice and easy to use. The radio starts up, searches and connects to the network then you're ready to listen. The Oxx picked up mine as well as our neighbour's wireless network and the signal strength was very good. Scrolling through the on-screen menu we were listening to India FM within a few seconds. Then it was catching up on global happening from the BBC's World Service. Whatever your mood, there are radio stations out there to suit — fancy some '80's pop classics? Just search out 1980s.FM, 80s And More or .977 80s, and the list goes on.

This is a mono radio and its single 100mm speaker provides a perfectly listenable tone. Speech sounds natural and substantial without any hint of sibilance. The little speaker produces a fair bit of volume — not party levels, but perfectly suitable for what the Classic 600's been designed for. Music is also delivered with a nicely rich sounding texture, although a lot of this depends on the quality of the actual radio station broadcast. This can be displayed on-screen and the bitrates vary from a relatively low 32kbps (they go lower) to the better quality 128kbps. Furthermore, the Classic 600 doesn't hang around waiting to buffer the higher bitrate stations, even if your broadband connection isn't the fastest. It's worth pointing out that many broadcasters take advantage of low bitrates (down to 5kbps) in order to deliver AM quality music and talk over slower and more unreliable networks. If you're broadcasting out of a mud hut in a remote part of Africa, you're not going to have access to a super-fast internet connection.

As we found, the Classic 600 only takes a few seconds to load up radio stations and even the lesser-known and furthest flung still only take a matter of 5 to 10 seconds to start playing. At first it's a little daunting with so many stations to choose from, so it's worthwhile sorting out your favourites — plus when you switch the Classic 600 back on it returns to the station last played. One feature that might have been nice would have been a random scan, so you could take in a selection of what's on offer before choosing what you want to listen to. Some might find the display a little small and hard to read, also.

Conclusion
At AU$299 the Classic 600 is quite affordable, especially considering the amount of music and information it will bring into your home or office. Not everyone will want one, especially if you already use your computer to listen to the internet, plus its dependency on the Reciva portal being up and running — and staying free of charge — could also be a concern. But if the status quo remains, the Classic 600 is a versatile and simple solution to tap into the wonderful world of internet radio.