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Acoustic Energy Wi-Fi Radio: Is DAB dead?

While Pure are busy cornering the DAB market, Acoustic Energy is sneaking up on them with this novel Wi-Fi driven internet radio

With all the fuss over DAB digital radio, it's easy to forget that there are thousands more online radio stations, most of which broadcast at higher quality than DAB. But what if you still like to listen to the radio in the kitchen -- you're not going to buy a computer to go next to the sink, are you? Well, put down the screwdriver and stop building that waterproof media centre, because this innovative new radio from Acoustic Energy should do the trick.

It connects up to your Wi-Fi network and scuttles online to retrieve some 2,500 radio stations from around the world. We saw a demonstration of the radio at the Bristol Sound and Vision show, where it downloaded a Radio 1 programme that had been broadcast earlier that day, thanks to the BBC's 'listen again' service. So if you miss a programme broadcast while you're at work, you can catch it when you get home and do your cooking. Eat that, DAB!

On the technical side, the radio supports 802.11b and g networks (including those with WEP encryption), and it will also connect to your Windows or Linux PC and stream MP3 and WMA files across the air. The radio is available now and costs £200 -- needless to say we're already harassing the poor company's marketing department for a review sample. -GC