- 1 Top 7 Best Internet Radio Compared
- 2 Internet Radio Buying Guide
To help you find the best Internet radio on the market, we’ve hunted down dozens of options, ran them through their paces, and came up with a list of our favorite models. During testing, we eliminated products with poor sound quality, ones that didn’t have access to all of your favorite radio stations and units that would simply look horrible in your living room.
Of these best seven Internet radios, the Grace Digital Mondo+ was the best Internet radio and leader of the pack, offering unparalleled access to Internet radio stations, a gorgeous and useful color display and the option for portability. Keep on reading to learn more about this wonderful radio and the six other products on this list.
Top 7 Best Internet Radio Compared
#1 Grace Digital Mondo+
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Grace Digital Mondo+ is easy to control, sounds great and easily loads more than 30,000 radio stations, as well as being fully compatible with dozens of music streaming apps, such as Amazon Prime and Spotify, and smart devices like Google Home.
The Grace Digital Mondo+ offers up fantastic, though mono, sound quality. Podcasts and music really sparkle with this device. The biggest draw, though, is the large color LCD screen. The size makes it easy to tell what you are doing, making finding your favorite Internet radio station or changing settings easier than the other options on this list. It also comes packed in with an infrared remote, which we found useful for changing the station and adjusting volume.
Though this product is intended for home use, but it can easily be made into a portable radio with the additional purchase of a battery. This external battery pack lasts more than a dozen hours on a single charge. The Mondo+ is light, just 1.6 pounds, which makes it the perfect radio for days at the beach or nights in the backyard.
#2 Sangean WFR-28 Internet Radio
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Sangean WFR-28 Internet Radio has a laundry list of useful features, including USB connectivity, an antenna for AM/FM listening and true portability, right out of the box, as soon as you buy a few D batteries to power it.
The Sangean WFR-28 Internet Radio sounds great, with a gaggle of EQ options for customizing your sound. The LCD color screen simplifies use, clearly letting you know exactly what song, podcast or radio program you are listening to at a glance. Additionally, it can be controlled via a smartphone app, available on the Apple and Google Play stores, which we found to be highly intuitive and user friendly.
In addition to FM/AM tuning and support for 25,000 digital radio stations, the unit also natively supports Spotify, via Spotify Connect. It also plays 11 different audio formats, which include industry standards like MP3 and WAV, as well as rarer formats, such as Ogg Vorbis and FLAC.
#3 LEMEGA M5+ All-in-One HiFi Music System
Award: Best Looking
WHY WE LIKE IT: The LEMEGA M5+ All-in-One HiFi Music System is a beast, with a pair of fantastic sounding stereo speakers and an elegantly designed subwoofer that really brings the bass. The hand-crafted wood veneer cabinet also boasts USB and FM functionality and, even, a CD player.
The LEMEGA M5+ All-in-One HiFi Music System is a true stereo unit, with a pair of , 2.5 inch full range speakers hiding behind the attractive aluminum-brushed frame and furniture-grade wood cabinet. The 5.5 inch down-facing subwoofer adds to the product’s fantastic sound. These three speakers combine to create a signal that sounded warm and crisp no matter how hard we pushed the gain. The radio is available in walnut and black oak, both of which are gorgeous to behold.
The product has one feature that is not available anywhere else on this list, a CD player that supports CD, CD-R and CD-RW discs. You can control the unit via a packed-in remote or a smartphone app, both of which worked flawlessly.
#4 Ocean Digital WR-330D Internet Radio
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: Ocean Digital’s WR-330D Internet Radio offers up a suite of competitive features, including a great sounding subwoofer speaker, 17 foreign language options and the ability to save a whopping 250 presets. It also clocks in at a lower-than-average price point, making it the best value on this list.
The Ocean Digital WR-330D Internet Radio’s dedicated subwoofer captures bass in a way most other items on this list simply cannot do. It is thick and rumbly, making this the perfect unit to provide music at your next house party. We also found the color display to be especially useful, with each radio station’s logo boldly presented, making it easy to tell what you are listening to.
The display also shows some interesting information, including the time and the weather, though that is the extent of this unit’s smart device functionality. Ocean Digital makes some of the best internet radios, including the Ocean Digital Wi-Fi Internet Radio WR828F FM Receiver as well.
#5 CC WiFi Internet Radio
Award: Easiest to Operate
WHY WE LIKE IT: The CC WiFi Internet Radio is a solid middle-of-the-road device. The mono speaker sounds great, with support for Pandora, iHeartMedia and Radio.com right out of the box. The unit also features a downright tiny form factor, coming in at just six inches tall and 3.9 inches wide.
The CC WiFi Internet Radio’s small size makes it the perfect bedside device, which is further complemented by a robust alarm system, with a sleep timer you can set to turn off after a fixed amount of time. The product easily connects to a home stereo unit, with a handy line out port and the option for streaming, thanks to the inclusion of UPnP (Universal Plug and Play.)
It must be noted, however, that several features are missing from this product. There is no antenna, making AM/FM tuning impossible. It also lacks Bluetooth functionality or the option of a connected smartphone app. It does, however, come with a remote control that we found useful in searching for new stations to listen to. Another easy to use product is the Ocean Digital Internet Radio Wi-Fi/FM Radio WR26, which is a smart speaker that’s compatible with your smart devices, uses Bluetooth audio streaming services, and can last for up to eight hours on Wi-Fi.
#6 auna Connect 150
Award: Built-in Subwoofer
WHY WE LIKE IT: The auna Connect 150 is a classy little unit, featuring a pair of true stereo speakers. It also contains a subwoofer, producing the kind of crisp and realistic sound that is perfect for music. On that note, it contains both a USB port and an aux input for playing MP3s.
The auna Connect 150 produces professional-grade sound via the inclusion of two 2.5 “ broadband speakers and a 3” woofer. Due to the placement of speakers, facing out on either side, we found the stereo image to be a bit too wide while listening to songs that feature heavy panning, which was only an issue a couple of times. The product also features an FM antenna, so you can listen to local radio stations, though it does lack Bluetooth support for streaming from your phone. The Connectdoes, however, stream natively from Spotify, if you are a premium user.
The radio does have a beautiful color display, which instantly streams pertinent information about whatever you are listening to. The screen is not especially helpful when it comes to finding radio stations, however, forcing you to occasionally input the station’s web address manually.
#7 i-box Internet Radio
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: The i-box Internet Radio has several unique features, contrasting its supremely low price point, by far the cheapest on this list. It is Alexa compatible, comes in three retro designs and can sync up to eight other units, so you can have music playing throughout your entire house.
The i-box Internet Radio is truly the best product on this list for those on you on a strict budget. It sounds pretty good, despite a mono speaker design. The Alexa connectivity turns this, nearly, into a smart home device. You can ask it to play certain songs or podcasts, to tell you the weather or control other Alexa-enabled devices throughout your home.
The i-box has Bluetooth, making it simple to stream anything from your phone or tablet. It does not, however, connect to Internet radio stations on its own, requiring that same phone or tablet. Still, with the low price point and choice of three retro-inspired design choices, this is an inspired choice for budget conscious consumers.
How We Decided
There are hundreds of Internet radios on the market. In order to narrow the above list to seven, we immediately ruled out older units that connect via an ethernet port, focusing solely on WiFi friendly radios. We also took a look at what features were available, eyeing products that played content instantly and with little complication. If a radio offered Bluetooth functionality, in addition to streaming Internet radio, that was always a plus. Products that boasted colorful displays, heavy on useful information, also helped to pique our curiosity.
Of course, additional features matter little if the speakers sound bad. We used our ears to figure out which gave larger-than-life sound, no matter if the unit was stereo or mono.
Internet Radio Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Radio Station Access
Internet radios connect to content in a variety of ways. Most modern units do not require additional hardware, be it smartphone or computer, in order to stream from digital radio stations. They do it right out of the box. Some models, however, only stream once paired with a smartphone app. On the above list, just the i-box requires Bluetooth connectivity.
- The Screen is Important
The screen performs double duty on Internet radios. It acts as a portal, giving you information as to what you are listening to, usually via a radio station logo or a photo of the album. Also, a large screen can be especially handy when it comes to setting up the device and perusing available radio stations. There are over 30,000 digital radio stations waiting to be discovered and you can use all the navigation help you can get.
- Audio Quality
Gone are the days of tinny sounding radio units. Each product on the above list, whether they feature one mono speaker or a pair of stereo speakers, sounds great. If you are looking for the absolute best in audio fidelity, look for radios that are only stereo, but also contain a subwoofer, which will really make the bass pop.
Internet Radio FAQs
Is Pandora still free?
Pandora was long known for its free, unlimited streaming. This, however, is no longer the case. Since being purchased by SiriusXM, users are now capped out at 40 hours per month of free listening.
What is HD radio?
Simply put, HD radio is a digital broadcast of an AM or FM signal, offering better sound quality and some other improvements, including access to RDS, which delivers pertinent information on the song and artist along with the digital audio stream.
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