2 New Internet Radios: Grace Vs. Squeezebox

It’s a wide world out there with tens of thousands of Internet radio broadcasters, from a guy streaming his iPod’s tunes, to commercial radio stations that offer a mix of music, news and chat. The best part is that in order to listen in on what the world has to say and play, no longer need a computer.

Web radios can bring the world of music and talk to your desk or night stand. All you need is a WiFi network: the latest Web radios, such as Grace Digital’s Allegro and Logitech’s Squeezebox Radio can both pull in stations from the other side of the world, or from your home town.

We reviewed the Allegro and the Squeezebox. Both offer a good mix of available stations and sound quality but are missing one crucial feature. Neither one has a traditional AM/FM radio built in, although most radio stations these days also broadcast on the Web.

If you can overlook this missing feature, you’ll find both of that both of these radios will do a good job of helping you tune in the world.

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  • Hmmmm....I already use my pc to access radio stations on the Internet. Thanks to a fiber optic connection on the back of my pc I am connected to my old Yamaha am/fm audio receiver, surround speakers, and subwoofer. Why do I need another box on my desk?
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  • I have the older Logitech Squeezebox Boom, and I love it. I don't use it as much as I'd like (my current living space doesn't leave much room for it), but it's nice to have a set-top box that can connect via wi-fi to any number of online radio stations. Especially since reception at my house is crap and I like listening to the radio (when there are good stations to listen to). I don't like to fiddle around with my web browser, have another application open or something running on my PC to do that.

    True, the speaker quality isn't as good as my Razer Mako's, but they're good enough. I'm not listening to high-end music on the radio anyways.
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  • I have a Squeezebox Boom and also the older Squeezebox Classic, which does not have speakers but plugs into your receiver via digital RCA. The Classic was recently replaced in the line-up with the "Touch".

    These are great for streaming the same music from your PC throughout the house. You can sync them up, control them all with a web browser say on a netbook (or an iPhone app called ipeng) and the logitech software you need to install on your PC (to get the media streaming to these babies) is open source and runs on linux.

    You can just keep adding devices. I think I'll be buying the Squeezebox Radio or maybe another boom next (the boom does have a remote control, as does the "classic")

    I believe that at some point if not now already you will be able to stream your music from these devices themselves to their brethren -- without the PC. Maybe tunes from a thumb drive or USB connected HDD. Not sure on this point however, I must say I am VERY pleased with my Squeezebox setup.
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  • JohnnyLuckyHmmmm....I already use my pc to access radio stations on the Internet. Thanks to a fiber optic connection on the back of my pc I am connected to my old Yamaha am/fm audio receiver, surround speakers, and subwoofer. Why do I need another box on my desk?

    YOU don't need another box on your desk. But most people are thinking of putting one of these radios in the kitchen, bedroom, or living room--where they DON'T have a PC.
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  • On the Logitech radio... there's supposed to be a remote and rechargeable battery pack released for in in Q1 2010 here. Indeed, remotes for the other Logitech radios (e.g., the Squeezebox Boom) do work with it, so it does seem likely this really will happen.
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  • i may be missing something here, but why are they asking for an am/fm radio in an internet radio device?

    isn't that like complaining that an MP3 player doesn't have a cassette player built in?
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  • Not all AM/FM stations are available online. I'd love to have AM/FM radio available (and heck, even HD radio), but for me it's a geographic problem. I get no radio reception at my house. On the road, I'll use my Zune for HD radio, which is awesome because I have access to a ton of stations (almost twice the amount of just standard FM radio). So I certainly see a reason to want it.

    But about the remotes, I don't particularly like the Boom's. I'd prefer something larger that isn't so easy to lose, that you can easily change stations by pushing 1, 2, etc. from presets.
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  • To those that have a Squeezebox Boom: Are you able to receive the BBC World Service? I was able to receive it until a software upgrade a few months ago. I've contacted Logitech several times and I get a runaround, then after pressing the issue I get a response of 'the team is aware of this issue and there is no estimate for a fix'. It's very odd since I can get the station on my desktop, laptop and iPhone. What's wrong with Logitech's team that they can't fix a straightforward technical problem???
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  • I want a system that has outputs so I can jack into my existing home sound system. Neither of these appear to have it. Or it wasn't mentioned that they do. Currently, I have my media server jacked into my entertainment system, but it would be nice to have a smaller, independent device that can sit next to the home system. At my girlfriend's house, I simply ran a 1/8" Stereo RCA cable into one of the AUX inputs on the back of her receiver. She just plugs her iPod into that and streams Pandora, Slacker, etc, or her own library of songs. That alone nearly eliminates the need for an internet radio.
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  • Late comment, but why hasn't this review talked about the web interfaces? The most impressive thing about my Squeezebox Boom is the mysqueezebox.com and the fact I can modify the box it anywhere in the world.

    Oh and the street prices of these boxes are $50 less then MSRP.
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  • One feature that needs to be addressed is the alarm clock. It seems to be very buggy. For example, if you snooze too many times, the entire radio simply stops working. No listening to the radio, no future alarms, nothing. Same issue if the alarm goes off and you leave the radio going. I've been late to work two times last week alone. I just can't trust it. The radio has had a very difficult time connecting to stations. I've spent more time trying to get it to work than actually listening to it. I have to say that I have none of these issues with my Livio...Although that one doesn't have an alarm clock. If this Squeezebox Radio worked perfectly for all the features it has, then it would be such a winner.
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  • It would be nice if there really were a battery pack for this item. Logitech oversold it before they made the rechargable battery pack (a $50 add-on to the $200 price of the radio). It's useless without a battery pack. What a waste.
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  • Whats the difference between the Squeezebox Radio & the Squeezebox Boom ?
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