The best internet radio is a bit of a hybrid device that brings together the AM/FM channels with modern networks such as WiFi and Bluetooth. Users can enjoy a wide array of online radio stations from all over the world, but they can also listen to streaming services, podcasts, online talk shows, and classic AM/FM radio.
In addition, such a radio is portable, easy to pair with other devices and create an extended system, and usually comes with basic features like clock and alarms. As such, it’s easy to see why you need a dedicated device for listening to internet radio, not just your smartphone.
So, if you’re on the look for one right now, we put together a quick guide with the most important features and reviewed several of the best products.
How to Choose the Best Internet Radio
Supported Sources & Connectivity
This type of radio needs to be able to connect to the internet (via WiFi or wired networks) in order to access online radio stations from all over the world. So, make sure to look for WiFi settings that accept at least 2.4GHz networks or at least 10/100 Mbps for wired (via RJ45 port).
Still, an advanced device should also support Bluetooth (for streaming purposes) and other sources such as USB storage devices, a 3.5mm jack for headphones and speakers, and an AM/FM tuner.
Given that most devices we reviewed are small, you can’t expect a sound that will bring down the roof. However, the sound should be clear and rich for the amateur ear. It should also allow for a connection with external speakers, in order to get a better audio experience.
It also helps if the device offers the possibility of an adjustable EQ that allows users to customize the audio.
Build Quality & Interface
Lastly, you want your internet radio to have a solid build and a stylish design. Also, the interface should be user-friendly, with controls that are easy to understand and use.
We recommend choosing a radio that works with a remote control or can be connected to a phone app. This way, you don’t have to fumble with the controls every time you want to change a setting.
7 Best Internet Radios
Ocean Digital Internet Radio WR230S
Open your House to a World of Music
Equipped with stereo FM RDS and internet connection, this compact device lets you enjoy a wide range of radio channels from all over the world! The radio can be connected to the Internet using WiFi (IEEE802.11b/g/n, 2.4 GHz) or wired networks (it has a 10/100 Mbps RJ45 port) but it also features Bluetooth (10m range) and UPnP/ DLNA connectivity to stream audio.
The WR230S may look a bit boxy (the design is quite bland), but the sound quality is powerful (due to the two integrated speakers) and has some interesting settings such as an alarm clock, sleep timer and a small screen. Furthermore, it also comes with remote control, so you won’t have to leave the couch to change the channel.
Lastly, you can store your favorite 99 stations in the radio’s memory, and you can use it just for your entertainment with a pair of headphones. In the end, the fact that you can access so many radio stations from all over the world makes it even better than Spotify or any other music streaming app!
- Lots of connectivity options
- It can store up to 99 favorite channels
- Basic functions such as alarm clock and sleep timer
- Multilingual menu
- Remote control
- Perfect for people with low tech skills
- The screen is a bit too small
- The design is boxy, but not too bulky
SiriusXM Sound Station
The Best Internet Radio Player for Home & Office
If you like having an audio background while cooking or working, SiriusXM radio is a wonderful choice. It’s portable, compact, and uses WiFi802.11b/g/n wireless internet connection with WEP and WPA security.
This way, owners can access news, weather, music, talk shows, sports, and more from all over the world without too much effort. However, you have to have either a SiriusXM Streaming Subscription or an All Access Subscription Plan (sold separately) for this to work.
Users can also personalize the experience by saving up to 10 channel presets and using the pause, rewind, and replay live radio features. The device also has an advanced digital alarm system that lets users create up to five custom alarms (built-in snooze and sleep timer).
Lastly, the sound quality is up to standards, even though the device is not too big. Still, it won’t sound like a boombox, so if you want more power, you can use the integrated auxiliary input jack to connect it to a speaker. Overall, the SiriusXM Internet radio offers users the experience of a streaming service, but with access to a wide range of audio content.
- Compact & portable design
- Access to a broad range of content sources
- Good WiFi range
- It can be used with wired networks (with adapter)
- Basic functions for alarms, snooze, and sleep timer
- Powerful sound and adjustable equalizer
- Comes with remote control
- Only works with SiriusXM subscription
- The initial setup is a bit cumbersome
- The display is too bright for bedrooms
Grace Digital Mondo+
A Modern Internet Radio with a Vintage Design
Even though it can connect to over 100,000 radio stations over the internet, the Grace Digital Mondo+ looks like a device from the past (at the first glance, at least). Then, you get to see the digital display and controls. Also, once you learn it can be used to stream Pandora, Google Play, Spotify, and YouTube music, there’s no doubt its place is in the modern age!
In addition, you can group two or more devices and synchronize them to provide multi-room playback. This way, you don’t have to carry it around as you move through the house!
Many people like using it as a bedroom or kitchen device due to its other features: 12h and 24h clock format, five alarms, eight buzzer options, customizable sleep and snooze timers, and 30 daytime and nighttime back-light settings.
The Mondo+ radio uses WiFi and has two high- performance external antennas for a better range. To extend the range of your audio experience, the unit has jacks for an external CD player or any other device with RCA cables. There’s also a USB port for thumb drives, in case you want to enjoy some of your personal music collection.
- Vintage design with a solid build
- Powerful and clear sound
- Basic functions (alarms, clock, and more)
- Synchronized multi-room audio playback
- Good WiFi range
- Diverse ports
- There is no FM or AM tuner
- The interface is a bit complex
Great Audio for Every Room & Setting
Sangean WR-22BK is part of a legendary series of radios that provide high sound quality in any room of the house or outdoors. The bass is rich due to dynamic bass compensation, and the full-range 3-inch speaker has an enlarged magnet. There are also rotary bass and treble controls that let users customize the experience to the maximum.
The radio supports Bluetooth connectivity but not WiFi, so it’s not a full-on Internet radio. As such, you can use it to stream audio content from your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices with Internet access.
There is also a USB port, for an external source (like a cassette player), and an included FM wire antenna for AM/FM channels. Users can save 10 of their favorite stations (5 AM and 5 FM) and there is a clock with several options for alarms, buzzers, sleep time and more.
Lastly, the WR-22BK has a user-friendly interface with easy to use controls and a large LCD display with automatic and adjustable backlight.
- Compact & durable design
- Powerful sound with clear notes
- User-friendly interface
- BT, AM/FM, and USB
- 10 preset channels
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- No WiFi connectivity
- It’s a bit difficult to set up in dim light
C. Crane CC WiFi Internet Radio
The Best Internet Radio Receiver for Your Bedroom
The CC WiFi Internet radio may be small in size, but its features make it large in delivery. First, the sound quality is great and powerful enough for a small or medium-sized bedroom. Second, the device streams over 16,000 radio stations without requiring a subscription, so you literally have the audio world in one tiny box.
Furthermore, it works with Pandora, iHeartMedia, NPR, Radio.com CBS, and many other platforms so you can stay informed and happy. In addition, you can connect this tiny radio to a stereo system and get way better audio experience with the music and news you love.
Still, you’ll need broadband Internet connectivity for everything to work well since the radio has built-in 802.11b, 802.11 or 802.11n networks. It also allows UPnP music streaming and has 99 memory presets.
Lastly, the CC WiFi Internet Radio is equipped with a ⅛-inch stereo headphone jack, an alarm clock that lets you choose between music and buzzer, a sleep timer, a WiFi Signal Strength Indicator, and backlit display.
- Compact design & powerful sound for its size
- Remote control & user-friendly interface
- Good WiFi connectivity
- 99 preset channels & lots of useful basic functions
- Access to the world of news and music without a subscription
- It can be a bit annoying to set up
- The display is way too small
Grace Digital Encore+
An Impressive Internet Radio for the Modern Ages
If you’re looking for a serious radio that is capable of delivering a powerful sound and is not difficult to integrate into a modern home, the Encore+ from Grace Digital is a great idea!
While it is a bit bigger than the other devices we reviewed, the Encore+ comes with 100, 000 internet radio stations and provides users with three types of control – via the radio interface, a remote control, and an iPhone or Android app.
The radio has built-in Chromecast, so you can use your smartphone or PC to stream services such as Pandora, iTunes, YouTube music, Spotify, and more. In addition, you can group multiple radios together and use them for a multi-room audio synchronized experience.
The Encore+ radio is equipped with a Bluetooth V4.1 chip, 2 high-performance external Wi-Fi antennas, and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. It also has clock and alarm features, AM/FM/HD internet radio, an MP3/UPnP Media Player, and a 2-Way speaker system for a powerful delivery. Also, due to the USB port, you can use the radio as a smartphone power bank.
Lastly, the 3.5” backlit LCD color display is large enough to make the settings without tiring your eyes. It’s also used to display station information, song and artist data, and more.
- Powerful sound & good audio quality
- Access to lots of online radios
- Delivers streaming services
- Large display that lets you see settings & other information
- Can connect with smartphones, tablets, and PCs
- It’s rather bulky
- The phone app is buggy
- The cabinet’s finish may start deteriorating after a while
Como Audio: Musica
A High-End Device with WiFi & BT Connectivity
The Como Audio Musica is both an Internet Radio and a CD player (just one slot) so owners can enjoy an audio-filled entertainment experience. The radio supports WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity but also has FM and the possibility to connect an auxiliary source.
In addition, you can arrange several Como Audio devices into a multi-room music system and integrate it with Alexa for absolute control. Of course, you can just stick to the basics – Bluetooth streaming or using a phone app to control the radio.
The sound quality is high (due to the adjustable EQ) and you can use is just for music and radio or you can connect a TV or a gaming console to it and use it as a soundbar. Lastly, the large color display provides easy access to functions and information. It also makes the multi-language interface easier to navigate.
- Elegant design
- Easy to pair up with other devices
- A wide array of sources
- Can be used as a soundbar
- Integrated CD-Player
- Lots of streaming services
- It is a bit large
We all know that smartphones and tablets can receive internet radios, but it’s best to avoid emptying your battery on this. Furthermore, radio devices that receive both online and AM/FM channels are better suited for this activity, especially if they pack better speaker power.
In summary, even though it may seem redundant, a radio device with multiple sources is more than welcome. The internet radio is ideal for those of us who don’t like making and then choosing between playlists – people who just want an audio background while working or at a party and enjoy the news and some talk shows from time to time.