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.
Best Internet Radios
Ocean Digital Internet WiFi Radio WR-210N
Open Your House To A World Of Music
If you love classic and looking for a cool digital internet WiFi radio, here it comes: say hello to Ocean Digital WR-210N, an advanced yet easy to use gizmo built to please old-school radio aficionados in the digital era. This tiny device can memorize 99 internet stations and can be used to connect to more than 29,000, which is very respectable.
Besides being a fully-fledged standalone internet radio, the Ocean Digital is both a clock radio, and a desktop radio, if one so inclined. Despite being relatively small, this gizmo has a very good 2.4” color screen which can alternately show time and weather, when you’re not using the radio; moreover, the display can be dimmed, from very bright to almost completely “dark”, but it doesn’t do it automatically.
For a bedside radio, Ocean Digital offers more than adequate audio quality, and, on top of that, if features Bluetooth connectivity, which means you can use it to stream music from external devices, like your smartphone. Dual clock alarms are also available, featuring week/weekend settings, sleep/snooze timer and allows you to set the alarm to either a song, the radio or a buzzer sound.
The built-in rechargeable battery lasts long enough for outdoor use, and bottom line, if you’re looking for a good quality internet radio, this is as good as it gets.
- Very portable
- Good sound for the price
- Easy to use
- Low price
- EQ system
- Comes with remote control
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Kind of flimsy
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 Elite Classic
A Modern Internet Radio With A Vintage Design
The Grace Digital Mondo Elite Classic has a cool name and truth be told, it makes for an awesome internet-radio, in a classic design (hence the vintage thing) yet filled with all the technological bells and whistles required in the current year.
Mind you, this vintage (pun intended) Bluetooth enabled Wi-Fi Qi Wireless Fast Charger internet radio is not cheap, but you’ll get a lot of bang for the proverbial buck asked: you can listen to virtually any radio station on the “interwebz” and more via built-in apps, or Bluetooth, Chromecast, UPnP media servers, USB thumb drive, you name it.
Speaking of built-in apps, you’ll get iHeartRadio, Radio.com, BBC, NPR, SiriusXM, Amazon Music Prime and Unlimited, Sleep Sounds, Calm Radio, Shoutcast, Live365, and Podcast, with Pandora available since December 2020.
Are you impressed just yet? To add insult to injury, the Grace Digital Mondo Elite can deliver 100,000 Internet AM/FM/HD radio stations, and if that’s not enough for you, it can play virtually any audio via Wifi or Bluetooth from any Chromecast enabled app on your smartphone or computer, the likes of Spotify, Tunnel or Google Play.
The alarm clock function is also pretty impressive, as you can set a 12/24 hour clock, with 5 individual alarms, to wake to 1 of 8 buzzer options, ten station presets, or USB thumb drive. There’s even a 5 band equalizer built-in, and, the cherry on top, you can control your radio via any Google voice assistant enabled device in your home or office, or group with Google audio products. Hell, you even receive a remote control!
Bottom line, this is definitely one of the best internet radios out there, and if you can afford it, just go for it.
- Cutting edge hardware
- Excellent sound
- Tons of features
- Amazing connectivity
- Easy setup
- Good value
- A bit expensive
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
auna Connect 150
Very Capable Internet Radio For the Price
If you’re looking for a capable and stylish WiFi internet radio, which packs quit a punch in its slim and compact body, look no further. The auna Connect 150 is one of the best sounding “boom boxes” out there, as it features two 2.5″ broadband speakers, helped by a 3″ woofer for delivering an immersive musical experience.
Due to the WiFi and LAN interface, you’ll be able to connect to over 10,000 internet stations all around the world, and there’s even an analogue FM receiver available, just in case the internet goes down. Behind the front panel, you’ll enjoy a 2.5-inch high-quality color TFT display, which makes navigation a breeze due to its neat and clearly laid out menus.
The auna also has 1x AUX and 1xUSB port, for streaming music from external sources. Unfortunately, there’s no Bluetooth connectivity, which is a bummer in 2021 to be honest. The good news is that the radio ships with the UNDOK mobile app, which allows you to stream media from your smartphone to the device, i.e. it sort of replaces Bluetooth.
Keep in mind that in order to use UNDOK, both your smartphone and the radio must be connected to the internet on the same LAN.
- Impressive sound
- Solid internet radio features
- Connectors for Line-Out
- Comes with FM tuner
- EQ function
- WiFi and Ethernet
- No Bluetooth
- Lacks wireless protocols
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.