Paying for monthly memberships and downloading songs can be expensive. This is precisely why you’re music player should be moderately priced. Some streaming radios (also called Digital Audio Receivers) can cost well over $1000. Thankfully, it’s not necessary to spend this much.
Various streaming radios that are under $300 offer great sound. Many of these radios are also slim and compact making them the perfect addition to any home. When shopping for a streaming radio, look for one that’s user-friendly and compatible with a number of music options.
Note: all prices were approximate at the time of this writing.
Logitech Squeezebox Duet -- $215
When it comes to streaming radio, Logitech’s Squeezebox stands out from the crowd. This system includes Ethernet and WiFi. This permits the compact Squeezebox to communicate effectively with the handy remote (included). Using the remote, you can quickly gain access to any subscription services (Rhapsody, Pandora…) or access music files that are currently being stored on your desktop or laptop. As with many other streaming music players, the Squeezebox Duet has to be connected to a stereo system, so this product won’t work on its own. Logitech has made it simple to custom configure any account using the online help and setup website. The one drawback to this system is that it won’t allow you to access the Apple store. However, the Squeezebox Duet isn’t an Apple product, so this drawback shouldn’t come as a surprise. In the end, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet is a solid product at a very good price.
Logitech Slim Squeezebox -- $250
As with the Duet, the Slim Squeezebox is a great buy. This radio can connect to any online subscription service (including Pandora and Rhapsody), it can gather music files from your PC, Linux system, or Mac, and it can access any free radio station that you can find online. The main difference between the Slim Squeezebox and the Squeezebox Duet is a new browsing system that makes finding music a cinch. Where the Squeezebox can be somewhat unresponsive at times, the Slim is highly responsive. Once again, the Slim Squeezebox is not compatible with Apple iTunes, but this shouldn’t be enough of a drawback to turn you off from the Slim. At $250, the Slim is slightly more expensive than the Squeezebox Duet, though this extra price is justified thanks to a smoother interface.
Livio Radio -- $130+
The Livio Radio is as compact as streaming radios come. In fact, this radio is downright cute. In addition to a sleek exterior that will blend well in any room, Livio Radio was made to stream Pandora. This radio also includes WiFi optimization, the ability to search through a number of different Internet radio stations, and Livio Radio is also user-friendly. Unlike other, more expensive, streaming radios, it’s not possible to connect Livio Radio to your PC. This means that you can’t access music files that are currently being stored on your desktop. However, Livio Radio does have an iPod port, which is a bonus. For the price, it’s hard to beat what Livio Radio has to offer, though the drawback to this radio system is the sound. Hard core audiophiles will find that Livio Radio lacks when it comes to bass sound.