Are you tired of listening to the same old ten or so FM or AM stations day in and day out? If your answer is yes then it is time that you learn about this new thing called Wi-Fi radio. Why would you want the best Wi-Fi radio in your home? The answer is simple. It is because the best Wi-Fi internet radio will change your music listening habits forever.
First of all, Wi-Fi radios just sound better than your regular AM/FM radio. Because the music and talk are all streamed online, you will not hear even a trace of white noise or static. As long as the radio has a stable connection to your Wi-Fi network, it will continuously play music wherever it is in your property.
Another reason why you should at least consider getting the best wireless radio that you can connect to Wi-Fi is that this provides access to many radio stations. Some of the best Wi-Fi internet radios available can even access more than 20,000 stations online. Every one of them can play different kinds of music.
Undoubtedly, you will be spoiled for choices so it also helps to check out each Wi-Fi radio review here to gather as much information about this device.
- Best Wi-Fi Radio Reviews
- 1. Ocean Digital Internet Wi-Fi/FM Radio
- 2. CC Wi-Fi Internet Radio
- 3. Grace Digital Classic Wireless Internet Radio
- 4. Ocean Digital Bluetooth Speaker Wi-Fi Internet Radio
- 5. Aluratek AIRMM03F Wi-Fi Radio
- 6. Sangean WFR-28 Internet Radio
- 7. Ocean Digital WR828F Wi-Fi Internet Radio
- 8. KEiiD WiFi & Bluetooth Digital Amplifier Receiver
- 9. Sungale Wi-Fi Internet Radio
- 10. Ocean Digital WR-330D Wi-Fi Internet Radios
- What to Look for When Buying a Wi-Fi Radio
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Wi-Fi Radio Reviews
1. Ocean Digital Internet Wi-Fi/FM Radio
This Wi-Fi radio from Ocean Digital is perfect for the kitchen and the garden. It is small and compact but its built-in speaker can still pump out some serious volume. I noticed that the size of this device is just perfect for taking along every time one is doing household chores like washing the dishes and doing the laundry, among many others.
One feature I particularly liked about this Wi-Fi radio receiver is that I can also use it as an FM radio. This means even when the power or the internet goes out, you will still be able to listen to music. Also, this means that you can take this radio wherever you go. I like this feature because I love checking out local FM Wi-Fi radio stations when I travel.
Another neat feature of this radio that connects to the internet is that it can also work as a wireless Bluetooth loudspeaker. If I cannot get a decent radio reception from my location and I need to get my music fix, I just need to turn on the Bluetooth connectivity of the radio and pair it with my smartphone. It also turns into a wireless speaker.
People who have trouble sleeping can also use this unit as a bedside sleeping aid. If you are one of those who need to have music playing on the background to sleep, then you will find this radio quite handy because it comes with a sleep timer. You just have to set how many minutes before the radio shuts down.
2. CC Wi-Fi Internet Radio
This tiny little radio surprised me quite a lot. First of all, aside from having the ability to connect to popular streaming sites like IheartMedia, BBC, Pandora, ESPN, NPR, and others, it can also access more than 16,000 other radio stations online. This is much more than the dozen or so that I used to get on regular FM and AM radio.
This radio makes for a good bedside radio. The LCD has a gentle backlight. You can set it up to display both the time and the station that the radio is currently tuned into. It also has a 3.5mm output jack in the back so you can plug in a pair of headphones. I find this extremely helpful for private listening.
This also has a sleep timer, which is great if you need to have background noise to fall asleep. I also consider this unit a fantastic Wi-Fi alarm clock radio because it is equipped with an alarm clock that lets you choose if you want to wake up to music or a gentle buzzer.
Aside from internet radio stations, you can also use this device via UPnP or streamed local network content. If you have other computers connected to the wireless network then you can set up this Wi-Fi internet radio receiver, so that it can play the music saved in those computers. This can also work if you have a wireless hard disk drive.
I particularly liked the fact that this radio comes with an easy-to-use remote control. This is great for people like me who would rather not sit up in bed just to turn off the radio because that will be enough to jostle me out of sleepiness. Also, having a remote means that this will also be a good radio for the kitchen.
There is no need to walk to the other side of the room just to adjust the volume or tune into another station. If there is one thing that I consider as a problem with this radio, it would be that it is not portable at all. It can only run on AC power, through the included AC adapter.
3. Grace Digital Classic Wireless Internet Radio
One thing that immediately grabbed my attention in this Wi-Fi radio receiver is that it combined an old-school, classic design with ultra-modern functionality. First, I liked the faux wood case and the mesh-enclosed speaker. When not powered up, it looks almost exactly like the radio that my grandfather used when he was still alive.
The illusion is quickly broken when I turned on the radio and a huge full-color LCD popped up. I am happy that this is also one of the best Wi-Fi clock radios in the market. It is because you can also use it as an alarm clock. This radio has all the features that I want from an alarm clock radio – a sleep timer and snooze button.
It also offers the choice to wake up to a preset radio station, a track from a USB drive, or a selection of buzzers. It is nice that I am getting more than just one appliance in one package. The detail that surprised me about this unit is that it has access to almost 100,000 different radio stations and music streaming services.
Some channels are exclusively for sleep sounds. This is a great help for those like me who have trouble sleeping without background music or noise. I also liked that there is an integrated Qi wireless charger for my smartphone. It is a very convenient addition.
Another feature that I like about this radio is that it comes with remote control, so I can control the tunes even when I am doing something else from across the room. Now, if in any case the remote was misplaced, which happens to me all of the time, I can still control it remotely using the Android app. There is also an iOS version for iPhone users.
The thing that I did not like about this unit is that it requires quite some effort to get it set up. For instance, when I first tried to connect it to my home network, I had to do it manually. There is no option to connect it to the Wi-Fi network automatically.
4. Ocean Digital Bluetooth Speaker Wi-Fi Internet Radio
I liked the simple and minimalist design of this radio. It is just a simple black cube with black buttons and dials and a two-and-a-half inch full-color display. This makes this unit fit in with almost any kind of décor. You can use it in the living room, as a bedside radio, in the office, and anywhere else.
The bright LCD can show album covers and other track information, a clock, weather updates whenever available. The screen can also be dimmed to make it easy on the eyes at night when it is used as a bedside radio.
I was surprised when I checked the stations that this radio can access a huge number. It even has more than 26,000 different radio stations. Thankfully, this unit comes with 250 different station presets. This makes it easier to find and remember your favorite stations.
I am glad that this unit comes with a built-in equalizer. It is a big plus for me that I can easily tweak the sounds of my music to my exact liking. Also, I like the fact that you can hook this small unit to a set of big speakers to maximize the potential of internet radio.
5. Aluratek AIRMM03F Wi-Fi Radio
For such a small Wi-Fi radio, this one packs a punch. With dual 3-watt forward-facing speakers and a downward-facing 5-watt sub-woofer, this tiny radio can fill up a room with crystal clear sounds through its deep bass undertone. I think this makes this unit perfect for music lovers.
I am happy that this radio has a 4.7-inch touch screen display. This feature cleans up the entire look because there are very few visible buttons and dials. This gives the unit a nice, clean and minimalist design that will fit in any room of the house.
I like the fact that this is a smartphone with massive speakers. I was surprised to learn that I can install different music apps like iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, and others in it. What was even more surprising was that I can install social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
This radio also has its built-in 4GB storage for storing music files so this radio can still work as an audio file player even when it is offline. To save files onto the built-in memory, one just needs to connect the unit to a PC or MAC via USB cable. The radio will appear as an external hard drive.
6. Sangean WFR-28 Internet Radio
What I like the most about this unit is that you can use it to enjoy a complete radio listening experience. It is an internet radio. It can still access FM-RBDS, read audio files via USB, stream local network audio via UPnP/DLNA. You can expect it to do everything that you are hoping for and maybe a lot more.
What I love about this radio is that I can control it remotely. Even when I am in another place, I can still control it via a smartphone app both for Android and iOS. I can select radio stations, save presets, and do everything else that you intend to do. You can control your radio regardless of where you are in the house.
When used as an internet radio, this unit can access more than 20,000 stations. This means that I will not be left wanting for choices when it comes to music. Aside from the many internet radio stations, this unit can also access music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.
I also appreciate that this radio has a built-in rechargeable battery. This means that I can take this anywhere in the house. As long as it is within range of the Wi-Fi router, it can still play tunes.
If ever I need to take it beyond the reach of our house’s Wi-Fi, I can still play music files (mp3, .wma, .ogg, etc.) saved in a USB thumb drive inserted into the USB slot on top of the device.
7. Ocean Digital WR828F Wi-Fi Internet Radio
One look at the Ocean Digital WR828F and I know immediately that this is meant to be a bedside clock radio. It has a distinct shape and size that makes it the perfect fit for a nightstand table. The button placement on top makes it easy to use when placed at the bedside.
I love that this also works as a sleep sound machine. I have trouble sleeping when there is no background noise. With the help of this radio, I can choose from different sleep sounds. It could range from white noise to ambient nature sounds. Furthermore, I can also choose from different alarms.
This is primarily an internet radio and that being so, this unit can access more than 20,000 different channels. This radio can tune in to foreign stations like the BBC as well as the local ones. One will not have any shortage of things to listen to with this radio around.
8. KEiiD WiFi & Bluetooth Digital Amplifier Receiver
The next unit I would like to discuss is not just a simple Wi-Fi radio. It is an amplifier and a control center for a home-wide audio system. If you have a complicated speaker system installed at home, this should be at the center of it.
This is perfect for hooking up to hi-fi cabinet speakers. This has a 40-watt capacity so you can be sure that it can make full use of large powerful speakers without making the sounds clunky and hollow. You can also hook this up to speakers with analog connectors. It will still sound amazing nonetheless.
Once this is hooked up, you can simply control this using the Muzo smartphone app. With this app, you can connect the Wi-Fi radio to online radio stations that you want. You can also log in to your music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and others.
I loved that this unit came with equalizer controls – both on the unit itself and the Muzo smartphone app. The equalizer is a welcome addition because it allows the user to customize the sound coming out of the speakers. With a radio and speakers that sound so well, that will be a gracious addition.
9. Sungale Wi-Fi Internet Radio
The first thing that I noticed and loved immediately about this internet radio is its excellent sound quality. This has two front-facing speakers. It also has a downward-facing subwoofer that produces excellent sounds that can fill the room.
The 4.3-inch touchscreen at the front of the radio makes it easy to navigate through all of the features. Having a colorful screen makes it easy to navigate through all of the features that this radio has, unlike the other Wi-Fi radios where you have to press quite a lot of buttons to do a basic action.
I love the fact that this radio has a built-in 8GB of memory. I no longer need to use a USB drive to play my MP3 files. I just need to connect the radio to my laptop via a USB data cable and start copying files to the onboard storage drive.
You can access thousands of radio stations through apps like Pandora, IheartMusic, and others. You can also use this radio to access Spotify and other music services. You have to install the apps separately, though, which is a bit of a hassle.
10. Ocean Digital WR-330D Wi-Fi Internet Radios
I am happy that even though this is a very small radio, it pumps out quite an impressive amount of sound. This has powerful mids and an even more powerful small sub-woofer, so you can play even the more bass-heavy music through it while having a guarantee that it can deliver.
This radio can access more than 26,000 different internet radio stations and when one found stations that he likes, its location can be saved in one of the 250 different presets. This means you need not cycle through the many different radio stations. Just push a couple of buttons and you can recover the saved stations.
Aside from playing music and talking from the internet, it can also stream from sources within its local network. If you have UPnP/DLNA devices connected to your network, this radio can stream and play it back. This is best if you have a network-shared hard drive in your home network.
I love that this radio has its remote control. This is great when used in the kitchen. If I want to change stations, I need not move away from my station. I can just do it via remote control from the other side of the room.
What to Look for When Buying a Wi-Fi Radio
If this is the first time that you have heard about Wi-Fi radios then you are in for a treat because these units will surely capture your interest. If you are suddenly interested in what the Wi-Fi radio and what it can do then you may want to buy it right away. In that case, you have to make sure that you know exactly what to look for. These include the following:
Connectivity – How hard is it to connect the radio to your home Wi-Fi network? Do you need to connect it to your home computer first to configure it? Do you need to download and install an app on your phone? Your chosen Wi-Fi radio should not be overly complicated to set up before you can start listening to your favorite music.
However, note that since this is a sophisticated electronic device, it is a given that this will not be that simple to set up. Still, that does not mean that it will take a normal person an entire afternoon to get ready. Nobody has time for that. One should be able to easily understand the owner’s manual and already know how to use the radio.
The number of stations accessible – Regular AM/FM radios have access to dozens of stations while satellite radios give you hundreds more. However, they do not compare to the number of stations that Wi-Fi radios have.
Most of these radios can access at least 5,000 stations from all over the world while others can access more than 15,000 – that’s plenty of radio stations. Of course, not everyone will appreciate having thousands of stations to choose from but it would be great to have many choices.
You can just spend the time skipping from one station to another and stumble upon the ones that played the kinds of music that you did not even know you liked.
Sound quality – First of all, you should not expect that these radios produce the same quality of sound as in hi-fi set-ups built by true audiophiles. These units have below-average speaker sizes so do not expect crystal-clear audio quality when you are still testing some while you are shopping.
However, some radios also have great sound quality. This means that if you are truly resourceful, you might chance upon a radio that has great sounding speakers.
Recording feature – Is there a program or podcast that you enjoy listening to but only airs when you are at work or school? This is when having a radio with a recording function comes in handy. Look for those that have either built-in hard drives or something that has a slot/s for SD cards.
It would also be best to have one that can be programmed to start and stop recording at predetermined times. This way, you can listen to your favorite shows whenever it is convenient for you.
File compatibility – There are Wi-Fi radios that can also double as audio media players. This is great if you do not want to channel surfing and just want to play your favorite playlist of songs.
Look for radios that say they can read all sorts of audio files like MP3, .wma, .wav, .ogg, and many others. This is important because you can decide later to change to a more compact file type. This will let you cram more music into your SD card without sacrificing sound quality.
Additional options – These are the days when electronic devices can do the work of two or more gadgets. Your Wi-Fi radio should have other functions, like being able to work as an external speaker for your smartphone in case you want to watch a movie while lying in bed.
In cases like this, the Wi-Fi radio should have Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair it with your smartphone and turn it into a loudspeaker. If not Bluetooth, it should at least have an auxiliary 3.5mm jack so you can connect your smartphone or MP3 player to it.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a Wi-Fi radio?
Wi-Fi radios, also called internet radios, are devices that can receive and playback streamed audio that comes from either an internet radio station or a computer in your home network. The audio content does not necessarily have to be music all the time. It can be news, commentary, podcasts, talk shows, and many more.
Why stream when you can download? The advantage of streaming media, like music and other audio, is that you can start listening even while the media is still being downloaded. This means you do not have to wait for an hour-long podcast to download.
You can just play it immediately. Plus, after the audio is streamed, it is deleted from your device’s hard drive, so it will not consume any space at all.
Who is the Wi-Fi Radio for?
Wi-Fi radios are for people who enjoy a wide variety of music – people who enjoy genres of music or just a select few of them. In short, this radio is for everyone. However, the user must at least have some knowledge of how the internet works. It is also advisable to have some technical proficiency to set up the device and to make use of all its capabilities.
On the other hand, you can just have someone else set up the device and get taught how to use it properly. However, if in case the radio gets disconnected from the network, the user must at least know how to reconnect it properly.
How Does Wi-Fi Radio Work?
A Wi-Fi radio works by connecting to the internet and then acquiring streaming data from any one of the many music streaming sites. Streaming audio is only played by the receiver. It is a continuous broadcast that entails the use of three programs.
These include the encoder, which converts the audio into a format suitable for streaming, the server, which makes it available online, and the player, which is installed in the device connected to the internet. In this case, the receiver is the Wi-Fi radio.
What are the Different Types of Wi-Fi Radio?
Just like regular radios, Wi-Fi radios come in different configurations. Some of the different types and configurations you can choose from are:
Component radio – This is where the high-end types belong to. These radios are the ones that you position in the middle of the living room and hook up to a set of large, and nice-sounding speakers. You can usually see this in the homes of many audiophiles.
Tabletop radio – This is not quite as nice-sounding as component radios. It is mainly because it has built-in speakers. However, these radios still sound quite decent for their size. You will usually find this one being used as a bedside radio because it is just the right size for a nightstand or side table. This is also the reason why some of them have alarm clocks.
Portable radio – This is the smallest type of Wi-Fi radio. It resembles the old-school transistor radio. You can take it with you all over the house and even outside in the backyard.
In terms of sound quality, it seems to have the poorest sounds but it has 3.5mm earphone jacks. This lets you insert your favorite earphones and listen to your favorite stations in private.
Why Do You Need a Wi-Fi Radio?
There are many reasons why you should at least have one Wi-Fi radio in the house. First of all, with Wi-Fi radios, you do not have to deal with static noises. The reason why this unit does not experience static is that it relies on Wi-Fi signals rather than radio signals that can be disrupted by all kinds of obstructions, like trees, houses, walls, and the like.
If the Wi-Fi radio gets a little too far from the router, it will not only suddenly stop. It will finish playing the last song it has temporarily downloaded then stop. Another reason is that it gives you a lot more options when it comes to stations that you can listen to.
With traditional AM/FM radio, you can only get a limited number of radio stations. This will also depend on your area as well as the radio signals that can only travel so far. This is not a problem with Wi-Fi radios.
If you are using one, it does not matter where you are. The only thing you need is a Wi-Fi connection in your home so you can find radio stations to listen to without a problem. It is always a good idea to have music playing inside your home and in the background regardless if you are using a Wi-Fi radio or not.
Even if you are just lounging around the house, it will be much better with music playing in the background. Having lots of choices when it comes to radio stations and music means that you will never be bored.
When you have a lot of things to do in the house, like cleaning, organizing or fixing things, having all kinds of different music playing in the background will make the job go faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted Wi-Fi radio brands?
Although there are many Wi-Fi radio brands out there with all of them claiming that they are the best, some brands have proven that they can at least be trusted. These include Ocean Digital, CC Wi-Fi, Grace Digital, Aluratek, Sangean, KEiiD, and Sungale.
How to set up and use Wi-Fi radio stations?
Just a disclaimer, the exact steps on how to connect the radio to the internet will vary depending on the brand and model of the device. However, the basic premise will still be the same. First, if you will be setting up an internet radio component, or anything else that you will not be moving about in the house then it is best to do so via LAN cable.
This is quite simple. You just need to turn off the router. Connect a LAN cable to an available port and the other end to the internet radio. Turn on the router as well as the radio. Go to the configurations settings of the radio (navigate via the screen) then go to the internet or connection settings.
When asked to choose between wired and wireless, choose wired. You have just connected the radio to the internet. Connecting via Wi-Fi is much easier. Just turn on the radio and navigate to the internet connection settings.
Choose a wireless connection. You will be given a list of the available Wi-Fi networks. Choose the one you are using at home and input your password and select connect.
How to care and maintain Wi-Fi radio?
The nice thing about Wi-Fi radios is that they are very easy to maintain. Because they have no moving parts, some parts getting damaged due to wear and tear are minimal at best. The only thing that you need to do to take care of these kinds of devices is to keep them clean.
It does not take much to keep your Wi-Fi radio clean. You just need to get a damp microfiber towel and wipe away all of the dust that settled on the surface. You can also use a handheld vacuum cleaner to clean out the vents and get into the small nooks and crannies. Just set the vacuum to the lowest setting so as not to dislodge anything from the inside.
What is the warranty?
Wi-Fi radios are typically covered by a two-year warranty. This type of warranty usually covers damage that is due to factory defects. For instance, if you have been using the radio for just a couple of months but it starts to show issues like spontaneously disconnecting from the Wi-Fi network and not being able to play streamed content then the problem might lie on a faulty part inside.
Most warranties will not cover damage involving human error, like getting dropped on the floor, or accidentally getting the radio wet for any reason. In most cases, the technicians of the company will still fix your radio but you will be charged a fee for labor, parts, and shipping.
Also, if you take your radio to an unauthorized technician, this will void its warranty. If you need to have your radio fixed but you do not have the time or patience to send it to the manufacturer, just look for authorized technicians in your local area and have them fix it.
This way, the warranty will not get voided and in case the technician makes the problem worse, you can still send the unit back to the manufacturer for free repairs or replacements.
Where to buy Wi-Fi radios?
You can find a couple of Wi-Fi radios in most electronics stores in the big cities but they rarely carry more than a couple of brands. If you are looking for a particular brand and model of Wi-Fi radio, you have to be extremely lucky to find what you are looking for in the first store that you visit.
Moreover, although this does not apply to all electronics stores, the ones that are in the big cities often carry bootleg copies of legitimate Wi-Fi radios. They look almost the same as the brand and model you are looking for but they do not have the same branding.
Also, you can almost guarantee that they will not last due to poor workmanship and the use of cheap parts. Again, this does not mean that all electronics stores do this but many do.
If you want a convenient and safe shopping experience, go shop for them online. There are so many online retail websites that you can go to that carries more than a couple of brands and models of Wi-Fi radios.
For instance, if you go to Amazon, you will find dozens of choices and all of them are priced reasonably and guaranteed legitimate. You can also easily compare prices so you can get the best deals.
Do I need to be connected to the internet to play music?
If you want to connect to the popular music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and others, then yes you need to have a stable internet connection to play music through your Wi-Fi radio. However, that is not the only way that you can play your favorite music on this kind of radio. You can use other ways to make your Wi-Fi radio to consume audio.
You can also play the files stored on the “shared” folders of all the computers connected to your home network. The only thing you have to do is connect the radio to your wireless home network then choose to play local network content instead of streaming services. The great thing about this feature is that you can play all of your favorite songs anytime you want.
You no longer need to wait for the radio stations to cycle through their playlists, hoping that they will chance upon your favorite song. You can select your favorite songs or playlists and they will be played immediately. Another way to stream audio to your Wi-Fi radio is through the use of a NAS (network-attached storage).
This is an external hard drive that is connected to your network. It is an external hard drive that is shared by all of the computers connected to the network. If you have a lot of audio files saved in this hard drive, you can play them using your Wi-Fi radio. You just need to tweak a couple of settings.
Can Wi-Fi radios play regular AM/FM stations?
Some brands and models of Wi-Fi radios are equipped with FM tuners (not that many have AM tuners as well). These are the ones that have extendable ferric antennae folded up at the back of the radio.
You just need to set the mode of the radio to FM, unfurl the antenna, and then search for your favorite FM stations. If the radio also comes with an AM tuner, just do the same steps and you will be able to start listening to your favorite commentaries and news programs.
However, do not expect the reception of these radios to be better than the analog. It is because you will still be relying on radio signals and as such, the clarity of the sound will depend on your location.
Aside from traditional radio, many Wi-Fi radios also come equipped with MP3 players. Many models of Wi-Fi radio can play MP3 and other files saved in USB sticks or SD cards. This way, if you want to take your tunes with you and play those back using something better sounding than the speakers of your phone then get a Wi-Fi radio with this functionality.
How much do Wi-Fi radios usually cost?
This depends on the specific kind you are planning to get. The component radios, the high-end ones that you can hook up to an advanced speaker system, will usually fall on the higher end of the spectrum. This might cost around $150 to $250.
These are for the true audiophiles as there are many things you can customize and you can also connect them to high-end speakers. On the other hand, there are also handheld Wi-Fi radios that work the same way as the bigger component radios.
However, they can only playback music using their small built-in speakers, or through headphones courtesy of a 3.5mm earphone jack. These smaller units do not cost quite as much as their bigger counterparts. You can usually see them selling for around $20 to $50 for each.
Wi-Fi radios are superior to their analog predecessors in many ways. They have better sound quality because they are not affected by static. There are also thousands of internet radio stations to choose from. Furthermore, the best Wi-Fi radio usually has other playback options, such as MP3 and music sharing through a local network.
However, even though this is a relatively new technology, plenty of Wi-Fi radios have flooded into the market from different brands and makers. This makes choosing the best one quite difficult. Hopefully, the buying guide and recommendations list presented earlier were able to make your shopping experience a bit easier than before.