Wednesday June 28, 2017

Squeezebox Radio Review

Notable Differences Between Squeezebox BOOM & Squeezebox Radio
Since I've already reviewed the Squeezebox BOOM previously -- I'm going to focus this review mainly on what makes the Squeezebox Radio different from the Squeezebox BOOM since that's the product it most resembles.

Here are some of the most obvious differences between a Squeezebox BOOM and Squeezebox Radio.

  • LCD Screen!
  • Only one speaker (mono)
  • No remote control
  • Additional buttons on front panel (there is a HOME button & ALARM button)
  • Dedicated volume / mute knob
  • Main navigation knob is only for navigation (does not function as volume control)
  • Does not get as loud as the BOOM!!
  • Battery pack available soon so Radio becomes portable

The LCD Screen is actually pretty nice, albeit definitely too small to view text from more than a few feet away.  It's great for the kitchen or bedroom where you'll likely have it sitting on a counter or night stand where you're not too far away from the screen.  If you have album art included in your music library then the Squeezebox Radio will immediately begin displaying album art for any song you play.  Incidentally, I recommend a program called Easy CD-DA Extractor which will help you rip your CDs to lossless FLAC format & has the ability to download album covers from Amazon.  For many of the popular internet radio streams like Pandora, Last.FM etc -- the Squeezebox will also display album art.  I wouldn't say it's a necessary feature but it's neat to have album art displayed on more than just the SqueezeCenter interface.

There is only one speaker in the Squeezebox Radio -- which makes it mono.  I'd guess Logitech did this because they wanted to keep the size of it smaller than the BOOM and it would either pack less of a punch with smaller speakers or you wouldn't really notice the stereo anyway with speakers being so close together.  The one speaker does a great job of deliverying high quality sound and gets pretty loud.  Not as loud as the BOOM of course, but still loud enough to fill a medium sized room with music.

There's no remote control included -- sortof a bummer but I have to imagine the thought process there is its targeted for kitchen countertops or nightstands, thus small LCD screen to keep things compact & no remote since the display's not visible from across the room.  Honestly I've used the remote that came with my BOOM only a handful of times so I doubt I'd have used one with the Squeezebox Radio anyway -- but not having included one doesn't give you the option.

Buttons on the Squeezebox Radio function a little differently from the BOOM.  The main knob is still used for navigating the menus & text input, but no longer doubles as a volume knob.  There is now a dedicated volume knob which is nice but tends to mix you up when you also own a BOOM and are used to that functionality.  The HOME button is a welcome addition -- on the BOOM you'd have to hold down the BACK button to go back to the main screen -- not so with the Squeezebox Radio.. just hit the HOME button.  I don't use the ALARM feature, but the ALARM button is there and I'd imagine makes setting the alarm much quicker than the BOOM.

Next are my recommendations and overall thoughts..

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