Squeezebox Radio Review
So there you have it, with the Squeezebox line you have CHOICES and the Squeezebox Radio is yet another flavor of these devices. This makes it very nice if you know where you're going to put the device, but can be a little overwhelming if you're really not sure where it'll end up in your house. The Squeezebox BOOM & Radio are great for the kitchen, bedroom or anywhere that you don't mind walking or reaching over to operate it.
-Squeezebox Transporter is for high-end audio enthusiasts that want a nice looking component in their entertainment center.
-Squeezebox Classic is great for the living room where you'll want to see artist/song titles or input text from across the room.
-Squeezebox Duet is a somewhat cheap multi-room capable (add additional receivers) device -- but I don't recommend the remote as users have reported it is very buggy and battery life on the remote is not very good. There are iPhone and other Phone/PDA apps available to control the Duet receivers however.
-Squeezebox BOOM is great for the kitchen or bedroom where you can walk over to it to operate. It packs greater punch in volume than the Squeezebox Radio. It uses a VFD (vacuum flourescent display) which allows you to view from greater distances than the Radio, but it's a smaller display than what's in the Squeezebox Classic so you probably won't be able to see song info from across the room. The BOOM does not have digital audio out, but this should not be a surprise since it has integrated speakers.
-Squeezebox RADIO, as with the BOOM, is also great for the kitchen or bedroom. It doesn't get as loud as the Squeezebox BOOM but for its size, it sounds great and will fill a medium sized room with music just fine. The LCD is great for people that love the eye candy of album covers... or graphical weather representations and other nice visual effects. Just keep in mind that sometimes simpler is better and a VFD is the better choice than a small 2.4in LCD if you'll be operating from across the room. A battery pack will also be coming out which will make this the only truly portable device in the Squeezebox product line. The RADIO also doesn't have digital audio out.
-Squeezebox Touch (not yet widely available) has a much larger LCD screen and would probably be suitable for operating from across the room. I don't own one of these yet but keep your eye out if you want some nice eye candy but plan to operate the Squeezebox from across the room. Also I think this will be the only unit with a USB port so you could plug in an external drive with your music instead of needing to network it to your computer library.
Conclusion / Overall Thoughts
I'm very pleased with the size & performance of the Squeezebox Radio. While I wouldn't feel comfortable having the RADIO fill a large living room with music, you can easily hook its analog audio outputs to your home stereo receiver and rock the house. The Squeezebox Radio is great for medium-sized rooms (bedrooms, kitchens) and as accessory units you can have in another room and compliment your multi-room setup. A larger LCD display and remote would have been nice, but for the current price of $150-200 it offers a cheaper alternative to some of the more expensive models in the Squeezebox line and depending on where you'll use it, might be the perfect fit for you!
Ease of Use: 4.5/5.0
Build Quality: 4.5/5.0
Sound Quality: 4.0/5.0
Final Rating (rounded to nearest .5): 4.5/5.0
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