Best Internet Radios in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 13, 2019
Listening to music or talk radio, whether it be in the car, at home, or wherever you go, can be a fun and relaxing experience for anyone. Over the air radio can sometimes be hard to get clearly, so why not try an Internet Radio receiver? Read on for our reviews of the top 5 models and find the best Internet radio device. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Source
Speakers
Connectivity
Control
Power Source
Extras
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to DLNA support, you can create a wireless local area network and stream songs stored on your laptop’s hard drive or in the cloud. 120 radio presets lets you save your favorite stations.

CONS

Only one custom tone preset.

OUR VERDICT

The Roberts Stream94i received the prestigious Best Radio Over £100 Award in 2018 because it has a stylish design, 3 speakers (2 tweeters + 1 subwoofer) with a total output of 8.2 watts, as well as crystal-clear sound that will satisfy the demands of all music lovers.

detailed parameters
Source

Internet Radio, DAB+, DAB, FM, AUX, Bluetooth, USB, Spotify Connect

Speakers

1 subwoofer + 2 tweeters (8.2 Watts total)

Connectivity

Wi-fi, Bluetooth, LAN (RJ-45) port, 1 x 3.5mm audio in (AUX), 2 x 3.5mm audio out (line and headphones)

Control

Built-in control panel with LCD-screen, wireless remote control, control via UNDOK app (compatible with iOS and Android)

Power Source

AC

Extras

Alarm feature, kitchen timer

Dimensions

26 x 17 x 13.2 cm

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The integrated WLAN antenna provides a stable connection, even if the router is located quite far from the location of the receiver. The RJ-45 connector will be useful in case you plan to use a wired Internet connection.

CONS

The reception power of the FM signal is poor.

OUR VERDICT

Despite its relatively small dimensions and low weight, this Internet radio will allow you to enjoy your favorite music yourself, and will also help organize a loud party with friends: 2 dimensional speakers with a total capacity of 10 watts will provide a high volume level.

detailed parameters
Source

Internet Radio, DAB+, DAB, FM, AUX, USB, Spotify Connect

Speakers

2 tweeters (10 Watts total)

Connectivity

Wi-fi, LAN (RJ-45) port, 1 x 3.5mm audio in (AUX), 2 x 3.5mm audio out (line and headphones)

Control

Built-in control panel with LCD-screen, wireless remote control, control via UNDOK app (compatible with iOS and Android)

Power Source

AC

Extras

Alarm feature

Dimensions

16 x 16 x 12 cm

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Non-skid feet provide excellent stability on any surface. A 3.5-mm headphone out port will be useful in case you want to listen to music without disturbing other family members. By the way, this connector can be used to connect active speakers.

CONS

The kit does not include a wireless remote control.

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for a portable model that you could easily take with you anywhere and use where there is wireless Internet access - get the Pure Elan IR5: a compartment for 4 x "AA" batteries eliminates the need to look for an outlet nearby.

detailed parameters
Source

Internet Radio, AUX, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect

Speakers

1 tweeter (2 Watts total)

Connectivity

Wi-fi, 1 x 3.5mm audio in (AUX), 1 x 3.5mm audio out (headphones)

Control

Built-in control panel with LCD-screen, control via UNDOK app (compatible with iOS and Android)

Power Source

AC or 4 x "AA" batteries

Extras

Alarm feature, kitchen timer, sleep timer

Dimensions

20 x 11.5 x 5.3 cm

Warranty

3 years

PROS

An intuitive menu in combination with a mechanical dial and a colour TFT screen will make initial setup very quick and easy. You can also navigate through the stations using the remote control and a smartphone with the AirMusic Control app installed.

CONS

Poor WiFi reception.

OUR VERDICT

This model is a functional Internet radio and a full-fledged media center, because here you can broadcast music from smartphones, tablets and music players via Bluetooth or the AUX connector. The modern appearance will help the gadget fit in with your interior.

detailed parameters
Source

Internet Radio, AUX, Bluetooth, USB, Spotify Connect

Speakers

2 tweeters (~6 Watts total)

Connectivity

Wi-fi, 1 x 3.5mm audio in (AUX), 1 x 3.5mm audio out (line)

Control

Built-in control panel with LCD-screen, wireless remote control, control via AirMusic Control app (compatible with iOS and Android)

Power Source

AC

Extras

Alarm feature, sleep timer

Dimensions

30.5 x 13.8 x 12.6 cm

Warranty

3 years (registration required)

PROS

8 preloaded equalizer settings will be useful when listening to various music genres. An alarm clock and a sleep timer will come in handy when placing the radio receiver in the bedroom, and the weather forecast with online updates will always allow you to dress according to the weather.

CONS

There is no headphone / external speaker output.

OUR VERDICT

This low-cost Internet radio provides the opportunity to listen to more than 20,000 online radio stations from around the world so that you can select channels that fully meet your musical preferences and contain a minimum of advertising.

detailed parameters
Source

Internet Radio, FM

Speakers

1 subwoofer + 1 tweeter (3 Watts total)

Connectivity

Wi-fi

Control

Built-in control panel with LCD-screen, wireless remote control, control via Grace Digital Remote Control app (compatible with iOS and Android)

Power Source

AC

Extras

Alarm feature, sleep timer

Dimensions

18.3 x 12 x 11.5 cm

Warranty

1 year

Roberts Stream94i

Stream From Anywhere

Radios aren't typically known for being devices that can play music from various sources. A radio usually tunes into an FM station, with some perhaps having support for other media if the player has that capability. In general, though, they often aren't very flexible devices, being extremely limited with what sources they can use. However, nowadays with Internet radio devices so prevalent, the number of sources has increased dramatically, with the thousands of different online radio stations along with the ability to use other music or audio sources.

The Roberts Stream94i DAB+/DAB/FM Internet Radio is a great example of just what these modern devices can actually do, and how far advanced they are in comparison to the simple radios of the past. This device, in particular, supports streaming from multiple sources. Thanks to the built-in DLNA support, you can create a wireless local area network and stream songs stored on your laptop’s hard drive or in the cloud, letting you turn your own music library into your own personal radio station. This device also includes 120 radio presets that let you save your favourite Internet radio stations, so you don't have to hunt around to find the ones you want to listen to.

Review of Roberts Stream94i DAB+/DAB/FM Internet Radio with Spotify Connect, LCD Display

Award-Winning Design

The Roberts Stream94i received the prestigious Best Radio Over £100 Award in 2018 because it has a stylish design, 3 speakers (2 tweeters + 1 subwoofer) with a total output of 8.2 watts, as well as crystal-clear sound that will satisfy the demands of all music lovers. The build quality and interface of the device are both exceptional., making this look like a high-quality item while maintaining a bit of a retro flair due to its modern take on the classic old-fashioned radio. Of course, this isn't a matter of style over substance, thanks to its outstanding sound quality, which easily beats many other models in its price range.

The controls of the device are laid out in a logical manner, mimicking those of most home stereo systems, so anyone who has ever used a stereo before should have no trouble operating this device. Along with that, the device includes the ability to be remotely controlled from your mobile device through the UNDOK app, which is good as it doesn't come with a separate remote controller. With the support for many popular music and online radio options, including the ability to work with Spotify, along with its outstanding hardware, this model may be the best internet radio in its category.

Roberts Stream94i DAB+/DAB/FM Internet Radio with Spotify Connect, LCD Display in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Hama IR110

Stable Wireless Connection

Although Internet radios are relatively new devices, there are already a few complaints that have cropped up about many of the models available. Chief among these complaints would be about the wireless reception capabilities. It seems that many manufacturers try to make cheap radios, and hence, tend to use cheap parts in their construction. Or, they perhaps did a less than stellar job engineering their devices and saw the wireless connectivity issues as something for the user to deal with. Whatever the excuse is, wireless reception on many of these devices seems to be poor.

Thankfully, this is not so with the Hama IR110 Internet Radio. This device is built with high-quality parts, and is well engineered to ensure smooth and stable operation, no matter what features you are using. As an example, the integrated WLAN antenna provides a stable connection, even if the router is located quite far from the location of the receiver, which helps ensure you should get a fully stable connection wherever you are. The included RJ-45 connector will be useful in case you plan to use a wired Internet connection, such as at times where there may be a lot of wireless interference. No matter which connection you use, the streaming performance of this Internet radio should be exceptional.

Review of Hama IR110 Internet Radio with WLAN/LAN, LCD Display, USB Charging

Powerful Speakers

As stated before, the overall build quality of this device is far above average, while still maintaining a small footprint and being light enough to carry with you. Despite its relatively small dimensions and low weight, though, this Internet radio will allow you to enjoy your favourite music yourself, and will also help organize a loud party with friends. The 2 dimensional speakers with a total capacity of 10 watts will provide a high volume level with rich sound quality that will certainly please you, especially due to the small size of the unit.

Control of this Internet radio is quite simple, with controls located on the face of the radio. What's more, the unit comes with a separate remote control that lets you easily control it from anywhere in the room, and it can even be controlled through the UNDOK app on your mobile device. The radio itself contains support for most popular audio streaming protocols, giving you access to thousands upon thousands of Internet radio stations and podcasts from around the world, and also includes support for streaming through Spotify, as well as your music library on your mobile device or computer, media from a USB flash drive, and even from your local radio stations thanks to the built-in FM tuner. In short, this high-quality Internet radio is almost unlimited both in its streaming support and in its appeal.

Hama IR110 Internet Radio with WLAN/LAN, LCD Display, USB Charging in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Pure Elan IR5

Handy Features

One of the biggest advantages that Internet radios tend to have over older radios is that they often include features that were simply not possible on the older models. With the reliance on digital technology, these radios can pack in a ton of features that give you a great degree of flexibility along with ease of use. Of course, not everyone is mindful of the ease of using these devices, as many of them tend to become more complex to handle with the extra features they have. It seems that making them more complex makes them harder to use at times.

The Pure Elan IR5 Portable Internet Radio is one device that gets both aspects right. This Internet radio is packed with features, as well as small details that help make this a premium quality model. The non-skid feet on the bottom of the unit provide excellent stability on any surface, giving you plenty of options of where to place it. The built-in 3.5-mm headphone out port will be useful in case you want to listen to music without disturbing other family members, something that tends to get overlooked with some other models. By the way, this connector can be used to connect active speakers as well, in case you want more powerful speakers than the built-in ones.

Review of Pure Elan IR5 Portable Internet Radio with Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and TFT Screen

Take It With You

If you are looking for a portable model that you could easily take with you anywhere and use where there is wireless Internet access, then this model may be the best choice for you in a crowded field of excellent Internet radios. The compartment for 4 x "AA" batteries eliminates the need to look for an outlet nearby. Of course, if you prefer to use this radio on mains power instead, you have that option as well.

This lightweight unit is not just portable, but has a well-built construction with easy controls thanks to the clearly labeled buttons along with the large full colour LCD display. Navigating the interface is quite simple, allowing you to easily set up the radio and tune in to your favourite Internet stations or other music sources, including your mobile device and even Spotify streaming. The device includes connectivity support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even an AUX-in connector for physically connecting your audio source. Although there is no remote control included with the device, you can use the UNDOK mobile app for controlling it from your smartphone. All in all, this easily portable Internet radio with an easy-to-use interface will appeal to anyone who likes to travel with their radio.

Pure Elan IR5 Portable Internet Radio with Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and TFT Screen in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

MAJORITY PEG-NET-BLK

Intuitive Classical Desgin

Many of the Internet radios that are available tend to be smaller devices that have a small footprint, with some made with portability in mind. Such devices can be great for many uses, but they also tend to make some trade-offs to achieve this, namely with sound quality, and sometimes even build quality. Some others may have a less than intuitive interface that makes them very difficult to setup and operate, or small buttons that aren't clearly labeled or are hard to press. Basically, you're never quite sure what trade-offs you'll be getting with a smaller portable device.

The MAJORITY PEG-NET-BLK Internet Radio was not made with portability in mind. In fact, the design of this radio is much closer to that of larger high-quality units from years past, giving you a boxy look that means business instead of trying to look cute. Due to this, no trade-offs were necessary with this device. An intuitive menu in combination with a mechanical dial and a colour TFT screen will make initial setup of this radio very quick and easy. You can also navigate through the stations using the remote control and a smartphone with the AirMusic Control app installed, so you will be well covered in how to control the device.

Review of MAJORITY PEG-NET-BLK Internet Radio with Spotify, Bluetooth, LCD Screen, USB Charging

Loads of Functionality

This model is a functional Internet radio and a full-fledged media center, because here you can broadcast music from smartphones, tablets and music players via Bluetooth or the AUX connector. You're not limited to these input methods, though, as the unit also includes a built-in Wi-Fi adapter that lets you stream directly through your home network. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi antenna in this model isn't the most powerful one we've seen, so you will want to make sure that you have it located not too far from your wireless router.

The modern appearance will help the gadget fit in with your interior, thanks to its bookshelf stereo design. The unit includes a full colour LCD screen that displays the device interface and can also display data such as the names of the song, artist, and album. Along with the above mentioned input features, this unit also supports connecting to Spotify, so if you are subscribed to the Spotify service, you have an endless library of music at your disposal that can be played directly from the device. The built-in speakers, although not the most powerful we've seen, have surprisingly good sound quality, thanks in part to the built-in subwoofer that provides deep bass sounds. If you're looking for a great quality bookshelf-style Internet clock radio, this model will be right up your alley.
MAJORITY PEG-NET-BLK Internet Radio with Spotify, Bluetooth, LCD Screen, USB Charging in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Ocean Digital WR-330

Sound the Way You Want

Most Internet radios available tend to have quite a few features packed into them. However, if there is one thing that is often missing from them, it would be a way to adjust the sound to your liking. Having some kind of sound equalizer or another way to help adjust the tone of the sound to match the music being played is often missing from these devices, which seems to be a perplexing thing to leave out. While many of the devices do boast good sound quality, those who are picky about such things know that a good equalizer can really bring out the best from any kind of music playback device.

The Ocean Digital WR-330 Internet Radio with FM Receiver is at its core, a no-nonsense Internet radio. While this device isn't packed with some of the features of other models, it does have something that many others are missing. The 8 preloaded equalizer settings will be useful when listening to various music genres, so your favourite jazz or rock music will sound at its best. The included alarm clock and sleep timer functions will come in handy when placing the radio receiver in the bedroom, and the weather forecast with online updates will always allow you to dress according to the weather. The footprint of the device is also quite small, making it easy to place in your bathroom or kitchen. For those who value these particular features, these along will place this model well ahead of many others.

Review of Ocean Digital WR-330 Internet Radio with FM Receiver, 2.4"TFT Color Screen

Budget Internet Radio

This low-cost Internet radio provides the opportunity to listen to more than 20,000 online radio stations from around the world so that you can select channels that fully meet your musical preferences and which contain a minimum of advertising. Along with this, the device also includes an FM tuner which allows you to access your local radio stations as well. In case you get overwhelmed with the huge amount of radio stations available, the device includes 250 presets which allows you to set your favourite stations to be accessible with just the press of a button.

This device is quite easy to use, matching its relatively simple feature set. Finding and accessing your favourite stations is just as easy as setting the alarm and sleep timer functions. In fact, the alarm function includes dual alarms, letting you set two different ones in case you need more than one. The device includes a colour LCD display that contains easy to see information, allowing you to access the different settings through a clear interface. This device includes a remote control for accessing the radio from across the room, and also supports remote access through a mobile app. Although this device may not have some of the connectivity options of other Internet radios, it makes up for them by including other functions that most other models don't have, and all at a very low price.

Ocean Digital WR-330 Internet Radio with FM Receiver, 2.4"TFT Color Screen in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is an Internet Radio?

There are relatively few people in the world who haven't used a radio before. Whether it's listening to your favourite morning show on the way to work, waking up to music in the morning, or putting yourself to sleep with some soft tunes at night, listening to the radio has been a very common experience for most of the world's population. Over the air radio has been a staple in our lives ever since our grandparents were young, and despite the digital revolution, the need for radio hasn't really diminished.

Although over the air radio has its conveniences, it also has its shortcomings as well. The limited selection of channels along with poor reception inside of a structure with thick walls can really dampen the radio listening experience. Fortunately, though, the march of technology hasn't bypassed radios, and now you can use an Internet radio to bypass the shortcomings of traditional ones. Internet radios are very similar to a common radio, except that they contain functionality to utilize online radio stations along with other sources of music. In fact, many Internet radios come with an FM tuner, so you can get the best of both worlds in one convenient device.

If you prefer to use a smartphone or another device to meet your music needs, then perhaps you would be interested in a great Bluetooth speaker.

What Features to Compare

At first glance, Internet radios may seem to be quite similar to a standard radio. However, there are quite a few differences between the two, as Internet radios not only utilize one or more sources for playing music, but they also often have features that are simply not found on a standard radio. Knowing what characteristics to look for can aid you greatly in finding the best Internet radio for your home or office.

Source

The first thing that most people will want to look for in an Internet radio player is the source of the radio streams that it can use. Many Internet radios are of course made primarily for streaming an Internet radio station, but many models actually offer multiple sources. Most models are made to use the DAB and DAB+ Internet radio streaming protocols, but many actually offer several other sources, including an FM radio tuner for local radio stations, support for online music streaming services such as Spotify, and even Bluetooth connectivity for playing music from your computer or mobile device. If you want your radio to have the ability to play music from multiple sources, you will want to make sure that the model you choose supports them.

Speakers

The next thing that many people will want to look at are the speakers on any Internet radio. The size and wattage of the speakers can affect the loudness of the radio along with its sound quality, so those who want one that is loud and of good quality will want to find a model with powerful speakers.

Connectivity

The connectivity options for any Internet radio are quite important, as these will show how the radio will be able to play radio stations or music from any digital source. As an Internet radio will need direct access to the Internet in order to stream Internet radio stations, most models at a minimum will include Wi-Fi connectivity, with some models also including a LAN port if you prefer not to use it through a wireless connection. Along with these, though, many models will also include additional connectivity options such as Bluetooth for connecting to mobile devices, and an AUX-in connection for connecting directly to any audio output. Some models may also include a headphone jack, along with some type of audio output for connecting to external speakers.

Control

The method of control for any Internet radio is an important factor to consider. Most models will use some kind of control interface on the device itself, with some using touchscreens while others will use a typical layout of physical buttons. However, most models also offer wireless control through an app on a mobile device. Whichever method of control you prefer, you will want to make sure that the model you choose supports it.

Extra Features

Many Internet radios will include some kind of extra features to them, with many including an alarm function. The other extra features can vary widely, so make sure you check which ones a particular model has before buying it.

The Different Types of Radio

Radios have been an essential part of many people's lives. Whether driving to or from work, relaxing at home, or going on a long road trip, radio has been one of the primary methods of entertainment for a large portion of the world's population. Although Internet radio has exploded within the last 20 years, traditional radio stations still seem to be going strong. This shows that both traditional and Internet radio can co-exist without one completely supplanting the other.

FM Radio

Despite their peaceful coexistence, though, there are some vast differences between the two, especially in how they work. Traditional radio works by broadcasting their channel through a specific radio frequency, with FM stations using the VHF (Very High Frequency) bandwidth. The section of this frequency range that is set aside for broadcasts typically ranges from 87.5 to 108 MHz. This essentially means that traditional radio within a certain broadcast area has a limited bandwidth to work in, effectively limiting the number of radio stations that can operate in one area. This is further reduced by the fact that stations typically need to be separated by at least 500 kHz on the spectrum. Furthermore, traditional radio stations are limited to a specific geographic broadcasting area, which is often dictated by the power of their transmitters as well as the altitude of them. While AM radio signals were often able to achieve great distances, FM transmission works on a "light of sight" basis, which means that at the maximum, the broadcast range of an FM radio station is limited by the curvature of the earth.

Satellite Radio

Due to the disadvantages and limitations inherent in standard terrestrial radio, the next big step for radio was through satellite radio broadcasts. Satellite radio first became big in the early 2000s, and continues on to this day. It has a number of advantages in comparison to FM radio, including a much wider broadcast range thanks to the high elevation of the satellites, along with a much larger bandwidth, allowing for a much larger number of radio stations. However, one significant disadvantage that it has is that it isn't free, requiring a monthly subscription fee.

Internet Radio

Internet radio has been around for longer than satellite radio, although most people aren't aware of it. Internet radio stations first started appearing in the mid-1990s, and have continued to grow every day. Internet radio has none of the disadvantages of either traditional FM radio or satellite radio, as its broadcast range essentially covers the entire world thanks to the Internet. Most Internet radio stations are also free, which means no additional monthly fees are required. The only disadvantage that Internet radio may have is in the ability for people to find a specific radio station, as there are now more than 20,000 Internet radio stations operating around the world. Even most of the traditional FM radio stations now include an Internet stream, giving users an unprecedented level of access to radio.

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Publish Date: 2019-08-13 12:21:22