The radio has come a long way since the days of Guglielmo Marconi (or Tesla, depending on who you believe). We can do a lot more than listen to fundamental AM/FM frequencies today.
Depending on the kind of radio system you choose, you’ll have access to everything from DAB+ digital radio to Bluetooth streaming and maybe even your own CD player. In more modern kits, you can even access internet stations too. That means that you have unlimited access to radio stations from around the world, in addition to all the FM and DAB frequencies you might have.
An internet radio gives you immediate access to a wider selection of channels, podcasts, and other online audio. At the same time, it means you can essentially future proof your radio purchase. While FM might be on the way out, the internet isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Another fab thing about getting an internet radio? Even if you lose your FM or DAB signals, you can still listen to content as long as you have an internet connection.
So, which is the best internet radio available today?
Well, that depends.
Internet clock radios and DAB devices used to be relatively niche products. However, these days, when intelligent speakers and smart connections are everywhere, it’s becoming increasingly easy to find a radio with its own internet connection.
Fortunately, to save you the effort of searching for yourself, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are our top 10 best internet radios available today.
1. Roberts Stream 94i internet-radio alarm clock
We love the Roberts Stream 94i so much that we’ve already conducted a full internet radio review here, which you can check out for more information. If you don’t have time to read through that, then the first thing you need to know is that the 95i is easily one of the most popular internet clock radio options on the market. Brimming with Roberts’ signature style, this device combines excellent all-around performance with a wide variety of features.
There’s support built-in for Spotify Connect, as well as 120 radio station presets to help you sort through thousands of channels. You also get 5 dedicated pre-set buttons for your absolute favourite content. Because it’s an alarm clock as well as a radio, the 94i also includes multiple alarms and snooze timer functions too.
The Roberts Stream 94i doesn’t just come with Roberts’ iconic style. The device also features the exceptional sound quality that you would expect from Roberts too, with an acoustically tuned wooden cabinet to give extra depth to your music. The adjustable EQ means that you’ll have no trouble adjusting the radio’s performance to suit your needs. Additionally, the headphone jack means that you can listen privately when you’re in bed too.
We love the intuitive design and phenomenal performance of this radio – though it’s worth noting that the UNDOK app isn’t always as useful as it could be. Additionally, like any internet radio, your Stream 94i could drop connection from time to time.
The Majority brand is a regular feature of our top 10 radio review lists. The company stands out as one of the leading providers offering high-quality radios for a low price. If you want lots of features without the Ruark or Roberts price tag, then Majority could be the option for you. The Majority internet radio comes with access to everything from Bluetooth streaming to its very own CD player. We love that extra touch, as most DAB internet radio systems don’t feature CD functionality too.
Majority’s Homerton radio also comes with a remote control, so you can easily manage your audio settings and jump between modes at a moment’s notice. There’s the option to control your radio using smartphone apps too, which allow you to adjust the treble, bass, and equaliser settings at will.
To fit with some of the other leading internet radio options on the market, the Homerton even comes with a stylish wooden casing. The wood surround helps to deepen the sound quality while offering a stylish aesthetic for your living room too. There are a few downsides to this device of course. For instance, the system is a bit too chunky for some smaller bedside tables, and we couldn’t find a way to dim the screen.
Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to connect any extra speakers to your radio if you want more volume.
When it comes to radio design, Ruark specialises in products that both look and sound amazing. The main downside of these devices is that you need a pretty healthy bank account if you’re going to be able to afford one. The Ruark R2 Mk3 is certainly one of the most attractive and compelling internet clock radios in this list. However, for a price tag of just under £420, there’s a good chance that most people won’t be able to kit their home out with one of these on a whim.
While the most expensive product on our list, the Mk3 still has a lot to offer. Like the other radios we’ve reviewed so far, it comes with access to FM, DAB, and DAB+ as well as internet radio. There’s also Bluetooth streaming available too, and compatibility with Spotify Connect. What really makes the Ruark stand out, however, is its sound quality, which is really second to none.
Superb stereo sound
DAB, DAB+, FM and internet radio
DNLA-certified audio streaming via Wi-Fi
Spotify Connect compatibility
The Ruark doesn’t have the widest range of features of any internet radio review we’ve done, and it’s not the most futuristic product either. However, if you’re looking for entirely unmatched quality, then the sensational style and performance of the R2 Mk3 is unbeatable. It might be expensive, but the Ruark is an incredible choice for stunning design and seamless performance.
The only real downside of this device is that the remote is a little bit of a let-down. You’ll struggle to get a connection with it, which makes it a little frustrating and pointless.
Pure is another brand that we just love to review here at Radio Fidelity. The Pure company offers a similar retro style to Roberts in some of its products, as well as a selection of more modern devices too. One of its most popular series is the “Evoke” selection, which provides a number of DAB radio kits for the modern listener.
The Pure Evoke F3 is Pure’s approach to the DAB internet radio, with access to things like Spotify Connect and Bluetooth streaming too. The device also comes pre-tuned by an audio engineering team from Pure, so you shouldn’t have to worry about fiddling around with the EQ for hours before you can enjoy excellent quality for your music and spoken content.
There’s a remote control included with the Pure Evoke F3, although you’ll also have the option to simply download and use the Pure Select app on your smartphone. Aside from a great design and plenty of fun features, the Evoke also offers reliable sound quality and a strong performance with most channels and signals.
Along with other internet radio reviews, we agree that the only thing that would make this device better is a CD player. In our opinion, it could also do with being a little less bassy out of the box too –but that could be just personal preference.
Going back to our friends over at Roberts for this next internet radio, we’ve got the Revival iStream 3. Another beautiful product from Roberts, the iStream 3 is one of the most attractive retro radio designs on the market, and it’s part of the Roberts flagship portfolio too. Available in a range of colours to suit your personal sense of style, the Roberts Revival iStream combines state-of-the-art design with a range of modern features, including internet radio.
If you happen to have a smart speaker at home, you can also use that to control your radio from wherever you are. The Roberts Revival iStream 3 is smart speaker compatible. You can use Alexa to access things like Spotify, Tidal, and other music streams too. What’s more, the unique design of the Revival, with separate treble and bass allows for a sensational sound quality throughout.
Spotify, Amazon Prime, Deezer, and TIDAL compatibility
Remote control via your smartphone
USB port for MP3 playing
Portability with battery-powered option
If you want to take your new DAB internet radio out of the house to show it off – and we can’t see why you wouldn’t – the iStream can be portable too. It comes with a handy carry handle to help you transport it, and you can switch from mains to battery power too – though it does eat up quite a bit of energy. For us, the most compelling thing about this radio is how attractive it is. You really can’t beat Roberts for design purposes.
Ocean Digital is a brand we haven’t come across frequently before now. That made exploring the benefits of this particular radio even more enjoyable. If you want a radio that also doubles up as an alarm clock, the Ocean Digital offers a dual alarm clock function that features week/weekend settings, sleep/snooze timer and allows you to set the alarm to either a song, the radio or a buzzer sound.
The Ocean Digital internet-radio alarm clock is an insight into what you might get if you were looking for pure internet radio. That means that there’s no DAB or FM connection at all. The Bluetooth function allows you to stream media from your external devices or from your network.
This is an all round multi-functional internet radio that, for the affordable price, provides good sound, long playback time and an easy-to-read full colour display. If you’re not interested in FM or DAB connectivity, then this could be a great device for you.
Let’s flip the switch back to a more “traditional” DAB internet radio for a moment. Another offering from the team over at Majority, the Peterhouse Graduate is a state-of-the-art internet radio with Wi-Fi, Spotify Connect streaming, and a bunch of other fantastic features included. This is the upgraded stereo version of the standard Majority Peterhouse. Although it’s a little more expensive than the alternative Peterhouse, it’s still very cheap at just under £65.
For that tiny price tag, you’ll benefit from access to features like Spotify Connect compatibility, a remote control, USB charging input, aux-in, and more. There’s even a colour display and a dual alarm clock if you want to use the device as a bedside clock. However, if you are going to use this as a Wi-Fi radio alarm clock, we recommend figuring out how to dim the screen – which is something we couldn’t find out for ourselves.
Spotify Connect compatibility
USB port and charging
Dual alarm clock
150 preset stations
Although the Peterhouse Graduate isn’t the most stylish option on the market, and it’s not necessarily the best at sound quality either – it’s pretty impressive in its own right. If you’re looking for exceptional value for money, then you’re sure to appreciate this tech. However, it’s worth noting that like the Ocean Digital device we covered above, this kit doesn’t come with FM or DAB connectivity. All you’re going to have is internet radio.
Let’s dive straight into another Majority product, shall we? It seems like the brand has a lot to offer when it comes to internet radios. That makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact that Majority concentrates heavily on feature richness with their devices. The Majority King’s digital DAB internet radio is an all-in-one device. Unlike the Peterhouse Graduate that only offers internet radio, King comes with a CD player, Hi-Fi system, aux and USB-in, Bluetooth streaming, DAB, DAB+, FM, and internet radio.
If you’re looking for a product that gives you a vast range of listening options, as well as a nifty wooden-case design, then you’re going to love this. Aside from a vinyl record and cassette player, the King has just about everything you could ask for. There’s even a remote control so you can easily control radio settings at a moment’s notice.
Despite offering quite a large selection of features, the Majority King still manages to stand out as an appealingly compact radio. However, as is often the case with affordable sets like this one, you are getting what you pay for. That means that the audio quality is good – but not perfect. Additionally, the DAB connection isn’t as good as it could be.
Even though the Majority is only selling at around £100, it could be suggested that the price is a little too high for what you get.
We’re heading back over to Pure for this next internet radio review. The Pure Elan IR5 is a sleek and stylish portable radio equipped with a colour screen, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth. Available in a range of colours and sporting an impressive design – the Pure Elan is sure to fit well into virtually any kitchen, bedroom, or even bathroom. The colour display makes it easy to skip through channels to find the content that you want, and there are 12 presets included too.
Aside from the internet radio feature that allows you to tune into more than 25,000 stations worldwide, there are also connections to the Spotify app, and Bluetooth streaming. What’s more, you can power your radio by battery, which means that it’s ready to go with you on the move too.
If you’re looking for a simple and small bedside radio or something to keep beside you on the kitchen counter while you work, this could be it. Like a couple of the other more modern (and affordable) radio sets that we’ve covered so far, the Elan is an internet radio-only device. Although there are other ways to stream music, you don’t get any other radio connections like DAB or FM.
Finally, we’re taking one last look at the bizarre world of radio/tablet products with the Majority Robinson. Though very similar in design to the Ocean Digital radio we reviewed above; the Robinson stands out because it offers DAB, DAB+ and FM connections alongside internet radio. Essentially, you can use the device as an all-in-one radio adapter. The Robinson comes with access to Spotify Connect and Bluetooth streaming. Additionally, there’s a remote control for ease-of-use.
Like with the Ocean Digital Radio, you’re just getting the technology to create your own radio system here. In other words, you need to buy your own speakers yourself. That means that the speaker and sound quality are pretty much dependent on you. On the plus side, you do get the standard 3-year warranty that’s common with Majority products.
The Majority Robinson is an interesting alternative to the standard internet radio system if you’re looking for something unique. If you already have your own perfect set of speakers or even just a radio that doesn’t have internet connectivity that can connect out with the right cable, this could be a great choice. Unfortunately, the instructions for this product can be pretty difficult to follow, even though they are written in English.
Setting up your apps and colour screen is pretty complicated too – so you might need to spend a few hours fiddling with this device.
Before you pick the best internet radio for you, it might be worth exploring the benefits of these devices a little further. After all, internet radios are still pretty new to the market, and they’re getting more intuitive all the time.
Probably one of the most convenient features of an internet radio is the fact that you can connect to music and channels all over the world. You’re not limited to what’s available in your general vicinity like you are with FM. However, because your internet clock radio will connect to the web wirelessly, you’re going to need a pretty reliable router if you want to make sure that you’re not dealing with drops in quality and constant lag. If you’re not sure that you have the best wireless connection in your home, it might be worth looking specifically for a radio that can connect to the internet through an ethernet cable. You can do this with tools like the Ocean Digital, but most internet radios won’t come with an ethernet port.
Aside from a reliable way to get connected, there are a few other features that you might want to consider when choosing the radio that’s right for you.
Alternative signals: Internet radio is great, but it might not be the only thing that you want. Some of the more modern radios on the market, like the Ocean Digital above, only come with internet connections. That means that you can’t stream FM or DAB radio too. Make sure that you get all the signals you want with your new radio.
Extra features: Many of the internet radios that we’ve reviewed today have come with a variety of extra features, including Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth streaming. Not every available feature will be relevant to you. However, we think that Bluetooth streaming is an excellent option to have if you want to listen to your own audio content.
Ease of use: Modern radios can be a little complicated if you’re not used to them. Internet radios don’t have the same tuners that a lot of people will be used to. Instead, you’ll use a colour screen or app to find the stations that you want. Make sure that you feel comfortable using the interface of the radio you choose.
Power: If you want a portable radio that you can take with you outside, or just around the house, then it pays to look for one with battery power. Something that you’ll need to keep plugged into a wall socket is often a lot less convenient. Ensure that the design is lightweight enough for you to carry too.
Alarm clock functions: Most people like to use their radio systems as an alarm clock too. If you’re looking for a WIFI radio alarm clock, make sure that alarm functionality is included with your set. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check that you can dim the screen on your radio when you’re sleeping, so it’s not too distracting.
Budget: As you could see in our internet radio reviews above, some products are a lot more affordable than others. The Ruark radio we covered is the most expensive of the bunch, but it also offers unbeatable sound quality. Figure out your budget before you start searching and decide how much you’re willing to pay for quality.
Choosing your internet radio
Ultimately, the best internet radio for you will depend on a number of things, including the specific features that you’re looking for, your budget, and your requirements for new tech. Our favourite option of all for sound quality is definitely the Ruark R2 Mk3 Wi-Fi radio. However, if you’re just looking for all-around performance and great design, we recommend trying the Roberts Radio Stream 94i.
Which internet radio will you be tuning into?
Radio Fidelity: For the love of radio.
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