Saturday, June 07, 2008

WiFi 04 : Sangean WFR-20

I've had the Sangean WFR-20 a couple of days now and I'm beginning to find my way around the thing.

In many respects it compares well to the Noxon iRadio, particularly in terms of sound quality and volume, but in some areas it is either lacking or I just haven't figured how to do it.

The Sangean was quite easy to get up and going. On initial turn-on the unit first of all updated its station list, then searched for any firmware update. The menu, although tortuous, is still rather easier than the Noxon's and the display, while not state-of-the-art, looks a lot better than the Noxon's clunky blue screen. The remote though is not as competent.

The unit also found my wireless network music server - TwonkyMedia - quite easily and navigating through the tree is once again quite simple using the single knob on the front rather than figuring out which button does what on the remote. The radio happily plays the usual formats including .flac, but is not capable of playing .ogg which puts it at a disadvantage to the Noxon which can, and although it can't directly play .flac it does work with TwonkyMedia's .flac transcoder.

Where I have yet to get any success is getting the unit to play my wlan's music stream. I'm not sure if it's a deficiency on my part or the radio's but whichever, it's a big issue for me. *sorted here

The Noxon has the advantage of showing up on the local network as a network device. As such it also has a device webpage which enables the manual input of radio streams in addition to the ones already available at its web radio gateway - vTuner - the Sangean uses Reciva. This means it's possible to input the address of a local network stream, in my case operated via SHOUTcast server. As yet I haven't figured out how to do this for the Sangean, or if indeed, it's actually possible.

Generally, I'm very pleased. The unit does 90% of what I want very well indeed. However, the .ogg codec issue and the inability to play music streamed on my wlan are a significant downside.

Internet radio devices still have a way to go.

*See my hifi / media index here.