Internet Radio Apps & Devices

No one should be streaming on MP3 at all in my view
Most people have devices that have been capable of HE-AAC for years

64kbps HE-AACv2 should be the lowest quality stream in my view

For some stations it’s flaky internet infrastructure that’s the issue, such as at 2BBB.

That’s were AAC is good for weak bandwidth connections. My old community station (Tyga FM) where I grew up in Tassie streams in a horrible 56kbps MP3.

Fair point for community stations. Especially if they are still on an ADSL service (which a lot of community stations were pre-NBN, because they couldn’t afford a symmetrical business service) which will have a limited upload bandwidth of 1024kbps (ADSL2+) or 384kbps (ADSL1) on a good day!

We take for granted now that even a residential NBN service has a minimum upload speed of 5Mbps.

I agree. But I don’t expect big commercials like nova entertainment and ARN to be devoid of bandwidth. Smooth relax is a great station… but sounds like crap because of the 48kbps

From Radioinfo:

Consumers have increased their consumption of radio via smart phones, smart speakers and podcasts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said early figures showed there had been a lift in the number of Australians listening to radio via the industry’s RadioApp as well as a strong increase in podcast listening.

Read more here.

I’m working from home and i’m streaming radio though my amaozn alexa speaker - something i am unable to do in the office thanks to working in an open plan office and there being too many issues about peoples music choices

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CWNE88’s latest video explains how to extract the URLs from website live streams. This is the proven method I’ve now used too and it works well to get the streams into VLC or any other player.

I watched that and thought, durh why hadn’t i thought of that earlier

Anyone bought one of these yet:

Looks good for $129, Thoughts?

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I’d be interested in reviews if anyone has one too.

I have a Sangean WFR-28C which I love for DAB+ and Internet Radio but at more than half the price the Blaupunkt might be a good alternative for many.

The Sangean FYI: https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/sangean-wfr-28cwh-internet-radio-dab-network-music-player

That Sangean looks 15 times better constructed. I may shell out for one of those… How is the sound and reception on it?

TIA

Thanks so much for posting this. You may have solved a problem for me. I was awake at 1am this morning researching internet radios for my elderly mother. She lives in a fringe reception area and I gather DAB isn’t an option for her so she’s been listening to the scratchy old, barely audible AM signal for years. She’s a technophobe. I had considered a cheap tablet with radio station apps but I’m not even sure she’d be able to handle that. If this is simply plug in and play after set up it should meet her needs nicely. Nowhere near as expensive as some radios I looked at.

Yes, It looks good… however I’m now considering the Sangean that @tonks8526 has. it looks like its constructed alot better than the Blaupunkt. I will report back upon my return from JB at lunchtime guys. My phones hotspot will be my friend I think.

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I’m very happy with the Sangean. Very well built. It is heavy though mainly due to the four ‘D’ size batteries. I have NiMH batteries in mine and the Sangean actually recharges these well.

DAB reception around my house is comparable to any other Sangean radio. Also has a large extendable antenna.

The Internet radio uses the Frontier Nuvola station directory which I had never used previously but seems to have most Aussie stations and I even submitted some additional stations to be added and they added them within a day. By default it turns the Wifi radio off when not in use so switching from DAB to internet radio for the first time takes a minute to work. But there is a setting to leave the Wifi radio always on, just consumes more battery I guess.
Once connected though it seems quite quick to flick between internet stations and you can even program 5 stations as presets for instant access.

Just ordered the Blaupunkt as I needed a simple DAB/Wi Fi radio for around the house. Will report back once I’ve tested it. The Blaupunkt does bluetooth so I can always stream from my laptop or phone if the Internet radio interface is crap. Don’t want to pay over $300 for the Sangean.

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A decent smart speaker (Sonos, Bose) is nearly a better investment at that price point

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Agreed, with the introduction of digital radio I went out and decked the house out with Pure and Sangean radios in every room then once Sonos released the Play 1 speaker at an affordable price point these supplemented the digital radios. Now I seldom use the digital radios (and even have 2 in storage) due to the convenience of perfectly synchronised audio throughout the house and app control that the Sonos system offers.

Not that my radio listening time has decreased, far from it I now listen to more radio than ever before.

The radio listening habits of people have also changed with the introduction of smart speakers some of which are at prices cheaper than most decent digital radios.

Of course, this does not apply to those who enjoy the DX’ing side of the hobby.

Absolutely.

Well I’ve had time to play with my new purchase for a few hours now. I will say I am glad I got the Sangean. My main points of difference are below:

  1. One thing I noticed straight away about both radios is they run the same interface. Almost identical. However reception on the Blaupunkt was horrid. Fortunately a friend of mine is the manager of the local JB so I was able to take both radios out into the parking lot and test. The DAB section on the Blaupunkt was barely receiving any stations, the Sangean was perfect DAB without a fault.

  2. The sound quality of the Blaupunkt was woeful. Barely better than a Sony pocket radio, lows were non existent and muddy. Highs were good but midrange quite squeaky. The Sangean, while not loud, is certainly a much more rounded sound with nice lows decent highs and perfect midrange for talk radio. (of course this is to my ears and personal preference)

  3. Wifi on the Blaupunkt was average. Some dropouts hot spotting from my phone on Nova’s internet stream at 48kbps. Sangean was a lot better only having some small issues on high bitrate streams (320kbps)(Linn Jazz). However since I got it home this afternoon that problem has disappeared since being on my nbn router. (Take most of this with a grain of salt, the LTE signal at the shop is horrible. 1-2 bars max.)

  4. Build quality of the Sangean feels really solid. And there is obviously some sort of deafening material in behind the speaker to stop the plastic vibrating incessantly, a problem which was extremely apparent on the Blaupunkt. It had an amazing amount of plastic resonance, which was distracting on speech radio but horrid on music, rendering it almost unlistenable.

  5. I cannot speak to the Blaupunkt’s ability to do this as I only discovered the Sangean is able to do this after I tested on my home network reading the manual. If you don’t have a station in the directory specifically in this case, some of the Queensland feeds of SCA digital stations, you can add external links to your favourites by registering the radio with the website mentioned in the manual. I believe it’s frontier silicons website. I know it’s a weird thing considering these stations are nation wide however I hate hearing ads for a different city. Drives my ocd crazy. But I can see how this can be useful for small time stations that may not be on the directory.

  6. In a point to above posters saying you can get a Bose or Sonos for the same price. Yes, I see your point however my needs are for a stand alone radio that can work by itself without pc/smartphone intervention. I hate “casting”. I would rather just have it on it’s own that I can just turn on. And dont get me started on the privacy invasion of smart/voice control speakers… I will never have one in my house, I dont want to be listened to by a speaker or even give someone the temptation of trying to hack it to turn its mic on(I know they are secure, but its a tin foil hat moment for me)

Hope this helps people’s decision.

Disclaimer, I didn’t pay full price for it. I managed to get it down to $259 from my friend. So very happy

Thoughts?

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