Terratec Noxon iRadio review

Terratec's Noxon iRadio hits a few bum notes

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Our Verdict

Does the job well, but it's not perfect

For

  • UPnP support

    Automatically finds your network

Against

  • Remote control

    High price

The iRadio's ability to wirelessly stream music from your computer isn't revolutionary, but it has a neat trick up its sleeve: an integrated speaker, which means, unlike other devices, the iRadio doesn't need connecting to speakers. Like its older siblings - the Noxon audio and 2 audio - the iRadio is an odd-looking thing. It's not pretty, nor ugly - it's indifferent. But it is solid, and it's also a breeze to use.

As soon as you start using the iRadio, it automatically finds your network and, once you've entered your WEP or WPA key, it pops up on your computer as a sharing device. From here, you can access thousands of radio stations and podcasts. To listen to MP3s or WMA files on your hard drive you have to install the included TwonkyMusic software and tell it where these files are located, which is a doddle.

Browsing music files is taken care of by the front-mounted blue display - which is a little tricky to look at from anything but straight on - but the interface makes up for this by being easy to navigate. Songs can be found by album or artist name, and stations by genre, so it doesn't take long to find what you're after. Usefully, the iRadio has a Favourites folder that allows you to save stations.

With the volume cranked up, the built-in speaker is surprisingly good. It's not going to win any awards for sound quality, but it's adequate given its size. With a hi-fi system rigged up to its line-out input, the device really comes alive. But you have to wonder whether audiophiles will decide to go for a piece of harware without the advantage of an onboard speaker.

Its only real failing is the remote control which, unless pointed directly at the unit from close range, is completely useless, and even then its effectiveness varies.

At around £154, Terratec's iRadio might seem expensive, especially given that other music streamers are available at almost half the price, but if you have to listen to music without the aid of external speakers, then it'll do the job well, just not quite as perfectly as we would like.