Tivoli claims, quite correctly, that you don't need a computer to access internet radio.

You do, however, need a broadband modem/router of some sort and a broadband connection, both of which you will probably have if you use a computer.

NetWorks can connect wirelessly or via Ethernet to your broadband network, which means it doesn't have to be in the same room as the modem and once connected it seems to work very efficiently, loading a list of stations which you can search by name, genre and country.

Well-connected radio

DAB and FM work in the usual way and with good results. Additional features include a USB socket for connecting portable music players, which can function as sources controlled by the NetWorks – it can also play music on your home network, if you have any.

There is a line input, a subwoofer output, a connection for an optional right channel loudspeaker and a recording output.

Ergonomics are OK rather than brilliant, as long as you use the remote, although the topmounted dial is a nice touch, even though we found some aspects slightly illogical. Use without the remote can be pain, as some functions are accessed via buttons on the back of the NetWorks.

Bland sound

We have to admit to a slight sense of disappointment with the basic sound quality of this unit.

Although tone controls are available, no setting we could come up with quite banished a rather muffled quality which was not present on the headphone output and must therefore be blamed on the loudspeaker.

Speech intelligibility is somewhat hindered by this and music is made a little bland. GIven how impressed we've been by many previous Tivoli models we're distinctly perplexed as to how this was allowed to happen and we really hope it will be addressed in future models or upgrades.

Strong reception

That apart, there is a lot to like about this radio. Indeed the sound is not by any means all bad, for it has a room-filling quality which many table radios struggle (and often ultimately fail) to achieve.

This is a question not just of volume but of scale of sound, and the NetWorks certainly has that. It has a basically quiet background, though listening on sensitive headphones one is occasionally aware of just a little noise and hum.

As for reception quality, it is good in all modes. FM is not particularly grainy, DAB is perfectly decent and internet radio quality is probably the best we've heard – transmitted quality is improving as time goes by too, of course.

You can have a lot of fun listening to Radio Tashkent, or folk stations from Paraguay, and NetWorks seems an excellent way of enjoying it, along with DAB and FM.