Effectively a cross between an Mac Mini and a Philips Streamium, the Noxon 2 Audio is a digital media adapter that gives you access to 2,500 web radio stations.
Its front is dominated by a large blue-backlit display that scrolls through any music files on your network as well as the radio stations.
Around the back and sides you'll find all the connections you need to hook the Noxon 2 up to your home network, as well as with analogue and digital audio outputs so you can plug it into your stereo. You can even use it to play back tunes stored on a USB flash drive.
Set up is easy; you can link the system to every PC in your home using an ad hoc peer-to-peer network. You can also save up to three different network setups by assigning them to profiles in the box - very useful if you ever need to move the Noxon 2 around.
Once the unit's up and running, it works seamlessly - with playback controls on the top of the box and a sturdy remote to help you find your way through its well laid-out menu system.
We particularly like the 'thumbs up' and 'thumbs down' buttons that enable to you to quickly add or remove selections to the device's Favourites folder on the fly.
The TwonkyVision uPnP software is easy to get to grips with, although you also have the option to use Microsoft Connect or MusicMatch services if you prefer.
Sound quality obviously varies widely depending on the amount of compressions applied to the audio signal. This is especially true when it comes to enjoying internet radio but you'll find few complaints from us. The option to stream up to 320Kbps MP3s via your network works brilliantly, so you can enjoy CD-quality tunes through your hi-fi without having to fetch the discs.
The only problems are that the Noxon 2 audio doesn't offer AAC playback (which would have been handy for iTunes users) in its current guise, and lacks a built-in amp and speakers. The latter will be remedied later this year with an upgrade box that will also come with a built-in FM radio. Rob Mead