© 2012 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The short wave radio seems to have all but disappeared after having served as a lifeline during the war years and beyond. Its replacement is a little known box called a Wi-Fi Radio, a device that connects to the Internet. Yes, Internet radio is available on your computer, but convenience plays a role, too.
Over the past several months I’ve been testing the CC WiFi Radio, CWF, by C.Crane. It’s a cute little box that works much like any AM/FM clock radio. The difference is that this radio has the ability to receive 18000+ worldwide stations with crystal clear clarity. Selections include U. S. AM/FM stations, stations in Europe, and numerous global broadcasts. Media from your computer may also be heard providing you’re on the same network as your PC, in the PC’s shared music folder, PC file sharing is turned on, and the stored audio on your PC is not protected or limited. You can listen to such famous icons as the BBC and not suffer from fades or annoying crackling. Canadians and Europeans would find this radio a helpful way of staying in touch while wintering in the States or elsewhere.
(TIP: It’s important to have at least a 20 – 30% wi-fi signal strength for good reception. The stronger the signal, the less frequently buffering may occur. Buffering is the computer’s way of catching up and digesting the data it receives. When buffering takes place you will temporally loose the audio, however, once buffering is complete you generally continue where you left off.)
What makes the CWF radio so unique is its size, ease of operation and programmability. A central knob serves as the radio’s multi-function selector and volume control. Once you’ve locked in your router’s Internet IP address, you’re set to go. Stations may be found by location, genre or general search. When you dial in to a station you may listen to it and/or save as a preset for permanent future selection. Three pre-set buttons are located on the radio’s front panel. An additional ninety-six are available on the included remote control. Files supported include: MP3, Windows Media, Real, iTunes and Ogg Vorbis. A built-in clock also functions as an alarm allowing you to wake up to your favorite station.
(TIP: During heavy Internet traffic periods you may experience a loss of signal. The radio’s display will indicate that it’s re-trying, but rejoining the broadcast may be time consuming, but it will return.)
Receiva Internet Radio is a FREE service usable with this radio that provides access to a diverse range of stations worldwide. When you subscribe to their service, locating stations becomes a snap and they are saved in your personal account and accessible on this radio. Receiva is also available as an App for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. To join: https://radios.reciva.com/
The CWF Web radio is a practical way to enjoy distant stations. The built-in speaker provides hi-fi quality sound. An Ethernet jack is also available for non-wi-fi areas or to achieve the best possible reception. Headphone and lineout jacks allow for expanding your listening capabilities. A 7.5 vdc jack allows the provided multi-voltage power adapter to be used, but also making it possible to plug in a 7.5 vdc battery pack, not offered as an accessory, but available by third parties and requiring a custom interface cable. Having lived in the NYC area for many years, I found it enjoyable to once again listen to WOR. Having immediate access to the BBC is fantastic! If you’re into radio, this is a must have!
Available on line at various retailers. For more information:
GADGETEER’S RATING: * * * * *
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.