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Revo Blik RadioStation review

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Our Verdict

Internet radio’s great, and to have a dapper box that does DAB as well is phenomenal

For

  • Excellent value
  • Support for FM, DAB and internet radio
  • Ability to access Listen Again content
  • Neat unit

Against

  • Some ergonomic blunders
  • We couldn’t work Mac streaming

This, folks, is a wireless wireless. That is to say it's a radio - supporting FM, DAB and even the not-yet-used-in-the-UK DAB+ - that also has WiFi, so it can connect to the internet to play web-based radio stations and, in theory at least, stream music from your Mac.

In fact, there's a hell of a lot of very juicy tech stuffed into this little box, and yet neither its physical dimensions nor the hole it would make in your bank balance are large. It really is a neat little box - only 255mm wide - and is available both in white and in a matt black finish (a little smarter, we think). And then there's that price; the manufacturer sells it for £150 - and even that's pretty good - but we found it online for only £119, which is serious bargain territory.

So many features

It's still a lot of cash, though, so why are we so excited? Well it's just that it does so darn much. Let's get FM out of the way, because you really never use it unless you're unlucky enough to live somewhere with no DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) reception - you can check at www.ukdigital radio.com/coverage - or internet connection.

DAB works beautifully, and we didn't even have to extend the aerial to get a perfect reception. There's space for ten presets - the same buttons for presets on the top of the device itself are replicated on the credit card-style remote control - along with support for all the usual DAB stuff, such as scrolling station information.

Setting up the internet

radio is a simple task, and the RadioStation supports WPA as well as WEP encryption, so it's easy to add to a secure network. Entering a password more than a few characters long is laborious with the system of scrolling through alphabets, but you'll rarely have to do this. It's just annoying that there's no alphabetic support, as this would make jumping though long lists much quicker.

Get browsing

Once you're wirelessly connected you theoretically have access, the company tells us, to 9,000 stations. Picking one is easy - you can browse by genre or location - but with so much choice, you might find yourself grateful for the list of 'highlighted stations'. Here too you can set ten presets, but there's another way to bookmark stations: an online service that enables you to browse and add them to a favourites list. This list is then accessed from your RadioStation. Flicking through the stations on a computer screen is certainly easier than on a two-line display.

The same online service also gives you an easy way to highlight 'podcasts'. We put the word in quote marks because although it does do podcasts proper, the real bonus here is you get access to the BBC's current Listen Again content.

There again, you can always hook up your iPod using a 3.5mm input jack, which renders the RadioStation into a dumb speaker, and though it isn't up to Denon standards, it's decent enough.

Alarms can be set, though don't be misled by the website's claims that you can set alarms that only sound on weekdays, weekends or every day; that feature didn't make the cut, but it's likely that by the time you read this, a firmware upgrade will be available to correct it.

A firmware upgrade is also needed to enable it to stream music from your Mac. The manual's suggestions about doing this are neither elegant nor secure, and neither EyeConnect nor Twonky (apps that enable UPnP streaming from your Mac) would allow us to access our music. Revo has it working in its offices, though, so ours could well be a network-specific problem.

It's not without its faults - the streaming, the screen and the anonymous buttons on the top that make it nearly impossible to find the right controls in the dark - but it's cheap and feature-rich.