Logitech Squeezebox Radio - Interface and Apps

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



  • Recommended by TR
Logitech Squeezebox Radio


Our Score:


The Squeezebox Radio doesn’t have a touchscreen, so navigating its menu system has a rather traditional feel, and is controlled by the large rubberised button in the centre of its control panel. The main menu offers links to key features such as your computer’s library and Internet radio.

A fistful of additional features can be added to the device with the built-in app store. Let’s be clear – this isn’t the iPhone App Store we’re dealing with, as there are tens of apps available, not tens of tens of thousands, but most of the things we’d look for are here. At the top of the list is Spotify, a brilliant addition to this box’s roster. Also on hand are Napster, Deezer and Last.FM, while apps for separate sets of stations also let you organise your Squeezebox Radio more keenly.

The BBC radio app is particularly welcome, enabling you to flick to a stream more quickly than using the default Internet Radio interface. Although these apps all rely on pulling-down results and information from online, they’re remarkably quick to operate. We tested the radio with a standard 20MB home broadband connection and were presented with a mostly lag-free, slick experience.

Squeezebox Radio

The only real downer to using these streaming services that rely on searching more than casually browsing – thanks to the massive libraries on offer – is that you have to input text letter-by-letter using the control dial. It’s mercifully responsive, but it does leave you longing for a keyboard accessory or touchscreen virtual keyboard. This effect doesn’t pop up when scrolling through your computer's music library or browsing radio stations, as dial navigation feels right at home here, not far removed from using the touch sensitive circular panel of an iPod Classic.

Navigational woes can be eased somewhat by clever use of the six silver preset buttons. As long as you’re currently streaming or browsing though some form of content, be it a radio station, artist on your computer’s hard drive or an album on Spotify, a long press on one of these silver buttons will link it to this content. A quick tap on it at any point will take you right back there.

Updates are applied to the box directly over Wi-Fi, so the only communicating it really needs to do with your PC is when streaming music from its hard drive – and even then the setup process for this happens on your computer rather than the Squeezebox Radio. Just make sure your music is set to be freely shared on your computer, which needs to be on the same Wi-Fi network and turned on – it should show up within the Squeezebox menu.

While the menu system is easy enough to get to grips with, it’s not entirely bug-free. During out testing, some of our icons started randomly disappearing from the main menu, but these problems were sorted with a factory reset. The Squeezebox software is some way off the watertight quality of Apple's iOS system, but it is fast and does work. You’ll just need to employ a little patience every now and then.

WAgile Guru

July 19, 2011, 7:46 pm

Hi Andrew,

Has this product recently been refreshed, or does this review refer to the same model that was originally released by Logitech in 2009?



July 19, 2011, 7:53 pm

Hi, This is indeed the oldie Squeezebox Radio, same as was released in 2009 aside from some software updates. I noticed it was a hole in our reviews archive and thought it'd be worth taking a closer look at, as it's still quite popular. It's bit out of the norm to review something quite this established, but hopefully will be of use to some readers.

WAgile Guru

July 19, 2011, 8:22 pm


Alas, I can't reply to a reply...

Thanks for clarifying, thought that might be the case. I still found the review useful!


July 19, 2011, 11:05 pm

I've liked the look of these for some time, but the mono sound has always put me off considering it's £110.


July 20, 2011, 2:43 am

It's a fair point, but I'd prioritise driver quality over mono/stereo at this size.

Jon Williamson

July 20, 2011, 12:25 pm

I have had one of these for over a year and they are great - especially if you have other Squeezeboxes. I have been using mine as an alarm for all this time - however note that Squeezeboxes require a server -either mysqueezebox.com in the cloud which only requires an internet connection or a local instance opf Squeezebox server running on a computer, server or NAS. Unfortunately their seem to be problems using the alram reliably with the cloud service ... (see forums.slimdevices.com for more) ... but I am VERY happy with the device...


July 20, 2011, 4:15 pm

This looks like it has enough innovation to seriously consider as an upgrade if you have one of the last generation of internet radios. I've had my Pure Evoke Flow for about a year and am totally happy with it, once you live with a still quite clunky interface for navigating 1000's of stations.

"..while Pure's Internet Radio solutions like the Evoke Flow and Oasis are actually more expensive."

To be fair, the Evoke Flow does have FM and DAB so I'd expect it to be more expensive (about £30 more).


July 20, 2011, 5:01 pm

Fair point - a DAB in the Squeezebox would be nice. It's seems emblematic of the different approaches of Pure and Logitech, and both seem to work pretty well in their own ways.

Martin Daler

July 21, 2011, 1:04 am

Always nice to see an internet radio reviewed, even an oldie. Surely everybody has some sort of clock-radio device by their bedside? An internet radio can be a much better option, especially if (most unlike the Pure Evoke) it has a decent interface. It is great to have the freedom to access the full range of BBC podcasts/Listen Again material, and to stream music from a NAS, or receive stations not otherwise available, like the World Service.
I don't think stereo is an especially valuable feature in a bedside unit, and sound quality need not be hifi quality. Realistically you are not going to perceive the stereo sound-stage from the pillow, and volumes are necessarily muted unless you have an understanding/deaf partner.
A remote control was never something I could see any use for in a bedside unit, after all the main device is always within reach. Wrong! It's great to have a remote for the other half's radio. When she has left it playing all night and has fallen asleep I can switch it off without having to tip-toe around the bed.
I think it would make for a better review if the reviewer used the IR in situ at the bedside. It would throw up issues like how easy the UI is to operate half asleep, sans-lunettes. Whether the display brightness control is effective, whether the dislplay is legible from both stood over the device as well as peering at it from the pillow. Ease and flexibility of alarms, fail-safe options in case of internet outage, etc.
And hey, you might ask for over-time payment as well!

Martin Daler

July 21, 2011, 1:07 am

Perhaps you could notice the other hole in your IR review database, the Roberts Stream 83i?

Martin Daler

July 21, 2011, 1:12 am

clunky interface - you hit the nail on the head. The Pure Evoke is a potentially good device hamstrung by a horrendous interface, unredeemed through several firmware upgrades. If you want the full DAB/IR/FM/NAS capability in a bedside unit, look at the Roberts Stream 83i instead (I have no association with either, honest)


July 21, 2011, 2:40 am

We'll look into it Martin. I've always found the 83i very... odd looking. Think it's the 80s ghetto blaster lines and red buttons. We should be getting one of their new internet radios in soon, even if we don't end up reviewing that particular model.


July 21, 2011, 2:48 am

Until recently I was using a Pure Tempus-1 as my bedside setup - the top touch-sensitive snooze handle is absolutely brilliant for half-asleep (or three-quarters drunk) operation. That reminds me - it's probably time to ditch the wake-up light and start using it again.

Viewing angles are pretty good on the display. Not quite AMOLED levels, but not too shabby.

Jon Williamson

July 21, 2011, 12:18 pm

Just to let you know that the screen on the Squeezebox is large enough for a very shortsighted person to see at night ... can't vouch for the remote as I've kept the Radio on my side of the bed!

Martin Daler

July 21, 2011, 2:37 pm

I agree it has been hit with the ugly stick, hard. BUT, it is great as a bedside unit, with tactile physical controls easily accessible to the somnolent listener. Hooks up with Twonky on a NAS, does DAB, FM as well as IR, useful alarm configurations and decent sound quality. A remote is included.

The big let down for me is the display - there is no intelligent control over brightness - either it lights up the whole room at night, or it is invisible by day. Viewing angles are poor, and it is too small - particularly length-wise - which results in the menu timing out before the title of a podcast scrolls through to its end. I would have traded the USB input, maybe even the ethernet too, for a bigger, better, OLED display with more intelligent brightness options.


July 23, 2011, 4:46 am

I was looking to buy an internet radio last October. Well I looked into this one I found many many users complaining bitterly about massive problems with it and the fact that Logitech was doing nothing to fix them. I think the Logitech forum especially was full of these posts, far more than I would expect as normal.

I don't know if these issues still exist but I'd recommend that any prospective purchaser takes a good look at the support forum first.

I've had enormous problems with my Squeezebox Boom and found Logitech similarly useless. It seems that every other firmware release breaks key functionality such as the alarm. I've overslept quite a few times because of it. Touch wood, right now it's working.

I still love the Boom for many reasons, especially the sound quality, but buyers should beware as for these devices Logitech's software doesn't do justice to its hardware.


July 23, 2011, 7:20 pm

The Roberts 202 is also worth a look. It's the one I ended up getting for my gf because it's one of very few internet radios that can run on batteries.

Not the greatest sound quality but my gf doesn't really care about that, so she was very happy with it.

Jon Williamson

July 25, 2011, 12:12 pm

These problems occur if you use the logitech cloud service to access radio/ muisc etc. The alarm seems to be robust if you use the Logitech software on a PC/ server/ NAS on your network - the only problem is that this needs to be on 24/7.

I have been using the radio as an alarm for 18 months using the server software (SqueezeBox Server) on a NAS without a problem (well for the last 17 months!). And actually, the number of complaints on the Squeezebox forum (forums.slimdevices.com) seem to have reduced, so I am not sure whether they have been solved. But as a radio/ music player this is definitely excellent!

comments powered by Disqus