Like most radios of this size, the Squeezebox Radio is a mono device. Hidden behind the near-opaque speaker grille are a 3/4in tweeter and 3in woofer driver. Given its petite dimensions, the sound produced is impressive.
It’s detailed and rich, without the harsh high-end we feared might come from such a petite box when the volume’s dialled-up. Naturally, with just two drivers to produce the full range of sound, bass isn’t thunderous but it too impresses once the dimensions are again taken into account. If you need a Squeezebox to become your main hi-fi unit, you’d be better off with a Squeezebox Touch outputting into separate speakers via the optical audio outputs, but for anything less ambitious the Radio is up to the task.
The Radio is naturally more positional and small-sounding than a full stereo setup, but the sound belies its stature – yes it’s a phrase often trotted-out in reference to little radios like these but it outclasses most bedside-style models. If you want to give its sound a boost without upgrading to a Squeezebox Touch, you could splash out on a pair of powered monitors or PC speakers as the headphone output is stereo, not mono.
The Squeezebox Radio may be a little more expensive than Pure’s cheaper DAB radios, but this box does a whole lot extra – while Pure’s Internet Radio solutions like the Evoke Flow and Oasis are actually more expensive. This low-end model also offers more connected features than the Squeezebox Boom – having been released a year later its feature set is virtually in-line with the Touch model.
It’s missing a few advanced features we’d have loved to see included, chiefly a full optical audio output, but the amount of content this device gives you access to – without needing a computer – is mind-boggling.
Offering an amazing feature set at an excellent price, the Squeezebox Radio is one of the best Internet radios around. With a colour screen and access to bonus services like Spotify, it simply does more than most rivals, for less outlay. And while it’s petite, the sound it produces isn’t. We wouldn’t expect it to replace a full hi-fi setup, but for a bedroom or kitchen unit you can’t do much better.