I’ll pause for a moment while you all recognise the genius of my headline. Ok, enough basking because the real star of the show is Acoustic Energy’s Wi-Fi radio.
So amazingly simple we can’t believe no one has done it before (at least to our knowledge), the Wi-Fi Internet Radio (I prefer Wireless Wireless) does exactly what it would say on the tin, if it were a tin.
Compatibility with the three major streaming formats means it can access 99 per cent of the stations broadcast on the web and you’ll be able to have your orange juice and cornflakes/coffee and cigarettes/vodka without tonic listening to anything from BBC Radio One or Sao Paolo’s Radio Calypso.
Being radio there are no subscriptions to pay and being web based there are no signal coverage problems or international content boundaries (though BBC Radio 5Live does occasionally block its cup football coverage which drives me nuts – still, getting Sky’s Soccer Saturday streamed instead is a pretty decent substitute).
Getting into the science, the whole process works just like any other Wireless device: it detects your router and off you go (WEP encryption is supported if enabled). From there, the Wireless Wireless accesses Reciva’s Internet Radio Gateway and uploads channel listings alphabetically by country and genre to your device. Select the station you want using the rotary control knob and LCD display and press play.
Currently there are over 2,500 stations registered on Reciva and the company says it is adding more everyday. As for sound quality AE promises even better clarity than DAB radio, though this will also depend on the bit rate of the station you are receiving.
As an added bonus, the WW is also a fully equipped media adaptor meaning it can access audio content stored on your PC in either MP3, WMA or Real Audio formats. Track details are grabbed from the music tags allowing you to play them by artist, album or playlist, while new playlists can be created on the fly.
A clock and alarm are also thrown in for good measure on a device that is sure to be high on people’s stocking fillers this Christmas. AE’s Wireless Wireless (must start calling it the “Wi-Fi Radio” or you’ll confuse the spotty teenage employees of high street stores) will be in shops from November with an RRP of £199 including VAT. To quote Harry Enfield’s notorious DJ, “NICE!”
Time for some Bachman Turner Overdrive…