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Purchase of the Year: Wifi Radio

Several months ago I celebrated a round birthday and decided to spend the gift money wisely – on something concrete and useful. I have to say I am a bit of a sucker for technology, but I couldn’t think of any new gadget that I needed or could justify having, and then I had an ‘Eureka’ moment.

As a translator living abroad I find it necessary to keep in touch with the language back home in as many ways as possible. Regular visits and phone calls with friends and family are useful, but limited. Listening to the Polish radio is another way to keep in touch with the news as well as the language. Until recently, I was always using my laptop to tune in with some Polish radio stations online, but the sound quality did bother me quite a lot as the laptop speakers are usually not very robust. I therefore decided to investigate if there were any standalone devices to receive internet radio using your wireless network at home.

I was really happy to see that there was a wide selection of internet radio players available and so my research to find what I wanted began. The devices I looked at offered some slight variations – some required connection to your computer, some required connection to an amplifier and speakers, some used access to some dedicated servers to receive music, all in all, most of them were not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to find something that had its own speakers and could play independently of any other equipment, and something that was just that – a wifi radio, not a multi-functional combi device for all multimedia needs and then some. I then came across the brand Sangean – one I was already aware of thanks to my parents FM radio purchase from a few years back. Back then, we marvelled in the shop at the depth and quality of the sound it produced, and were wondering why we had never heard of the manufacturer – a US-based company.

And so I started digging and found that Sangean already has some sort of cult following of radio-fanatics and in general is really well rated. The WFR-20 radio promised to have good sound, as well as a slick design – and it did everything else that I wanted – connected to the wifi network in your home to play any Internet radio station one could dream of. Bingo! Where do I send the money? Amazon. Amazing.

A few months later I love it still as much as the first day it arrived. If I could take one object to a desert island with me – I would take my radio (hoping for some wifi access…). The sound is absolutely fantastic, it is easy to use, looks good and plays all my favourite stations: Polskie Radio 3, ChilliZET, BBC Radio 4, FIP and whatever else my heart desires – reggae, bollywood and blues are just a few turns of the dial away…

Image courtesy of Ian Hayhurst (flicr)

Image courtesy of Ian Hayhurst (flicr)

One Response to “Purchase of the Year: Wifi Radio”

  1. Which Word Translations » Blog Archive » France Inter Brighton: Happy listening! Says:

    […] and how I got to know of its existence. Nowadays, I listen to it online on my laptop or through my wifi radio and I love it just the same as the first time I heard it. This is a story of true love at first […]

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