Best Internet Radios 2019

Internet radios let you listen to the 20,000+ radio stations available online in addition to all the regular radio stations you can get on DAB and FM.

This gives you the biggest possible choice of music and speech programmes.

You can also listen to podcasts and other online audio.

An internet radio is perfect if you want to listen to stations from other countries or learn other languages.

It’s also great if the FM and DAB reception in your area is poor but you have a good internet connection.

Internet radios don’t rely on FM or DAB signals, so as long as you have a good internet connection, they will work perfectly.

Of course, you could listen to internet radio using an app or your computer, but standalone internet radios are much more convenient.

Internet radios used to be quite niche products, but these days there are a large choice of models available. You can get internet radios with CD player and stereo sound, as well as compact portable models.

Many internet radios can be used with Spotify and other streaming services, though often you will need a paid account to make the most of this feature.

Read on for our reviews of the internet radios in 2019, or scroll to the end for some advice on choosing an internet radio.

Best Internet Radios 2019

1. Roberts Stream 94i

Portable? No
CD Player? No
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

The Roberts Radio Stream 94i is currently one of the UK’s most popular internet radios, and with good reason.

It’s a great all-round internet radio with an excellent range of features.

The Stream 94i is essentially the same as the earlier Stream93i, only with the addition of Bluetooth.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+/Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Sleep timer
  • Saves 120 preset stations
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect
  • USB port for playing MP3s and FLAC files
  • Aux-in, line-out and headphone jacks
  • Adjustable EQ
  • Use your phone as a remote with the UNDOK app

Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 13.2 cm
Weight: 1.9 kg

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Feels well built
  • Stylish design
  • Buttons are laid out well

Cons

  • UNDOK app for using your phone as a remote can be temperamental
  • Sometimes loses WiFi connection
  • Spotify Connect is only available with a Spotify Premium account

Summary

This excellent radio will give you a huge range of choice when it comes to radio stations and podcasts. It’s well made and has good sound quality.

Sometimes it disconnects from the internet, and some users have complained about software bugs that can make it unreliable.

Overall, this radio is very well built and has an intuitive design. It’s one of the best internet radios on the market.

You can read our full review of the Stream 94i here.

 

2. John Lewis Cello

John Lewis Cello Radio

Portable? No
CD Player? Yes
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

The John Lewis Cello is a very stylish and carefully designed internet radio CD player with FM and DAB/DAB+ radio.

As well as being one of our favourite internet radios, we also think it’s one of the best radio CD players on the market.

It’s a very versatile product that offers pretty much every possible audio source (FM and DAB/DAB+ radio, internet radio, Bluetooth, CD, aux-in and USB).

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+/Internet radio
  • CD player
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock with snooze
  • Sleep timer
  • USB port
  • Aux-in port
  • Saves 20 preset DAB stations
  • Remote control

Dimensions: 35 x 21.5 x 12.4 cm
Weight: 4.8 kg (unpackaged)

Pros

  • Features a CD player
  • Very good sound quality
  • Useful remote control

Cons

  • DAB reception can be poor

Summary

The John Lewis Cello isn’t the cheapest internet radio on the market, but it isn’t anywhere near the most expensive either.

It offers a great list of features, has excellent sound quality and feels very well made, so it offers good value for money overall.

Read our full review of the Cello here.

 

3. Ruark R2 Mk3

Portable? No
CD Player? No
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

The R2 Mk3 from high-end brand Ruark is the most expensive product on this list, but it’s arguably the highest quality.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+/Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Can play audio from other DLNA-certified devices over WiFi
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect
  • Remote control
  • OLED display

Dimensions: 34 x 18.5 x 12 cm

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to set up
  • Attractive design
  • Good for listening to Spotify

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Remote control needs to be pointed directly at unit

Summary

If you’re looking to invest in something very high quality, the Ruark R2 Mk3 is a good choice.

This stylish radio offers great sound quality and has a stunning design. It integrates seamlessly with Spotify, though the remote is a bit of a let-down.

 

4. Roberts Revival iStream 3

Portable? Yes
CD Player? No
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

The Roberts Revival iStream 3 combines an authentic-looking retro design with some cutting-edge features.

Features

  • FM/DAB/DAB+/Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Compatible with Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, TIDAL and Deezer
  • Use your phone as a remote control with the UNDOK app
  • USB port for playing MP3s from a USB stick
  • Can be used as a portable radio with 6 x AA batteries
  • Adjustable equaliser

Dimensions: 25.5 x 16 x 11 cm

Pros

  • Beautiful vintage design
  • Compact and portable
  • Good sound quality for the size

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Only one alarm (lots of radios have a dual alarm clock)
  • No remote control

Summary

The Revival iStream 3 is one of the most stylish and attractive internet radios on the market. It’s expensive, but well built.

 

5. John Lewis Octave

John Lewis Octave Radio

Portable? No
CD Player? No
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

This handsome radio from John Lewis offers great sound and a premium-style design at a reasonable price. It has a great range of features including Bluetooth, two independent alarms and an intuitive remote control.

Features

  • FM/DAB/Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • USB port for playing music from an external device
  • Dual alarm with snooze
  • Sleep timer
  • Remote control
  • 20 watts of audio output
  • Saves 60 preset stations
  • Headphone jack

Dimensions: 27 x 18 x 11 cm
Weight: 2.6 kg

Pros

  • Very good sound for the price
  • Good amount of bass
  • Beautiful minimalistic design
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No significant cons found

Summary

This radio from John Lewis can rival some of its more expensive competitors from premium radio brands.

If you want something with a beautiful design, great sound and a reasonable price, the Octave is an excellent choice.

 

 6. Majority Peterhouse Graduate

Portable? No
CD Player? No
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

The Majority Peterhouse Graduate is the stereo version of the regular Majority Peterhouse. It’s slightly more expensive, but is still one of the cheapest internet radios on the market.

This radio could be a good choice if you want something inexpensive and functional. It only offers internet radio, and doesn’t have an FM or DAB/DAB+ tuner.

Features

  • Internet radio
  • Stereo sound
  • Saves over 150 preset stations
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Bluetooth
  • Aux-in port
  • USB port for playing MP3s and charging devices
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect
  • Remote control

Weight: 2.08 kg

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Easy to set up
  • Bluetooth works well

Cons

  • Internet only (no FM or DAB/DAB+ tuner)
  • No headphone jack

Summary

The Peterhouse Graduate offers great value for money.

It doesn’t have FM or DAB/DAB+, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you have a good internet connection as you pick up FM and DAB/DAB+ stations via the internet instead.

 

7. Pure Elan IR5

Portable? Yes
CD Player? No
Alarm Clock? Yes (Dual)

This small radio from Pure could be a good choice if you want something compact and portable.

It has a stylish design with a colour screen, and comes in a large choice of finishes.

Features

  • Internet radio
  • Bluetooth
  • Can be made portable with 4 x AA batteries
  • Compatible with Spotify Connect
  • Colour display
  • 4 quick-access preset buttons
  • Aux-in and headphone jack
  • Dual alarm clock
  • Use your phone as a remote with the UNDOK app

Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 5.3 cm
Weight: 422 g

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Display can be turned off completely—good if you use it as a bedside radio
  • Easy to use alarms

Cons

  • No FM or DAB/DAB+ radio (internet only)
  • Batteries are required and aren’t included

Summary

The Pure Elan IR5 is a good choice if you’re looking for a bedside clock radio as it’s small, has a dual alarm clock which is easy to use, and allows you to completely switch the display off so it won’t produce any light at night.

However, it’s quite pricey given its features and it’s a shame that batteries aren’t included.

 

Other Products to Consider

The products listed below aren’t technically internet radios, but they can serve the same purpose.

Amazon Echo Dot

Every year, more and more people are choosing to listen to the radio on their phones, laptops and other devices that aren’t technically ‘radios’.

The Amazon Echo is becoming one of the most popular ways to listen to the radio since it’s cheap, easy to use and has a wealth of other features.

The Amazon Echo Dot is a smart speaker/personal assistant that can be used with online radio streaming services such as TuneIn to access thousands of radio stations (including all the regular UK stations you’d get on AM, FM or DAB).

The Echo Dot is a small device, so the sound quality isn’t amazing, but it’s very versatile. You can use Alexa to get weather forecasts, news updates, cinema listings and other information.

It’s also compatible with music streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music as well as Audible for listening to audiobooks.

 

Majority Fitzwilliam Hi-Fi Tuner

The Majority Fitzwilliam is an internet radio tuner that you can connect to a Hi-Fi unit to give it internet radio capabilities.

This product doesn’t come with speakers, so you need some separate speakers to attach it to.

The Majority Fitzwilliam is inexpensive, and offers a very affordable way to add internet radio to your Hi-Fi.

It has aux out, audio output ports, coaxial and optical out ports.

It has Bluetooth, is compatible with Spotify Connect, has a colour screen and comes with a remote control.

 

About Internet Radios

Internet radios are still relatively new products, and there’s a good chance you’re looking to buy your first internet radio. This means you’ll probably have a lot of questions about how internet radios work and how you can choose one that suits you.

Why get an internet radio?

Internet radios offer some great advantages over regular FM and DAB radios. Here are just a few reasons to consider choosing an internet radio:

  • Choice: On an FM radio you might get around 10 stations. On DAB you might get 50 or so. With an internet radio, you will be able to receive around 20,000 stations from across the world, including all the popular local and national stations.
  • Reception: If you live in an area with poor DAB or FM reception, an internet radio is a good idea. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you won’t have any issues with reception.

If you’re researching internet radios the following thought might have crossed your mind: “Why not just use my laptop or smartphone to listen to internet radio and connect it to some good speakers?”

This can be a good alternative to buying a standalone internet radio. You could also get a wireless speaker like the SONOS Play, which can stream internet radio without needing to connect to a computer or phone.

Standalone internet radios and wireless speakers have several advantages over just listening to online radio on your computer or phone. Here are a few:

  • Convenience: You don’t need to start your laptop up to listen to the radio—you just turn the radio on.
  • Ease of use: Listening to the radio on an internet radio is easier than finding a stream online. It’s also easier to find new stations as you can usually browse by genre, country and region.
  • Battery: You won’t wear down your laptop or phone’s battery by using an internet radio instead.

How internet radios work

Most internet radios connect to the internet wirelessly. This means you will need a good amount of bandwidth and a decent wireless router to enjoy listening to the radio without it cutting out or it slowing down other things you use the internet for.

Internet radio usually broadcasts with a bitrate between 128 and 320 kilobytes per second, meaning it will use between 57.6 and 140.62 megabytes of data an hour. The average internet speed in the UK can cope with this easily, but it might be an issue if you have a busy network with lots of people using the internet at the same time.

You can also buy wired internet radios that connect to the internet via an Ethernet cable. One radio that offers this possibility is the Ocean Digital WR80, which can also be used wirelessly.

Instead of requiring you to enter a web address for each radio station, internet radios usually have a menu that you use to find stations. This means that it’s easy to discover new radio stations, but has the downside that some stations might not be accessible.

Most internet radios will also let you listen to podcasts and other on-demand audio, though not every podcast will be available. Many internet radios have a special feature for connecting to Spotify, though this usually requires you to sign up for a paid Spotify membership. Most internet radios also come with DAB and sometimes FM, though some are internet-only.

Internet Radio Brands

Some of the leading brands of internet radios are Pure, Roberts, Majority, Ocean Digital and Revo. Pure and Roberts are both British brands that produce high-quality radios at mid-range prices. These radios will be good options for most households.

If you’re looking for something cheaper, you should consider getting a Majority or Ocean Digital radio. Majority are a Cambridge-based brand whose products are manufactured in the Far East.

Ocean Digital are a Hong Kong brand that produce inexpensive internet and DAB radios. Both brands generally offer great value for money, but don’t have the prestige or reputation of Pure or Roberts.

If money is no option, one of the best brands is Revo. Revo produce some of the best-sounding (and most expensive) internet radios, with impressive features. They also produce a more affordable radio, the Revo PiXiS RX.

Internet Radio Glossary

Here are a few common terms used that you might not be familiar with:

  • Aux in – Aux in (short for auxiliary in) is a 3.5 mm socket that can be used to connect an audio cable with a 3.5 mm jack. If your radio has an aux in port you could use it to play music from an MP3 player or computer using the correct cable.
  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth is a technology used for transmitting data wirelessly. If your radio has Bluetooth this means you can wirelessly stream audio through the speakers from another Bluetooth-enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet, within a limited range. This essentially turns the radio into a Bluetooth speaker.
  • Dual alarm – This refers to the ability to set two independent alarms, for example one alarm for weekdays and one for weekends.
  • Ethernet port – If your radio has an Ethernet port this means you can connect it to the internet using a cable rather than having to rely on wireless. This could be a good option if you want to position the radio a long way from the wireless router, or if you want a more stable and fast internet connection.
  • EQ – EQ stands for equalisation and refers to the balance of bass, mid and treble frequencies. If your radio has an adjustable EQ this means you will be able to alter the tone, changing the bass and treble levels to get the sound you want.
  • Sleep timer – A sleep timer can be programmed to turn the radio off after a set amount of time. They often give you a choice of between 10 and 90 minutes or so. This is useful if you like to fall asleep with the radio on and don’t want to leave it turned on all night.
  • Spotify ConnectSpotify Connect is a method for streaming audio from Spotify through a speaker. It uses the internet rather than Bluetooth to stream audio directly from Spotify, and can be controlled from your phone using the Spotify app. Spotify Connect is not free, and is only available with the premium version of Spotify.
  • UNDOK appUNDOK is an app that functions like a remote control and also lets you find and play audio content from services such as Spotify Connect and Deezer.

Internet Radio FAQs

How do internet radios connect to the internet?

Internet radios usually connect via WiFi, but many also have an ethernet port so you can connect using an ethernet cable.

It’s usually very easy to connect your internet radio to WiFi. The instructions manual will explain how to connect to the internet when you first turn the radio on. After that, the radio will remember your WiFi settings so you don’t need to reconnect each time you use the radio.

Often you can connect to the internet quickly using the WPS button on your router, which lets you connect without entering the network name and password.

Which stations can you listen to on an internet radio?

The short answer to this question is, “almost every radio station!” Since most radio stations broadcast online in addition to AM, FM or DAB, you can listen to most stations with an internet radio. This includes all the popular UK stations including those from the BBC and commercial stations.

You can also receive stations from other countries, making an internet radio station a good choice if you want to listen to foreign stations or pick up UK radio while you’re abroad.

Can you listen to podcasts on an internet radio?

Some internet radios offer this feature, though not all do. If you want to listen to podcasts on your radio, check that it has this feature before buying. If podcasts aren’t available from the radio’s interface but the radio has Bluetooth, you could stream podcasts from your phone or laptop via Bluetooth.

What are the pros and cons of internet radios?

As with all tech products, internet radios have both pros and cons. Here’s a summary of them:

Pros

  • Huge choice of stations
  • Potentially better sound quality with less interference
  • Ideal if you live in an area with poor radio reception

Cons

  • Usually more expensive than FM/DAB radios
  • Use bandwidth, so if you’re using the internet for other things at the same time it might slow things down

Is the sound quality on internet radios better than on DAB/FM?

The short answer to this question is, “it depends…” The highest quality internet radio streams have better sound quality than FM and DAB radio. However, not all internet radio stations broadcast at high bitrates.

The sound quality also depends on the particular radio you are listening to—a high-quality internet radio stream on a cheap internet radio might sound worse than a lower bitrate DAB broadcast on a high-end DAB radio.

See this article for a more in-depth look at internet radio sound quality.

Can you use your phone as a remote control?

Lots of internet radios offer this feature. You will need to download an app such as UNDOK.

 

Conclusion

If we had to pick just one of these radios to recommend it would be the Roberts Stream 94i.

It’s a popular and highly rated product from an established and respected brand. The Stream 94i is mid-priced, stylish and has some useful additional features such as Bluetooth and an alarm clock.

6 thoughts on “Best Internet Radios 2019”

  1. YOU HAVE WRITTEN THE MOST PROFESSIONAL RELIABLE AND CREDIBLE SOURCE ON INTERNET RADIO. I AM JUMPING FROM MY OLD SONY SHORT WAVE TO THE INTERNET RADIO I CAN ONLY LISTEN ON MY MOBIL AND COMPUTER. BUT USUALLY THEY ARE AT A POINT UNSTABLE SIGNALS. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS I DO APPRECIATE IMMENSELY AND I AM GOING TO GIVE MYSELF MAYBE ONE REVO FOR MY COMING BIRTHDAY

  2. Your information is so helpful – thank you.
    It is a minefield out there with so much choice and for the digitally unaware challenging.
    Brilliant, it has helped me make an informed choice when I know very little!!

  3. The Roberts Radio Stream 107 listed in your review above looks almost identical to the Sangean WFR-28, which is very well regarded (and actually does sound great). I wonder if some of these Roberts label units are in fact manufactured by others under a distribution scheme of some sort.

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