Many of the gadgets I get to review are sort of variations on a theme – nothing particular new, but sometimes things just done better. Every so often, I get to use something that is potentially “ground-breaking” as a consumer device. The Com One Phoenix WiFi radio is potentially one of these devices.
Imagine the ability to listen to virtually any Wi-Fi radio station in the world – without a computer – right out of the box. That’s the idea behind the Com One Phoenix Wi-Fi radio. Does it work? Is this the next “gotta have it” device? Read on for my thoughts.
This was one of those new gadgets that I was really looking forward to trying out. I have been using a Squeezebox for a few months, streaming content from my computer to my Stereo – but it was not without its own unique character flaws and didn’t always work as I had hoped.
The idea of having a table-top radio that has built in speakers (yet can also be connected to better speakers) and built in Wi-Fi was very attractive.
The Phoenix Radio is from Com One, a relative new comer in the world of personal electronics.
About Com One
Com One (www.com-one.biz), is a cutting edge technology company offering Bluetooth® and
Wi-Fi® solutions. From audio speakers and stereo headsets to adapters and dongles for all of the most popular consumer electronics, laptops and telephony devices, Com One’s goal is to facilitate wireless connections and become the leader in Internet Radio. Com One became a subsidiary of Baracoda (www.baracoda.com) when the brand was purchased in 2005. Baracoda, the global leader in Bluetooth barcode scanning and RFID solutions, was founded in 2001 by Thomas Serval, who currently serves as CEO.
The “Official” line on the new Phoenix Radio, as revealed at this year’s CES is as follows:
The Phoenix Radio’s new firmware upgrade provides improved Wi-FI quality and stability with a WPA connection that is 25% faster than the previous version and with an enhanced dynamic network bandwidth manager. Plus, a unique “My Network” feature allows you to access UPnP music sources present on your home network or computer.
Other features of The Phoenix Wi-Fi radio include:
- thousands of radio stations programmable online via drag-and-drop database
- ability to self-provision additional radio stations and audio sources
- alarm clock with snooze and sleep functions
- eight preset radio station buttons and search mode
- rechargeable AA batteries and integrated internal charger for portability
- lightweight – under two pounds
- integrated stereo speakers and spatialization enhancer for digital sound quality
- can plug into any hi-fi stereo system or headphones with analog outputs
- allows for Bluetooth® connectivity to hi-fi stereo or other device with adapter offered through Com One
- connects to any 802.11 wireless network with its easy Wi-F® connection
- no computer necessary to listen
- bookmark favorite stations for instant access
- listen to missed shows with radio-on-demand or podcasts
- embedded software for easy connection to the Internet-based service distribution platform, content & service customization
- provides access to UPnP music sources present on your home network.
- firmware upgrades available over the air
- push & pull interactivity and management of subscription or click & buy functions
- lets you listen to MP3, ASF, WMA, PCM/WAV, Real Audio
Com One’s Phoenix Wi-Fi Radio is readily available online with large retail locations following suit. MSRP is $249. For more information visit www.com-one.biz.