Terratec Noxon iRadio review
There are many audio-streaming devices to choose from, but few have integrated speakers. Terratec’s iRadio is based around the Noxon 2 audio, but with an integrated speaker that makes it more useful as a standalone device.
The iRadio is fairly attractive, but it shares the same screen as the Noxon 2 audio, which has poor viewing angles. The best visibility is head-on, which means you’ll need to place the unit on a shelf rather than on a desk or worktop. Other design niggles are that you can’t do away with the remote for the majority of the time – there are playback and navigation controls on the front of the unit, but there’s no way to search or enter a Wi-Fi security key without the alphanumeric keys on the remote.
Another frustration is that there are two volume controls: a dial on the front and buttons on the remote. Since they’re not linked, you have to turn both up to get maximum volume. At least the 2.5in speaker is ported: it adds a considerable amount of bass to the overall sound, which isn’t only impressive in terms of quality, but also in volume.
On the rear is a detachable Wi-Fi antenna, an RJ-45 socket plus line-out and speaker-out mini-jacks. The latter is for a second speaker to bring stereo audio into the mix, although Terratec hasn’t said when this will be available.
The main menu has four entries: favourites, podcasts, internet radio and sleep timer. You can use buttons 1-5 for car-stereo-style presets, and store more favourites in the menu. However, there’s no way to access the settings without using the configuration button on the remote.
UPnP servers appear as entries in the main menu once they’re detected. We tested mainly with a Synology DS-106 NAS drive and found we could access our music library (with MP3, unprotected AAC and OGG Vorbis files) with ease, but only once we’d updated the firmware to the latest versions for both devices. Internet radio stations or podcasts can be browsed by location or genre, but currently there’s no on-demand function, so you can’t, for example, access BBC radio shows from the past week.
Overall, the iRadio is ideal for streaming your music library wirelessly, or listening to internet radio or podcasts. However, the poor display and annoying design foibles mean we can’t quite recommend it at this price.