By Andrew Liszewski
Even though the name sounds like a bit of high-tech snake oil (Acoustic Energy?) I still like the motivations behind this radio that can tune into internet radio stations instead of standard AM or FM broadcasts. While the internet really has unlimited potential I think at times many people are missing out since basic PC skills are needed to take advantage of it. Internet radio is a great example and now that it’s been packaged into a consumer level-device even my Dad could easily enjoy it.
Now the website claims the Acoustic Energy Wifi Internet Radio works right out of the box but I guess that’s only if you have an unprotected wifi network at home. Hopefully there is some means to easily enter a WEP code if you’d prefer not to leave your network publicly available. However once that’s taken care of the radio will automatically download a database of available stations and list them either by country, genre or alphabetically on the unit’s LCD screen. All you have to do is choose one of the nearly 5,000 stations that exist online. And if for some reason your local favorite isn’t already included you can manually add them as well.
As long as you don’t need mobility or Howard Stern you can probably ditch that satellite radio setup (and their monthly fees) with this device and those who are a bit more tech-savvy will be happy to hear that the radio can also stream MP3s, WMAs or RealMedia from a PC on the same network if you prefer your own playlists.
The AE Internet Radio is available from C. Crane for $299.95.