Pros Very easy, intuitive user interface. Has all the features that I wanted. Sound quality is good.
Cons Not sure if I got a lemon or if there are some fundamental design/component issues. Frequently loses internet connection and cannot re-establish connectivity unless I reset factory settings or disconnect/reconnect A/C power. Shipping back to Grace today
Summary If it weren't for the problems that I've had I would absolutely love this radio, which makes it all the more disappointing. After I get the radio back after this round of warranty repair I'll submit an update to let folks know if they were finally able to fix it or not.Since I was having issues with my GDI-IR 1000, I bought a VTech IS9181 on 4/22/2011. I shipped my defective GDI-IR1000 back to Grace on that same date, my 3rd warranty return. Grace delivered a 3rd replacement GDI-IR1000 on 6/8. Both radios have been set up side-by-side since 6/8 so that I could compare their behavior.
Updated on Jul 3, 2011
My findings are that the VTech has the ability to recover when it is disconnected from the router due to power interruptions, for example, whereas the Grace recovery is inconsistent. I've experienced 5 such incidents since 6/8. The VTech unit has been able to recover on its own and has never failed to sound a programmed alarm. The Grace unit, however, failed to alarm once and required me to disconnect and reconnect power 3 times to re-establish connectivity with the router.
Updated on Jul 5, 2011Another quirk to report. This morning my GDI-IR1000 turned itself on at 4:28 a.m. and again at 5:12 a.m. - I unplugged it the 2nd time. This had happened a couple of times with one of my previous GDI-IR1000s.
Updated on Aug 31, 2011Just an update to my prior postings. My GDI-IR1000 has been relegated to my basement workbench since it was too unreliable to be a wake up alarm. It continues to lose connectivity and I still have to disconnect and reconnect power to get it reconnected. My VTech IS9181, on the other hand, has never failed as an alarm and doesn't lose connectivity. Bottom line - If you want a reliable, trouble-free internet radio buy a VTech and stay away from Grace.
Pros Excellent sound
Cons Buttons confusing
Wish it had batteries
Pandora costs money
Summary I bought the ITC-IR1000 after reading this review. I am very pleased with it and with internet radio. I already had a set of favorite stations through my computer but wanted the convenience and sound quality of a stand-alone unit.
The setup was fairly easy. The sound quality is very good. It is easy enough to find stations once you know the call letters or other ID. The online service is handy for developing a station list.
A couple of quibbles: The button placement could be better. I often use this radio in low light conditions. The power button could be differentiated better and the station presets could be better isolated from the other function buttons. After a month navigating the buttons is still not intuitive. And - I discovered how little I depend on electric outlet locations to place electronic devices. I don't get to put this radio where I want it to be because of the cord. Finally - all the reviews and the company website brag up the access to Pandora. None of them say that you need to pay $35 for the "pro" subscription to get it. I know that's how marketing works but they could have put it in the fine print somewhere.
These little details do not detract from my pleasure of listening to my favorite worldwide radio stations on the Grace ITC-IR1000. No regrets.
Pros Acceptable sound, internet radio stations work, price
Cons Buggy and unreliable with Sirius
Summary Caveat: I purchased this (and a GDI-IR3000 after) primarily to listen to a handful of Sirius talk channels without turning on a stereo system. DirecTV provides all the XM music channels, and I have a minimum of use for the 15,000 internet stations the Grace radio successfully receives. I ultimately purchased a Logitech Squeezebox Boom, which works perfectly with Sirius with better sound, albeit at a much higher price.
I've tried two Grace internet radios, and both have the same problem... Sirius really doesn't work (after weeks of interactions with Grace support).
The problem appears to be that the Sirius stream doesn't come directly from Sirius (as the Stiletto and PC streams do), but from a third party named Reciva.
The problems? When you turn on the radio already set to a Sirius channel, more often than not it reports "Unable to connect", although pressing a preset button for the same Sirius channel immediately connects.
And then, after it connects, it frequently stops with "Stream ended", although, again pressing the preset button immediately connects and plays.
Grace claimed this was a unique problem, and wanted me to try another radio, and I did, with exactly the same results (this time directly connected via Ethernet, instead of WiFi). But the Grace and Reciva websites now have multiple reports of the "Stream ended" problem.
Grace support, while professional and responsive, seems unable to resolve Reciva/Grace issues.
If Grace can work out the problems with Reciva/Sirius behind the scenes, or with a radio firmware update, this will be a good product. Until then, if you're planning to buy this to receive Sirius (which requires paying Sirius for 'CD quality' streaming), think again.