Pros Easy to use. Nice sound from such a small radio. Connected my wireless internet connection without any problem.
The remote is a nice accessory.
Cons The display is too bright at night, but I found a simple solution. Go to your nearest window tinting company and ask for a scrap piece of window film. I used a 5% or 10% darkness.
Could use presets to make it quicker to start listening to the radio.
Summary When I saw this radio on the internet I was very excited. I was looking just for a plain old clock radio that used a digital tuner instead of the old kind that kept losing the station. I have gone through a lot of clock radios, but I think I have found the one that will last and keep me satisfied. Some of the best features of this radio that I have found are:
- Digital tuner that stays in tune. Picks up a lot of stations too.
- An antenna input that will allow you to improve the reception if you need it.
- An alarm clock that allows you to set a volume and it remembers it. It even gradually picks up the volume. No more heart attacks when the radio alarm goes off because the last person using it was ROCKING THE HOUSE DOWN (kids).
- More than one alarm. Its kind of neat that you can wake up to one radio station and then have the radio tune to a different radio station for the next alarm. You can also set what days to have the alarm wake you up. You no longer have to remember to turn it off on the weekends.
-13,000 radio stations to choose from. What else is there to say about that.
- RCA jacks in the back of the radio. I connected mine to an amplifier with a good set of speakers and was amazed by the sound quality. The display is large enough that I can see it across the room. I put the radio near my stereo and use the remote to control the radio. My bedside table is not cluttered with a large clock radio anymore, all I have is a couple of remotes and a lamp now.
- If there is an internet radio station that you don't find on vtuner, it is easy to add it.
I would like to see the following features added in the future. Since the radio is upgradable through firmware upgrades it may be possible.
- Presets that you can access easily. Perhaps through the numbers on the remote.
- Have the radio start where it was left off. I guess you can work around this by just muting the sound, but it would be nice if when you go to the radio it plays the last station selected, and when you go to the internet radio it also goes to the last station selected.
- The ability to record what you are listening to onto a usb drive, and the ability to program when and what station to record.
- A computer interface program that would make the unit easy to program.
- More control over the light! One thing for sure, if you have this in a very bright room, you will have no trouble reading the display.
Note: When I was trying to figure out a nice clean way to put the window film over the display, I thought that putting it inside would look the nicest so I took the unit apart. I ended up keeping it on the outside, because taking out the screen is difficult and could end up killing the unit. I was impressed with how the radio was constructed. The speaker is actually two speakers. One very small (Tweeter?) and one slightly larger. Hard to believe so much sound can come from those two speakers.
Anyway, to make a long story short, it works, its not too expensive, has lots of features, and it sounds good.
Pros Steaming content from the intenet, your computer, or your thumb drive. Is your favorite station missing, no problem, you can add it to the radio.
Cons None, it does more than you could have guessed ,and the quality is the best you can expect for the size of the speaker.
Summary As a radio, it will have you fooled into thinking it is a radio. While there are a few of the 1,00 stations that might not be up to your standards, most will be better than you think. If you want a big sound, use the RCA jacks to port it to your stereo, or a good pair of computer speakers witha sub woofer. I did and it is great. We wanted a station out of Corpus Christy, Texas, BadlandsFM, and when I could find it on the radio, I submitted it as one of my favorites and it soon appeared on my dial. That's right, anything that streams from the internet can be directed to the dial of your radio. It will apear under your favorites so you don't have to search through 11,000 other stations looking for it. Be sure to check your radio to be sure to have the latest firmware for best performence.As I shop for another Internet Radio, I gain more of an appreciation of the Aluratek. Did I mention it has RCA output jacks for porting out to your stereo system? Maybe I did, but I didn't say that it has an AM/FM, and FMHD ability. FMHD is that digital signal that is coming from many analog radio stations. At the very least, it streams the song title, and artist to the display, and gives a digital signal that rivals any analog radio station. The most you can get is 2 to 3 times more content, as many of the analog stations not only output a digital equivalent, but at least one, and in sometimes 2 other digital stations with alternate content. In some cases I get 24 hour comedy, just like Rawdog comedy of my XM radio. Others put Jazz, or alternate country on the other channels. I get the same in my car, a new Hyundai Elantra. (Love it) As I try to replace the Aluratek, I find that I can't get many that can do all that this radio does.
Updated on Dec 13, 2011
Pros Set up favorites online, Alarm functionality, Media streaming from home PC, Wired and wireless connectivity, fully functional remote control, Play music on USB drive.
Cons Back light too bright, Firmware update required, Intermittent slow response time, Noisy buttons,
Summary When the CD player on my old clock radio stopped working I started looking for a replacement. I thought it would be nice to be able to play MP3 files stored on my computer instead of just CDs. I also like to listen to a distant AM radio station from my home town that only comes in at night where I live. When I found the Aluratek Internet Clock radio I thought I found the perfect solution.I found out that you can change the display brightness by clicking the light button multiple times. There are three brightness levels. Unfortunately the lowest level is still too bright. I ended up covering the display with a dark piece of static cling window shade.
Internet radio is great! You can listen to stations from all over the world so now I can listen to my home town station anytime, not just at night. It's also nice to have access to thousands of other stations which is great because there are only about one station of each genera where I live -- thanks to corporations buying up all of the independent stations.
Initial set up was fairly straight forward. I had read about it needing a firmware update to fix problems so that was the first thing I did. Then I set up connectivity to my network. Since my home WiFi network includes WEP security and MAC filtering I had to use the advanced setup mode to configure it. But after adding the radio's MAC address to my router and entering the WEP shared key, the radio was able to connect without problems.
Setting up Windows Media Player sharing took a little longer. For some reason it couldn't find my radio on the network for quite a while. After fiddling with WMP settings for a while it finally found my radio. Now I have access to my entire music collection on my PC from the bedroom.
You can select stations through the radio but I found it easier to do through the web site http://aluratek.vtuner.com. After registering your radio's MAC address and creating an account, you can browse stations and add them to one or more favorites lists. The stations you add will automatgically appear in your favorites on the radio. You can also add stations not listed.
The alarm clock is configurable to wake to any audio source on specific day(s) of the week and at a specific volume level -- no more missing an alarm because the volume you fell asleep to was too low.
It can also play MP3 files stored on a USB drive. You'll also need a USB drive to update the firmware. The headphone jack is essential to me because I like to fall asleep to the radio through pillow headphones.
The main problem with this radio is the back light which is way too bright to be used at bedside. This is a major design flaw since the nightstand is a common place for clock radios. There is no way to dim the back light but It can be configured to turn off after a period of time, but this means the clock display is turned off too. A comment on the Aluratek knowledge base says they are "working on revisions to add the dimmer feature" but I don't know if this means through a firmware update or if it will be only available on newer models. I also read where someone put some removable window tint over the display to dim the light. I might have to try this until they provide a dimming feature.
Another annoying problem is it sometimes has a slow response to the remote control. I click the down arrow to scroll down just one menu item and nothing happens so I click it again. Eventually it scrolls down two items so I try to go up one item and nothing happens, so I click the up arrow again and it goes up two items. This can be very frustrating. It has an hourglass that shows when it's busy but it doesn't always display . . . probably because it's too busy.
Another minor annoyance is the loud clicking sound of the buttons on top of the unit. I listen via headphones in bed and the button clicks wake up my wife. The work around is to use the remote control which is silent. Luckily you can do everything and more with the remote. In fact you must use the remote to configure your network settings. It would be nice if the remote lit up to make it easier to use in the dark.
Overall I'm pleased with the radio for the price. It was the least expensive Internet radio I found with comparable features. Most other Internet radios I looked at lacked features and cost significantly more.
Updated on Jun 5, 2009
Aother design flaw is if you have headphones connected to the unit when the alarm goes of the alarm plays through the headphone instead of the main speaker. This is a problem since I fall asleep listening to the radio through a pillow headphone. Since the alarm doesn't play through the main speaker when headphones are connected you can easily sleep through the alarm unless you set it to a high volume.
Also, I didn't know that the alarm starts at the volume setting last used and gradually increases to the volume level you set for the alarm. I had to play around with it a bit to figure this out because it's not mentioned in the manual. This and the display level might have been added in a firmware update.
Pros Satisfies the wishes of somebody who wants access to radios all around the planet.
USB Port & Remote control
Headset Output + RCA Stereo Outputs
Cons - Screen too bright
- Too many clicks to access a station
- The most desirable feature to add would be the possibility of mapping 10 favorite
Stations to the numeric pad on the Remote
Summary All in All : An excellent well designed, well priced itemContrary to what is oftern stated, you "can" add stations to this radio thru your computer.
Updated on Jan 2, 2009
Pros Easy to set up and find and save "favorite" radio stations - which are listed by location and genre.
Cons Sound quality of internal speaker is barely adequate for music listening. I will improve on this by attaching external speakers.
Summary Vast selection of radio stations worldwide. Once found it is easy to save a station as a "favorite" for future listening. Was pleasantly surprised to find several stations dedicated to "crime stories" and old radio shows such as "the shadow" . "Green Hornet", "Lone Ranger" "FBI" on and on, truly amazing! It reminds me of the old days before television when the family would gather together and listen attentively to radio dramas. For me this one feature is well worth the price.