INTERNET RADIO ALARM CLOCK

We tried a new Internet radio the other day and it jumps sound-years ahead of our best choice from last year.

This new front runner is the Aluratek Internet Radio Alarm Clock, which has built-in wireless reception and retails for around $150. Unlike other alarm clockInternet radios we have tried, it actually looks like an alarm clock radio. There’s even a “snooze” button.

Just plug it in anywhere near a wired or wireless Internet connection and you’re ready to go. There are 11,000 stations to choose from and they are all organized by genre and location. You can choose Chinese humor broadcasts, for example (but you better know Chinese), or Swiss dance bands. We tried stations for swing, boogie woogie, blues, cool jazz and baroque classical. With 11,000 stations, you can go on twisting the dial, so to speak, for ages. The radio’s memory lets you build a list of your favorite stations so these can be revisited quickly.

The display screen shows the time and date when you’re not tuning in stations and it’s big enough to be easily readable from 10-20 feet away. If you prefer your own collection of music, there’s a USB slot in the front of the Aluratek and you can plug in a flash drive and listen to that. You are not confined to music stations but can tune in news, lectures, drama, interviews, regular FM broadcasts and other programs.

There are no monthly charges for bringing in the Internet stations and we found the Wi-Fi reception built into the Aluratek good enough to pick up stations even when we moved the receiver to put several walls between it and our wireless router. Sound quality was excellent. More specs and other information is available at Aluratek.com.

Most Internet stations have no commercials, so it’s just voice or music without interruptions. How they support themselves without ads or subscription fees is a mystery to us. Of course, we don’t have ads on our web site either, so who are we to try and figure out their altruistic leanings.

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