- Created on 25 May 2010
All of the internet radios we have reviewed up until now have been mains powered devices, however the new View Quest Portable WiFi Internet Radio breaks the mould as a portable internet radio.
Measuring only 72.9 x 125.1 x 23.1 mm the device easily fits in a pocket and the finish is in a black gloss plastic that looks nice, but attracts the usual fingerprints (although this is somewhat minimised by using the included soft microfibre pouch). Built in to the fascia is a simple monochrome LCD, a jog dial and a 2W speaker. On the right side of the device one of the navigation buttons, a volume dial, a lock button and headphone port and on the base of the casing is a mini USB slot (for charging through the included USB cable) and a reset button. Inside the device is a 1500mAh Li-Ion battery which provides up to 15 hours of use from one charge.
In our tests we found the View Quest WiFi Internet Radio really easy to setup, simply requiring selection of our office network and then entering our WPA key to enable the device to access the vTuner portal and it's database of internet radio stations and podcasts. Finding your favorite station is very simple and stations are broken down by geographical location or by genre. Any station you listen to can be bookmarked and added to your "favorites" for faster finding or added to one of 12 preset stations if it is a regular. Charging of the device is again simply a case of connecting it to a spare USB port on a laptop, desktop or even mains USB adaptor.
Around the home, the portability of the device is brilliant (especially with the use of headphones) and if you have a WiFi signal in your garden it means that you can also listen to your favourite channels anywhere in your grounds. With the availability of various free WiFi signals out and about you are not just limited to your home (as we found in a recent trip to Innsbruck!), enabling you to listen literally anywhere you can find a signal. The only slight downside we found was that the WiFi connection is limited to WEP and WPA enabled networks so connection to other types of security enabled devices (i.e. online login etc.) is not possible.
Given that it only has a 2W speaker the overall sound quality isn't bad, although obviously lacking some bass, and there is enough volume to allow listening even in relatively noisy external environments, however this shouldn't be an issue in most cases where headphones would most likely be used.
Overall we thought that the View Quest WiFi Internet Radio was a great little device, enabling access to the 1,000s of radio channels and related podcasts available online, and priced at only £79.99 (at the time of writing) it is seriously cheaper and more adaptable than the rest of the wireless internet radios we have reviewed to date.
Amazon: View Quest Portable Internet Radio