Hands-on Review: Grace ITC-IR1000 Wireless Internet Radio with Pandora Radio Support
One of the great things about technology is how much it evolves. One of the things that sucks about technology is how much it evolves. As technolgy devices become more evolved and complex it usually means you need a degree from MIT to hook up some of these devices that are coming out. So when we get a device here at NAV that is easy to hook up and does exactly what it's supposed to do, we get a tad excited. We'll start out this review of Grace ITC-IR1000 Wireless Internet Radio by saying it fits right into that "easy to use - but powerful" genre.
We told you about the ITC-IR1000 last month after we found out that the radio could also play Pandora radio streams. You've heard us here at NAV mention a few times that we're big Pandora fans, so we were pretty excited about getting our review unit.
The review unit packaging was pretty simple. There was a box and the device. To get started, we took the radio out of the box and plugged it in.
The device powers up and starts by trying to find the last wireless network it connected to. If the radio can't find the network, then you'll have to scan through to connect your network.
Connect to our network was extremely simple and fast. Within about 20 seconds we were ready to find something to listen to. The ITC-IR1000 claims to have over more than 11,000 streaming stations in all kinds of gneres including: 24/7. Music, Sports, News, Comedy, Talk. We believe the claim because when we started scrolling through the pre-programmed stations on the devices we amazed at how many choices we had. You can search by:
- Search by Name
We started by going to Genre and looked through a ton of titles like "80s", "90", "Classical", "Sports", and much more to find the "Talk" genre. Once we selected "Talk", the radio took about 10 seconds to load 815 stations. Once the stations loaded, we scrolled down and found KABC radio, one of our favorite talk radio stations. After a quick buffering we were listing to talk radio.
We were up and listening to radio within 2 minutes without picking up a manual. Thats sweetness! The navigation through the channels is really easy. The main navigation is done with the large "scroll" knob which helps you scroll through the channels. When you find the channel you want, you push the button in to select. To find another channel, you push the "back" button to go back to the navigation screens. The "back" button and the "scroll" knob are pretty much all you need to navigate the device.
We'll tell you the hardware of the ITC-IR1000 is pretty simple and the only port on the device is the headset jack on the back of the device.
One of the great things about the ITC-IR1000 is the ability to play Pandora stations and podcasts on the radio. To do this you'll need to set up a free account with Reciva Radio at https://www.reciva.com/.
When you set-up your account, you'll need to add your device by adding your serial number and registration number which you get from the radio.
Once you do that, you're ready to go with podcasts and Pandora. You'll need to set up your podcasts through the website to play over the radio. To find other internet stations to play on the device, you can search Reciva. We found the Reciva search function to be a little lacking but we we're still able to add any stations we didn't find pre-programmed on the radio.
Pandora and podcasts work great over the radio. Folders will be created on the device that make it easy to navigate and play your stations. We really love Pandora over the ITC-IR1000 because we can even add our favorite artists right though the device. Overall the Pandora setup was easy and the listening experience was great. Pandora over the Grace Digital Radio is pure listening pleasure.
The sound quality was good and the speakers were able to play at a pretty high volume without distortion. We were using a stable wireless connection and found no skipping or rebuffering on the device. In fact, the ITC-IR1000 seemed to rebuffer less than any internet radio we've used in the past.
We can tell you our impressions of the Grace Digital Radio in one word. OUTSTANDING! The setup was easy and can be done by anyone. There are so many pre-programmed stations that you can plug the device in have more than enough to listen to even if you never load anymore stations. While the device is pretty powerful, this is a great radio for entry-level internet radio user and for those whose aren't looking for too many bells and whistles. Probably the only thing we'd like to see on the radio is the ability to use rechargable batteries to make the device truly mobile.
If you're looking for a powerful internet radio that anyone can setup and use, at $200 we think the Grace ITC-IR1000 is a great choice!
More at Grace Digital Audio
Pandora Radio Website
Grace ITC-IR1000 Wireless Internet Radio at Amazon
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Posted by William Hungerford at August 27, 2008 8:52 AM