Grace Digital Audio Wireless Internet Radio GDI-IR1000 Review

1. Introduction

Everything is now on the Internet and radio is no exception. Gone are the days when we would extend an antenna to catch that far away radio station at night, when the solar activity is reduced. Now, with a fairly cheap radio you can instantly access thousands of radio stations from every country or genres, premium or not with a simple switch of a button. And the quality is usually much better than the airwaves anyway. I own several internet radios (Philips NP1100/37, Aluratek AIRMM01F) and the last to find its place in my ever growing collection is Grace GDI-IR1000, the subject of the present review.

2. Unpacking

The content of the box is fairly limited, including the radio itself, the power adapter and an audio cable. No remote included, but I will keep the radio on the nightstand, at my bedside, so I don’t really need a remote.  If you intend to embed your internet radio into your home theater, you might need to consider a different unit (both NP100 and Aluratek I own have remote controls and digital audio output).

3. Tech Specs

  • Over 15,000 radio stations in the database, continuously updated, using Reciva content management
  • Pandora internet radio client
  • Sirius internet radio client
  • Live365.com internet radio client
  • mp3tunes music locker support
  • Wireless 802.11 b/g/n using WEP/WPA/WPA2
  • 10 preset stations accessible from the front buttons (the only internet radio I have seen to have this feature, convenient for fast access to your favorite stations)

4. Details

Upon unpacking, the Grace GDI-IR1000 promptly found my two wireless networks (yes, I have two). You can use the Menu knob to input your network key (it takes a little bit to get used to this input mode, but I found I actually like it better than other methods since I can navigate easier from one letter to another). It connected without any issues and I also updated the firmware.

4.1 Reciva stations streaming

There are several services that maintain databases with internet radio stations around the world (Aluratek and the Philips NP1100/37 are using vTuner). I wasn’t familiar with Reciva until I purchased this unit, but the databases seem to be comparable. Beside a couple of NPR radio stations from LA area, I also like to listen to BBC and several radio stations from Romania. Al three devices displayed similar options. One interesting feature that is unique (in my experience) to this radio is the ability to show the local radio stations that are streaming on the internet (and also have terrestrial transmitters, on both AM and FM).

4.2 DLNA / Windows shares streaming

Grace GDI-IR1000 can access your network content via DLNA protocol (it detected my PS3 Media Server and PlayOn) without a hitch. It can also play music from your Windows network shares as well.

4.3 Web Clients

Grace GDI-IR1000 implements several popular web clients like Pandora, Sirius, Live365.com. In order to access them on your radio, you’ll have to go on Grace Digital’s website and register your radio. Once the registration is finished, you’ll have to enter your account information for all the above mentioned services and they will be automatically updated to your radio (it literally takes seconds). You can then enjoy your Pandora channels for example, directly on the radio. The radio plays podcasts (you can configure the list on the website as well – I listen to NPR’s Car Talk and I was easily able to add this specific podcast).

4.4 Multiple units

If  by any chance you have more than one radio (I have two) you can add all of them to your account and update them simultaneously.

5. Conclusion

Considering its price, Grace Digital GDI-IR1000 is an immensely capable internet radio. The capability of accessing  stations around the world in a simple matter combined with the support DLNA streaming, the popular Pandora and access to podcasts makes it an excellent tool for radio lovers. Highly recommended!

6. Gallery

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