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Roku SoundBridge R1000 Radio Network Music System

SoundBridge Radio is a complete Wi-Fi Music System that brings the world of Internet radio to every room of the house in rich, clear, stereo sound. Combining all of SoundBridge’s advanced digital music streaming functionality with incredible-sounding stereo speakers, subwoofer, AM/FM radio and alarm clock, SoundBridge Radio takes today’s tabletop radio to the next level in audio power and ease of use. Access all your music using simple and familiar radio controls. A few buttons for presets, scan, and source select make digital music easily accessible. This is an Amazon’s product review. Checkout more details bellow.

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Product Features:

  • WiFi music system with advanced digital music streaming functionality, pair of stereo speakers, and subwoofer
  • Native support for Apple iTunes and Rendezvous, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Player 10, and Rhapsody
  • Accesses free Internet radio stations via broadband connection; bright 280 x 32 vacuum fluorescent display
  • Patented Linear Magnetic Drive stereo speakers and subwoofer with acoustic enclosures and built-in digital amps
  • Ultra-fast 400 MHz Blackfin DSP; measures 11 x 6 x 6.5 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty

Technical Details:

  • Processor: 400 MHz Blackfin
  • Memory: 16 MB DRAM
  • Digital-to-analog converter: 20 bits
  • IR: Universal 38 kHz receiver
  • Wireless network: 802.11b (compatible with 802.11g)
  • Sample rates supported: 8 kHz, 11.025 kHz, 12.0 kHz, 16.0 kHz, 22.05 kHz, 24 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48.0 kHz, 96.0 kHz
  • Bit depth supported: 8 bit, 16 bit, stereo or mono
  • Display: 280 x 32 bitmapped vacuum fluorescent display (VFD)
  • AM/FM tuner: Yes
  • Internet radio compatibility: Yes
  • Memory card slot: SD/MMC
  • Speakers: Two Linear Magnetic Drive (LMD) full-range speakers, with tuned acoustic enclosures and built-in 20-watt 3G digital amplifiers
  • Subwoofer: Linear Magnetic Drive (LMD) subwoofer with proprietary Delta-Tunnel tuned acoustic enclosure and built-in 30W-watt 3G digital amplifier
  • Native media support: iTunes, Rendezvous, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Connect, Rhapsody
  • Compatible out-of-the-box formats: WMA, MP3, AAC, AIFF, and WAV (doesn’t support “Protected AAC” formats from iTunes)
  • Protocols supported: Roku control protocol, Bonjour, UPnP AV and Windows Media DRM 10, WEP, AutoIP, DHCP, TCP, TELNET, HTTP, Rhapsody DRM
  • Server requirements for streaming music: PC: 500 MHz Pentium class processor or better; Mac: 400 MHz G3 or better; 128 MB minimum, 256 MB recommended; Windows Media Connect: Windows XP SP2; Rhapsody: Windows XP, M3, 2000, or 98 SE; iTunes: Windows XP or 2000 or Mac OS X v10.1.5 or later; MusicMatch: Windows 98, SE, Me, XP, or 2000 (SP3 or above)
  • Item width: 11 inches
  • Item height: 6 inches
  • Item depth: 6.5 inches
  • Item weight: 4 pounds, 15 ounces
  • Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
  • In the box: R1000 SoundBridge radio system, remote control, two AAA batteries, power cable, external AM antenna, external FM antenna, user’s manual

 

Featuring two linear magnetic drive full-range speakers and a linear magnetic drive subwoofer — each powered by built-in amplifiers — the SoundBridge puts most table-top radios to shame. If you have a lot of space to fill with your music, you’ll want to think twice before replacing your stereo system with it. But for a unit this size, the SoundBridge offers excellent sound performance, and its many ground-breaking Wi-Fi features make it worth the price.

As a complete Wi-Fi music system that can stream your MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and AIFF music files in high-performance sound; play AM, FM and Internet radio; automatically update the time via atomic transmission; and wake you up to a variety of ascending alarm sounds or your favorite Internet station or digital music, the SoundBridge has clear aspirations to be your bedside radio of choice.

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Without needing any special software for your computer (PC or Mac), within a few minutes of breaking this five-pound radio out of its packaging you can be browsing through the music you have stored in your Apple’s iTunes, Real Networks’ Rhapsody, Windows Media Connect or Windows Media 10 music players. All you need is a wireless network with a broadband connection, and your digital music is yours for the asking. (However, because Apple doesn’t license its digital rights management code, SoundBridge — like most other non-Apple network media players — can’t play protected songs from the iTunes Music Store.)

In our test we set up an iMac G5 on our network running Apple’s iTunes. The radio, which is configured with Wi-Fi 802.11b but is 802.11g compatible, immediately recognized the network but took several tries before it successfully connected. (If your network is locked, the SoundBridge will ask for a password. And if you have access to more than one wireless network, the SoundBridge will give you the option of choosing which network to connect to.) Once online, the radio automatically updated the Roku software and was officially ready to perform. And for the remainder of our test over several days, we never once had another connection problem.

Diving straight into our iTunes folders, it didn’t take long for us to recognize the several play features that put the SoundBridge head and shoulders above many of its competitors. For starters, unlike other network players we’ve tested, the radio recognized our iTunes playlists, and a neat “song queue” feature let us easily create our own playlists with the radio’s remote. And as a huge brownie point, the SoundBridge not only categorized our songs by genre, title, artist and album (as most networks players do), it also queued up each song in the same order as they were originally placed their respective albums. Astoundingly, not all Wi-Fi players can make that claim.

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On the Internet radio front, SoundBridge doesn’t come out quite so well. While Roku’s marketing material claims “10,000 stations — No strings attached,” that wasn’t exactly our experience. The radio is pre-configured with dozens of Internet stations — all of which can be accessed without the computer powered on — and the radio has 18 pre-sets that offer quick access to the station of your choice. But to access the rest of the world’s Internet radio stations, you have to go through several somewhat tedious steps with Roku’s Web interface to configure them.

The strongest criticism of SoundBridge concerns its remote capabilities and navigation. The features of the SoundBridge are designed to be accessed both through the large, easy-to-access buttons on the radio itself, and via its basic 5.5 x 2-inch remote. Unfortunately, the remote works for some features, but not for others, and less-than-intuitive navigation makes things unnecessarily complicated.

The most glaring example of this problem is with the SoundBridge’s highly convenient “source” button located behind the radio’s conveniently huge snooze button. You hit the source button until you reach — you guessed it! — the music source of your choice. If you want AM radio, you tap the button until “AM Radio” appears on the radio’s display. Pretty simple, and just how it should be. However, if you are using the remote you must hit the “home” button, which then leads you to a navigation level that’s dependent upon the level you’re starting at. If you’re listening to AM radio, for example, and you want Internet Radio, the remote requires that you click several times through two additional navigation levels to make the switch. And there are other similar problems with the remote configuration and navigation.

Call us spoiled, but this can be a drag. Is it a deal breaker? Not by a long shot. The SoundBridge Radio is the first dedicated Wi-Fi radio that has the ability to serve your digital music collection, and it does it with a performance and convenience that should please most listeners. But at this price, and with thousands of examples of well-designed remote appliances to draw from, we would have liked these issues not to have been issues.

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Pros:

  • Wirelessly delivers digital music and Internet radio from your PC or Mac
  • Linear magnetic speakers and woofers offer excellent sound performance
  • Alarm clock functions feature large, easy-to-access buttons and several alarm options, including Internet radio and digital music wake-up

Cons:

  • Poorly integrated remote control and difficult navigation
  • Internet radio stations somewhat difficult to configure

That’s all about the Roku SoundBridge R1000. This Radio Network Music System is available in Amazon.com. You can directly order or Buy from here.
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