Advertisement
Advertisement

Emprex Wireless Internet Radio Receiver review

Alan Lu
20 Mar 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
64
inc VAT

Advertisement

Emprex's Wireless Internet Radio Receiver may have looks that only a mother could love, but it's the cheapest internet radio and network audio receiver we've seen. Unfortunately, it's let down by poorly designed hardware and an annoying interface.

The receiver can connect to Ethernet and wireless networks. Entering a WiFi security password is tedious, as you have to use the remote's up and down keys to select the characters. When using the remote, you'll have to stand fairly close to the small 3in screen to read the menus. The screen is set at an angle, which makes it hard to read unless you're standing over it, and text looks blurry when you scroll through menus.

The low-resolution screen and the remote's stiff buttons make browsing the vast selection of internet radio stations a chore. Annoyingly, the menu command for saving a station as a favourite didn't always work. You can search for stations by genre and location but not by keyword. More irritatingly, the receiver simply refused to play some stations.

A potentially useful feature is the ability to record internet radio programs as MP3 files to a USB storage device. Although you can set the receiver to record for a certain duration, you have to start it manually as there's no timer or programme guide. Again, it refused to record some stations.

The receiver can play music streamed across a network from a Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) media server, such as a NAS or a PC running Windows Media Player 11. It also plays music directly from a flash drive or other USB storage device. Frustratingly, it sometimes stopped responding to our commands and we had to restart it. You can't listen to one track while browsing for another, which can make listening to music a rather stop-start experience.

The built-in stereo speakers are reasonably loud but sound muddy and distort at the loudest volume setting. Thankfully, you can connect a better set using the 3.5mm headphone socket. The built-in speakers may not impress audiophiles, but the receiver can be used as an alarm clock, for which most people have lower expectations. You can be woken by a simple chime, a ringtone-style melody or an internet radio station. This also proved unreliable, as the receiver sometimes used the chime or melody noises instead of the selected station.

Emprex's Wireless Internet Radio Receiver is deeply flawed. Some of its faults could be fixed with a firmware upgrade, but until then we can't even consider recommending it. Philips' Streamium NP1100 is much better, and even at £65 more is still a far superior buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating*
Media Streamer typestreaming audio receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackYes
Audio AAC playbackNo
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsnone
Internet radio stream compatibMP3, WMA

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportNo
Video H.264 supportNo
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportNo
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportNo
Video WMV playbackNo
Video WMV-HD supportNo
Other video formatsnone
Internet video stream compatibnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportNo
Image JPEG supportNo
Image TIFF supportNo

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking supportYes
128-bit WEPYes
256-bit WEPYes
WPAYes
WPA2Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs1
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs0
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs0
Other connectorsUSB

Physical

Size58x168x154mm
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennaNo
Power consumption standby4W
Power consumption on5W

Server Compatibility

Software includednone
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBNo

Buying Information

Price£64
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.cclonline.com
Detailswww.emprex.com

Read more

Reviews