iBlik Radiostation review
The iBlik Radiostation gives you every audio treat in one box - DAB, DAB+, FM radio, an iPod dock, internet radio, and wireless streaming from a Mac or PC. It’s a heck of a task, but it pulls it off admirably.
It’s a black clock radio-sized slab, with a small LCD display on the front, and an iPod dock and buttons aplenty on the top. A ‘Mode’ button cycles through the Radiostation’s main functions.
Modes and rockers
The first thing we did was pop an iPhone onto the top of the unit - only to receive an on-screen warning that ‘this accessory is not made to work with iPhone’, followed by an invitation to turn on Airplane Mode. Once we did this, however, the iPhone behaved just like a regular iPod, and playlist navigation is possible from the remote control or the set-top buttons. We also tested the iBlik with a 3G nano and an iPod touch.
As for radio functions, both DAB and FM work really well. The remote has enough buttons to deal with all of the iBlik’s operations; although some menu items are buried deep, and much clicking is required to accomplish certain tasks.
The headline feature though is the built-in WiFi _ enabling internet radio and music streaming. The printed manual has detailed instructions for set-up with both Mac and PC - we used a Mac, and the instructions were crystal-clear, and it connected first time. Our BT hub was listed on the iBlik screen, we entered our password, and we were on, browsing internet radio stations and podcasts in no time.
Music Player Mode is where you get to play back your Mac or PC’s music files. It has some limitations, but it’s cool to be able to switch between the different sources with the touch of a button. No matter what mode the iBlik is in, sound quality is clean. It’s only small, so bass and overall volume are limited. If you do crave more volume, sit this on top of your speaker system, use the phono out connectors on the back, and you’ve got a nice loud internet radio/iPod dock/DAB/Wi-Fi player.
The iBlik Radiostation’s combination of features, clean sound, and compact size make it a great buy. It’s a shame about the inability to browse iTunes playlists, and the price - £179.95 - might feel steep for such a small box, especially as it brings it into Apple TV territory (£199).