NPR Radio by Livio – a Review

January 15, 2011

The folks at Livio have a lot of patience. I’ve had their products sitting next to my desk for a month or longer and haven’t had the bandwidth to really put them through their paces.

But now, I’ve gotten around to it. Watch this quick video and then we’ll chat some more about The NPR Radio by Livio.

Now let’s cover the points I touched on in the video…

I like this product. For anywhere between $125 and $199 you can pick one up. Even NPR will sell you the radio from their site for $149. But is it worth the price?

I think it actually might be. I’ve used a few other Internet radio devices, including a Chumby, and haven’t found a radio with the finish and simplicity of this radio. When you first pull it out of the box, it looks a lot like a Tivoli. Those are the insanely expensive audio devices you find in stores like Brookstone or even higher-priced outlets. Depending on your acoustic leanings, maybe you can tell the difference, but when you’re listening to BBC News or NPR programs I don’t think it matters much how much sound tech is in the box.

In this Livio box, you get everything you need if you’re in the market to listen to Internet radio stations, NPR and assorted podcasts. In fact, this radio is set up to default to NPR programming but you can get an additional 20,000 stations.

There are also five alarm clocks that let you wake up to the station you choose. And unlike some products, there are no subscriptions or fees.

I will confess that I did have a little hurdle in getting the radio set up. I had to unplug it three times before it would find my wifi signal. And the menu through which you have to enter the WEP key for your router was far from intuitive. The instructions (like most technology device manuals) isn’t as helpful as it could be.

Ultimately, the bumps in the road were minimal and once the radio was set up I had a ton of fun listening to NPR member stations from all over the United States and had no problem pulling up podcasts of past broadcasts and NPR shows.

If you’re someone that likes to get ready in the morning listening to NPR or are just someone who likes to have the additional capability of listening to Internet radio without having a laptop nearby, this is a great device.

Let me know if you’ve played with something similar or have a product you’d like me to review.