Kogan Deluxe Digital Internet Radio
A well-priced digital radio that supplies very good Internet streaming and network features
- Good sound
- Good Internet streaming and networking functions
- No skip buttons for radio and streaming music functions
- Poor remote
Kogan's Digital Internet Radio has versatility that allows it to be used not only for over-the-air radio, but also for streaming Internet radio and MP3s off networked computers. Its sound quality is good, it's easy to use and it's well priced. We like it.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
Kogan's own-brand Deluxe Digital Internet Radio is one of the most versatile digital radio products on the Australian market. It comes with networking features, analogue audio input and an iPod dock for under $180, and it performed surprisingly well in our tests. It lacks a couple of key usability features and its build quality isn't great, but for what you pay, you get a highly capable device that's sure to bring you musical joy.
Physical features and sound quality
Physically, the Deluxe Digital Internet Radio is rather large in size (325mm wide and 160mm deep), but it can be situated either on a table or bookshelf depending on how much space you have. It could also reside on a bedside table and act as a clock/radio alarm. The front of the unit has an OLED display that shows plenty of information and it's easy on the eyes — there are three brightness intensities to choose from, too. There are control buttons to the right of it that feel cheap, and a credit card-sized remote is supplied as well.
The rear has an auxiliary (3.5mm) input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an Ethernet port and analogue audio (RCA) output. There are mid-range speakers located on either side of the unit, as well as a tweeter on the front, and there is an iPod dock on the top that can work with an iPod Touch, Classic or Nano, and up to an iPhone 4S. That dock will also charge the i-device as well as allow it to be controlled via play and skip buttons above the radio's display.
The sound quality from this Kogan radio is surprisingly good. Its volume can easily fill an average-sized room and it's a good match for small apartment. The sound emitted from the speakers is flat by default, and also somewhat bass-heavy. However, this can be changed in the EQ settings, where you can either select from a pre-set level or create your own. Unfortunately, to get to the EQ you have to travel deep into the menu system rather than press a dedicated button. We added some more treble and toned down the bass in order to make the sound a little brighter. Vocals from Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Janell Monae, Jesse Ware, Melodie Nelson, Shai, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam sounded accurate and the music did not drown them out.
The side-firing mid-range speakers and front-mounted tweeter provided a very enjoyable listening experience, even at loud volume. We found optimal listening to be at about 75 per cent of full volume, but there was barely any distortion evident from the songs we played, even at full volume. The analogue output on the rear can be used to plug the Kogan radio in to an amplifier, too, but this only complements the internal speakers rather than channelling the sound discretely through the amplifier and its external speakers.
Radio and music streaming
The primary function of Kogan's device is to be a digital radio, and it performs this task as well as any radio we've seen to date. We had no problems tuning in to our local digital stations here in Sydney, with the radio playing them smoothly and without dropouts. Our review model came with all digital channels pre-scanned and it looks like it had done the rounds up in Brisbane, too, judging from the station list. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a way to remove these stations or edit the station list so that they wouldn't appear. The best we could do was order the stations so that they appeared in order of validity (with the Sydney stations therefore showing up first).
You can listen to traditional FM radio as well and there is a built-in antenna to facilitate this, which will need to be extended. We didn't get good results from the FM tuner, but our test location has always been bad for analogue radio signals.
When listening to digital radio, the unit's display will show you the station name and the time, and you'll be able to switch between other bits of information, too. You'll be able to see the station frequency, the signal strength, the specs of the stream, the date and either a description of the station you are listening to or the particular program (or song) that's playing. It's not easy to jump between stations. The remote control lacks skip buttons, which means that to change stations you have to bring up the station list and move up and down to select the station you want.
In addition to regular radio, the Kogan Deluxe Digital Internet Radio, as per its descriptive name, can be used to stream radio stations from all over the world via an Internet connection. To connect the radio to the Internet, you can use an Ethernet cable, or you can use Wi-Fi. There is an integrated 802.11g module and it can be set up manually (with you selecting the network and entering the password), or by using WPS (WiFi Protected Setup). That's what we used; we simply chose WPS in the radio's menu, pressed the WPS button on our wireless router and the connection was made within a minute.
Internet radio stations are plentiful and you can choose to listen to music based on genre or geographical location. The radio lists Digitally Imported stations, which we love, and we were also partial to Eurodance stations from, well, Europe. It's a particularly useful radio if you want to tune in to foreign language programs. Favourites can be set so that you won't have to go hunting for channels all the time. To set these, all you have to do is press one of the P buttons on the remote control for a few seconds until the screen flashes the message that it has been set. There are only 10 of these buttons though so you'll have to be pickier than a nightclub bouncer. Presets work independently of the function though, which means that digital radio and Internet stream presets are kept separate. This way you can store 10 each of those types of stations.
Our only problem with streaming radio was that it sometimes took a while for the wireless connection to be made — almost a minute in some cases. Funnily enough, we used Internet radio as the mode for the alarm, but because it took so long to connect, the alarm defaulted to the buzzer instead.
When listening to Internet stations, the Info button on the remote can be used to browse through the description of the station, its genre and location, its technical specs and how well it is buffering. The radio worked well from a mid-range distance of 10m away from the router during our tests, but the performance of streaming radio could vary depending on the distance of the radio from your wireless router and how well the wireless signal can get to it in your environment.
The neat thing about this Kogan radio is that it can also be used to stream MP3 files from computers on your network. The radio detected all of the shared folders that contained music on our network and we were able to browse for music either by song information or by folder. A playlist can be created easily (called My Playlist) using songs on your network, and as long as your network settings and shared folders don't change, and as long as you don't power off the radio from the outlet, this will always be available and easily expanded upon, too. Because there are no skip buttons on the remote control, it's not as easy as it should be to skip songs in a folder or playlist. You have to bring up the list of songs and use the up and down arrows to go to different songs. The list also doesn't appear in context. For example, if you are on song 20 in a playlist or folder and you want to skip to the next one, the list of songs you bring up will show the start of the list rather than the song you are playing, which means you'll have to do some scrolling.
The worst thing about this radio is its credit card sized remote control. It's small, with annoyingly flat buttons and it doesn't have useful features such as play/pause, skip and menu. If you want to change the radio's systems settings (including the alarm function), you have to press the menu button on the radio itself. This includes EQ settings. Without skip buttons, it's not intuitive to change radio stations or to skip songs in a playlist. You need to press the up or down arrows to bring up the list of stations or songs and use the arrows to navigate to the song or station you want to play.
Overall though, it's a device that performs all of its intended functions very well and it was reliable during our week-long test period. We enjoyed using it primarily for Internet radio, in addition to streaming music from PCs, and it was also great for digital radio and for listening to music off older MP3 players such as a Creative Zen (through the analogue auxiliary port). Its menu system is not hard to use once you get the hang of it and its sound quality is exceptional for the price. We like it and had a good time testing it.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst/Project MangerVIC
- FTApplication Support Consultant (Oracle SQL, Unix scripting)NSW
- FTSenior Network Specialist - IPVPN EdgeVIC
- CCLevel 1 IT Support OfficerACT
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTSnr Security Architect - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCSolution ManagerSA
- TPApplication DeveloperACT
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- TPProject Support Officer - Data and Information ManagementVIC
- FTFront End .Net Developer. Permanent jobACT
- CCService Desk AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - HealthQLD
- CCSenior Network Designer - CiscoVIC
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistSA
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTProject Manager- SAP FICO implementationNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- TPJunior Business AnlystVIC
- FTSAP Data Migration SpecialistACT
- CCNetwork and Cloud SMENSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTApplication Security SpecialistVIC