Showing 1 review for Sangean WFT-1

Customer Review Summary for Sangean WFT-1
Average Customer Rating is 4.0 out of 5 stars:
4.0
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Average Attributes Rating:
Durability
4.0
Value
3.0
Features
4.0
Design
4.0
Usability
2.0
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews:
September 10, 2010 Elegant addition to Audio System
Review by
Ian from Caledon, Ontario, Canada
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Nearly all Internet radios (IR) available in North America are stand-alone. In contrast the WFT-1 is a tuner that plugs into the amplifier in your sound system and plays through its speakers which is designed to look the part in a quality sound set-up. This aspect also applies to the network player component of the WFT-1. Thus it is more of an audiophile purchase than IRs generally are. In consequence those features of the WFT-1 that are typical of a stand-alone bedside radio may add little value. Such are a sleep timer and an alarm. There is no internal battery so each and any power interruption removes all settings stored on the unit, including the clock! There is an OTA FM tuner in the unit but, amazingly, it has only a typical expendable rod and no input for an external antenna. The tuner also doesn't include AM. Thus the WFT-1 won't do to replace the OTA radio receiver component of an existing sound set-up. Also, for me as a Toronto-area resident where DAB FM is dying but not yet totally dead, the inactivation of DAB FM capability on the North American model while retaining the DAB button on the remote doesn't honor our Canadian circumstances. Plus the FM component needs to add Hybrid Digital capability if Sangean keeps FM on the North American model in future. Sangean is known for quality radios so the lack of some high-end tuner features in the OTA part of the WFT-1 was a surprise. IRs need a good source of content and, being European, Sangean uses the Frontier service. The advantage of this to an audiophile listener is that there is good coverage of European stations many of whom use higher bit rates and produce better sound than most North American stations that deliver IR. Frontier has US-based customer service that I have found responsive. I have found in six months of listening that they also seem to keep on top of their portfolio so I have not yet found a station on their catalogue no longer on the air - not true of many other gateways to IR urls. The Frontier mix of genres is less biased towards youth and pop styles than many other Internet Radio sources I have tried, and its International coverage is acceptably varied. There is also an interesting mix of audio podcasts available via the unit.
Putting a Web-based system into a stereo-style tuner is inevitably clumsy, especially if one is using the tuner controls. Working with the supplied remote is better, even essential. After a rather laborious set up procedure, accessing the music library stored on my computer via the network music player in the unit works well, and having this capability plus IR directly fed through my recreational sound system, with its quality speakers and ability to switch between the several types of music input devices I still use, is a definite plus for buying an IR in this tuner/network player format.
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