Why Buy a Noxon iRadio Anyway?

Already owning a Noxon Audio it would have been a natural step to upgrade to the Noxon iRadio to access my UPnP server. It is a bit expensive though, and it seems that the remote control and display have not improved since I bought my original model, which was three years ago! Despite of all the criticism Noxon have got on forums because of this.

So I went looking for alternatives, using the TwonkyVision web site as my starting point, where they list all compatible devices. I came across the Philips WAK3300, which basically has the same functionality and in addition it has an alarm clock, which can play an MP3 of your choice and it has an FM receiver. It is way cheaper too, and does not have the limitations of the remote control (with Noxon you need do direct it straight to the device, completely unusable from the slightest angle) and display (Noxon displays are terribly slow and cannot be viewed from an angle). Oh yes, and it is a lot cheaper too, something in the range of 60% of the price of an iRadio!

The setup was easy enough, I got it working with my WLAN and TwonkyVision UPnP server within 10 minutes. Only when I hit the "update firmware" button without having had registered, I nearly wrecked the gadget! It told me that I needed to register first, then it started to boot, boot again, boot again, ... Even after a complete power-off the behavior remained and the reset button did not do its job. I was close to returning it, but then tried hitting the reset button multiple times while the thing was booting, and with some luck it did reset. Phew! After registering the firmware update was easy and the weird behavior is gone completely.

So my bottom line is, I am glad I did not go for the iRadio; I paid less, and got more functionality at the same time.
The only little downside is that the device is all plastic, which makes it cheap to the touch, but it looks OK (admittedly, the iRadio does look better!) and it does not retain the time when I unplug it to move it to another room. Luckily it does keep all other settings :-) and for the time there is a workaround: it can synchronize itself with a server when you activate that service through the Philips site.

Edit: After using this device for a while, I still like its features, but have encountered the following problem: when I move it from one room to another, i. e. unplug it and plug it in again, in 99% of the cases it will not start up any more. It needs to stay disconnected for at least 8 hours (found by experimenting), and even then it tends to ask you for weekday and time every time you turn it on. If you leave it unplugged for 24 hours (I did not take the time to experiment with this duration) it is all back to normal. So if you are planning to move your music device at all, buy another one!

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