Internet radio has always been a fascinating medium because this way you can hear radio stations from all over the world in the best quality. When the first radio stations also streamed their programs on the network in the mid-1990s, the maximum possible medium-wave quality was initially possible via the analog modem. With the advent of broadband connections, however, the streaming quality could then be clearly increased – today FM or even HiFi quality is the norm with web radio. Since the spread of wireless Internet connections via WLAN, radio stations can be received over the Internet wirelessly directly via the router and thus even more independently of the PC.
In the meantime, there is an impressive number of Online radio receivers that make it possible to receive the huge selection of web radio offers and podcasts in the kitchen, bathroom, or on the hi-fi system in the living room. Thanks to fast cellular connections from 3G / UMTS, it is now also possible to listen to web radio on the go, for example with a smartphone. In this guide, we explain how Internet radio works even without a PC.
Portable Radio for everyone!
A basic requirement to be able to receive Internet radio is a broadband connection or a connection via mobile radio. In the latter case, however, it should be borne in mind that additional costs may apply.
Although some devices can also be connected directly to the broadband connection via Ethernet, a WLAN router is recommended as this increases independence – who wants to lay a long cable from the living room to the connection in the hallway? When choosing the device, you should also first check whether you want to listen to internet radio with a stationary receiver as part of the hi-fi system in the living room or with a portable receiver in the bathroom or kitchen, for example. Devices that are to be integrated into the hi-fi system are then connected via a cinch, optical S / PDIF, or jack plug output. Many WLAN radios can not only receive music from the Internet but also play their own music collection from a PC or an external storage medium in the home network.
There is now a huge selection of both portable receivers and radios that can be integrated into the home stereo system.
Web radio, podcasts, music streaming services and more
The operation of the WLAN radios is usually a child’s play. After switching on, many receivers immediately run a scan and look for WLAN routers. After your own station has been found, the user usually only has to enter the router’s WAP or WEP encryption code using the remote control or the buttons on the device, and the huge selection of stations on the web radio is available. Most of the stations are already sorted by country and genre. With some devices, the name of the desired station can also be entered directly using the buttons.
In addition to the radio stations, many receivers can also play podcasts, i.e. audio files stored on the network. Since there is no uniform standard for web radio on the Internet, most devices can play several formats, such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, FLAC, WAV, or AIFF.