Sonoro Elements W Wi-Fi Internet radio works without a computer

Aug 07, 2009 By Jim Rossman

The Sonoro Elements W Wi-Fi Internet radio ($499.99, sonoro-audio.com) is a smallish, glossy black or white clock radio with some standout features.

First off, the radio connects to your Internet connection through ethernet cable or (802.11b or g), so I don't need my iPod or computer to listen to music in the living room.

The connection is used to tune into more than 16,000 streaming Internet radio stations.

Browsing to choose a radio stream can be daunting. Luckily, there is a search function, so if you know you want to listen to Cajun music from public radio station KRVS, you can search for those call letters instead of scrolling through thousands of stations.

You can also search by genre.

Internet streaming is going to sell a lot of these radios. Not having to drag out a computer and connect it to a home stereo is a big plus.

Even better is the ability of the Elements W to stream Pandora stations.

Pandora (pandora.com) is a free Internet music site that creates personalized radio stations based on a song or artist. Pandora takes your suggestions and programs music it thinks you'll like -- and it does a pretty good job.

Users can save their stations on the Pandora Web site for later listening or even to share with friends.

Once you sign up on the Web and register your serial number at mysonoro.com, your Pandora channels appear on the radio, ready for you to listen.

Because the radio is on your home network, you can also set it up to stream your music collection from shared folders on your computer.

The Elements W is also a very nice bedside clock radio with FM tuner (sadly, no AM) and an optional iPod dock ($80).

There are 10 channel presets for FM or Internet streams.

The Elements W is a bit unusual in that it features a single, upward-facing speaker.

If you'd like to connect external speakers, there is a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack on the back. There is also an aux-in port to connect a CD player or other source.

The Elements W also has a credit card-size remote control and an OLED screen that's dimmable but still might be too bright for bedside use.

I like to unbox a new toy and start playing right away without reading the directions. Unfortunately, that was not possible with the Elements W.

I pored over the radio for a full five minutes and still could not figure out how to turn it on.

The Sonoro logo on the radio's face is the power button. Touch the logo with your finger for a second and the unit springs to life. Control of the radio is done through a ring of navigation buttons.

If you hate navigating through menus and numerous choices, you might not appreciate the Elements W. I had to consult the manual more than once to figure out the choices.

Once I set it up, operation was straightforward.

The sound is good, but not outstanding. There's only so much sound that can come out of one speaker.

Bedside operation is helped by a row of buttons on the top to turn the alarm on and off, set the volume or invoke a snooze alarm.

Overall, the Elements W is a solid clock radio with a lot to like.

___

Price: $499.99

Pros: Internet streaming, iPod dock, Pandora. Looks great.

Cons: Complicated menu, display too bright, single speaker, expensive.

Bottom line: The Elements W combines many good features with a few outstanding ones. It's a solid music source.

___

(c) 2009, The Dallas Morning News.
Visit The Dallas Morning News on the World Wide Web at www.dallasnews.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Google challenges nonprofits on ideas to use Glass

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Online radio stations strike big deal on royalties

Jul 07, 2009

(AP) -- The future of Internet radio appears more secure after a handful of online stations reached an agreement Tuesday to head off a potentially crippling increase in copyright royalty rates.

Recommended for you

Japan's digital eyes show your emotions for you

Apr 21, 2014

Can't be bothered to show anyone what you're thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer—a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom.

Review: With Galaxy S5, Samsung proves less can be more

Apr 20, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. has produced the most formidable rival yet to the iPhone 5S: the Galaxy S5. The device, released over the weekend, is the fifth edition of the company's successful line of Galaxy S ...

Five features an Amazon phone might offer (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

HenkZw
not rated yet Aug 07, 2009
Pandora will unfortunately only work for listeners from the US.
Jharris9
not rated yet Aug 10, 2009
Really expensive. Way to much so.
jplur
not rated yet Aug 14, 2009
Ha, the other internet radio reviewed on physorg is 170$.

More news stories

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Phase transiting to a new quantum universe

(Phys.org) —Recent insight and discovery of a new class of quantum transition opens the way for a whole new subfield of materials physics and quantum technologies.

Imaging turns a corner

(Phys.org) —Scientists have developed a new microscope which enables a dramatically improved view of biological cells.