Livio; Pandora Internet Radio for the Home
Price: $139 on Amazon
Sound-bite: MP3 downloads are dead. But streaming radio is a live and well, with Pandora leading the pack. Problem is, until now the only respectable home solution was to use a phone/iPod/computer to dock or stream Pandora to a home stereo. Livio frees your Blackberry from the bluetooth tether; its a stereo designed specifically for Pandora. It can connect to your home Internet setup physically or through WiFi and play your Pandora stations. The remote is tailored for Pandora use, it even has thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons!
Up-Front Summary: The Livio radio is not built for the tech-saavy, nor for the audiophile. However, the Livio is a great gift for the technologically challenged. Once set up, someone like my mom can finally have access to Pandora. When you look at it from that perspective, Livio is a pretty sweet gift idea for the coming holiday season.
Setup: Setup is the biggest hiccup in what should be a smooth operation. You have to use a dial to scroll through the alphabet, select your wifi network and type in a password. Then, you have to go on a computer, log into the Livio website and link your Pandora account with your hardware. But once that is done, its smooth sailing.
Sound Quality: If you care about bass and the depth of your music, the Livio is a little disappointing. The sound is loud and reasonably clear, but without the bass the songs are devoid of ooomph.
Final Points: If you are already use Pandora with some sort of stereo hookup, a standalone device might be nice though unnecessary. However, if you are looking to buy yourself or a relative a really easy way to hookup to Pandora, this really does the trick.
- The Good: Great concept, and pretty easy to use once setup.
- The Bad: Setup is a bit complicated, and the sound quality is nothing to write home about.
Note: We received a demo unit to conduct this review.