The Heritage is a throwback to the tabletop radios standard throughout homes in Europe and North America in the ’70s. Ours was a walnut finish with an aluminum grill and tactile rubber on top. With its digital alarm clock and white-on-black OLED display, it would not have been out of place on a typical breakfast table with morning drive show hosts blaring their sound bites and special effects between traffic reports on the new FM band. Except, nestled under the understated walnut hood are the digital goodies: Wi-Fi and wired LAN connectivity, wireless audio streaming from PC or Mac, iPod docking station, and plug-and-play USB audio. It also sports the usual AUX IN connectors with stereo RCA and optical out, as well as iPod video out.
Enough of the geeky stuff. This is basically an internet radio (it actually comes with an FM antenna) that connects to your network to access any of the 20,000+ stations streaming audio—and that doesn’t just mean your favorite indie FM station. That means things like BBC World Service, NPR, old time radio dramas, podcasts, scary, scream-laden horror shows, talk radio—and even subscribed and already personalized services like Last FM, so you can program your own station with your favorite music.
- Stylishly liberates your radio from your PC
- Retro look, great for any table or countertop
- If you can think of an online audio service—it can play it
- Flimsy and finicky plastic “joystick” navigation button
- Ours didn’t charge iPhone 4
- Price tag will discourage some
While the navigation menu is pretty straightforward—you can select stations by genre or country via a system of drop-down menus shown on the OLED screen (think older iPod) that allow you to drill down deep into an astonishing number of choices—the small plastic joystick was hard to work with. We often “selected” when trying to navigate and vice versa. The included remote control works far better, and once we started fighting over it, we never touched the front buttons again.
What the Revo Heritage does, it does well. It’s impossible to count the number of stations the player will stream for you, and it liberates you from sitting in front of your PC. It is also surprisingly loud. The lightweight package has a 3-inch speaker driver and 7W amplifier that meant we never had to turn it to 11—in fact, we never turned it past 6 without annoying most of the miserable music-haters in the office.
Two models: Heritage (¥49,350) & Domino (¥36,750).
Available at Bals Tokyo, Conran and other select stores. www.modernity.jp/en/products/revo