The iPod may have killed AM/FM radio for the latest generation of music fans, but the classic version of Apple’s ubergadget only lets you listen to your own music collection–there’s no hipster DJ introducing you to your new favorite band. Music fans still crave new sounds, and personalized Internet radio services such as Pandora and Last.fm have filled the “music discovery” gap by taking note of your music preferences and playing songs they’ll think you’ll like. Pandora’s a great service, but–portable devices notwithstanding–it’s not easy to listen to away from your PC, which is where the Livio Radio ($150) comes in.
The Livio Radio is the first Wi-Fi radio we’ve tested that is designed completely around the Pandora service, offering all the standard functions–like “thumbs up/down”–right on the front panel. The gorgeous design is outstanding for the price; it’s easy to use and you won’t find anything that looks this good until you spend about twice as much.
Its competitors will better serve audiophiles and feature junkies, but the Livio Radio hits the sweet spot for those looking for a simple, great-looking way to add Pandora to a bedroom, kitchen, or living room.