Grace Digital GDI-IRDT200 Wi-Fi Tuner VS. Sangean WFT-1 Internet Radio
The Beginning of an Internet Wi-Fi Tuner
I’m a radio guy and enjoy listening to internet radio stations on mobile devices like most people does. Before I got this grace digital wifi tuner I used to play internet radio on my own system using my Samsung Note II or iPod as the source. It is not what I prefer. You cannot get really good sound through home stereo system via a tiny 3.5mm headphone jack.
For nowadays radio content is important and the audio quality comes with also matters, especially when it comes to some certain genres of music. There are two available ways to make my own wireless internet radio system: add a laptop into the existing system as the radio source, which need complex setting and adding external sound card for RCA outputs; another possible way is to add a single aimed internet radio tuner with native high quality sound performance potential. The latter one is more reasonable. So I began to google for an internet radio receiver with high performance.
During my search, I first found the Sangean WFT-1 Internet Radio, which seems that could give me everything I want. It has a typical stereo component size and looking. The black color matches most my stuffs well. Double antennas are guaranteed for better wifi and FM/RDS signal. Standard RCA line out and 6.5 headphone jack looks good. I almost order it the first day the idea came to me. But computer dysfunction ruined my intention. The next day I found a similar but more versatile internet radio receiver: The Grace Digital GDI-IRDT200 Wi-Fi Tuner. I am dragged into many reviews and made a through compassion to decide which one is better for me. The table below recorded most features I cared about.
Grace Digital GDI-IRDT200 Wi-Fi Tuner VS. Sangean WFT-1 Table
Why I Choose Grace Digital GDI-IRDT200 Wi-Fi Tuner
Internet radio stations and music service
Based on specification and manuals I find that Sangean WFT-1 Internet radio is a well-built internet radio. There are over 16,000 online stations and broadcasts can be accessed through it. Nonetheless, it has no radio services like Pandora or SiriusXM, who provide more high quality contents than free ones, integrated with it. Its peer Grace Digital WiFi tuner supports more online stations and music subscriptions. I think internet radio port they choose cause that. Reciva and Frontier Silicon has some difference in the respect. The interesting fact is some internet radios of Sangean features Frontier Silicon while others choose Reciva. I don’t know why.
Control and connection
WFT-1 has a full-sized remote control and easy to handle, but some basic setting must be done with the panel or through the browser. Grace Digital has a tiny sized remote which has a very wired arrangement of buttons and hard to use. Fortunately the grace digital remote app can do the job for us. Remote App is beyond doubt an easy and modern way for us. In terms of connections, they both have Ethernet and wireless Wi-Fi connection. There is no winner in these respects.
Sangean, as noted, is a radio specialist. The FM tuner in the WFT-1 works well enough—reception was good, sound quality is fine. Grace Digital Wireless Radio Tuner has also FM receiver built-in and includes a standard FM antenna in the box. You can go and get local FM stations through it if you like. So also no winner.
As being a Media Streamer WFT-1 can only play files ripped in MP3, WMA, RealAudio, and AAC+ formats. The most popular high bit rate formats like AIFF, AIFC, WAVE are not supported. This is one of the major faults of Sangean for Grace digital supports almost every audio file formats especially those high bitrates ones. The higher the bit rate, the closer to signal source and the better sound quality through your stereo system.
The Grace Digital Wireless Radio Tuner and Media Streamer is a very useful streamer. It directs digital audio from the internet to your stereo at home. You can also listen to over 30,000 internet radio stations, podcasts, personal music, on-demand Wi-Fi radio content and online music services like Pandora, Live365, and SIRIUS. The tuner supports various music formats like AIFF, AIFC, WAVE, CAF, NeXT, ADTS, MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and WMA. It has 2 line backlit display with large font which makes it more convenient as it displays station, song title and the name of the artist.
There is no reason why not I choose Grace Digital WiFi tuner instead of Sangean WFT-1!
Based on these features in the table I decided to add a Grace Digital Wi-Fi Tuner to my system. And the result proved I made a right choice. It is the most impressive Internet radio I have seen and a very useful streamer to my music system. Just the size of a modern Blu-ray player and looking all black and sleek. I can listen to thousands of internet radio station with all types of music through my loved Canton Ergo speakers. I also tested the headphones jack and get fantastic sound as expected.
When listen to my loved blues station who transfers their tracks in 256KB/s analog RCA output or Toslink digital output to my Yamaha Natural Sound Integrated Amplifier both come with smooth and good sound. But the difference it noticeable when it came to stream local high bitrates FLAC tracks. Toslink gives more details and the sound is crystal. So it is the digital outputs which makes this internet radio receiver sound significantly better than others. And you will find other reviews confirm the same thing.
I have not had the chance to test other features like SD card USB Drive or FM reception and my place is not the right one for the FM station. These features add some value to this internet wifi tuner but not the crucial ones.
Who doesn’t want to listen to his own favorite stations and music services through the high quality home music system. This Grace Digital WiFi tuner can push your old stereo system into the wireless radio era. Besides giving you over 50,000 internet radio stations and broadcast from around the world, the convenient ability to stream your personal computer high quality audio files wirelessly under DLNA tech also intrigue more music fans like me. If you want to add Internet radio to an existing component system, Grace Digital GDI-IRDT200 Wi-Fi Tuner may be the one you are trying to find.
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