Top critical review
57 of 59 people found this helpful
Not there yet....
on 23 October 2010
I have been willing myself to like this radio. It's size is amazing - much smaller than I thought from the photos; and the sound quality (especially spoken word) is excellent. It has a smart minimalist, almost Apple like feel about it. But, over the few days I have been trying it out, it just does not live up to expectations in performance. I am not new to internet radio - I have a quite old Logik mains wi-fi radio from Dixons, which was only £35 when on sale, but needed a home made hardware upgrade in the shape of a new wi-fi adapter to improve range and stability (plus re-fitting the speaker through 180 degrees to rid it of mains hum (so a pretty lousy piece of hardware until my DIY!)).
I got the View Quest to connect to my home wi-fi without problem; it remembers the connection key fine and the range is adequate throughout most of my house and into the garden. The radio is charged via mini USB; a cable is supplied, but not a mains charger, so unless you have a USB mains charger, you will need to charge via via your PC. All this is fine.
The problem is with performance and stability. Keep in mind that all internet radios are linked to an online internet radio service provider. For the View Quest it is VTuner; for my Logik it is Reciva (for Pure radios it is its own front end service called Lounge, but which probably uses VTuner or Reciva as the back end). The first thing I noticed with View Quest was that BBC podcasts (called "Shows" on the View Quest menu) would often stop and then restart (but always annoyingly from the beginning). On my Logik these listen again podcasts (called "On Demand in the Logik menu) seldom stopped, and if they did continued where the programme left off.
I then noticed two other weaknesses:
1. For locations I sampled, the View Quest has far fewer radio stations listed for e.g. under a particular country.
2. Even when listed I often got an error message saying that the programme was not streaming. The Logik managed to show them and play them just fine. For example, under Singapore (where I often travel on business) most of the 15 stations listed on View Quest would not play. All 17 listed on Logik played fine.
3. Under e.g. BBC Radio 7 Listen Again, the Logik shows dozens and dozens of podcasts available; the View Quest gave me only 5 or 6 and all children's programmes
The form factor is superb, but the actual core performance is very disappointing. I so like internet radio, that I wanted a smaller radio that I could take from room to room and into the garden - the Logik is a brick tethered to a mains lead. I even thought the View Quest is so small and light I would pop it in my suitcase for travels. But it is let down by performance. I don't know if this is the internal software (which is the latest 5.1 firmware) or bad integration with VTuner. Overall it is a waste of money and I will be sending it back to Amazon as a poor quality product. I may try the highly acclaimed Pure Evoke Flow, but is nowhere near the size and portability of the View Quest.
[Additional note: for those who want to travel with their internet radios, keep in mind very few wi-fi spots are easy to use for radio connection. Many these days have landing pages, (a browser page requiring you to agree T&C etc before connection) which are incompatible with devices without browsers such as radios]