New York – The first tabletop Internet radios from Cobra and VTech are available following their introduction at International CES.
The CIR1000A and CIR2000A from Chicago-based Cobra are available at a suggested $179.95 and
$289.95, respectively, at www.cobra.com and other online retailers. VTech’s $199.95-suggested IS9181 is available at www.vtechphones.com. All use wired Ethernet port and WiFi 802.11b/g to connect to a network to stream free Internet radio stations through a broadband modem. They also stream music stored on a networked PC. None enables streaming of Internet music services such as Slacker, Pandora or Sirius Internet Radio.
Cobra’s Internet radios “will change the way people listen to online radio,” said Tony Mirabelli, Cobra senior VP of marketing and sales. The series “connects listeners to radio in a way that is both nostalgic and groundbreaking.”
Both Cobra models, which incorporate analog FM radio, stream more than 10,000 free Internet radio stations and play PC-based music in the MP3, WMA, and Real Media formats. They search for stations by region, country or genre, and they stream podcasts.
The mono one-piece CIR1000A features 8-watt-peak speaker and built-in WiFi. The three-piece CIR2000A features two 20-watt-peak speakers in separate cabinets. A WiFi-equipped USB dongle delivers wireless networking. Other enhancements include SD and USB slots to play music from SD cards and USB drives. The 2000A also adds a CD player with Gracenote database to recognize and display album and artist information for each CD song. The step-up also adds an IR remote.
For its part, Beaverton, Ore.-based VTech, offers the $199.95-suggested stereo tabletop radio, the IS9181, which the company calls a music hub. The single-piece device runs off six AA batteries as well as household AC current. It streams more than 11,000 free Internet radio stations, features color LCD screen, 3-watt front-firing stereo speakers, an integrated 10-watt woofer, and Class D amplification. An auxiliary input allows playback of music from devices equipped with 3.5mm headset jack. It can be connected to other audio systems via RCA connections.
The device streams MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and Real music files, and it searches for stations by country, state or genre via a one-touch access button or remote control. It also offers localized weather based on ZIP Code. Menus are displayed on a color LCD screen.