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on April 30, 2012
I got my first internet radio about 5 or 6 years ago; primarily because I could get no AM reception in my aluminum sided suburban home. This newer Innovator X is a real advancement in ease of use and features. Connection to your wi-fi is a straight forward process.
Things I like about the new radio:
AUX input for my XM receiver
Headphone jack for wife's nighttime privacy
Internet corrected time
Media player connection to your computer music files
Solid construction and excellent sound
Podcast .xml streams
Great integration with Reciva website for finding and storing content
Good alarms and sleep timers

Amazon has a better price than the Grace website, but I had a $30 coupon so I bought it from Grace.

Internet radios are a strange niche, since all the content can already be accessed from your computer, but I like having it bed-side in an easy to use traditional form.

Once you get used to utilizing it, having instant access to any radio station across the globe is a great feature. This is particularly true for time shifting news talk radio and listening to non local pro and college sports broadcasts.
1414 comments|106 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I own three Grace Internet Radios, this Innovator X the latest addition to my family. I'm generally very pleased overall with the Innovator X. For a mono speaker table radio it produces a satisfying sound and plays moderately loud. Is it audiophile quality? Well no, but what is at this price point? It sounds quite nice and has a reasonably solid low end that produces enough bass to give a nicely balanced sound. Compared to other table radios I've heard over the years, internet radio or not, I'd say it compares rather favorably with anything else I've heard. It does have bass and treble controls in the settings menu which allows some tweaking of the sound profile to better meet your taste.

For me, setup was without issue. I have the Innovator X in my living room. The router in my home is upstairs in an office about 25 feet away as the Cockatiel flies. There is actually a "WiFi Strength" indicator in the Settings of the radio and as I write my review it is indicating 73% but is actually bouncing all over the place ranging from 60% to 100%. Nobody is in the house except for me and I"m not moving... well my fingers are moving on the keyboard but that's about it. I do not know why there is such fluctuation in the signal. It is not dropping or continually buffering the connection though and that's what counts.

Once I plugged in the radio for the first time it locacted several WiFi signals. I chose my SSID and then entered my passphrase for my network. The method used to enter the passphrase as well as any other input such as search phrases, is to twist the rotary dial to the letter or number you need, then push the same dial to select and "enter" it. It's tedious but easy to do. In a minute or so, the Innovator X connected to my network and I was taken to the main menu.

I won't go into excruciating detail about every menu choice and option but will address a few things of importance.

The Innovator X has a chunky, old school LED display. When text, such as Song Title, is scrolling across the display it is somewhat difficult to read since the letters sort of flash on and off as they change position. I would prefer a display more current with the state of the art. On the plus side, it is possible to independently set the display backlight brightness for each of it's three modes; active, inactive and standby. Active mode is when you are actually doing something with the radio involving the dials or buttons. Inactive is when you are listening to the radio but not actively doing anything with the controls. Standby is when the radio is "off". It's really nice to be able to adjust the backlight levels especially if you are using this in a bedroom and would prefer little or no light coming from the display during sleep.

The radio has alarms and a sleep timer. Regarding alarms, there is the option to set up to 5 alarms. Each alarm can be one time only or repeating. You have the option to set a buzzer as the alarm, a station or even something hooked up to the auxiliary jack. You also have the ability to set a unique volume level for each alarm. Having an indication on the display during radio listening, that an alarm is set, would be helpful, unfortunately the display does not have such an indication during radio listening. Only when the radio is in standby mode does the radio indicate that an alarm has been set.

If you have a Pandora account the radio can access your stations on Pandora once you register your radio with an account on the Grace Radio website. There is a "Register" setting in the radio menu that provides you with a key that you enter on the Grace website to connect your Pandora account to the radio. It works well and you can then use the remote to give thumbs up and thumbs down ratings to songs just as are accustomed to doing.

The sound of the Innovator X is quite nice. The "wood" cabinet lends a warmth to the sound that is lacking in plastic cases. The case is actually a particle board rather than a solid wood but in any case, it does add a reassuring heft to the radio and lends to the nice sound produced by the mono speaker.

You have the ability to set 10 presets for stations. Setting a preset is as simple as holding the appropriate preset button a few seconds while the station you want to set is playing.

I've very pleased with this radio. I have experienced some "initializing network" connection issues as others have reported. Some of those issues may have been due to the problem that Grace Digital has acknowledged and presumably fixed. But apparently there remain some issues. In my home network with a multitude of other connected devices of various types, the Grace radio seems to be the only one that has these issues.

The radio sounds great and looks quite nice. There is some room for improvement though... I would like to see a better quality display such as what the Grace Mondo has. The remote is not the most reassuring thing I've ever used either. It gets the job done but does not feel very durable. Of course there is a GraceRemote iPhone app that also lets you control Grace radios on a local network, but it would not identify my Innovator X and I attempted for over an hour to get it working. I'll update my review should I learn anything further about why GraceRemote app won't "see" the radio. UPDATE: Nov 1, 2012 - I'm happy to report that based on my comments about the iPhone app not working properly, Grace discovered a problem with the app not recognizing the Innovator X and has subsuquently fixed the app. It works now and is fantastic. Makes operation of the radio by using the iPhone possible. Love the convenience.

I think all but the most technically dis-advantaged would be able to easily set this up and begin enjoying all that Internet Radio has to offer.

Grace Digital provided me a sample for review.
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on April 27, 2013
I received the radio, Friday, April 26, 2013 and was eager to try it. I sat down and read the instruction manual then sat down in my living room with the radio on a TV tray. It's about 20 feet away from my router. For starters it asked for my password for my router and I input it several times. It kept giving me timeout errors. I checked the router and insured that the password was absolutely correct. It was and finally after several tries it connected. When I checked the Wi-Fi signal, it bounced all around between 40-80%. This unit is so terrible I can hardly begin with the problems encountered with it. At one point I decided to try to download the updated firmware. It sat on "Download" for at least an hour without anything happening. I decided to leave it on there and went out for 2 hours. When I returned it had returned to normal but never did update the firmware.

I tried using the unit in my bedroom, about 40 feet from the router and it would not even connect to it. Finally I ended up putting the radio in the computer room, about 4 feet from the router. Even at this short distance the Wi-Fi signal was boucing betwee 40-100%, very erratic. I decided to try to download the firmware again and after 25 minutes it bailed and now it can't even find the network. My overall opinion of this unit is "Terrible" and I am going to send it back. I would not recommend this unit to anyone.

My background: Amateur Radio Operator, General Class Radio Telephone Licensee

One thing for certain, doing business with Amazon is the way to go. You never get any hassle and they stand behind what they sell. In my book there isn't any better seller on the internet. If you really want to get their best deal, become a "Prime" user.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 13, 2012
This Grace Digital Innovator X Internet Radio has earned a spot on my desk within easy reach. I have never had an internet radio before but it took less than an hour to read through the manual, set it up, and connect to the internet through my router wirelessly; register online for advanced services; set the time, date, and alarm; and sample, select, and preset channels.

I have really enjoyed being able to choose from thousands of channels, opera from Russia and Bollywood from India, news from NPR and local weather. It's not clear to me how there can be so many free stations without advertisements but there they are and they don't seem to be asking listeners to send rupees or rubles to support their broadcasts. It will stream my own music from the computer and there is an audio input plug in the back to connect an MP3 player or other device but it's nice to have the variety that radio offers and especially nice to not have to worry about deciding exactly which music to listen to. There are five preset buttons with a shift button to instantly access a total of ten favorite stations.

It has a very attractive appearance that is instantly identifiable as a classic table-top single-speaker radio yet it is very modern at the same time. There is excellent attention to detail in the design and the quality of manufacture is very sturdy and precise. The buttons and knobs and even the menus are very intuitive.

I was skeptical about the single speaker at first but the monophonic output truly captures that feeling of listening to a high-quality radio, something that I hadn't realize I missed. Sometimes I use headphones through the plug on front but for background music, the single speaker is very expressive and pleasant to listen to. The speaker is open in the back and I think that keeping it a few inches from the wall makes the sound richer.

The alarm clock can have separate setting for the weekdays and the weekends which is very handy. There is also a sleep timer but I prefer to use the little remote control to turn it off when I'm finished reading and ready to go to sleep. The different settings for the brightness of the display when in active use and at rest address one of my pet peeves, lights on electronics that are too bright at night.

The Grace Digital Innovator X actually actually has many, many more features than I use, like remote control apps for cell phones, WeatherBug on the LCD display, music queue, on-demand stations, and My Stations for 99 favorite channels. It is fun to play around with them but mostly I keep it simple and just listen to music plus news in the morning.

The only thing I don't like is that scrolling through the menus and alphabet is a bit quirky as the knob is very sensitive. Until I got used to it, I would turn it and would get stuck at the end of the current selections on display and reverse and start scrolling in the other direction. It takes just the right touch and a certain amount of pressure to make it do exactly what you want it to do.

A few tips:

* Set the wireless connection to be maintained even when the radio is turned off so that music will start playing faster when you turn it on by choosing: Settings > Network Config[uration] >Wireless Stand[by] > Yes. This is especially important if you want to use a broadcast as an alarm rather than the buzzer because it will default to the buzzer after a few seconds.

* Once, after using it for several days, it lost the wireless connection for no apparent reason and couldn't get it back. Everything seemed to be fine with the router. Turning it off and on didn't fix that but unplugging the electricity and then plugging it back in took care of it.

* Choose the the higher-quality transmission rates for radio stations that offer them and if you plan to use a headset or external speakers, don't forget to set stereo output by choosing Settings > Stereo Mode > Headset/Speake[r - Stereo].

A sample was provided for unbiased review.
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on October 16, 2012
I was hoping this would prove a good tabletop Internet Radio for standalone (no computer required) use. Although it's a monaural unit, the sound quality was surprisingly good for its modest size. The radio connected easily to the house wi-fi network, but even with a 20Mbps Internet connection, it would stall and buffer on nearly every station tried. This was a real disappointment, since I had good Internet radio reception with any computer in the house. So I returned this item but did subsequently purchase the Grace MatchStick, which uses Amazon's Kindle Fire as a receiver and does play in stereo! The Kindle has never had a problem with streaming music, and the MatchStick, although with not quite as good low-end response as the item reviewed, sounds good for a bedroom music source.
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on November 19, 2012
This radio could not connect to my home network, even though every other wireless device, including an older Grace internet radio had no problems. Customer Service was lousy, and after many useless suggestions by them, I returned the radio for a refund. I bought it directly from Grace Digital Audio, and they even made me pay for return shipping, even though it was defective! Here is an excerpt from my email to them describing my problem:


"I am having lots of problems connecting my new GDI-IR2600 to the internet.

I have another Grace Digital Radio, GDI-IR1000, and it has no problem connecting, so I know all the network settings and passwords are fine.

I tried changing the wireless security from "WPA2/WPA Mixed Mode" to just "WPA2 Personal", and then I was able to connect to the internet, but when I clicked on the option, it said "Port 80 Connect Failed". Then when I tried it again, it wouldn't connect at all to the Internet, giving me a timeout error. It doesn't make sense to me that every other device in my home can connect, yet this new radio has a problem with Port 80.

I think there is a big problem with this unit! The reason I wanted a new radio was because my IR1000 goes on and off at random times, and I was hoping a newer model wouldn't have this problem. I also wanted a second radio for another part of my home."


I vowed to give them a lousy review, and I finally did it! But I will try another Grace radio, the GDIRC6000, since reviews on them are decent, but this time I will buy through Amazon because if it is defective, Amazon will most likely pay for return shipping.
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on April 26, 2013
I read the reviews for this and was a little concerned about some of the issues mentioned. But I thought I'd give it a chance. I placed it in my shop which is about 20 feet away from the router and got it up and running in about 15 minutes, worked great I was absolutely pleased and impressed. For about two weeks. Went out one morning turned it on, nothing. Checked the radio, it had lost connection to the network tired to reset it. It found ever router in a 500 foot radius but not mine. Finally did a factory reset and started over. It found my network got it up and running without a problem,,, for about 10 minutes. Then it began to buffer over and over and over again. I was hearing about one song ever 20 minutes. Gave up and contacted Grace Radio. Took 3 days for a response " I'm sorry to hear that you've been having a hard time with your Innovator X . It sounds like some of the cached address saved in your router is clogging up the radio. Please try refreshing the router by unplugging it for a moment. After all the lights are back on please re-attempt the radio and you should be good to go. I hope this information was helpful, please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. " This worked for a day then it started all over again. Contacted Amazon and requested a replacement as always they came through. Got the replacement and figured I'd reset the router before I even tired the radio. Got the radio setup and the second radio lasted a whole hour and started doing the same thing as the first. I have no desire to keep resetting my router just to keep this radio working. I gave up and returned the second radio. I have 18 devices attached to my network, about half of them are wireless and not one of them have the issue that this radio had. I really wanted this thing to work, but alas it just wasn't worth the trouble. Going back to my old radio with an old cellphone to access my media server and internet radio.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on September 22, 2012
I purchased this radio as a replacement to an earlier model that I used for 4 years. That radio worked great around my house and in my garage. It was able to receive the WiFi signal with very little problem, alas, the actual amplifier section gradually died. The new model does not receive the WiFi signal anywhere near as well. You practically have to place it next to the WiFi transmitter for it to work. A recent firmware upgrade has helped, but now it doesn't display the song/artist titles. It has really come up short compared to the earlier model--a major disappointment.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
You will want to enable the metadata feature on your page. If you'd like assistance, please contact us at gracesupport dot com
Lynda @ Grace
Imagine listening to Reggae music while drinking a Jamaican Rum Punch out on the deck. Or, what about the sound of Bollywood while feasting on Tandoori Chicken? With this WiFi internet radio you can listen to thousands of music, podcasts and talk radio stations from all over the world. I listen to a classic rock station from Australia, an easy jazz station from Brazil and I practice my French listening skills with a news station from France. You can even listen to your Pandora station on it. It has kind of a retro look, but with a clean modern face. The combination of knobs, buttons and remote make it easy to navigate, after I looked up in the manual exactly what combinations to use the first time. It took less than 10 minutes to be up and running. It has 5 preset buttons and a shift key that can be pressed to access channels 6 to 10. It comes with a remote control but if you own and IOS or Android device, you can download an app that allows you to use your device as a remote control. It has a lot more options than the little remote that comes with the radio.

Set up was simple and the manual was easy to follow. After starting up it found my home network right away and I was able to put in my password and it connected. I've had the radio for a couple weeks and it only lost the connection once, in the beginning, I'm not sure why. I was able to reconnect by turning off the radio, unplugging it from the wall, replugging it and restarting again. When the radio started it connected right away without me having to do anything further. Since that time it's been turned on and off hundreds of times and it has worked perfectly ever since. I'm using it with a Linksys E3200 router, on a different floor and opposite end of the house.

Connecting to our Pandora station was as easy as getting the registration code from the radio by going into "setup" and pushing some buttons, registering the radio at and entering the email I used to open my Pandora account and Pandora password. Following the instructions I then unplugged my radio for one minute and fired it up again and was able to listen to music from Pandora on my radio. It even has "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" buttons on the remote. I find that we listen to Pandora a lot on this radio. It's like having your own private radio station.

The sound on this radio is very good given its small size. I can turn it up loud enough to hear it in a sometimes noisy household without any problem. You can tweak the sound profile in the settings menu as far as the bass and treble controls. The sound is crisp and clear with a good amount of bass.

The radio has alarms and a sleep timer where you can set up to 5 alarms. Each alarm can be one time only or repeating. You can wake up to a buzzer or the radio. (Be sure to set the wireless connection to be maintained even when the radio is turned off in the "Settings" menu.) There is an auxiliary input jack in the rear of the radio that you can use to connect the Innovator X and use its speaker for your smart phone, mp3 player or other device.

Grace Digital has a very good reputation with audio devices and this one is no exception. It feels solid and well put together. It comes with a good manual with easy to follow instructions and it has lots of great features. It would be a fun gift for anyone who likes music and I feel good about recommending to friends. Grace Digital provided me a sample for review.
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on December 9, 2013
I like the features of this radio and the ability to add local stations via the web site. I have two of these, and ordered the second one because I liked the first one. Shortly before I ordered this one the Grace internet radio began losing connection to my wi-fi system. The second one did this right out of the box - losing connection even while playing a station. Several emails back and forth with customer "service" resulted in several suggestions, none of which worked. The only way to restore connection is to remove the power cord from the radio for several seconds and then plug in again. The radio will work for several days before requiring the power-down routine.

My other radio worked for almost a year before exhibiting this problem, so I suspect a firmware upgrade. I have a Logitech internet radio that I have had for 3 years and has never had the problem of losing the connection unless my internet goes out. So I won't be ordering any more Grace products. It's too bad, because the Grace radios have a nice set of features, but the constant losing connection is aggravating.
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