Top positive review
727 people found this helpful
Best all-around radio I've ever owned
on August 3, 2012
At 68 years of age, I have been a radio nut, owning innumerable radios since I was 10 years old (including many amateur and shortwave radios employed during more than 50 years as a "ham" operator). I have never enjoyed a radio quite as much as the Grace Mondo.
I have owned other internet radios, including a Sanyo R227 and have used iPod Touch and smartphones to listen to internet radio. I once used Sirius XM in the house for a couple of years (still use it in the car). I've had countless FM radios, shortwave radios, high-sensitivity AM radios, and even many scanner radios. But none could provide the width and depth of information and entertainment that this unit does -- and as easily as it does it.
Basically, the Mondo will pick up just about anything in the world, including every single AM and FM station anywhere near me (and it knows what those are from your IP address). It can tune in thousands upon thousands of podcasts. It can easily find and provide any kind of music you want, including many channels without advertising.
I am an OTR (old time radio) fan -- not the music, but the drama, comedy, western, sci-fi, mystery, and other shows from the 30s through the 50s. Scores of internet broadcasters provide non-stop OTR around the clock, and using Grace's relationship with Reciva, I can quickly find and save many old-time broadcasters to listen to on the Mondo. (I was introduced to Reciva with the Sanyo, and it has a user-friendly, efficient, uncluttered website that lets you search for and sample tens of thousands of stations with your home computer, and then program them into your Mondo.)
Aside from internet channels, there's Pandora, the free music (and comedy) system that works very well on the Mondo, enabling you to create customized channels in almost infinite variety.
"Little things" I like:
* The bright, colorful screen (not boring like monochrome, text-only screens -- which are so 20th Century and difficult to read)
* Earphone jack on side toward front; if you use radio bedside, as I do, and listen to radio at night with an earphone, you want it to be easy to connect and disconnect earphones; radios with plugs in the rear are just awful for this.
* The ability to use a battery (though the required optional battery, in my opinion, is overpriced). It's very cool to be able to easily move the radio and enjoy its sounds anywhere within range of your wi-fi. There is a built-in finger handle to make carrying easy.
* Size: Not too big, not too small. Just right.
* Controls: work smoothly, solidly and do not feel cheesy.
* Volume control: It's a knob atop the set, an odd location, but at least it is a knob instead of those annoying, hard-to-use buttons found on many sets, including the Sanyo.
* Pandora: This radio works very well with Pandora, and even has the ability to thumbs up/down selections (though sometimes I get a message that the thumbing service is not available -- don't know why).
* NOAA: Many of the VHF weather channels have been preprogrammed into this unit so you can listen to NOAA weather broadcasts all over the country (and Canadian versions, too). Unfortunately, a few are miscalibrated. When I try to listen to the Connecticut NOAA station that's listed, it returns a Minnesota station.
* Remote: Unit comes with a remote, which you might think is unneeded, but which I use a lot, especially for the fact that it has all 10 memory keys; the radio itself has only five plus a shift key to get you 6 to 10. Some people complain it's too big; I like the size. The little ones, like the Sanyo remote, are easy to lose.
* Input and output jacks, if you want to increase its sound quality or usefulness.
* Setup: It was really quick and easy.
Things that could be better:
* Sound: It's good, clear and crisp -- and, of course, digital -- but I wish it were a bit richer. The sound is adjustable, by the way, with a modest equalizer.
* Buttons, such as memories, should be backlighted. This is a great bedside radio -- but that means it may be used a lot in the dark. (I find myself using the remote in the dark because the keys are light-colored, and the screen gives off enough light so I can see the keys!)
* Screen fonts: could be bigger for my geezer eyes. On many channels, including Pandora, you are told what is playing, but if your eyes ain't great, you have to get up close.