View Quest brings new meaning to listening
to the wireless
View Quest, a company that until recently
had totally escaped my attention, has combined the past and the present with
the introduction of its new Retro Wi-Fi Radio. While 'Wi-Fi' gives you the clue
that the radio's functionality is firmly entrenched in the modern era, the
radio's retro styling does hark back to earlier days, which some of us view
through rose-tinted glasses. This radio is box shaped with a carry-strap and is
available in a choice of predominately black or mainly black with a white face.
While the overall appearance of this radio,
with the tuning knob protruding from the front, will help remind you of the
radios of yesteryear, a closer examination will reveal the range of modern
technology that is built into this product. Positioned alongside the previously
mentioned knob is a control panel featuring two rows of buttons and a small LCD
display window with a 128 x 64 pixel resolution.
Also present, although concealed behind the
View Quest logo, is a pop-out docking station for mounting an iPhone or iPod.
According to the supplied documentation, you should be able to control your
Apple device using the radio's own controls. However, the only one that worked
with my iPod Classic was volume adjustment. For all other tasks I needed to use
the iPod's control options. For non-Apple devices there's an aux 3.5mm jack
socket at the rear of the unit situated next to the mains power socket and a
battery compartment that requires four C-size batteries -not supplied.
As mentioned, this radio has WI-FI technology
built in, which means you can link this radio into your wireless network. While
basically a straightforward operation, the actual process is not made any easier
by the need to use the tuning knob and one of the other buttons for entering
the password required by your network (I presume you have set up a password to
protect your network). You need to turn the knob as you scroll through the full
ASCII set (upper and lowercase plus symbols) in order to select each character
in turn and then press the Next Track button to move on to the next letter and
enter your password or any other details that may be required. All this turning
of the knob, in either direction, will eventually give you access to internet
radio, referred to as Tuneln, and UPnP for accessing music that is being stored
on your computer, games console or network drive.
This retro-styled radio also supports DAB
and FM radio. Both of these are far easier to set up than the WI-FI option, as
the radio does most of the work for you, although you will need to manually
create up to 20 presets for FM broadcasts. When switching between the different
features supported by this product, you can use either the Mode or Menu
buttons, with the former generally being the quicker route although both routes
did have a tendency to sometimes force you to skip past and then return in
order to highlight the option you wanted.
Adding to the functionality already
mentioned, this radio can be set up to display local weather information on its
screen, plus basic financial ticker-tape information from sources such as
NASDAQ, FTSE and Dow Jones. There are also two alarms with their own
Manufacturer: View Quest
Required spec: n/a