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Preview: VTech IS9181 Internet Radio and More!

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VTech IS9181

VTech IS9181

Summary

  • Product Name: IS9181
  • Manufacturer: VTech
  • Review Date: January 08, 2009 08:50
  • MSRP: $199.95
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Best-in-class 802.11 Digital Wi-Fi technology, providing superior range and streaming rates
  • Internet radio streaming from 11,000 stations or ability to search for any stations that stream online
  • Internet radio stations search from VTech’s site or on the device itself
  • Preset favorites online
  • PC or Mac-stored MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, Real music file playing
  • Line-input cord for external audio sources
  • RCA outputs
  • Internal 2.1 speakers
  • Weather updates based on zip code
  • Convenient remote – browse, select and control music from across the room
  • Large full-color display
  • AC Power Adapter
  • Battery-operated option (requires six AA batteries, not included)

Executive Overview

VTech busted head first into the home audio market with the introduction of a feature-rich music streaming device designed as a complete music hub for the home. VTech's new IS9181 is attempting to hit the market as a "high end audio solution" for less than $200. The device also serves as a music hub and enables consumers to play Internet radio selections, stream music libraries stored on their computers (PC/Mac-compatible) and connect any digital audio player using the line-in cord provided.

Once users connect the IS9181 to their home wireless network (802.11 b & g), they can enjoy the variety of music offerings from more than 11,000 free Internet radio stations worldwide, not to mention any audio files (MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, Real) stored on a Wi-Fi-enabled PC or Mac.

The IS9181 works well to untether music lovers from their computers and allow them to enjoy digital music in the living room, bedroom or anywhere in the home. The IS9181 offers built-in 3W front facing tuned stereo speakers, as well as a 10W subwoofer with class D amplifiers for accented bass response.

VTech seems to have applied their long history of developing wireless phone products for the home market and applied it to delivering a Wi-Fi music streaming device that they hope is a step above other products currently on the market today.

Simplifying audio exploration even further, a comprehensive guide to all available stations will be available at www.vtechphones.com. Once a desired station is located using the guide, users can push their favorite stations directly to the IS9181 for one-touch access. Stations can be preset for easy recall, and the remote control allows convenient management from across the room. With optional battery power operation (requires six AA batteries), users can even take the IS9181 out of their home or office to the patio or backyard, as long as the Wi-Fi signal is in range for streaming.

In addition to music options, the IS9181 also offers localized weather (based on zip code) and, for those who have IQs lower than their shoe size, personalized horoscope content. The VTech IS9181 also has a full color LCD for easy viewing.

The VTech IS9181 will be available in Spring 2009 for an MSRP of $199.95. For more information visit www.vtechphones.com.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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