In recent years, Tivoli Audio has helped make the radio a fashionable, as well as functional, accessory around the home. Its range of portable and in situ radios and sound systems have proved hugely popular for their simple designs and sheer practicality, not to mention solid tonal qualities. Now they've put a DAB+, internet and FM radio plus media player into the mix to come up with the uniquely styled NetWorks Internet/FM radio.
Its simple box-like design looks classy with just a single dial and display, which appears as though not much is going on within its wooden confines. However, within this radio is all manner of goodies; DAB+, internet, FM radio and media player. Add extra speakers and network integration, and the NetWorks radio is a very versatile piece of audio equipment. The NetWorks radio is available in three versions: the AU$799 internet radio; AU$899 with internet and FM (the model we tested); and the AU$999 with internet, FM and DAB+ tuners. An additional speaker is available for AU$179 a pop to make it stereo.
In use, the Tivoli's menu system is not the most straightforward to navigate. The cheap and nasty credit card remote doesn't help either. The remote's fiddly functions and long-winded menu made what should've been an easy task painful. But once you start familiarising yourself with it, the NetWorks radio proves well worth the perseverance.
We tested the mono-only NetWorks, which had a pleasant tone when used for everyday desktop listening to your favourite news station or for background music. Full, rich and with decent bass extension, the Tivoli lends weight to both spoken and musical material. It locks in and tunes quickly, plus its Super Buffer works well and reduces the frequency of drop-outs, something that can happen with both internet and DAB+ listening.
Its networking and media capabilities are also impressive for such a compact device, and it's equipped with plenty of inputs and outputs for further home system integration. The Tivoli NetWorks Internet/FM radio may be expensive, but it has ample appeal and individuality.