gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

NOXON2 Audio from Terratec

Meet the NOXON2 Audio from Terratec. It’s a Wifi and Ethernet enabled beauty of a streaming audio solution. It may not look much but under the diminutive mac-mini-esque hood is a smart bit of hardware that can stream your favorite internet radio, podcasts, and mp3s to anywhere in your house from USB storage, networked computers and the internet of course.

The NOXON2 is supplied with a remote control and mains adaptor, you must bring your own speakers or opt to purchase the official and similarly styled NOXON2 Speaker which the NOXON2 slots neatly into. You can hook it up to some stereo speakers in your kitchen, to your HI-FI or even into a pair of headphones.

The NOXON2 has a few slight failings, but fortunately these are entirely present in the firmware itself which is upgradable; meaning they could be fixed in the future. The most notable of these failings is a somewhat clunky interface which makes it difficult to navigate to any particular radio station. A favorites list alleviates this somewhat, but if you’re browsing for some fresh listening you’ll soon get frustrated with the menu system. The second, and more irritating for me, is that the NOXON2 doesn’t remember your place in a podcast- this is a slight downside to the fact it streams them directly from the internet. You also can not fast-foward a podcast so if you’re used to listening to podcasts downloaded to your iPod you might find the NOXON2 a little irksome. Still the very fact it plays podcasts and brings them so elegantly into a kitchen is a huge win.

Overall the NOXON2 is a fantastic piece of kit ready to plug into whatever you’ve got lying around your house to produce sound. It can easily be moved from room to room but wont do you much good outside as it doesn’t take batteries; although you could chance it in the summer with an extension cord. There are a wealth of internet radio stations and podcasts available for all tastes across a range of genres and countries and there’s even a setup web-page you can access from your computer to add your own stations.

The NOXON2 Audio can be had for a little over £100 and the NOXON2 Speaker for a little under.

Friday, September 21st, 2007, Home Entertainment, Personal Audio.