iPod: Fabulous sound from iPhone or iPod (check your model under Grundig’s compatibility list), controlled via touchscreen, remote control or the player itself. Tray inserts are supplied.
DAB+: The Trio Touch tuned easily to all the wonders of digital radio in our office location, though its rod antenna proved less receptive than some rivals when positioned in a known blackspot at Geare HQ. Given a good DAB+ signal it displays station ID and text information where broadcast, while useful rescan and ‘pruning’ operations are easily to hand on the menus.
Internet radio: Easy access to a world of music, including top-level folders for Australian stations and podcasts; ‘listen again’ content is also shown under individual stations. Again the ability to search using a touchscreen keyboard massively simplifies your journey to a desired station or podcast. All worked well and (station-dependent) sounded great, with only one occasional glitch — if interrupted, long podcasts tended to reset to the beginning, which is a bugger because you often can’t FF through them to your previous point.
FM: No problems and great options here. You can autoseek for all stations or just strong ones; RDS identifies stations by name; there’s easy favourite storage and a mono option for hissy stations. Great work.
Last.FM: We were surprised to get this working so easily; we never have before! But using PayPal to subscribe for US$3 a month (you can sign up on a non-renewing basis if you just want to try it out), the Grundig was soon streaming tracks based on our suggested artist, at enjoyable quality, and with artwork included. The more you use Last.FM, the better it gets, though it should not be confused with on-request subscription music services like Rhapsody or Sony’s new global service (p96). Here you specify your favourite artists, and Last.FM then returns ‘Artist stations’ or ‘Tag stations’ populated with tracks related to that artist. So Led Zeppelin, for example, returned cover versions and Robert Plant solo work, but no actual Zep. As you ‘love’ stuff, it’s added to ‘Favourites’ which can be replayed somewhat unpredictably. Think of it more as a personalised radio station than subscription music.
My Music: Point it at a music share on your network, and up pop your tunes ready for streaming,
with artwork and track info, all the way from MP3, WMA and AAC up to FLAC — we enjoyed glitch-free lossless Wi-Fi streaming from our remote MSI laptop. Mac users will need DNLA server software (the manual seems very confused and unhelpful here); it couldn’t access our Leopard machine, but worked beautifully from an iTunes back-up stored on a WD NAS drive.
Alarms: Dual alarms with variable snooze time!
Settings: The Trio Touch will remember up to four wireless networks, as well as having an Ethernet socket for those able to provide a hard-wired network connection. Here you can also perform system updates online, and adjust the length of the time-out and intensity of the display backlight levels; as with the whole unit, this is thoughtful stuff.
- The full-size binding posts are a tad strange but heaven forbid we should criticise this higher-quality option...
- An optical digital output provides the ability to output some but not all the Grundig’s sources into a higher quality sound system (there’s also an analogue audio out via RCA phono sockets)
- There’s composite video out for running iPod video to a TV/monitor
- The headphone socket could be better positioned for ease of use (like on the front)
- One auxiliary input via minijack
- The Ethernet socket can be used in preference to the inbuilt Wi-Fi