The best-looking internet radio player around, but how does it handle those all-too-often low-bandwidth stations?
We love internet radio: tune into its thousands of stations and your mammoth washing-up session becomes a voyage of musical discovery. And with looks to rival Vita's excellent R2 DAB radio, Tangent's table-top Quattro has all the credentials to make it one of the best.
We must emphasise that 'table-top' description – you won't be carrying this 4kg unit in your man-bag. But that weight is justified: the Quattro is a fully wireless unit, which means it will locate and connect with your Wi-Fi network in seconds and update itself via the Reciva website. Your only conundrum is what music to choose from 7,000 or so stations from around the world.
It looks cool, too. The Quattro is sturdily built and beautifully finished in wood veneer. Its compact dimensions make it ideal for the kitchen or the bedroom.
Even better, the Quattro is very easy to use. When you turn it on, it almost immediately shakes hands with your wireless network and checks in at Reciva's website. To put this in perspective, from turning the Tangent on to having a choice of nearly 7,000 stations took us, hmm, all of five seconds.
Now, every radio is dependent on the quality of broadcast it receives, right? Well, yes – but some radios are better than others at making the best of a bad job. And, wonder of wonders, this little beauty is right up there with the best.
The Quattro's expansive, detailed sound works well with any signal, and to hear it get to grips with, say, the Roots Rock Reggae station in Jamaica is an absolute delight. That station broadcasts on the internet at a measly 32kbps, making this unit's sonic reproduction really impressive. We guess those guys spend their budget on something other than extra bandwidth.
Positioning can be awkward
We have only one gripe – the Tangent's upward-firing speaker. Don't get us wrong, it sounds just lovely. The volume produced from such a small, mono speaker is surprising.
No, our one reservation is to do with the speaker's direction: it points upwards, so you don't place the unit anywhere high – the top of the fridge is a no-no – or you'll hear nothing but reflections off the ceiling (making it sound, well, rubbish).
And don't place it tightly between two shelves, or you'll get all kinds of reflections and never know just how good the Quattro can sound.
So go on, find a nice table to put the Quattro on, sit back and enjoy the best internet radio you'll have ever heard.
Tangent Quattro review
If you can find the right spot for it, this internet pioneer is a fine companion for a leisurely stroll around the planet's radio stations
Liked that? Read this...
Jay Z splashes out US$56m on Tidal music to take on Spotify