In this post, I’m going to focus on streaming music. There several wireless technologies which are being used these days to transfer music either from a cell phone or from a stationary device to another device. One popular technology is HD radio. This technology is about to overtake traditional FM radio. However, it also has some drawbacks. Due to the limited bandwidth, there is a significant amount of compression applied to the signal. That limits audio fidelity. So you will not experience CD quality audio on a radio which runs the HD radio stream.
Another commonly available technology is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is usually used to stream from a cell phone to a pair of speakers. If you don’t own Bluetooth speakers, you can purchase an Amphony Bluetooth receiver which can be connected to active speakers to make them pick up the Bluetooth signal. Bluetooth is fairly widespread because the number of speakers which support this protocol has increased several fold over the last few years. Also, almost all portable devices support Bluetooth and thus streaming music is a no-brainer.
There are some satellite companies out there which stream audio via a satellite signal. This protocol is good for traveling because the signal can be picked up anywhere in the country. However, this signal also is being compressed heavily and as such audio quality suffers. If you are into listening to casual radio and don’t have any high expectations then this type of music service might be the right way to go. Certainly, being able to listen to commercial free music stations is quite convenient.
Also, many cell phone companies nowadays offer data plans. A data plan allows you to transfer any data such as online radio stations to your cell phone. However, you can also mount a radio into your car which supports a cell signal. Having a data plan will allow you to stream your Internet radio stations on to the radio of your choice. But be careful. Cell phone providers typically charge abundant for data plans. Also, you might want to make sure that you have a flat-rate plan. If you don’t then chances are you can incur excessive charges as soon as you use more data than you plan has.
If you have Wi-Fi at home then you don’t have to worry about paying extra because you typically have a flat rate data plan for home. In that case you can stream without being concerned about incurring additional costs. They are Internet radios on the market which ideal for listening to radio over the Internet.