Internet Radio

I'm looking to add internet radio accessibility to my listening room environment. Right now I use my iPad, taking the headphone out to a cable that is terminated with stereo RCAs on the other end. It mostly works.

But I'm thinking there should be better. I see the Grace digital tuner, about $165. Seems the knock is lousy user interface. Today I saw a Sonos Connect and bridge- would run about $400. Some complain the wifi connection isn't robust. I also see the Magnum Dynalab tuners, which is way more that I can justify right now.

If anyone has experience with this stuff I'd appreciate your insights. I would go with then Sonos is if it's a solid answer to my needs.
I use a Sangean WFT-1 and it works well. About $250 on Amazon.

Find a used Logitech Squeezebox Classic or Touch.
Does your iPad have access to the Internet? Let us assume it does.

You have many Internet Radio options to choose from using your iPad. For radio options, I suggest you look at Tune In ( It offers many radio options for listening. Another option is the Internet Radio option in iTunes. Other streaming options include Pandora, Beats Music, Rhapsody, Calm Radio, Radio Paradise and many more.

The advantage of using Internet radio is that you can receive a clean signal and not have to worry about FM reception.

How is your iPad connected to the Internet? If you have a strong wi-fi signal, you are probably okay for Internet Radio. If not, you can connect your iPad to the Internet via an Ethernet cable.

I was not able to connect using an Ethernet cable. My Apple MAC Book Pro Computer has been connected to the Internet using an Ethernet over power-line connection for months (Internet over your existing power lines). It has proven to be a very reliable connection. I am using the Linksys PowerLine Home Plug AV Kit (PLSK400) rated at to 200Mbps (Ethernet over power). The Linksys PowerLine Home Plug AV Kit (PLSK400) lets you pass through the existing power lines in your home or office into a high-speed network. There are many other Ethernet Adapter brands on the market but the PLSK400 was highly recommend by a networking friend of mine.

Ethernet over power is much better connection than a wireless connection. It was very difficult for me to run another Ethernet wire from my router in my home office to my living room and the Ethernet over power solution works fine.

I hope this helps.
I forgot to mention above that Tune In also provides you the ability to create a custom URL for stations you want to listen to but are not on the Tune In list.

A custom URL is a stream address that is most likely not in the TuneIn directory. Tune In gives the listener the option to enter their own URL in the custom space to listen to their private stream.

To listen to a custom URL, tap Favorites and then tap "add new custom URL" at the bottom of the screen. Enter the streaming URL in the text box.
I do have an iPad and do listen to Tune in on it. My question is what's the optimum way to get that into my system. I'm presently using a cable that cost under $10 that takes the headphone outs of the iPad and running it to an open input on my integrated amp. An IStreamer maybe? Or do I just go with a seperate unit such ask the Sangean?
Headphone out is not the way to go. Not sure which docks work with your iPad or if internet radio is worth a DAC, but probably best to not use the headphone jack. The Pure I-20 is great for iPod and inexpensive, not sure if it works with iPad.
The iPad has no external USB port so you are going through its internal sound card meaning pretty mediocre sound quality when using the headphone jack. You cannot avoid this if I understand a iPad correctly. If you have a laptop computer Windows or Mac, it doesn't matter, get something like a Audioquest Dragonfly DAC as they are pretty inexpensive. Plug it into the laptops USB port, connect other end of Dragonfly with a mini jack cable to stereo. Download your favorite internet radio station and away you go! I have downloaded Slacker Radio and have been getting near CD quality this way. And by the way. A iPad has no USB port.
Hgeifman, Pls explain how one connects to an IPad with an ethernet cable.
Zavato, As you've found out, IPad has its limitations as a source, but one interesting trick is to buy the IPad Camera Connection Kit for $29. This gives you a USB connection, with some caveats. An undocumented feature is that this USB will bypass the earphone port and actually stream digital output at a resolution of up to 24/96. I think this goes through some of IPad's onboard Cirrus Logic circuitry.
Then you connect this to a DAC. The DAC must have its own power source, and I don't think asynchronous DAC's will work. I've successfully streamed Pandora Radio and several other radio apps, as well as high-res FLAC files from an IPad into a Bel Canto DAC 3.0. It actually sounds surprisingly good.

That said, most folks seem to use IPads in their system as wireless controllers of a PC or Mac as the source, via DLNA.

There are also a few good articles floating around regarding its use in digital audio.

Good luck!
I think the Pure I-20 is just the product I'm looking for!
I have used the Pure I-20 and it's a nice unit. The Dac works like a charm, way better than apple's analog dock.

Sound may be a bit colored.
Colored, how? Bright? Threadbare? Bottom heavy?