CC WiFi 3 Internet Radio
The CC WiFi 3 is a new offering from C. Crane and is a great addition to their radio lineup. I must admit that prior to this most of my online listening had been via my smart phone and this method does let you hear a world of information, but the Skytune software in the CC WiFi 3 makes many more stations available and much easier to find. It is currently listed at $119.99
Features & Specifications:
Uses Skytune Aggregator to locate stations (See text)
Select Stations by:
Call Letters/Genre/Search Words)/Location (Country/State/City etc.)/Favorites/History
Presets Can Be Accessed by computer or smart device on the same WiFi network
Bluetooth Playback Mode with Play/Pause/Skip/Previous controls
Headphone & Line Out Jacks
Clock with Auto Time Set/Alarm/Sleep Timer
Led Lighting with 2 Levels and Auto features (see text)
EQ Presets & Advanced (Manual) Settings
Automatic Software Updates
Add URL’s at Skynet.net (See Text)
In Use: The CC WiFi 3 offers faster response time than many earlier devices due to its faster processor and it also boasts extended WiFi range with to its externally mounted antenna. Following the setup instructions, I had no trouble logging onto my home WiFi network and I was listening to music within minutes. As I said I haven’t spent much time with WiFi radios before and I was quite surprised at how easy it was to master the WiFi 3’s menus, but I worked with the radio and the Owner’s Manual (always a good idea) until I had things set up. I tuned to and saved as presets several stations by Genre, some stations from my old home town and some international broadcasters, all within minutes, then found them easy to access with the remote control. Although I am a committed (no jokes please) radio nut and love the excitement of over the air broadcasts, there is no denying that being able to flip from Hartford, Connecticut to Asia, Europe or various music services, all with reliable reception and good sound is rather nice.
And the sound is nice for a small box measuring only about 6 ¼” x 4/ ¼” x 3 ¾”. Certainly, it’s no boombox and does not provide a truly wide frequency response by audiophile standards, but it has nice overall tonal balance and several equalization settings available and as C. Crane points out you can connect it to an external amplified speaker if bigger sound is what you want. I especially appreciated the Advanced EQ settings which give you a five band equalizer which I have always preferred over preset EQ selections. I also noted that the EQ settings do affect the Line Out signal as described in the manual which is unusual. Not mentioned anywhere in the literature is the fact that both headphone and Line Outputs provide stereo. The WiFi 3 will also function as a Bluetooth speaker which can be handy.
I mentioned that the Led Backlight Brightness has an Auto function and this is pretty cool. The radio offers two levels of illumination – a brighter level which occurs within the First 20 seconds after a control is used, then a lower brightness level which kicks in after that first 20 seconds. On top of that, these two levels can be adjusted by the user. Quite deluxe I would say. Below are some pictures which show just a few of the many menus available -my photos don’t do the display justice…it is actually very bright and crisp.
A word about Skytune: Skytune is one of the more recently developed aggregators…software programs/databases which WiFi devices use to help you find stations. Different radios use different aggregators and since their station selections are curated (selected either by hand or by computers), different aggregators feature different available stations and streams. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into the details of all the available aggregators – you can find lots of reading about them online – but suffice it to say that Skytune seems to offer a good selection and offers the unusual feature of letting users upload URL’s of stations they would like to see added at their website Skytune.net. I haven’t tried this yet but it seems like a great option to ensure you will be able to hear what you want to. I have included several screen shots to give you an idea of what some of the browser selections look like but the selections go way beyond what I could show here.
Conclusion: If you’ve never used a dedicated Wi-Fi radio before I think you will be delighted at how easy it is to navigate the world of streaming radio stations. Whether you want to tune in to a particular country, state or city, or browse by Genre such as Talk, News or any of several music formats, the CC WiFi 3 makes it easy to find what you want. And if you’ve used other WiFi radios I think you will find the WiFi 3 to be an updated, modern design offering speed and usability improvements over older models. After a recent move I used to listen to my former hometown radio stations on my phone, but I usually had to endure several commercials before the live stream would initiate. With the WiFi 3 I just turn it on like a “regular radio” and within a few seconds there it is…it is a much nicer experience. and of course, it sounds much nicer than listening on a phone. I like it!
Available At C.Crane
Just after I published this article on March 1st, 2020 I received the following email from Bob Crane so I am presenting it here for you.
First info on the availability of the new CC WiFi 3;
“Our first delivery will not be until mid-June and we expect to sell out fast.”
Also, some information for owners of older CC WiFi radios.
“Reciva will likely stop maintaining the server in about 6 weeks.” (Note: I’m not sure when the 6 week countdown started). “This will affect our older units. If someone has an older CC WiFi there is a special offer on our website they should take advantage of.
“This is a one-time offer from C. Crane. This offer will end June 1, 2021.
- If you have purchased a CC WiFi and it is under the 1 year limited warranty, contact us for the available options.
- If you have purchased a CC WiFi and it is no longer under warranty, the CC WiFi-3 is available for half price – $60.00 USD plus shipping. You must fill out the form (click here) and include a picture of your serial number(s). Instructions are included on the form for how to locate your serial number. If you need help with this, please contact us. You will be contacted once we receive our shipment to get payment information and to confirm your address.”
Go to https://ccrane.com/reciva/ to read this information first-hand.