In a digital world, there's something refreshingly analog about flipping off the flat screen, undocking the iPod and settling in for an evening in front of the radio.
That's not to say the Tivoli Model Satellite is a relic. A lot of technology is packed into the decidedly modern table radio, starting with the Sirius satellite function--which may soon become a Sirius/XM feature now that a merger is in the works. This 21st century twist updates Tivoli's Model One, the AM/FM table unit that became a classic thanks to sound quality unprecedented for a compact radio.
That sound quality is undiminished in the Model Satellite. Tivoli's sound was perfected thanks to the expertise of audio engineering veteran Henry Kloss, and the pedigree is evident. Even when playing AM/FM, the Model Satellite packs a punch in the sound department, delivering unexpected richness from a single-speaker unit no bigger than a box of Kleenex. If you take your radio with an extra side of volume, Tivoli offers compact peripheral speakers and subwoofers in the same aesthetic style as its radios.
Even an audio neophyte like myself was impressed with the sound, but if that doesn't sway you, the Model Satellite's retro-yet-modern look may win you over. The unit's natural wood casing and sleek face with its distinctive, super-precise AM/FM dial make it a welcome addition to any room. It looks lovely on a table, bookshelf or nightstand, where you can take advantage of its alarm clock feature.
Other features allow you to listen to your MP3 player through the unit and browse 134 Sirius stations by the artist or song title currently on air. If you hear a new song on a Sirius station, you only have to hit a button and the artist and song title are recorded in the unit for later reference.
The Model Satellite's only weakness is its chintzy, credit card-size remote control, which lacks volume and AM/FM controls and seems more suited to your typical plastic-encased lo-fi than this marvel of sound and design.
For audiophiles and fans of the radio--from NPR to classic rock--the $299 Model Satellite is a necessity.
For the uninitiated, it might just convert you.