Geek Box

Do Poughkeepsie's public radio personalities completely captivate you? Perhaps you've found the perfect DJ to groove to but he's in Prague, so you gotta groove in front of your GX200. With the Sonicbox K.O. iM Remote Tuner ($79.99), you can say sayonara to your desktop—and those sub-par speakers that came with your computer. Sonicbox allows you to remotely control your favorite Net audio and also transmit the sound to your hi-fi speakers. The setup process is fairly straightforward: Just load the tuner software, connect the smallish base unit to your PC's USB port, patch the RCA cables to your stereo speakers, and you're ready to start fiddling with the wireless remote control. The remote unit comes out of the package with a mother lode of preprogrammed stations organized by genre, but users may also program personal favorites into the "Z-Band" by importing the station's URL. (Sonicbox also plays MP3s and Windows Media playlists.) The unit's range is roughly equivalent to that of your cordless phone—about 900 MHz—which means you can probably shuffle into the kitchen and grab a Twinkie while you're tuning in to Tokyo. As with your cell phone, it's possible that Sonicbox may conduct annoying interference. And, of course, the better your Internet connection, the better the sound. All of this is well and good if you truly love to geek to the beat of a different device. But unless you really really love that DJ from Prague, and you're really really sick of sitting in front of your computer while listening to him, the Sonicbox K.O. isn't going to change your life.—Laura Learmonth

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