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Cambridge Audio Go, Now With FM Radio

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Cambridge Audio has released the Go Radio as a companion to their Go Wireless Bluetooth portable speaker, a great option that I reviewed last year. The Go Radio sells for $199 online ($20 more than the Go) and adds FM radio to the mix.

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The amazing sound and even more amazing 20+ hour battery life that  make the Go such a great option are featured in the Go Radio. In a pinch, you can even charge a phone via the rear USB port and still get several hours of streaming music.

The trick here is the FM Radio reception. Most FM radios built into phones or portable music devices are terrible: it's as if someone in marketing insisted on having the feature on a sales sheet and engineers shoehorned it in at the last minute. Cambridge Audio delivers the best FM reception I've heard since I last bought a high-end dedicated portable radio back in the '90s. The reception is so solid that you might not need to extend the antenna for a strong signal.

There are three radio preset buttons on the back of the unit and you set the stations just by pushing in the button you want to use. Realize, however, that there's no remote with this device.  you tune to a station either by going a step at a time using the up and down arrows below the preset buttons or pressing down and hoping the seek function delivers. If you listen to more than three stations on a regular basis, that could turn out to be a real frustration.

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Here's the other thing you should know: there's an always-on display when the unit is turned on. You see either the numbers for the radio signal, a lower-case "bt" when you're streaming or an upper-case "AU" when you have a device connect to the auxiliary port.

If you're considering Cambridge Audio, should you buy a Go Radio or just a regular Go? If you're traveling and can spare the space (9.3″ x 4.8″ x 2.4″) and weight (2.5 lbs) in your luggage, the Go might be the best choice. Unless you don't mind starting the tuning process from scratch every time you land in a new town, the Go Radio seems best suited for home use.

The sound is outstanding, every bit as good (or better) as the models that usually show up in online "Best of" speaker roundups. You can pick one up in either black or white from Crutchfield with a 60-day money-back guarantee or find a local dealer to hear one in person.

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