This Radio Connects Listeners to a World of Fresh Foreign Sounds
Don’t be fooled by the no-frills appearance of this device—it’s actually something of a shape-shifter. Created by the Italian design firm Palomar, the Bluetooth-enabled City Radio (available in the U.S. through Uncommon Goods) lets users pick from 18 international radio libraries with a few flicks of the finger: Simply download the gadget’s app and pair it with the receiver. Then, press the button featuring a desired destination (the names of available cities, printed on interchangeable keys, include Athens, Cairo, Jakarta, Nairobi, and Rome, among others) and flip through the stations, transmitted in real time, using a tuning device on the radio’s side.
It’s an exhilarating experience—and not only as a means to momentarily satisfy our hankering for travel. Radio remains one of the most endearingly insightful, light-touch ways to understand a local culture. While most music-streaming services spoon-feed us music that’s perfectly suited to what we already know and like through proverbial echo-chambers, this clever apparatus thrusts us into a realm of fresh foreign sounds.