17 September 2017


Rock on.

What do you do for music? If you're still putting those round disk things into a machine, then prepare for an injection of modernity, Granddad. That's because we've playing with a new gadget that has totally transformed the way we hear music and songs (and also made evenings a lot more entertaining/embarrassing. We review the Electric Jukebox Roxi.

Whereas a set-top box or streaming stick like Roku or Amazon Fire allows you to watch internet TV on your telly, regardless of how smart it is, the Roxi does the same for music... and karaoke. About the same size as a digibox, the Roxi connects to a power point, and hooks up to your TV via the included HDMI cable. Once on, simply connect to your home WiFi and you're ready to go.

You then have access to millions of songs and albums. It really is as simple as that; millions of 'em. You can search by genre, see what has been suggested for you, or use your voice to request a specific song or artist. And to do that, you use the included remote control, which is an interesting blend of microphone and Nintendo Wii controller.

In fact, that remote is how you operate the user interface, pointing it like you would a Wii controller, but also singing into it as you would a karaoke mic. Because, once you've played a few songs and made a few playlists, you're probably going to want to sing along, right? This is where the Roxi becomes more than just a Spotify-like device, as there are many songs that have the words pop up on screen, allowing you to sing along. Not all of the massive catalogue of songs have that ability, but a big chunk do, and it's lots of fun.

The mic, which is connected to the Roxi only via WiFi, does a good  job of amplifying your voice through the TV. It isn't strictly a loud speaker microphone, but it does add a certain oomph to the sound of the person or persons singing their hearts out. Weirdly, singing into the end of the mic didn't work as well as singing into the side, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.

Once you fed up of the all the music and the karaoke (as if you ever would), you could also play something else. Roxi features a Name That Tune game which is fast paced and fun, testing your musical knowledge based on tracks in the device's catalogue. Again, just like the Karaoke option, it became a firm favourite with us.

So, what's the catch? Well, there isn't one, not for the first year, that is. You really do get unlimited access to all that music, straight out of the box. However, after the first year it'll cost you another £52 for the same privilege. Bearing in mind the Roxi device itself costs £199, and you really have to consider if it will be worth it. However, buying a Roki and year's subscription to Netflix weighs in at roughly £200 too, so if you love your tunes, maybe it might be worth it.

Still, add to that package the fact that you get a very capable Karaoke machine, and it might sway your decision. Plus, the UI is clean and easy to operate, and the voice search is quick and very accurate. Altogether, a extremely impressive entertainment gadget.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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