Tuesday 21 November 2017

ROXI Music Streaming Hub from Electric Jukebox Review

The ROXI from Electric Jukebox is a small music streaming hub unit which connects to your TV and can be used for 5 different functions, including streaming music from Electric Jukebox. One year's premium pass is included, as is a remote control which doubles as a microphone and can be used for Smart Voice Search and karaoke.

Our house has always been full of music and my older kids have introduced us to a variety of apps and gadgets over the years, they all have subscriptions to various music streaming services too, so reviewing the ROXI is a very natural step for us.

In the box you have the ROXI hub, ROXI controller, USB charge lead, Power adapter, HDMI cable and 12 month Premium Music Pass. It's nicely presented and looks really neat. The hub itself is very small, wall mountable and in a choice of 3 colours - classic charcoal grey, bright blue or coral red.

The controller is USB rechargeable.  A charge takes around 2 hours and lasts 24 hours of constant use, so it'll not need recharging often. It really isn't too big or unwieldy. It's surprisingly light and comfortable in any size of hand and your children shouldn't drop it every 5 minutes.

Set up was ridiculously simple and took about 2 minutes. You don't have to register, add your card details or make an account, you just plug in the HDMI and the power, log into your wifi and use the controller to control the onscreen cursor to say 'yes' to starting your first Annual Premium Pass - which is included.

A Premium Annual Pass for Electric Jukebox costs £52, almost £70 cheaper than the most popular music streaming service, although you are limited on portability and can only use it when you have a TV set and wi-fi - not so great on the bus, but it'll work at your mates house. It won't work in a hotel though because of the way their wi-fi is set up.

ROXI has 5 main functions:

Music Streaming - The search works well and I found the Smart Voice Search was excellent. It has understood everything we've all said so far and pulls up matching Artists, Songs, Albums and Playlists. You then use the controller to make the selection, which seems a little clunky after recognising a complicated band name, to not be able to say 'play' etc is a waste.

You can't queue the next song, but you can quite easily create playlists and search while already playing a track, so in that respect it functions much like You Tube for example.

While you hold the controller, you see the menu screen, put it down and it changes to random images, both photographs and illustrations. I've not noticed the same one twice, so there's certainly variety and it's definitely better than a blank screen. You can select a specific category, such as space, cityscape or nature, and it's also possible to connect your Facebook account and show your Facebook albums. 'Our holiday 2012' and 'that time a big bit of our tree fell off' would indeed be a random backdrop...

There are over 30 million tracks available, hilarious then that the 5th one we tried wasn't there - it hasn't heard of James. That one is possibly a licensing issue, but as new tracks are being added constantly, we'll hope to see them soon.

Karaoke - This works so well. We've all had an excellent time belting out favourites. The text is really clear and you aren't rushed to try and see what to sing when it gets to the tricky bits. Having such a huge choice of songs from any era (50,000 tracks) is excellent because you can please everyone. The fact the controller doubles up as your microphone is perfect.

Name That Tune music quiz - ROXI is quite US music heavy, so playlists are a bit unusual compared to something you'd find put together by a UK-based compiler. I have to admit to being far less good at this than I anticipated. We found this annoyance years ago when we used to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero, but it does at least expand your knowledge and you can find some gems you'd never otherwise have discovered.

As a quiz it works really well and it is still fun, even when you end up picking the track name you've never heard of because what is playing is unfamiliar! There are loads of different question topics you can choose, from Country to 80's to just about any musical genre, and high scores are saved on a leaderboard for you to try to beat later (shouldn't be hard in our case!).

Worldwide Radio - I listen mainly to local Manchester radio which streams from about 10 miles away, so I don't have experience on how readily available world radio is via other methods. I can however obviously listen to my favourite station using the ROXI - and will do. I currently use the Sky Box if I want to listen to radio in the living room and having the menu screen burning into my TV isn't great.

Sound Machine - This is something we've not really tried for long, but it has a selection of different sounds for relaxation and meditation. It just isn't my thing - unless I'm actually going to sleep, and it has a built in timer of up to 45 minutes for just that.

Streaming is high quality, the default codec streamed to the ROXI is 320kbps AAC, and your box will update automatically via your wifi. There is a parental control option which omits tracks with explicit lyrics - and there's a system to report any that slip through that net.

ROXI is available to buy now priced £199. This is an expensive outlay for a device which replaces functions you can achieve with a mobile phone. When you consider that the music streaming service seems as good as others and you have a cheaper annual cost of £52, plus a year is included in the package, it starts to make financial sense.

The ROXI isn't as portable as a phone, it does need a TV set or A/V receiver (however a monitor will work as long as it's got HDMI, decent speakers or external speakers). It's intuitive and incredibly simple to use. Our younger children can use this by themselves, I certainly wouldn't let them loose with my phone! I'd much rather my 7 year old was listening to the ROXI while he plays, than running You Tube in the background, but he still gets his choice of songs.

ROXI is really a novelty, a luxury, and it won't be of value to everyone, but it works really well and is a very useful music delivery system and a brilliant karaoke machine. As a longer term (2 year+) investment, you really can't argue and if you mainly listen to your music indoors, by 3 years you're potentially onto a saving - with 3 years of free karaoke and Name That Tune thrown in...

You can find out all about the ROXI Music Streaming Hub on the ROXI Electric Jukebox website. Available now priced £199

We were sent our ROXI for review.


  1. We have one too. Kids are addicted!

    1. I love it for in the daytime now - I thought the kids would use it most, but it turns out it's mostly me :D


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