Grace Digital has been making these Internet radios for quite some time now, but the Mondo is at least a little bit new because it uses a faster processor and a new color LCD screen to navigate and select your music.
One thing that surprised us about the Mondo is that it actually had a decent alarm clock. We say it surprised us, because most Internet or tabletop radios don’t make good bedside clocks - and most bedside clocks don’t make great table (or Internet) radios. The Mondo’s pretty good at both. It lets you store up to 5 alarms, and each alarm can be set to go off every day of the week, on a particular day, just weekends, just weekdays… you name it.
You control the radio with the rotary knob on the front, which takes you through the linear menu. This is the best way to control it because the remote… the remote is absolutely a pox upon nature itself. Most people aren’t going to buy this player for its remote, however, and so at around $180 you have to ask whether the Mondo is going to make the cut as a tabletop Wi-Fi Internet radio.
The sound quality of the Mondo was actually kind of compressed-sounding, with shrill highs and no real bass. It’s almost like it’s tuned for outside, but it doesn’t play loud enough for that to work either. The 3” woofer didn’t seem to be able to give enough balance in the lower frequencies and the 1” tweeter was just a tad brittle, even when we brought down the treble using the EQ.