Grace Digital Encore+ Wi-Fi speaker and internet radio review

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Grace Encore 1

Five years ago, I said this about the Grace Mondo portable internet radio, “After using the Grace Digital Mondo Wi-Fi Music Player and Internet Radio for a few months, I have come to one conclusion: Anyone looking for a portable radio today that does not choose an internet radio is wasting money.” That statement might sound a bit out of date in today’s age of smartphones connected to Bluetooth speakers. Even so, I can still see the appeal of a portable internet radio like the Mondo—notice I said portable. I’ve never been entirely convinced that a larger table-top internet radio is necessary. Grace Digital obviously disagrees and thinks tabletop radio is still relevant because they updated their Grace Encore stereo Wi-Fi speaker and internet radio with the new Encore+.

What is it?

Grace Encore 11

Present day internet radios beg the question, “Why would anyone desire an internet radio, when their smartphone will do most everything the radio will do?” Hopefully, this review will answer that question.

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The Grace Encore+ stereo Wi-Fi speaker and internet radio is an updated version of their original Encore radio. The Encore+ now comes with built-in Chromecast and its many enabled apps. If you are a fan of internet radio sites, like (local and distant) AM/FM stations, I Heart Radio, BBC, NPR, Fox, CNN—just to name a few—you’ll love the Encore+. If you want multi-room audio—without paying for propriety systems like SONOS or HEOS—the Encore+ will do that too. Plus, it works with other Chromecast enabled speakers as well.  

Grace Encore 19

The upgraded Encore+ also comes with Bluetooth which makes it much more useful than the previous Encore. This matters, because you now can have your cake and eat it too by switching between radio, Chromecast and even Apple Music (via Bluetooth). You really do get the best of all worlds. 

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But it matters even more because the Encore+ doesn’t just sound like most other wireless radios. There’s some serious audio stuff going on here. There are two 3 in. front facing speakers with a down-firing subwoofer driven by a class D amp. This subwoofer gives the Encore+ a significant audio advantage over other table-top radios in its price range—along with all of its added internet benefits.

The front of the Encore+ has a large color screen that can display settings, media, cover art or other info whenever you want. There’s also a free smartphone app that is a breeze to use and practically a must-have. More on that later.


The specs of the Encore+ is overwhelming. Visit the Grace website for the full list. Here are some highlights:


  • Class D Digital 12watt amplifier
  • 2-3″ front facing speakers with a down-facingsubwooferr
  • 3.5mm Stereo headphone jack
  • L/R RCA outputs
  • RCA Aux in
  • USB port
  • Integrated dual band equalizer with 5 preset modes
  • Remote Control iOS and Android App
  • Built-in Chromecast audio software that integrates with Google home.

Clock & Alarm

  • 12 or 24 hour clock with date
  • 5 individual alarms
  • Sleep Timer
  • Smartphone Remote Control Apps
  • Control your radios via the front panel, included remote control, or from anywhere in your house via the Grace Control Apps loaded on your smartphone or tablet.

Size & Weight

  • Width: 13.5 in. Depth: 10.75 in. Height: 5.75 in.
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs


  • 802.11n wireless connectivity

Design and features

Grace Encore 12

The Encore+ is a table-top radio, so even though it can be moved from room to room, it’s not portable. It needs to be plugged in at all times—there is no battery. The retro mid-century modern design comes in either all black or walnut wood and looks good with any decor. I  prefer the classic walnut finish to the more modern black. 

Included is a clock/radio function making the this a perfect nightstand companion—provided your nightstand has the available real estate to accommodate the wide and deep Encore+.

Grace Encore 5

A 3.5 in. front color screen shows whatever function the Encore+ is performing, plus other information you may want to display. While the colors are bright enough, the screen is not angled upwards as on the Mondo radio making the screen more difficult to read without bending down to look straight at it. Even so, the screen can bes helpful to see info at a glance. There’s also a headphone port on the front.

Grace Encore 2

A top panel contains a volume knob, power button and a now playing button that displays artist info, cover art, etc. on the front screen. There’s also a tuning knob, a handy back button that takes you to the previous screen, home button and that ever popular clock-radio snooze button. 

Finally, there are five color coded buttons on the top panel that correspond to whatever function has the matching color seen on the screen. So what they do is dependent on what is visible on the screen. I found these buttons to be more trouble than they’re worth and now ignore them.

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The back panel houses two antenna connectors giving the Encore+ a better than good range. There is a power switch, and AUX in ports along with a UB port for connecting hard drives or thumb drives and a bass port. Finally, there are RCA line out connections for connecting external speakers. 

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While it’s technically true that you don’t need Grace Digital’s GD Control app to run the Encore+, you want this smartphone app! Without it, navigating the screen with only the buttons on the unit or remote is a nightmare. The iOS/Android GD Control app lets you do anything the top panel will do, but with an added ease of use. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent Mac or PC app.

As with the recently reviewed Solis speakers, I still hold that Apple Music has an edge over Chromecast in ease of use and sound quality. Music just seems more alive through Apple music. Android users may get different results, but to this iOS user, Apple wins every time in audio quality compared to Chromecast. 

Seeing album cover art on the Encore’s front screen worked well with Chromecast, but not so well with Apple Music or when streaming my own music from my hard drive. That’s not a big deal for me because I seldom look at the Encore+ screen for that kind of info. However,  it’s nice to have info available should you want to see what’s playing. Cover art along with other information is also available when using the built-in SiriusXM app. I haven’t been able to figure out why cover art from Apple Music doesn’t carry over to the Encore+.

Note that you must have full SiriusXM capability to use it with the Encore+. My SiriusXM account only covers my car and nothing more, so I wasn’t able to use it with the Encore+.

Despite the usefulness of Bluetooth, Chromecast or even internet radio, the Encore+ really excels with its audio quality. The front facing speakers handle mids and high frequencies quite well with enough power and clarity to fill any large bedroom or kitchen. It’s that down-firing subwoofer that places the Encore+ on another level by playing low notes without distorting. Brian Eno’s “Written, Forgotten” is a song I’ve used before to test bass. There are notes in this song that are more felt than heard and the Encore+ lets you feel—as well as hear— those notes. 

DJ Hell’s remix of Bryan Ferry’s “U Can Dance” features a visceral kick that requires your body to want to move to the beat. Sure, the lower notes sound better on dedicated stereo speakers, but the Encore+ can more than hold its own (for a table-top speaker) without straining. 

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Note that the Encore+ has a built-in equalizer for fine-tuning music to your taste.

Even sports or talk radio sound good on the Encore+. Vocals are clear and easily understood without too much bass or too bright treble. Keep in mind that audio quality and clarity can be dependent on the source, especially when it comes to internet radio. Some stations may sound better than others.

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In addition to Bluetooth, the Encore+ can play music from USB and AUX (RCA) inputs. You can even play music stored on a USB thumb drive—which sounds even better than wireless!

What I like

The Encore+ is a jack-of-all-trades kind of radio. It does so much that I’ve touched on only some of it. I recommend visiting the Grace Digital site and exploring everything it can do.

What needs to be improved

The built-in software has not improved much since the original Mondo radio. At least the free Grace GD Control app exists.

Final Thoughts

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The Grace Digital Encore+ is a worthy radio that does a lot of what’s asked of it. I like to think of it as a great-sounding Bluetooth speaker that also happens to play many radio formats (including internet radio), is a clock/radio, works with Google Assistant, has a color screen and will even charge your smartphone! My only concern is that time and changing listening habits may eventually pass internet radios like the Encore+ by. I sincerely hope not.

Price: $249.99
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Grace Digital.

12 thoughts on “Grace Digital Encore+ Wi-Fi speaker and internet radio review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. The company is out of business. I’ve emailed them a couple of times asking if they are in business and their phone number has been taken over by a scammer.

    1. Bill,
      You are mistaken. I called Grace Digital today and was told that not only are they in business, but they are currently hiring due to growth.

      Thanks for reading.
      Bill H.

      1. What phone number did you call? I’ve used their email form on the website to send them a couple of messages and never got a reply after the first auto reply saying someone will reply shortly. I called the phone number on their website and got a spam offering insurance. I ordered their CastDock Speaker from 5 different stores including Amazon and each cancelled my order saying it was not in stock or could be ordered. The CastDock Speaker is a great item and hope they are in business and start to reply to their customers.

  3. Bill,
    The number I called is 866-446-0961. I got right through. Their hours are 9-5 M-F Pacific time. I went on the site and the CastDock speaker is sold out, so I wonder if its been discontinued. Good luck on getting one. They make good speakers.


    1. I finally got a response to one of my emails. The CastDock is discontinued. It’s too bad as this is a great little speaker. I found one store that had one in stock after having 5 other stores cancel my order. After getting a shipping confirmation, I went to order a second one and the price was $35 higher. I’m happy I’ll have 5 CastDock speakers which all work together with our Polk MagniFi MAX SR Chromecast soundbar as a full house sound system.

      1. That’s great that you could find what you want. I also don’t like it when someone discontinues a product I use and love. I had to replace a Sony radio recently and could only find a used one on ebay at twice the original cost. But I happily paid it-the radio is that good.


  4. Thank you Bill H. for providing the phone number and information and the nice high quality reviews.

    Grace Digital certainly is in business, and just had our 10 year anniversary. We are a small San Diego, CA based company with US based customer service.

    Bill L can you please provide me where you saw the wrong phone number so we can change it? Our main customer service number is on the top of each one of our pages on our web site at
    [email protected]
    Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 4 PM PT, Friday 9 AM – 12 PM PT

    We typically answer customer emails within 24 business hours.

    With regards to the Castdock, that product got rave reviews, and yes we agree it was a great product. However, while sales were great initially they were too small later on to continue to sell the product. Is was discontinued at the end of last year, and dealers were simply selling through their inventory over the last 6 months.

    Thank you for your support
    Greg Fadul
    Grace Digital

  5. I’ve scoured the internet, starting with Grace Digital’s site to learn the purpose of the electric eye on the face of the Encore+. Nobody or his brother so much as mentions it. The accompanying .pdf shows it but does not identify it. I sure would like to know.

    1. Certo,
      Your PDF did not show on my phone, but if it’s the one I’m thinking of, the “eye” you refer to is the wireless contact for the remote that comes with the radio.

      Bill H.

  6. Good Morning………..I am wondering if I can hook up a CD player to this radio?………..Although I like the music selections available I still have some special CD that I like to play. Thanks and have a great holiday and New Year. Cheers……….DB

    1. Don,
      The Grace Encore+ has a L/R AUX input on the back of the unit. If your CD player has an audio out, you should be good to go.


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