The Slacker G2 Review

When Slacker’s G2 Internet “radio” launched I found myself impressed with the hardware redesign, but figured I wasn’t in need of an upgrade. My Slacker unit functions basically identically to the G2, and I’ve never minded the size. Why spend the money for a shiny new toy I don’t need?

Then my G2 review unit arrived.

Setting aside size for a moment, Slacker has improved several aspects of their portable device that aren’t easily conveyed in a bulleted list of features. The interface is much faster. Lag time was only a minor annoyance before, but with it corrected, I’m not sure I can go back to the old way. The audio quality is much better. Again, it’s not that the sound was bad before, but it’s certainly clearer now – and there seems to be much more volume flexibility, which I find very useful on a noisy treadmill. The buttons are easier to manage. It may just be the smaller size, but all the buttons seems better positioned for use. The “Favorite” and “Ban” buttons are definitely more convenient on top of the device.  The new earphones rock. I actually ditched the earphones from my original Slacker device because they wouldn’t stay in my ears. The new ones do. The new case is even decent. Rubber instead of the old cloth, and form-fitting instead of blocky.

And finally there’s the size. The Slacker G2 is perfectly snug in my hand. I thought the angled sides on the original Slacker device were cool, but the rounded edges on the G2 make it perfect for the palm.

Of course, there’s also all of the killer Slacker software functionality on the new G2. Customized radio stations available offline. If you have an online Slacker account, the company will even pre-program and load your device so it arrives populated with your stations. This is a great way to get past the first annoying device update. Once a station is loaded initially, the refresh times aren’t bad. You can also drop your own MP3 files on to the Slacker G2 to complement your radio stations. Always good to have a few go-to songs when the mood hits you.

All in all, I have a feeling I’ll soon be plunking down the cash for a new G2. They’re due out in Best Buy in October.

13 thoughts on “The Slacker G2 Review”

  1. Just remember to send me the G2 to check out before it goes back to the Slacker folks. ;) By the way, I’ve discovered noise-canceling headphones work well on a treadmill… Which reminds me of a review I haven’t written.

  2. Oooo, that box it comes in is cool! Someone there at Slacker read this blog ( and Engadget ) knowing unboxing ceremonies are a geek favorite. Any more pics of the graphics on the box? Is it made of cardboard or metal?

    I still don’t get dedicated hardware business models, but maybe that’s just me being weird, why isn’t Slacker a cliud service for any device?

  3. Todd, Slacker works on any computer. If you get Flash on your Android, maybe there too. They do have a Blackberry application set to launch next month – it has me VERY excited. Between that and the SlingPlayer, I may find myself on the Blackberry Bold sometime soon…

  4. I just received my G2 yesterday. I have to say I’m quite impressed. I didn’t think it’d be as small as it is. The sound quality is good and the screen is nice and bright. I’m not a huge fan of the scroll wheel, but it works.

    I was hoping it would show up as a regular USB mass storage device when I plugged it in to my PC (running Ubuntu), but it shows up as some kind of network device. I planned on putting my own MP3s on it that way, but now I’ll either have to boot into Windows, or figure out some other way (wine maybe).

  5. @Todd The packaging is sweet. Cardboard, not metal, but with a magnet in the front flap for satisfying closure. Love the sticker that came on the front of the device too for showing off how great the album art is.

    More info- When I talked to Jonathan Sasse at Slacker, he said they’re going to continue producing hardware for now because “not everyone wants a smartphone.” But he also said that if the time comes that enough other partners are creating good hardware products that support Slacker, the company could shift entirely to a software business

    @Tim P The Windows Media Player requirement to transfer MP3s is a bit annoying, but the sync feature is super fast.

  6. Let’s get to Slacker support. Maybe you could give me Jonathan Sasse’s phone number because there is no phone number to call and no returned support emails. Mine arrived and I would love to use it. When I put my number in to activate I’m told that it expired 35 days ago. I just ordered it and received it straight from Slacker this week. What can be more frustrating than to have and hold and no support in sight. Looks like it will be going back…what else can I do?

  7. Loved my Slacker G1 until it stopped connecting via WiFi or USB 5 days ago. No response from and no phone number. It’s this kind of non-customer service that kills companies. It’s now essentially worthless. Troubleshooting info on-line is not relevant to this problem as nothing suggested works.

  8. I really liked my Slacker G2 as well – until it stopped working again. I’d previously had a problem with a dock that I had bought and experienced its below par customer service.

    First of all, if something goes wrong – YOU have to pay to send it back in (insured). Now I know that a lot of other companies do that, so I can let that go.

    It’s been a MONTH now since I’ve sent mine in – they didn’t acknowledge receipt, nor will they give me any status update. Their only response is that, they have none in stock and they cannot tell me when they will get more in! So I will have to wait indeterminately until their production comes back. A refund? Silly rabbit – you’re talking gibberish! “We don’t do that”

    There’s not even a way to call anyone! Probably the worst customer service I’ve ever seen.

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