While there’s more competition than ever in the network music player space, Logitech’s Squeezebox division continues to push out products that are both feature-rich and also excel in what they do… not to mention look good. The Boom is the latest product off the line, and as we had hoped, it impresses in many different ways.
Testing the Boom was a straight-forward affair. After connecting it to the SqueezeCenter software, it was as simple as finding a song and playing it. The volume is set on a 1 -100 scale and we were surprised to find that we were able to turn it all the way up to around 92 before noticeable distortion took away from the overall sound.
That should be plenty loud for anyone and while it wouldn’t be idea for a house party, I can see it being more than adequate in such a scenario. When using the line in from my Zune and iPod, the volume had to be turned up to around 70 to get an acceptable volume but in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t an issue at all for me and I can’t see it being one for too many others as well.
Range was also never an issue in our testing. From our wireless device, a D-Link draft n router, we were able to get good enough signal everywhere in the house, rendering the Boom usable in any room in the house.
Complaints have arisen around the Internet because of the lack of 802.11n support in the Squeezebox lineup of devices. This is a ridiculous complaint in almost all scenarios, and unless your home is large enough that wireless g cannot reach from one end to the other, the bandwidth needed to stream music is more than there in the g band.
We haven’t had the privilege of evaluating a perfect product here at Techgage and I am certain that no one else has either. We have had our fair share of great products come across our desk and I have to say that the Logitech developed Squeezebox Boom falls well into that category. It’s certainly not perfect and there are a few complaints that we have with it but by and large, the Boom is a great addition to the Squeezebox lineup of products.
To be honest, the Boom falls into a class that I’m surprised it took this long for Logitech to get into. The network-accessible alarm clock has been done before. Roku has had an answer to this market for a while now but with the Boom, Logitech has brought the deep SqueezeCenter software and the typical Slim Devices design to the masses. Available now for around $300 (US), the Boom isn’t cheap, and if you’re looking for an alarm clock that can stream music, you might be better off looking elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for something much more robust, the Boom should be on your short list.
The design is simple and the functionality is great but we do have a few complaints. If you’re looking to stream your DRM protected music, you’ll be out of luck as the Boom can simply not do this. If you’re a neat freak, the Boom will undoubtedly drive you up the wall. Its glossy black exterior will attract dust and fingerprints as if that was its only job on earth. I find myself constantly using a cloth to wipe away the dust and fingerprints that inevitably show up.
With that said, the positives far out way the negatives when it comes to the overall experience of the Boom. While you’re DRM protected music is out, the Boom does support a multitude of other formats such as MP3, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, APE, MPC and WavPack.
Another high point for the Boom is the control that you have over the alarm clock features. You can setup a 7 day alarm clock and control the snooze times as well. I have had this unit setup for 15 minutes but you the options are completely open-ended and you can setup them to be whatever you so choose.
In the end, the Squeezebox Boom is a fantastic addition to Logitech’s audio streaming stable. Their acquisition of Slim Devices continues to produce top notch products at relatively affordable prices. I would love to see the price of the Boom lowered to around $250 but at $299, you’re still getting a quality product with many different uses. With all this taken into consideration, the Boom has earned itself our Editor’s Choice award.
Great portable design.
Superb audio quality.
High number of supported formats.
Dual antennas provide great range.
High range of volume control without noticeable distortion.
Adequate bass from such a small package.
Internet and Satellite Radio subscriptions supported.
Fantastic SqueezeCenter software.
Dust and finger print magnet.
DRM music not supported (not surprising).
Many might be turned off by lack of audio out ports.
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