The Gadget: The Squeezebox Boom from Logitech streams music from your PC or the internet via an 802.11b/g or Ethernet connection. Unlike previous Squeezeboxes, the Boom also throws in a pair of 30-watt speakers.
The Price: $US300
The Verdict: This is one awesome little Wi-Fi radio. It is super-compact, versatile, set-up was nearly effortless and it sounds great. The device can handle just about any non-DRM format including MP3, FLAC, WMA, WMA Lossless, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, and AIFF and it accessed music seamlessly from my iTunes account thanks to the SqueezeCenter software (works with Windows, Mac and Linux).
The device integrates with Logitec's SqueezeNetwork to tap into internet radio and manage subscriptions from Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, Last.fm, Slacker, MP3tunes, RadioTime, Radio IO and Live365. Again, setting up an account and integrating the service with the Squeezebox itself was easy, and navigating between all of the options wasn't too much of a problem using the remote and the simplified display (although the fact that you can only view one menu option at a time can be a bit frustrating). The sleek design also had a couple nice extras, like a magnetised remote that can be stuck to the top of the unit—or to your fridge if you prefer. It also has an alarm clock function and an auto-dimming display that automatically adjusts to the ambient light.
As mentioned earlier, I was surprised at how well the Squeezebox Boom sounds. I didn't notice any major artifacts or distortion and it handles bass-heavy songs superbly—cranking out a crisp, heavy sound. Very impressive for Wi-Fi.
The bottom line is that there isn't much to complain about with the Squeezebox Boom. I mean, it beats the hell out of an iPod dock, that's for sure. The UI could have been a bit better and it may be a bit pricey for some at $US300, but all in all this is a great little machine. [Logitech]