Review: Logitech Squeezebox Boom

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The Logitech Squeezebox Boom is a wireless enabled digital media player. You can sync the Squeezebox server software with iTunes to allow the Squeezebox to play your iTunes music content, you can listen to internet radio and it has AUX support for a FM radio or iPod.

The Squeezebox sounds fantastic and has alot of sound power, it can be used for general listening in the bedroom or kitchen and it can be used for a large party. The Squeezebox also operates in every room, just plug the power in. (If you have WiFi).

Check out the review after the break.

  • Score:

    8.0 / 10

  • The Good:

    Compact, Sound’s great, Simple remote, Good looking

  • The Bad:

    Requires squeezebox server to be on all the time, No battery.

  • Bottom Line:

    Fantastic device for listening to music around the house.

Hardware

The Squeezebox Boom is quite small in size but heavy when picked up. It was a black finish and looked stunning at day and night. It includes a 30-watt amplifier and left and right speakers. A feature which I quite liked is the huge soft to touch button on the very top, push it and the screen either dims or lights up. Perfect at night to dim the display and touch it again to turn the light back on to see the time. The Squeezebox also comes with a small very easy to use remote which locks onto the top of the device (it has its own bay) with a magnet.

The Squeezebox has 802.11g WiFI, 10/100 Built-In Ethernet and runs it’s own software called SqueezeCentre. It also has a headphones output on the back with subwoofer support and an AUX input. The device is mostly controlled using a big dial to scroll through options on the screen and the usual play, pause, stop, next, back, skip and forward buttons. It also has dedicated volume buttons on the front panel. They are very responsive and soft to touch. However, while using it I hit it lightly and the song changed – so it’s not a good idea to have it around where people may accidentally hit it.

The sound was fantastic. I was extremely impressed with the output the speakers gave. These speakers would work well in a large environment and they can be turned up quite alot if you like your music loud. If you like it as soft background music, then they can do that as well with the quality and output you expect.

To my disappointment, the Squeezebox doesn’t have an inbuilt battery to listen to music on the go around your house or outside. This means your limited to somewhere a power point is available. However, the alarm and time is retained if you turn it off at the power by a small backup battery inside.

Software

The Squeezebox requires an application installed on all the computers you wish to stream music from. Once this application is installed, it will scan for music either from a folder, iTunes or Windows Media Centre and archive the results in a database. The Squeezebox then connects to your computer and streams music. Unfortunately, the scanning of music is a slow process if you have heaps of music (like me) and iTunes DRM music doesn’t work too well. Newly downloaded music from iTunes seem to work fine, however, the older types didn’t.

Another issue was that for the Squeezebox to work, it required the Squeezebox application to be open and running on your computer. Meaning you must leave your computer on to use the Squeezebox even if you want to listen to Internet Radio. Also, the Squeezebox server application had to scan your whole library each time you wanted to add a new song as I said before, it was a slow process if you had a huge library.

You could listen to internet radio straight from the device, it had a directory of radio stations to choose from but also allowed you to enter in your own URL. I tested it with a SHOUTcast relay and it seemed to play clearly and didn’t need much buffering at all. However, this depends on your internet connection speed.

Final Word

Would I buy one of these? Yes! I loved using this media player mainly because of the sound it produced and the usability of it. If Logitech decide to make a Logitech Squeezebox Boom v2, I would like to see a built in battery and the ability to use the device without leaving your computer on. Other than that, it’s a great device and I would buy one without thinking twice.