Logitech Pure-Fi Elite

If you have plenty of hundred dollar bills to blow on an iPod speaker system, the Logitech AudioStation is a strong contender for your money.


8.0
CNET Rating
6.7
User Rating


Logitech describes its Pure-Fi Elite speaker system for the iPod as "high-performance". With the overall lowering of the sound bar in the audio world, we're not sure what constitutes high performance anymore, but Logitech, like other manufacturers playing the iPod-speaker arena, has attempted to create a compact, full-featured home stereo system that sounds good while looking good too.

Design
The Pure-Fi Elite, which carries a list price of AU$500, is an all-black affair that caters to owners of black iPods, but white and other coloured iPods don't clash too badly with the system; they'll just stand out against the black background rather than meld into it. Colour prejudices aside, this is one of the sleekest iPod speaker systems we've tested. We like its clean lines and minimalist -- but not too minimalist -- design, which includes an easily readable LCD screen and touch-sensitive, backlit control buttons located just below the display. The 3.6kg system measures 40.6cm wide (at the front), 18.4cm high, and 10.8cm deep, which makes it shelf-friendly.

In its promotional materials, Logitech makes a point to show the system with its speaker grilles off, exposing the speakers' 1-inch dome tweeters and 4-inch "long-throw" woofers. It's hard to say whether going with or without the grilles looks better, but the fact that you can remove them if you want is a nice plus. We also like that Logitech chose to go with a larger remote than the credit card-size remotes that ship with competing models such as the Bose SoundDock. The buttons on the glossy black remote aren't backlit, but they're clearly labelled and thoughtfully laid out. The only gripe we had with the clicker was that it could be a bit finicky at times. Raising and lowering the volume wasn't an issue, but skipping tracks forward and back on the iPod sometimes required a certain degree of finesse -- you have to tap the button instead of simply pressing it down. You also can't navigate your iPod's menu system from the remote, but that's usually the case with these systems.

The only major design gaffe we noted was that the S-Video port on the back of the unit is recessed, which makes it difficult to plug in many S-Video cables to watch iPod video and photo slide shows on your TV. We were easily able to connect a standard composite cable (you know, the yellow video cable), but S-Video offers better quality, so you may have to shave down the plug on an S-Video cable to make it fit the connection. We should also point out that the included power adapter is pretty bulky. We suspect this has something to do with having to power an 80-watt system (that's the number listed in the specs anyway), but just beware that it isn't all that easy to hide.

Features
The Pure-Fi Elite is one of the more feature-rich iPod speaker systems we've encountered to date. Standard features include iPod charging while it's docked and an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices. Aside from the aforementioned ability to display videos and images stored on your iPod, you also get a built-in AM/FM radio and a clock with a sleep timer, though no alarm, unfortunately. Impressively, you can store up to 8 preset stations for AM and 16 for FM -- 8 in FM1 and 8 in FM2. We'd have liked some dedicated buttons on the remote for presets; as it is, you have to toggle through three different ways of selecting radio stations (we had to consult the manual to figure out how to store a preset station since it wasn't immediately evident). On a more positive note, the Pure-Fi Elite has fully adjustable bass and treble levels, and they're easy to tweak with a couple of button presses on the remote.

Performance
As for sound quality, the Pure-Fi Elite quickly established itself as one of top performers in the iPod speaker category. To be clear, if you were to compare the Pure-Fi Elite to a decent AU$500 home-theater-in-a-box system (or even to certain AU$300 HTIBs), which usually has a separate subwoofer, the Logitech would probably come out the loser. But compared to other compact iPod audio systems, this little guy can belt out tunes with a decent amount of gusto and clarity. And while it doesn't possess the kind of tight, thumping bass that a good subwoofer delivers, the low end holds together well enough at higher volumes.

Like a lot of speaker systems of this type, the Pure-Fi Elite has very little in the way of stereo separation since the speakers are essentially next to each other. But Logitech has equipped the unit with a 3D stereo feature to help widen the sound field. To call the effect "dramatic", as Logitech does, is a slight exaggeration, but we definitely heard a difference for the better.

Because these types of tabletop/shelf systems' strong suits are generally in the midrange and treble, we didn't expect the Pure-Fi Elite to have a problem with acoustic albums like the Pretenders' Isle of View. The bigger test came when we fired up Prince's "Sexy M.F." and followed it up with another bit of sexy -- Justin Timberlake's overplayed "SexyBack". For good measure, we then threw in a Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" and gradually increased the volume. We weren't blown away by what we heard, but we came away feeling that most buyers' expectations would be satisfied, as long as those expectations weren't too high to begin with.

Five hundred bucks is a lot to spend for an iPod speaker system, but if you're trying to decide between this model and the Bose SoundDock, the Pure-Fi Elite certainly holds its own in terms of style and sound quality (some might even argue it's superior on both fronts), and it far and away surpasses the Bose in the features department. In other words, if you have AU$500 to blow on an iPod speaker system, this model is a strong contender for your money.

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zmj tassie
8
Rating
 

zmj tassie posted a review   

The Good:Loud, clear sound, great looking, can be used with multiple ipods.

The Bad:Overly bright clock for a bedroom (I have to switch it off at night), lack of bass and no alarm to go with the clock.

I recently bought this machine to go with my old 30GB video and new nano. It has excellent sound qaulity and can achieve very loud volumes. There is a lack of bass but what can you expect from a small device like this?
I recently paid $220 Aus so the price is coming down in a hurry if you know where to look.

Sleeping Beauty
3
Rating
 

Sleeping Beauty posted a review   

The Good:Looks smart. Used clock while it worked. Compared to other docking stations, this one looked the nicest, it wasn't just a box. Very Clear, very loud. Gr8 for outside parties.

The Bad:Huge battery brick! You can't hide it! Blew up twice. Oh did I mention I went to Myer to find a different docking station and the fellow told me all theirs on their shelf were returned as well because of the same problem. Shame!

Excellent sounds. Very clear. Purchased the unit for our New Years Eve Party 2007 and at 9pm it blew. No music for the party! Great. Back to the old stereo and scratched cds. Returned the unit unit when store resumed trading, and had unit replaced. Second unit did same thing, blew after about 4 straight hours of playing. Returned again, store only to happy to give back money. Paid $298 at very reputable store. Very disappointed. Have 80GB ipod with nothing to play it on. GR8. Electrician verified goods were faulty.

GRW
9
Rating
 

GRW posted a review   

The Good:Sound quality
Price ($200 less than original RRP)
Radio
Remote controller
Front panel display

The Bad:You wouln't take it on holidays or on a picnic

Excellent sound for such a small system. I compared it to the Bose Sounddock in the store and the sound was about equal. I purchased the Audio station because they had just reduced the price to A$299, it includes a decent radio, my iPod Mini fitted quite snugly in the dock, the remote felt solid and the front display for volume, bass, treble and sound levels looked snazzy. I had an initial preference for the Bose Sounddock Portable; it is more portable than the Audiostation, but I will be using it only at home, so that wasn't a big difference for me. The sound of both is impressive. Some reviewers say it won't replace their home hi-fi systems, but unless you're a purist, you'll be pleased with the sound. It is powerful enough to fill a room with as much sound as I'd want.




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User Reviews / Comments  Logitech Pure-Fi Elite

  • zmj tassie

    zmj tassie

    Rating8

    "I recently bought this machine to go with my old 30GB video and new nano. It has excellent sound qaulity and can achieve very loud volumes. There is a lack of bass but what can you expect from a sm..."

  • Sleeping Beauty

    Sleeping Beauty

    Rating3

    "Excellent sounds. Very clear. Purchased the unit for our New Years Eve Party 2007 and at 9pm it blew. No music for the party! Great. Back to the old stereo and scratched cds. Returned the unit u..."

  • GRW

    GRW

    Rating9

    "Excellent sound for such a small system. I compared it to the Bose Sounddock in the store and the sound was about equal. I purchased the Audio station because they had just reduced the price to A$2..."

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