Logitech Squeezebox

You couldn't ask for a much simpler audio/Internet radio streamer than the Logitech Squeezebox, although you do pay a premium for that convenience.


9.0
CNET Rating
7.9
User Rating

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Design
Logitech's Squeezebox has a simple design that works either as a standalone unit or integrated into a home audio solution. It looks rather like a single computer speaker, although that's the one thing it's missing. It's a simple wireless streaming box for audio only, which can be either integrated into a home theatre set-up or simply plugged into cheap speakers or headphones. The basic unit we tested came in Henry Ford's favourite colour, black -- although white is available -- and has connections for RCA, digital and 3.5mm audio jacks on the rear, along with a power socket.

Features
As you'd expect from a streaming device, the first thing you need are some files to stream -- in the case of the Squeezebox, this covers the majority of the digital music spectrum -- MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, AAC and Ogg. It also supports Internet radio services, including Pandora and Rhapsody, although your geographical IP location may limit which services will actually be available.

Serving files out to the Squeezebox involves installing the Slimserver software which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Why Slimserver, and not Logiserver? That'd be because the Squeezebox is a rebadged Slimserver device (Logitech bought out parent company Slim Devices a little while back). One slight annoyance is that Slimserver isn't provided in the Squeezebox packaging. Similar to Apple's recent moves with iPods, you've got to download it each and every time. We do get that it's a networked product, and forcing downloads means consumers will have the latest (and hopefully best) version of the server software, but it would still be nice to have a disc with software on it for times when an Internet connection might be down.

It's not strictly necessary to install the Slimserver software -- the Squeezebox can run on its own steam, but this limits you to essentially Internet radio and very simple Alarm clock functions. Without Slimserver, it'll basically beep at you. With Slimserver, you can be woken with your choice of playlists automatically, which is a nice extra, as long as you've got speakers in your bedroom.

Performance
If there's a word to describe setting up the Squeezebox, that word would have to be "easy". The navigation via the supplied remote is simple, and it took us only a couple of minutes to configure it onto a WPA protected wireless network. It then sought out any nearby Slimserver installations. We'd installed Slimserver onto a nearby Macbook, and it found that, read through our iTunes library and was ready to go.

We were struck by the fact that there's no controls on the Squeezebox itself, which would make navigation impossible if the remote is lost or broken. We also hit a few instances where Internet Radio stations would drop out, at which point the Squeezebox would default to playing random tracks from our iTunes library. That's not necessarily the Squeezebox's fault -- the stations involved or our Net connection could be at fault -- but it is a little jarring to go from some cool French Jazz to Megadeth's "Seek and Destroy". As they used to say on Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other.

At AU$499, there's definitely a price to pay for this kind of convenience, and we'd praise the Squeezebox even more highly if it came with even simple speakers -- thus making it a fully functional alarm clock, amongst other things -- but given that the lower-cost market simply can't match the Squeezebox's ease of use, that's a minor concern.

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bob
9
Rating
 

bob posted a review   

Awesome

milletta
9
Rating
 

milletta posted a review   

The Good:Easy to use and set up. Good sound and can sourse multiple librarys on you computer. Great for internet radio and playlist functionality is great. Will stream lossless

The Bad:Won't recognise some iTunes DRM protected. I use apple and this rattles my cage as if I buy it I should be able to steam it where I like. Not so much Squeezebox fault.

Great way to move your music around the house without drilling holes. Set up as many as you like.

HappyJoe
4
Rating
 

HappyJoe posted a review   

The Good:Great design. Good user interface. Simple to setup. Great sound.

The Bad:1. All internet radio is via squeeze networks (http://www.squeezenetwork.com) and I cannot connect to local (ISP cached) internet radio - I have stopped using it for this purpose.

2. Sometimes the unit becomes a bit flakey and needs to be reset - works 90% of the time.

I bought this to log onto my ISP's (internode) free internet radio stations, which are cached locally and do not use up your download quote. Unfortunately all internet radio stations go through the squeezenetworks web site (in the USA) control and as a result, I cannot get the device to connect directly to the free internet stations locally. Very disappointing!

<a href=http://www.topwirelessmall.com>wireless</a>
7
Rating
 

wireless posted a review   

The Good:Fast and efficient.
Attractive design.

The Bad:Nothing.

Great wireless device. Unique and attractive design. Very easy to use. I like it very much.

reilly
9
Rating
 

reilly posted a review   

excellent product. easy to use and great sound quality

Davosity
9
Rating
 

Davosity posted a review   

The Good:lossless audio format available (FLAC)
good quality DAC
great remote navigation

The Bad:needs a pc running (slimserver) means you have to ''boot'' your stereo

Using cheap speakers defeats the purpose. The Squeezebox is an interface to a proper analog stereo system. I has fairly HiFi componentry and means you can play your mp3's (or even better - FLAC's) without resorting to computer style speakers and with a very handy remote as well.

Nick
8
Rating
 

Nick posted a review   

Megadeth's "Seek and Destroy"? Either you are mistaken, or you have illegally downloaded a purposely misleading track! Either way, as a Metallica fan, I say, "Shame".




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User Reviews / Comments  Logitech Squeezebox

  • bob

    bob

    Rating9

    "Awesome"

  • milletta

    milletta

    Rating9

    "Great way to move your music around the house without drilling holes. Set up as many as you like."

  • HappyJoe

    HappyJoe

    Rating4

    "I bought this to log onto my ISP's (internode) free internet radio stations, which are cached locally and do not use up your download quote. Unfortunately all internet radio stations go through the..."

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