17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Squeezebox fans - don't dispair!,
This review is from: Logitech UE Smart Radio - Black (Electronics)
First a disclaimer: I've never used this as a UE radio.
I have a Squeezebox touch which I love, and I was so disappointed when Logitech discontinued the Squeezebox range. I resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to add a second Squeezebox music play to my network, and would only be able to listen to my music collection in one room.
Although it looks identical to the now discontinued Squeezebox radio, I had pooh-poohed the UE, as I wanted to do more than play internet radio.
Then by chance I found a post on the Logitech forum saying it was possible to swap the UE radio software back to Squeezebox software. So I bought it and I could not be happier with it! Squeezebox fans, salvation is here in the form of a little tucked away option in the settings menu that asks if you want to use it as a UE radio or a Squeezebox radio. After that, it behaves perfectly as a Squeezebox player - it plays my Squeezebox server music collection, syncs with my Squeezebox Touch and can be controlled through the Squeezebox app on my phone and computer.
Hallelujah! All I can say is a big thank you to the Logitech technician who disagreed with the High Command’s decision to scrap Squeezebox, and subversively included it here! Viva la revolution!
Enough about Logitech politics.
Physically this radio is very nice. It is well built with a smart glossy black finish (which unfortunately does show up fingerprints and dust quite a lot) and solid feeling buttons/wheels. The screen is excellent - sharp, full colour, and in my opinion the perfect size for it's use. In fact, the entire radio is perfectly sized for it's intended use. It's not meant to be used as the main stereo system in the lounge, but for a kitchen/bedroom/study radio it's just right.
It also has one major benefit over it's Squeezebox radio ancestor - it has an integrated rechargeable battery which allows you to unplug it and take it all round the house. I keep it on the bedside table and use it as an alarm clock and to listen to music in bed, but I also regularly unplug it and take it to the kitchen whilst I'm cooking, or the bathroom if I have a bath. The battery is supposed to last 6 hours. I've never had it unplugged and playing for that long, but it certainly lasts 2+ hours and the battery indicator says over half full, so I'm confident that is quite an accurate boast.
The sound is very good as well. It is only mono, but there is a lot of range, and I've never had it over 60% volume, even during a party! The wifi connection will depend on distance, your house, your router etc. but I have never had any drop outs or buffering problems and my flat is quite big.
Connections if you are interested: 1x LAN (not necessary if using wi-fi), 1x 3.5mm line in (play from MP3 player etc) 1x 3.5mm headphone, 1x power in
Although this is a very well built device, with good sound quality for it's size and a very useful rechargeable battery, I would consider the UE radio quite an expensive way to get internet radio.
When you consider the fact that you can easily and legitimately change it to a Squeezebox radio and all the benefits of the Squeezebox system (being able to play your digital music library, control it with your phone, sync it with your existing Squeezebox devices etc) AND the good build quality/sound quality/rechargeable battery, then it becomes an absolute bargain.
Squeezebox lovers around the world rejoice! Don't hate the UE radio because it is inferior, embrace it for keeping Squeezebox alive!