11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Logitech Squeezebox Boom (Electronics)
The squeezebox's black design may not be to everyone's taste, but it does go well alongside any other black kit you may have (and it doesn't look as cheap in real life, as in the photo)
As soon as you pull this out of the box, you realise it's no cheap radio/alarm (it weighs about the same as house brick)
I've seen some reviewers complain setup is bad, because the menus are slow, but I'm guessing this is caused by early versions of firmware, or their WiFi connection, because I've found the menus appear almost instantly.
How easy it is to setup will depend on which of the squeezebox's facilities you want to use & how the security on your router & firewall is configured...
If you're lucky, you could be listening to internet radio within a couple of minutes, or you may spend a couple of hours scratching your head, only to realise you need to untick a box on the router setup screen. Eitherway, it's well worth the effort.
The sound will only be as good as the radio station you listen to. But with the right station and for a device of this size/price the sound is impressive, the bass has real punch, but doesn't muffle the treble. OK, it's not going to match a £1000 set of speakers, but there is some warmth & detail too (even What HiFi magazine gave it a good write up)
There are two ways to use the squeezebox:
This is a web site, it allows you access hundreds/thousands of web radio stations, which can be browsed by country, genre etc (either MP3, WMA or Ogg, but not Real format stations. Which means you can access national BBC stations, but not local BBC stations)
You can also access numerous music services. Though some of them aren't available outside the states (E.g. Pandora & Rhapsody) and others charge a fee, but that still leaves the likes of Last FM, MP3Locker & Deezer, which are all free.
Integration with Last FM works really well, you can add items to your library & even play the "similar artist" radio stations
While Deezer offers yet more radio stations & a free online locker for your MP3s.
Podcasts can also be played & RSS feeds can be displayed. The display is (in my opinion) too small for RSS news headlines, but it's OK for viewing details of the latest BBC pod casts.
You can also create a "Favorites" list of radio stations, podcasts & RSS feeds.
Is an alternative to using Squeezenetwork. It uses software running on your PC. It can do everything that squeezenetwork can do, plus you can stream your music collection to the squeezebox (providing the PC is switched on)
It also recognises/imports your iTunes playlists (note, it can only stream MP3 & iTunes Plus tracks, not DRM protected tracks. But I guess you could work around this, by just connecting your ipod directly to the squeezebox)
It also supports plugins, so you can play Real format radio stations and (in theory) any other format that comes along in the future.
The clock/alarm facility also works well. The clock face is big & bright enough to be easily seen. The snooze button is fairly big & positioned on top of the box, so it's easy to push.
The alarm itself can also be configured to come on just on certain days, activate snooze after various periods of time, fade music in/out etc etc.
In fact, just about everything the squeezebox is highly customisable & you could probably spend a day just experimenting with all the options.
Finally, there's connectivity. The box has an ethernet port, Line In (which means you can connect an iPod, but note the top of the squeezebox slopes, so your iPod dock will have to go by the side or front) and Line Out (so you can connect to an Amp/speakers)
Is there anything wrong with this device?
Well the power plug is rather fat, so may take up two power sockets & it's slightly annoying you have to use squeezeconnect to access Real format radio stations, otherwise, I am totally happy with this gadget.
Remember how your Sky+ changed the way you watched TV & the ipod changed how you bought/listened to music, well this will do the same for radio (in fact, you may find even your ipod becomes neglected)
In summary, a flexible/highly customisable radio, alarm, music streaming device, that's easy to use, with good sound. I am very happy with my purchase & can thoroughly recommend this!