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Portable Wireless Streaming Music Player: Logitech's Squeezebox Boom - page 2

What Can This Little Box Do?

  • January 23, 2009
  • By Joseph Moran

Operating the Boom isn't quite as effortless as setting it up, at least not at first. The Boom's extensive system of menus can initially seem quite labyrinthine when you're trying to peruse available content via the remote or built-in controls. Building playlists in advance from a PC helps, and navigating the Boom's menus does get easier as you get more familiar���an Add button on the remote lets you build a playlist by adding songs while one's already playing, and the Home button is handy if you get lost in the menus (we wish there were one on the Boom itself).

Another thing you can do to aid in menu traversal is to pare it down. Via the SqueezeCenter, you can select which menu options you want to be visible. From either the SqueezeCenter or the remote, you can adjust a range of Boom options including audio and how text is presented on the display (for example, the font size, and how and whether text scrolls).

To our (admittedly non-audiophile) ears, the Boom's sound quality was very good--at least as good as the moderately-priced set of stereo speakers we have attached to a PC (coincidentally, also made by Logitech). Unless you add a subwoofer, the Boom won't provide powerful bass (the kind you can feel as much as hear), but it still manages a full rich sound once you've tweaked the bass and treble settings a bit. The Boom's got enough oomph to be easily heard across a decent-sized room and as long as you don't crank the volume up beyond 85% or so, it manages to stay distortion-free.

Alarm clock

Given that the Boom sort of looks like one, it's not surprising that it can function as an alarm clock, and a highly customizable one at that. From either the SqueezeCenter software or the remote control, you can set up different alarms for every day of the week, and customize the alarm characteristics, such as how long it sounds and the snooze length (there's a large snooze button atop the Boom, as well as one on the remote).

Each alarm can be assigned its own playlist, short musical snippet, or real-life sound effect���there are several dozen effects to choose from, so if you like to wake up to the sound of a crackling fire, a thunderstorm, or city traffic, you can. (The Boom's sound effects can also be called upon anytime you tire of music or crave a moment of Zen.) The Boom also has a sleep timer, which can be set to turn off the unit after 15 to 90 minutes, or at the end of the currently playing song.

The Boom's $299 price tag is identical to that of the original, and while you do have to give up a few things with the Boom, like audio outputs and some display real estate, it's a small price to pay if you want to stream high-quality digital audio to a nightstand or kitchen counter instead of having to integrate it with an existing A/V setup.

Joseph Moran is a veteran product reviewer and frequent contributor to Wi-Fi Planet.

Article courtesy of Wi-Fi Planet

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