Logitech Wireless Music System for iPod
Music streaming made easy?
My test unit also sported an infrared port, presumably for a remote control, and its own set of playback control buttons. However, I understand the unit shipping with the portable player transmitter lacks these. Common to all receivers is the central connect button and red activity LED.
With the transmitter's battery charged and the receiver connected to the mains and to my hi-fi, I plugged the broadcast unit into my notebook, sat upstairs and opened iTunes. I selected an internet radio station - Radio Paradise - and with bated breath I pressed and held the button on the transmitter.
The button's mechanism is so soft it's not easy to tell whether you have pressed it, but after a four seconds or so the activity light begins flashing red, a sign it's negotiating a connection with the receiver. Two seconds later I could head eclectic rock'n'roll flowing from my speakers downstairs and the LED light was now a steady blue.
Logitech claims the transmitter's battery lasts for up to 8 hours - pretty much what I observed - and to preserve its charge, the unit will, after a short time, drop into stand-by mode if it doesn't sense a jack connection.
The sound quality is dependent on the audio source, of course, but the 128Kbps audio stream from Radio Paradise, plus a variety of WAV, AAC and MP3 tracks stored on my PowerBook all produced entirely acceptable results to listeners sitting in front of the hi-fi. Maybe a pair of 'golden ears' could discern a quality drop, but I couldn't. Clearly, WMS is sending and reconverting an analogue signal into digital, transmitting it then converting it back into the analogue domain, but I found no apparent drop in quality to ordinary ears.
I could complain that there's no way of controlling your computer, but that's unfair. This product's for portable music players, which almost by definition incorporate their own controls. Logitech offers a WMS package for PCs, which includes an infrared remote control and sends back control data to the USB-connected transmitter.
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