The Boom's remote is a cheap and cheerful affair – it does the job but won't win any awards for design or innovation. Of course, the Boom has a trick up its sleeve on this front: it'll work with the Squeezebox Duet remote, a lovely – if pricey – bit of kit that we have waxed lyrical about elsewhere.
The remote is basic - use the Duet's instead
In fact, it's as a partner to the Duet that the Boom makes the most sense. Hook the Duet up to your main audio system and use the Boom to relay the same or different content to another part of the house, all from the same remote. Running two different sound sources via a Duet and a Boom should be simplicity itself – we say 'should' as we've never actually had both devices in the same place at the same time – as all you have to do is make the necessary selection from the Source menu on the Duet controller.
The Boom comes fitted with a handy alarm clock function, and squirrelled away inside is a small rechargeable battery so your alarm settings won't evaporate during any nocturnal power cuts. A handy secondary use is that if you unplug the thing and move it about the house, you don't have to mess about re-imputing your wireless security codes.
At £199 the Boom isn't exactly what we'd call cheap but you will be getting a well made, clever and highly desirable bit of kit for your hard-earned so it rates as pretty decent value for money. We would like to see Logitech bundle the Boom and Duet together for around the £400 mark to provide true out of the box multi-room wireless sound.
No UPnP/DLNA but plenty of audio formats are supported
Some may have an issue with the fact that SqueezeCentre is not UPnP or DLNA compliant, but we aren't sure what percentage of potential customers will find this a problem – not a large one, we suspect. Most purchasers will simply want a device that is easy to set up and works reliably out of the box, and this the Boom, like the Duet, most certainly does. Others may argue that the Boom would be better if it had a built-in DAB receiver but that does rather overlook that fact that it's a wireless music streamer and not a radio.
We can see no good reason not to give the Squeezebox Boom the same glowing recommendation we have the Duet since it does everything the Duet does but in a smaller and self-contained form-factor. For a device of its size, the sound quality is quite superb.
Logitech Squeezebox Boom wireless music player
uPnP is supported by squeezecenter
The boombox uses squeezecenter which in turn lets the player use uPnP visible by it.
So, there IS uPnP :-)
Too bad it has no FM... not always there is a nice WiFi connection outside a home.
NAS - Synology DS207
This box is tempting. Was very dissapointed to see no UPnP support but then spotted that Synology have released an update so I can use it with my DS207:
However, DS207 might not have enough memory to run it... Ho hum.
Doesn't everyone have a NAS box now? Surely you don't all leave your PC's on 24/4?
Got one, and it's brilliant
I bought one of these a few weeks ago. I've had Squeezeboxes before, and I'm glad to see that nothing has faded in product quality since they were bought up by Logitech. The build quality, finish and software quality is just as superb as it ever was.
I use a Mac mini in my office at work running iTunes to keep all my music on, and I run the Slimserver on there, streaming all my music down my broadband link as I don't have a permanently-on copy of my music at home (I don't need one). All the radio stations worth listening to these days stream their feed over the net anyway, so the lack of FM or DAB tuners is not a problem at all. My main living room hifi has a Squeezebox attached to it as well, I haven't used any of those nasty silver discs in years.
And the "radio preset" buttons they mention in the review don't have to be radio stations, I have some of mine as podcasts from the BBC and iTunes smart playlists as well.
I would thoroughly recommend this little beastie to anyone, they are fantastic and well worth the money.
There is so much more to it than just "playing your music collection". Mine puts me to sleep with random songs from my "Late Night" playlist at low volume, and wakes me up gently in the morning by slowly fading in BBC Radio 4 nice and loud (except on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays when I don't have to go into the office). And when it's not telling me anything else, it scrolls the day's news headlines across the screen so I know what's happening in the world.
re: wot no uPnP?
Regarding the NAS box, most of them run Linux anyway, so you could install slimserver on there and away you go. In fact, a NAS box is probably the ideal place for slimserver if you don't already have a Pea Sea on 24 hours a day. To be honest, given that the slimserver software will run almost everywhere [UNIX clones and Windows], uPnP is moot.
Ok, so it's not a radio. But anyway. What, no form of regular radio? No DAB, no FM, no nothing? For £200? And with a glossy exterior so that it will look as pitiful as possible within days of use in the kitchen? Naa. Naaaaa. I dislike IP-only radio devices the same way I am not interested in IPTV. You need to keep the old-world solution around or you will be without a fallback whenever the line kicks out, meaning you lose two in one stroke. Any smallish radio (maybe running on batteries. Safe from line AND power outages... the mere idea...) with a line-in will be more useful. I'd hook it up to just another multi-purpose AirPort Express controlled from the mobile and that's it. Sure, there'd have to be a computer running. As if it wasn't anyway.