Logitech Squeezebox Boom wireless music player
Small box, very big sound
Set up is exactly as per the Duet. So you download the SqueezeCentre application to your computer, fire it up, let it scan your music files, switch the Boom on, type in any relevant wireless security codes, kick back, open a beer and listen to your music. Simple as that.
The display runs from retina-removing bright to barely visible dim
As SqueezeCentre is available for Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS X and Linux – including tweaked versions for Debian, Ubuntu and Netgear's ReadyNAS devices – everyone should be happy. You can also download the Perl source code if you like tinkering under the virtual bonnet.
SqueezeCentre will support MP3, AAC, WMA, Ogg, Flac, Apple lossless, WMA lossless, WAV and AIFF music files but only those without DRM. Rights-managed files don't just not play, they don't even show up in the SqueezeCentre library.
The Boom can also access online content directly over Logitech's SqueezeNetwork so as well as individual MP3-, Ogg- or WMA-formatted Internet radio streams you can also hook up to Last.fm, MP3tunes, RadioTime, Radio IO, Live365 and Shoutcast, all pulled over the net directly so you can keep your computer switched off.
The six radio pre-sets below the screen are a nice touch, allowing you to change channel without having to access the main menu.
Dock the remote next to the Snooze button
The Boom's small size gave made us slightly concerned about the sound quality we might get out of it, but we needn't have worried. The 19mm high-definition, soft-dome tweeters and 76mm woofers chuck out a hugely impressive and composed sound. Bass was solid, stereo separation good – presumably helped by some technical trickery Logitech calls "Stereo XL" – while higher frequencies where clear, bright and wholly distortion free. The Boom can also be cranked up to a pretty ear-splitting volume for those loud party nights.
Repeated plays through Chris Knight's outstanding new album, Heart of Stone, at near full volume after a trip to the pub left us in no doubt that we could easily live with the Boom as our only home music player.