One of the product categories that we’ve been following with some interest—perhaps tepidly—is the dedicated Internet Radio and speaker system, essentially a standalone device capable of tuning and playing back audio broadcasts from around the world. We use the word “tepidly” because these devices aren’t strictly necessary if you already have a computer with speakers, and frankly suffer from tuning limitations that make the thousands of available Internet Radio stations a bunch of a challenge to navigate. However, if you want to hear Internet Radio in a room that’s not near a computer, you’ll probably want a standalone speaker system, and quite possibly a dedicated tuner.
Logitech has just released Squeezebox Boom, a $300 all-in-one device that wirelessly tunes in Internet Radio stations from a wide variety of sources, then plays them back through four speakers—twin 0.75” tweeters and twin 3” full-range drivers. It’s packed with a remote control and an audio cable for auxiliary input, plus a required power supply to keep the unit operating for audio and as a simple digital clock. While we’re still in the process of gathering up our opinions on the unit, we definitely like its simple, clean black styling, push-button central dial and nicely labeled front controls, and the way that stations have sounded as we’ve been testing them. We also sort of like how Logitech has tried to work around the single biggest issue we’ve seen with Internet Radios in the past—station tuning—by using settings saved on a separate server in the Internet’s “cloud” to help you cut through the chaff using your computer’s screen rather than Squeezebox Boom’s.
There are more pictures after the break. We’ll have opinions and additional thoughts to share soon, as well.