Computers, Gadgets and Beyond!

Boomboxes – The New Generation

September 01, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Audio

Rewind to the early 70s, strap two loudspeakers and a radio/cassette-unit to a vaguely portable amplifier and you had the first portable boomboxes. Oh yeah, and insert about ten size-D batteries for every ten minutes of music played with the volume knob turned to eleven. Music type, probably not something you’d be proud of today.

Fast forward to today, and Slimdevices/Logitech just announced their updated version of the concept. Not too imaginatively called the Squeezebox Boom. It’s basically the old style Squeezebox with an amplifier, a pair of speakers and a few buttons that makes it more like a normal radio. This means it streams audio (mp3, wav, you-name-it) from a PC running the excellent Squeezecenter music software or straight from the internet, using wifi or ethernet. The Boom also has Line In, for attaching other music sources like a CD player or an MP3 player of your choice, and a headphone plug that also can be used to attach a sub. It also has a seven-day alarm clock built in, so you can wake to your favourite playlist, internet radio station or just Metallica on repeat. You can even pick something different for each day of the week.

And it plays nice with your existing Squeezebox system if any, including the fancy Squeezebox Duet remote. Although it also comes with its own plain, 10-button, LCD-lacking remote as well.

Apparently, Logitech has gone to great lengths to make sure the sound is as good as it gets from a set of loudspeakers this size. Which is on par with something Bose would want you to put in your kitchen. Cheesy promotional picture included to show you the actual size. Sorry about that, but it was the only image I could find that showed it in relation to anything at all.

Downsides? Well, the minor one is that it needs a power cord to work. Which is perfectly okay if you want to use it in the bedroom, kitchen, workroom or any other place indoors you need a beat but don’t want a full stereo. Any respectable home will have a mains plug nearby. But forget taking it into the yard without an extension cord. Presumably, Slimdevices figured it was very few places you could bring your Boom that had wifi/ethernet but no electricity. And I tend to agree, although it would have been nice to have the option. Not that I have a yard, yet.

Here is a quick graphic showing how Slimdevices would want you to use their new Boom.

So, would I buy one? Well, I already have the Logitech Duet for the living room stereo, an existing stereo mini-system for the kitchen and the radio alarm clocks in the bedroom. And that’s about covers the audio needs we have in the apartment. However, when we move to a house this is definitely one piece of equipment going into one or more of the additional rooms we then get. As I’ve already mentioned in the Logitech Duet review, this instant access to your ripped audio selection is a great way of connecting with your music again. Get the Logitech 930-000054 Squeezebox Boom All-In-One Network Music Player with Integrated Speakers (phew) at Amazon.

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