Full size and portable alternatives to Apple's iPod add-on.
Despite Benny’s mostly favourable opinion of the Apple iPod Hi-Fi I have to say I was never able to get past it looking like a giant board rubber. Thankfully, Logitech has gone for a different approach and employed more right angles than you’ll see this side of a Volvo dealership.
Two models have come out of this protractorfest: the full size AudioStation and its not at all identical miniature brother the AudioStation Express.
Like the Hi-Fi both models charge your iPod – be it a mini, 4G iPod, iPod colour, nano or iPod video – and have wireless remotes, but there the similarities stop. Taking the mantle of Hi-Fi basher seriously the AudioStation station ramps up the features by including a digital AM/FM radio, touch sensitive back controls and a digital clock with a ‘wake to’ alarm which can be set to go off with either the buzzer, radio or iPod.
Performance is good too with Hi-Fi equalling 80W speakers, a maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of 110dB and adjustable sound fields (bass, treble, 3D stereo). A 3.5mm auxiliary input, and composite and s-video outputs are also fitted so you can plug in other players while a two year warranty is generous.
Cutting a more Applian figure is the AudioStation Express which looks far more the twin of the Hi-Fi than its actual stable mate. 2.5in Max-X high excursion drivers are at the heart of the system and a custom EQ and 10 hours lifetime using six AA batteries makes it a portable party piece.
Again a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack makes it across so alternative player brands or earlier iPods can be hooked up while a video output jack has also been added. A protective case comes bundled for travel and it has the same handy two year guarantee.
The odd couple will be released simultaneously in October with the AudioStation setting users back a not insignificant $299 and the AudioStation Express a much cheaper option at $129.99. Oh, and I don’t know about you, but they keep reminding me of Twins…