IFA 2008: Logitech Squeezebox Boom Launches, Looks Awesome

Wireless audio trend continues with all-in-one solution for music anywhere in the home.

When Logitech acquired Squeezebox we fully expected a few more products to arrive and though the company’s design prowess was quickly evident, it’s taken a little longer for something a little different to reveal itself. That wait is now over, however, as Logitech has announced the Squeezebox Boom – a small-ish, iPod dock sized device featuring all the wonderful wireless audio streaming tech we’ve become used to complete with integrated 30W digital amplifier and speakers.

Retailing for around the £200 mark, it should be available in September and one look at the product overview has set us salivating in anticipation. On the front is a trademark Squeezebox high-contrast VFD display and there’s an ambient light sensor for automatically controlling brightness. Wireless networking is of the 802.11b/g variety and unlike some similar products, there’s a 10/100 Ethernet port as well.

Through the SqueezeNetwork you can enjoy online radio services like Last.fm, MP3tunes, RadioTime, Radio IO and Live 365 and there’s an alarm clock with battery back-up so you can wake up to your favourite station or playlist – as well as regular alarm tones.

A funky little remote gives you control of all these functions and, in a natty piece of design, it can be safely stored on top of the unit when not in use. Stereo XL technology is on hand to help widen the sound stage and you can connect an MP3 player through the 3.5mm line-in, or a subwoofer/headphones through the 3.5mm line-out.

Most importantly, unlike anything from the likes of Sony or Philips, codec support is prodigious. There’s MP3, of course, but also AAC, WMA, Ogg, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, WAV and AIFF – so if you have a high quality music collection you needn’t re-encode your music to enjoy it in the bedroom or the kitchen.

If the Squeezebox Boom can deliver anything like as well as other devices in the range, this is something worth looking forward to.

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