Thursday, April 03, 2008

Logitech Squeezebox Wireless Music Streaming

Two days ago, I made a promise to my beloved Rita through my post and I am not the kind of guy who would break a promise. So, cutting to the chase, by now it should be perfectly clear how easy it has become to stream music in your house with a wireless music system. We actually went through Sonos Multi-Room system, realizing why it has received enthusiastic reviews and how it became the best product in its class upon its release.

Sonos is being challenged by the new Squeezebox Duet from Logitech. I usually prefer to start from something more creative than price but the difference here is massive. Thus, the question inspiring this post is “how does the new $400 Squeezebox Duet stand up against the $999 Sonos Multi-Room Music System?

Their basic concept is the same, both coming with a remote control and a box which accesses wirelessly music in your computer and feeds it to a sound system. It is a standard for both systems, being wirelessly online, that you have access to online radio and music services, such as Pandora and Rhapsody.

Basically, the Squeezebox remote control is a redesign of the Sonos’ control and several features are if not the same then quite similar. For some strange reason though, when comparing the two Squeezebox’s control is more complicated and less user friendly. And it is definitely slow; there is literally a delay of one or two seconds between command and execution, while reports of consecutive crashes put Logitech on an uneasy situation. 1 point given to Sonos.

The Squeezebox comes with one receiver less than the Sonos, so its only one, giving you the option to connect to the Internet and your home network with a cable or through Wi-Fi. Using the remote, the setup works exactly like on your PC. Select network, enter password and you are connected in no time, though, Logitech announced performance drops when more devices access the network. No points earned here.

Additionally, a very handy feature appearing only on Sonos system is the built in amplifier allowing you to bypass stereo equipment and plug directly into your speakers.

Summing up, the Squeezebox might be more compact and sleeker with glossy and matte black finishes matching most high-definition TVs and stereos. Sonos is a white and gray case that would go with pretty much nothing, maybe with an antique Nintendo NES. And yes Sonos's receivers are significantly larger than the Squeezebox ones, but bear in mind that the two systems are almost 2 years afar from each other. BUT, Sonos is more intuitive in terms of technology and software, is supporting up to 32 rooms, while the Squeezebox can handle between 6 and 10 rooms and if you're playing the same track in different rooms you will not notice any synchronization problems as with the Squeezebox. Of course Sonos does carry a huge near-$600 premium over the new Squeezebox... But isn’t it worth it really?


Anonymous said...

What an amazing machine, the wife will love getting rid of the wires.

Anonymous said...

as well as saving your own money buying stuff for her own good. ;)