Logitech recently unleashed a torrent of speakers and iPod docks that have furthered strengthened it’s already excellent array of devices. I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a couple of the systems, and I definitely like what I’ve heard.
The first of the pack was the Pure-Fi Anywhere, a minimalistic iPod dock that performs admirably. The anywhere features four speakers design that utilizes two 2-inch active highs and two 3-inch bass pressure drivers. This is all contained in a compact, easy to move casing — which imperative for its main feature.
As its name suggests, the Pure-Fi Anywhere speakers are completely portable. The system features a built-in, rechargeable battery that Logitech claims is capable of performing for up to 10 hours. My tests found it to be closer to seven hours, but that was still an agreeable margin for me. Included in the package are a carrying case, travel charger and remote.
The response time on the remote is probably the largest pitfall of the system. I found it to be very spotty. Pressing a button resulted in over a second of lag time before the system responded. I believe that the iPod probably shoulders a large part of the responsibility here, but it’s still a bit daunting.
Getting back to sound, as that’s the most important thing, I’d like to reiterate my appreciation of the device. Utilizing the StereoXL sound widening feature, these little speakers are capable of clearly and audibly projecting sound throughout my 700+sqf apartment. And due to it’s wireless capabilities, I’ve been able to position it wherever I’m in need of some audio — which means I’ve been rocking out a lot in the shower.
There is, unfortunately, another pitfall. The Pure-Fi Anywhere is priced at $150, which I believe is probably a bit high for this product despite it’s performance. Although I firmly believe that it’s a solid product, I think this price-point will likely alienate a number of would-be buyers. If, however, you’re in the market for some compact and capableiPod speakers, and you have an extra $150 lying around, I strongly suggest you give these a shot.
Next up is the AudioHub, an innovative little speaker set that aims to corner the increasingly prevalent notebook market. The system is contained in one small, telescoping body that allow the speakers to clear the side of wider laptops.
The AudioHub features a 2.1 speaker setup, which means it has two regular speakers and a subwoofer. They sound considerably better than the speakers on any notebook you’ll ever encounter, but if you’re expecting something comparable to your 5.1 setup on your desktop, then you need to keep looking (and tell me when you find a solution). Nevertheless, the AudioHub is a performer for a bunch of reasons.
It’s speakers sound really great and consume minimal desk space. And the built-in sub produces excellent bass and sets the package apart from competing products. One curiosity is Logitech’s decision to use USB for the system. I’m not entirely sure why it couldn’t have connected via audio out, as this makes using external soundcards (like the M-Audio Transit) problematic, if not impossible.
There are several other little features that contribute as well. Included in the package is an arm extension for permanently mounting a webcam. This feature is essentially useless to me since I’m use Macbook Pros, but it’s still nice to see Logitech attempting to innovate. A more useful feature is the inclusion of a three port USB hub and built-in cable management.
All-in-all, I’m happy with this system. At $100, its priced low enough to remain attractive for frugal shoppers looking to bulk up notebook performance without breaking the bank. The AudioHub is a product I can definitely get behind.