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Logitech Expands Home-Audio Offerings

Logitech stepped up its home audio offerings with multiple new products that include its first iPod hi-fi system with tuner and a second-generation digital media adapter, which is packaged with two-way RF remote that permits remote selection of a PC’s songs by title, artist, or genre.

The tuner-equipped iPod hi-fi system, called AudioStation, is Logitech’s first amplified iPod speaker system with AM/FM tuner and the company’s first powered only by AC. It ships in September at a suggested $299 in black but features white and silver accents to blend cosmetically with black and white iPods.

“We’re going after the home audio space with products that completely replace the home stereo system for many consumers,” said Wells Brimhall, global product manager for digital music. With that goal in mind, Logitech designed the system to look like a minisystem, packed it with 80-watt total RMS power at 10 percent THD, and incorporated a two-way speaker system using 1-inch dome tweeters and 4-inch woofers. It also features composite- and S-video outputs to display photos and video on a connected TV from select iPods.

AudioStation docks with iPods, recharges them, and allows for IR control of iPod functions with included remote. It also features aux input for use with other-brand MP3 players, but the remote won’t recharge those or control MP3-player functions.

In a related introduction, Logitech is expanding its selection of on-the-go iPod speaker systems powered by batteries and AC. The $99-suggested AudioStation Express, shipping in October, is designed for “around-the-house” portability, said Brimhall, citing a chassis that’s larger than Logitech’s mm32 and mm50 AC/DC systems, which are small enough to take on trips.

The Express uses 6 AA batteries rather than the internal rechargeables of its two companion pieces.

In launching its second-generation system to wirelessly connect stereos to PCs located in another room, Logitech made numerous upgrades, including an upgraded RF remote that lets users select PC-based songs for playback by title, artist, genre and playlist. The first-generation system’s RF remote delivered only basic control of a PC’s music files.

The $249-suggested Wireless DJ Music System, due late September or early October, consists of a desktop transmitter that plugs into a PC’s USB port, and wireless receiver/cradle that plugs into a stereo, and the RF remote, which docks in the cradle for recharging. It also streams Internet radio stations through the PC and allows for station selection through the remote.