Fremont, Calif. — Logitech expanded its selection of SqueezeBox networked music players with the launch of the $299-suggested SqueezeBox Boom, the company’s first networked music player with built-in speakers and amplification.
All SqueezeBox models come with wired Ethernet port and built-in wireless 802.11g.
The new model is designed for secondary listening rooms, including kitchens, where consumers don’t want to connect a digital media player to powered speakers or to a stereo system, said Jim Carlton, product marketing director. To provide multiple placement options in secondary rooms, Logitech ships the Boom with a bracket system for under-cabinet or on-wall mounting. Its magnetized remote adheres to a refrigerator’s surface.
The Boom joins the original $299-suggested SqueezeBox Classic, which lacks speakers and amplifier, and the $399-suggested Squeezebox Duet multiroom system, which consists of a network music player controlled by a handheld 802.11b/g remote. The remote’s 2.4-inch color screen displays a menu, song metadata and album art. One remote controls multiple players in multiple rooms, and around six to eight different songs can be streamed simultaneously from a PC or the Internet over a wireless 802.11g network to as many different players. Additional Duet controllers are a suggested $299 each, and additional Duet receivers are $149.
All three SqueezeBox models stream music from a networked PC, which must be loaded with Squeeze Center software, or directly from Logitech’s Internet radio and music-aggregation service, which delivers hundreds on Internet radio stations as well as music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, and Sirius Internet Radio.
The 5-inch by 13.1-inch by 4-inch Boom features 2x15-watt Class D amp, biamplified two-way speakers, 0.75-inch dome tweeters and 3-inch woofers. Unlike the Classic and Duet, it sports controls on the front panel so that users don’t have to look for the included remote to control it. The front-panel controls include six station presets.
The device also features a subwoofer output for connection to a powered subwoofer. An auto-dimming display adjusts for lighting conditions to make the display readable. Additional Booms can be added to a house to stream different songs to different rooms simultaneously.
Third-party applications are available to turn the Wi-Fi-equipped iPhone and iPod Touch into RF remotes that control the Boom.
Retailers are starting to get excited about wireless networked audio, Carlton said, because they view the category as a way to offset slowing growth in other home-network categories such as print servers and network-attached storage (NAS) devices.