The AudioStation is one of the more feature-rich iPod speaker systems we've encountered to date. More standard features include iPod charging while it's docked and an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices. Aside from the aforementioned ability to display videos and images stored on your iPod, you also get a built-in AM/FM radio and a clock with a sleep timer, though no alarm, unfortunately. Impressively, you can store up to 8 preset stations for AM and 16 for FM--8 for FM1 and 8 for FM2. We'd have liked some sort of dedicated buttons on the remote for presets; as it is, you have to toggle through three different ways of selecting radio stations (we had to consult the manual to figure out how to store a preset station since it wasn't immediately evident). On a more positive note, the AudioStation has fully adjustable bass and treble levels, and they're easy to tweak with a couple of button presses on the remote.
As for sound quality, the AudioStation quickly established itself as one of top performers in the iPod speaker category. To be clear, if you were to compare the AudioStation to a decent $300 home-theater-in-a-box system (or even to certain $200 HTIBs), which usually has a separate subwoofer, the Logitech would probably come out the loser. But compared to other compact iPod audio systems, this little guy can belt out tunes with a decent amount of gusto and clarity. And while it doesn't possess the kind of tight, thumping bass that a good subwoofer delivers, the low end holds together well enough at higher volumes.
Like a lot of speaker systems of this type, the AudioStation has very little in the way of stereo separation since the speakers are essentially next to each other. But Logitech has equipped the unit with a 3D stereo feature to help widen the sound field. To call the effect "dramatic," as Logitech does, is a slight exaggeration, but we definitely heard a difference for the better.
Because these types of tabletop/shelf systems' strong suits are generally in the midrange and treble, we didn't expect the AudioStation to have a problem with acoustic albums like the Pretenders' Isle of View. The bigger test came when we fired up Prince's Sexy M.F. and followed it up with another Sexy--Justin Timberlake's currently overplayed SexyBack. For good measure, we then threw in a Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot and gradually increased the volume. We weren't blown away by what we heard, but we came away feeling that most buyers' expectations would be satisfied, as long as those expectations weren't too high to begin with.
Three hundred bucks is a lot to spend for an iPod speaker system, but if you're trying to decide between this model and the Bose SoundDock, the AudioStation certainly holds its own in terms of style and sound quality (some might even argue it's superior on both fronts), and it far and away surpasses the Bose in the features department. In other words, if you have $300 to blow on an iPod speaker system, this model is a strong contender for your money.