Priced at $149 and packed with eight drivers, the Logitech S715i portable speaker for iPhone and iPod hits a sweet spot for price and sonic performance. Of course, its sculpted, backpack-worthy design doesn't hurt its score either. In fact, the S715i is such an all-around slam-dunk, we can't help but give the speaker our Editors' Choice award.
The Logitech S715i measures 15.5-inches wide by 5.25 inches-tall by 2-inches thick. While it's approaching boom box proportions, it can still fit in a backpack or messenger bag. On its front are buttons for power and volume as well as a covered iPod dock that flips back into a sturdy kickstand.
Aside from the kickstand, the only other feature on the back of the speaker is a little rubber gasket that covers an aux input and a socket for the included power adapter. Two passive 2-inch radiator woofers flank each side of the kickstand, giving the S715i its deep, full sound. It has rubber feet beneath the speaker and kickstand to keep its rattling to a minimum, if you feel like taking the speaker up to full blast.
Logitech covers the six speaker drivers on the face of the S715i with a mesh metal grille. Technically, only four of the S715i's speakers are directly powered, including the pair of 3-inch speakers that are off to the sides, and half-inch tweeters positioned above them. The pair of 2-inch drivers located near the middle, as well as the rear-firing woofers, are passive radiators that generate sound from the displaced air created by the powered drivers. Physics aside, just know that it all adds up to a surprisingly powerful sound from a slim, unassuming system.
Another detail worth noting--and applauding--is the absence of fitted inserts for the dock. In our experience, these things are just a waste of plastic and tend to become outdated after a new generation of gadgets comes out with updated designs. Instead, the S715i uses a truly universal dock with a 30-pin connector that swivels just enough to accommodate anything from an iPhone to our chunky, white 15GB third-generation iPod.
Logitech doesn't throw many bells and whistles into the S715i. Unlike similar portable iPhone/iPod systems, there's no FM radio, no clock, and no presets for EQ or sound enhancement. Fortunately, the S715i doesn't need any artificial enhancements to deliver great sound; also, features such as EQ, alarm clock, and (Internet) radio can be handled ably by today's iPhones and iPods.