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Logitech's UE Air Speaker delivers premium sound for IOS devices.: First Look

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First Look: Logitech's UE Air Speaker delivers premium sound for IOS devices.

2:54 /

The Logitech UE Air Speaker is a worthwhile third-party AirPlay speaker for homes demanding premium sound from iOS devices, but bargain hunters can save $100 and go portable with the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker.

If you're looking to fill a room with sound from you iOs devices and have a little extra cash to burn, this speaker should be your next big purchase. I'm Justin Yu, editor here at CNET and this is a video review of the Logitech UE Air Speaker. The speaker does have a dock on the bottom that you can plug in your iPhone or iPad into but the big seller of this speaker and what makes it $399 is the Air Play feature. Air Play is Apple's streaming media platform that captures wireless music from iOs devices and iTunes and you might be asking okay, how is this different from Bluetooth. Well, Apple Air Play actually allows uncompressed music to stream wirelessly. You don't get any sacrifice in sound for the wireless connection. The connection process is full proof as well. Just start by feeding your iPod, iPhone or iPad into the dock down below here and it'll prompt you to download the UE Air app that will guide you to the rest of the wifi pairing process. Obviously, your iPhone and the UE Air speaker need to be on the same wireless network but there's an Ethernet connection on the back if you do find that your wifi connection is dropping. Once you have the app downloaded and paired up, you'll be able to scroll through all your music and find tunes and using simple equalizer functions like bass and treble. If you do decide to just put your device in the dock and play music, you find that the hardware is a little complicated. The connector sits on a spring that rocks back and forth or sensibly to set a bunch of different case sizes and thickness but the rotating hinge actually makes it a little hard to properly seat and it definitely requires some (??) to get it to work. So what if you don't have an iOs device? Well, the instruction booklet also details the slightly more complicated method to connect a non-Air Play device that involves navigating your computer to an IP config page, selecting your network and entering the password. It's definitely a little more tedious than just downloading the app on your phone but once the UE Air reboots, you should be then hooked up within 10 minutes or so. Like I said earlier, the lower price of Bluetooth speakers reflect their diminished sound quality compared to this one but they're maybe a little better for individual listening experiences while this UE Air is really the speaker you want at a house party or a dinner gathering. The unit is capable of playing at really loud volumes and a dual tweeters in front as well as the dual subwoofers out back really do well to blast music at a good distance. With impressive audio performance, the Logitech UE Air is a viable bookshelf speaker if you have $400 to spend on this relatively new technology. On the other hand though, if you really can't swallow that price tag, a Bluetooth speaker like this SuperTooth Disco for example may fall better within your reach you can read more details in my full review on CNET but that's it for me. I'm Justin Yu. This is the Logitech UE Air Speaker and that sounds good to me.

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