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AudioStation and AudioStation Express: the latest iPod speakers from Logitech

AudioStation and AudioStation Express: the latest iPod speakers from Logitech

Logitech today announced two new iPod speaker systems, the AudioStation and the AudioStation Express. Designed to compete with high-end iPod sound solutions such as the Bose SoundDock and the Klipsch iGroove, the $300 AudioStation is the company's most expensive iPod-centric sound system to date. While the overall design is something of an industry standard--a single-piece system with an iPod dock nestled between stereo speakers--the AudioStation offers a few unique features that set it apart from the pack, including S-video and composite video output (for displaying iPod-based videos and photos on a nearby TV), two-way stereo speakers (4-inch woofers and 1-inch dome tweeters) with removeable cloth grilles and a built-in AM/FM radio. The large LCD displays can be toggled to display the clock, RDS info (Radio Data System), or a spectrum analyzer. Touch-sensitive backlit control buttons on the AudioStation's front panel are augmented by a wireless remote, and the system boasts a stereo expander mode to widen the soundfield. Of course, the AudioStation is compatible with any recent dockable iPod, but the inclusion of a line-in jack means it'll work with any non-iPod audio source as well. Unlike the endless parade of white iPod accessories, the AudioStation is available only in a bold glossy black.

While the comparatively pricey AudioStation is strictly for home use, the $150 AudioStation Express is a portable iPod speaker solution. With a more decor-friendly design than Logitech's earlier transportable mm50 iPod speakers, the AudioStation Express has the look of a downsized version of Apple's own iPod Hi-Fi. The Express lacks the radio, clock, and refined look of its senior AudioStation sibling, but it does include a composite video output, an auxiliary line input and a simple wireless remote. It can be powered by AA batteries when away from a power outlet, but it also recharges a docked iPod when plugged in. And the included carrying case makes it easy to take on a road trip.

Both the AudioStation and the AudioStation Express are scheduled to ship in October. CNET will have full reviews of each as soon as they're available.

Note: This entry has been modified from the original version to include information on the video output function of both devices.