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Logitech's S715i speaker rocks our socks off

Logitech unveils a new $149 portable speaker system for the iPhone and iPod, called the S715i. CNET's Donald Bell goes hands-on and offers his first impression: it rocks!

Photo of Logitech S715i portable speaker system for iPhone and iPod.
The design of the Logitech S715i includes eight custom-designed drivers. Given its size, it offers unprecedented bass response.

Logitech has pulled back the curtain on a new portable speaker system for the iPhone and iPod, and we gotta say--the company has outdone itself. Due out in a few weeks at $149 list, and packed with a total of eight drivers, the S715i hits a sweet spot of price and sonic performance we've never seen before.

The tradeoff is that you don't get bells and whistles, such as Bluetooth audio streaming, alarm clock, EQ, or FM radio--which is already mostly covered by the iPhone, anyhow. Ultimately, what the S715i offers is a big sound in a relatively compact package. For us, it's a one-two punch that's hard to resist.

Tested against previous portable Logitech speakers (such as the S315i) and Altec Lansing systems in the same price range (inMotion Classic), the S715i just blasts away any expectations of what a portable budget system can sound like.

Chalk it up to the tuned enclosure, the rear-firing passive radiators, or the wide-set half-inch neodymium tweeters, but the range of frequencies pouring out of the S715i is mind-boggling. You can run it from the included power adapter or a built-in nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery that offers around 8 hours of playback at modest volume levels. The volume ceiling is lower when you run the speaker from the internal battery, but it still cranks loud enough to upset the neighbors. Plugged-in, the perceived volume is nearly as loud and beefy as the Kicker ZK500 I tested a few years back.

A small remote and carrying case come included, which is generous considering all the value you're already getting sonically. Click through to read CNET's full review of the Logitech S715i.