The Good Logitech's AudioStation iPod home speaker system is sleekly designed and has a built-in iPod dock that charges your iPod. It includes an AM/FM tuner, a clock, a line input, and both composite and S-Video outputs for displaying iPod videos and photos on TV. It also sounds good, with decent bass and clarity for a speaker system this compact.
The Bad The AudioStation is expensive, the S-Video slot is recessed, making it difficult to plug in many S-Video cables, and there's no alarm to go with the clock.
The Bottom Line If you have $300 to blow on an iPod speaker system, the Logitech AudioStation is a strong contender for your money.
Editors' Note: As of fall 2007, Logitech has released a successor model to the AudioStation reviewed here. The Logitech Pure-Fi Elite utilizes the same basic design as the AudioStation, but offers metal grilles, more tactile control buttons, and a much lower price.
The AudioStation, which carries a list price of $300, is an all-black affair that caters to owners of black iPods, but white and other colored iPods don't clash too badly with the system; they'll just stand out against the black background rather than meld into it. Color prejudices aside, this is one of the sleekest iPod speaker systems we've tested. We like its clean lines and minimalist--but not too minimalist--design, which includes an easily readable LCD screen and touch-sensitive, backlit control buttons located just below the display. The 8-pound system measures 16 inches wide (at the front), 7.25 inches high, and 4.25 inches deep, which makes it shelf-friendly.
In its promotional materials, Logitech makes a point to show the system with its speaker grilles off, exposing the speakers' 1-inch dome tweeters and 4-inch "long-throw" woofers. It's hard to say whether going with or without the grilles looks better, but the fact that you can remove them if you want is a nice plus. We also like that Logitech chose to go with a larger remote than the credit card-size remotes that ship with competing models such as the Bose SoundDock. The buttons on the glossy black remote aren't backlit, but they're clearly labeled and thoughtfully laid out. The only gripe we had with the clicker was that it could be a bit finicky at times. Raising and lowering the volume wasn't an issue, but skipping tracks forward and back on the iPod sometimes required a certain degree of finesse (you have to tap the button instead of simply pressing it down). You also can't navigate your iPod's menu system from the remote, but that's usually the case with these systems.
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