Frequent travelers who want to release their music from the confines of an MP3 player should seriously consider the Logitech mm32.
Editors' Note: The rating on this review has been lowered from 7.0 to 6.7 due to changes in the competitive marketplace.
Logitech is no stranger to the world of iPod accessories and the company is usually successful in its attempts. The small, cylindrical mm32 portable speaker set is no exception. The affordable ($79.99) unit is certainly designed with the iPod in mind, but what makes it perhaps the most appealing is its flexibility in accommodating other MP3 players.
The Logitech mm32 wins points in the design department both for its style and functionality. Its long and skinny (11.2 inches long; 2.2 inches in diameter) cylindrical body reminds us of a mini Altec Lansing iM7. In the center of the speakers is a truly universal cradle: there's no iPod dock to speak of, meaning you can rest other players there without worrying about damaging a dock connector. Audio outputs from a music player via a 1/8-inch mini jack.
Logitech does include several plastic fittings specifically for the various iPods; the iPod Nano's is particularly clever with a hole that accommodates the player's underside headphone port. And there's an opening in the bottom of the cradle for stringing a syncing cable for an iPod. But we were easily able to adjust the bay for various other players, thanks to a piece in the rear wall of the cradle that can be moved forward and back.
Rounding out the mm32's physical attributes are volume buttons and a power switch on the front of the unit. On the rear, you'll find the power input port and the built-in 3.5mm line-input cable, which can be neatly wrapped and stored in a specially made crevice around the foot of the speaker. There are also two battery compartments, each of which houses two AA batteries (not included). The mm32 is rated for a 10-hour battery life. Logitech includes a handy cylindrical carrying case (with a handle) that can fit both the speakers and the power adapter.
In our performance tests, we found that the Logitech mm32 sounded good for its size, if a bit on the bright side for our taste. Still, music was clear and defined, with surprisingly present bass. We're not talking chest-thumping by any means, but at least we got some bass response, something that can be difficult with small, relatively inexpensive speakers. Since volume can be adjusted on both the audio player and speakers, make sure the audio player has at least half volume for best results. The unit gets loud enough for a hotel room or an office, but sound starts to vibrate unpleasantly if you really crank it up. We wouldn't use it for a party. Still, any frequent traveler wanting to free tunes from the confines of an MP3 player should give the mm32 a look.