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Logitech S715i review: Logitech S715i

Logitech S715i

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell
3 min read

Priced at $149 and packed with eight drivers, the Logitech S715i portable speaker for iPhone and iPod hits a sweet spot for price and sonic performance. Of course, its sculpted, backpack-worthy design doesn't hurt its score either. In fact, the S715i is such an all-around slam-dunk, we can't help but give the speaker our Editors' Choice award.


Logitech S715i

The Good

The Logitech S715i portable speaker for iPhone and iPod uses eight drivers to deliver audio performance that is far beyond its price range.

The Bad

Lacks common extras such as FM radio, clock, and EQ.

The Bottom Line

In the sea of affordable, forgettable iPod speakers, the Logitech S715i is a beacon for those who prefer their music to sound great.

The Logitech S715i measures 15.5-inches wide by 5.25 inches-tall by 2-inches thick. While it's approaching boom box proportions, it can still fit in a backpack or messenger bag. On its front are buttons for power and volume as well as a covered iPod dock that flips back into a sturdy kickstand.

Aside from the kickstand, the only other feature on the back of the speaker is a little rubber gasket that covers an aux input and a socket for the included power adapter. Two passive 2-inch radiator woofers flank each side of the kickstand, giving the S715i its deep, full sound. It has rubber feet beneath the speaker and kickstand to keep its rattling to a minimum, if you feel like taking the speaker up to full blast.

Logitech covers the six speaker drivers on the face of the S715i with a mesh metal grille. Technically, only four of the S715i's speakers are directly powered, including the pair of 3-inch speakers that are off to the sides, and half-inch tweeters positioned above them. The pair of 2-inch drivers located near the middle, as well as the rear-firing woofers, are passive radiators that generate sound from the displaced air created by the powered drivers. Physics aside, just know that it all adds up to a surprisingly powerful sound from a slim, unassuming system.

Another detail worth noting--and applauding--is the absence of fitted inserts for the dock. In our experience, these things are just a waste of plastic and tend to become outdated after a new generation of gadgets comes out with updated designs. Instead, the S715i uses a truly universal dock with a 30-pin connector that swivels just enough to accommodate anything from an iPhone to our chunky, white 15GB third-generation iPod.

Logitech doesn't throw many bells and whistles into the S715i. Unlike similar portable iPhone/iPod systems, there's no FM radio, no clock, and no presets for EQ or sound enhancement. Fortunately, the S715i doesn't need any artificial enhancements to deliver great sound; also, features such as EQ, alarm clock, and (Internet) radio can be handled ably by today's iPhones and iPods.

Logitech didn't skimp entirely on extras. It company includes a carrying case and an IR remote control with basic play pause, skip, shuffle, and repeat controls with the speaker.

We can think of no other portable iPod-iPhone speaker with a price less than $200 that can match the sound quality of the Logitech S715i. It rocks. In fairness, recent systems from Altec Lansing, such as the inMotion Max and inMotion Classic, do well enough to match the S715i when it comes to the crisp detail (vocals, guitar, drums, strings) that is lacking in most budget systems. However, if you're looking for a generous helping of low-end oomph to balance out that treble fidelity, the S715i won't disappoint you.

The S715i isn't a bass-thumping, one-trick pony, either. It can handle Black Eyed Peas and Creedence Clearwater Revival with equal grace and power. In addition, if you like your music loud, this speaker has enough headroom to ruin any goodwill with your neighbors, provided you keep the system plugged in to its power adapter to maximize performance.

Running off the internal rechargeable battery, you can expect about eight hours of continuous play at a moderate volume. The freedom of going unplugged will also cut down your maximum volume level and overall sound quality compared to plug-in operation. However, don't let that stop you from taking the S715i with you to the beach, a picnic, or your next camping trip. Whatever the context, the Logitech S715i is a great all-purpose speaker for the iPod or iPhone, and an unbeatable value.


Logitech S715i

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8