There is no shortage of iPod/iPhone products and many of them leave much to be desired. Let's face it, there are plenty of portable accessories currently on the market that sound mediocre at best, so finding products that are actually enjoyable to listen to is a wonderful change. Enter the Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker system for the iPod/iPhone and other media players. This fully portable speaker system provides a standard iPod dock in the middle of the unit and includes a small IR remote for easy control. The design features eight custom-designed speaker drivers and an eight-hour rechargeable battery. That's right. No batteries to have to worry about replacing. Logitech has really impressed me over the years with so many products that actually sound great. The company has shown that they are serious about providing high quality audio to consumers with the acquisition of Slim Devices (makers of Squeezebox) and Ultimate Ears (high-end earphones), both recognized in the industry for audiophile products.
The speaker drivers include two 3-inch laser-tuned neodymium drivers, two 1/2-inch neodymium tweeters and four 2-inch passive radiators for deep bass. The passive radiators (two in the front and two in the back) offer extended bass that would otherwise be difficult to achieve in a small cabinet with a sealed design. The passive radiators are sized to tune the bass response much like a vented loudspeaker enclosure. It should be clear that only four drivers (2 on each side) are active while the remaining four are passive. The Logitech S715i system works surprisingly well for such a compact design and provides rich, balanced audio with an iPod and/or iPhone.
The Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker system is easy to use with front controls which surround the dock. The power button and indicator light are on the left side and the volume controls (up/down) on the right. The power indicator not only provides power on status, but also indicates if the unit is charging when the AC adapter is attached. Rather than clutter the front of the unit with more buttons, Logitech provides an IR remote that gives users full access to commonly used playback controls.
The IR remote included with theS715i Rechargeable Speaker is fairly small measuring only 2.75" x 1.75" x 0.5" and operates on a standard CR2025 3V lithium button battery. The wireless remote control gives users control over power, volume, play, pause, shuffle, skip and repeat from up to 30 feet (10 meters) away. Logitech also provides a cloth travel case with a velcro cover that has space for the power adapter and remote so you can conveniently take the dock with you wherever you go.
Compact, yet Functional
The Logitech S715i looks a lot bigger in the pictures than it is in reality and can be easily carried by most with one hand. On the rear side of the unit there is a cover that flips out and snaps into place. This acts as a kickstand and keeps the unit/speakers angled slightly upward for better sound dispersion. The hinged cover also keeps the dust out of the iPod/iPhone dock and connector when closed. It is a good design that works well. Also on the back is a rubber plug that covers the power jack and 3.5mm auxiliary audio input jack. The audio input jack allows other playback devices to connect to the unit. We tested interface using a 30GB Zune and it worked perfectly, but was certainly not as convenient as using the iPod dock.
We recently took the Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker system on a camping trip and finally turned it on as we were packing up to leave the site. Using an iPod as the music source, the S715i music reproduction was quite impressive even in a large outdoor environment. The sound quality reminded me of my Squeezebox Boom (which I love), but without the hassle of a power cord and wireless network. If you appreciate good sounding equipment, this is certainly a product you should audition.
The S715i Rechargeable Speaker is yet another fine audio product Logitech has launched with the convenience of true portability and great sound. The long lasting internal lithium battery ensures many hours of music and eliminates the need to buy "C" or "D" batteries for the player. If you are considering a portable speaker system for your iPod or iPhone you will not be disappointed with the performance of the Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker.
- Kevin Nakano