leveraged their ability to stream audio to customers with their acquisition
of Slim Devices two years ago. The Squeezebox Duet enables users
to stream their favorite audio content from their personal collection,
online services (Pandora and Rhapsody) and thousands of Internet radio
stations. The system supports a wide variety of non-DRM content including
compressed formats (MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, MP2, MusePack, WMA) and uncompressed
formats (AIFF, WAV, PCM). Play songs stored on your computer, tune in
to thousands of Internet radio stations, or connect to online services
such as Pandora® and Rhapsody®. On the downside, the Squeezebox
Duet cannot play music stored on a NAS (Networked Access Server) where
all of my music is stored. Instead, the Squeezebox Duet must connect
to a PC running SqueezeCenter software or to third party music
storage companies such as MP3tunes.com music locker making it possible
to listen to your personal music collection without turning on your computer.
SqueezeCenter is the music server that runs on your computer and connects
your Squeezebox players and controllers to your local music files,
as well as allowing you to use third-party plug-ins (applications that
extend the features and functions of your Squeezebox). If youre
planning to use your Squeezebox Duet only to listen to Internet
radio and online music services, or if your music is stored in an MP3tunes
music locker, you are not required to have a PC running this software.
Currently, MP3tunes music locker storage space is limited to 2GB for free.
Larger storage space is available for an additional fee. We tested the
Squeezebox Duet running SqueezeCenter on our media
The handheld controller that come with the Squeezebox Duet has a
rechargeable Li-Ion battery and measures only 6-1/8" tall, 2"
wide and 0.75" deep. The remote sits in a cradle that not only makes
it easy to find, but also keeps the controller charged through the two
contacts at the base. A beep can be heard when the remote docks to the
base confirming a good connection with the charger. The buttons on the
remote have a tactile feel and the rotating wheel around the center select
button is a nice touch. Just below the navigation keys are the volume
buttons and the forward/reverse and pause buttons. The 2.4-inch color
LCD screen is easy to read and provides plenty of information about the
artist, album, song, and track. Album cover art is also displayed. At
the base of the display, the handheld has indicators for playback mode,
signal strength, battery level, and time. Once the handheld goes into
standby mode, the display becomes a real-time clock, which can be a useful
The base unit is small measuring only 6-1/4" wide, 4-1/4" deep,
and 1-1/8" tall. There is not much to see on the front panel except
for the Home button located in the center This button is used to
reset the unit and provides visual feedback to the user. A blinking red
indicator lets the user know the unit is resetting. Once the color turns
white, the unit is connected to the network.
The rear panel of the Squeezebox receiver has a wired Ethernet
interface. The unit also supports 802.11g WiFi for those with wireless
networks. Both coaxial and optical (Toslink) digital connections are provided
along with analog stereo outputs. The receiver immediately recognized
our SSID on our wireless network and we were prompted to enter our password
for access. We tested both the wired and wireless connections to this
unit. We also connected the analog audio as well as the Toslink output
connected to our Denon AVR-5308CI A/V receiver. The universal power adapter
can run from 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz making it compatible around the world.
The Squeezebox Duet produces excellent sound quality thanks to the
24-bit DAC and sophisticated audio rendering technology. We maximized
our bandwidth by using a wired Ethernet connection to the base receiver.
However, it is just as easy to use a wireless link if this is more convenient.
We did experience some lag time between button presses when using the
wireless connection, but this may be completely dependent on the type
of wireless hardware you have installed in your home or office.
system was setup, we were able to stream our music content seamlessly
to our audio system. I particularly like the controller and the display,
which provides nice feedback to the user. The lightweight and ergonomic
design makes listening to music or Internet radio stations simple and
easy. I was somewhat surprised just how good the lower bandwidth radio
station sounded on this system. In many cases the audio was running at
a paltry 20-30 kbps, yet sounded much better than other low bitrate recordings
I have heard. Both analog and digital interface sounded quite good.
The Logitech® Squeezebox Duet ($359.99) is a great way
to get music streaming in your rooms with the convenience of a user friendly
handheld remote. The system is easy to setup and provides excellent sound
quality from good source material. Internet radio and other lower bandwidth
sources will have slightly less audio quality, but can only be discerned
on higher quality audio systems. The style, build quality, and features
offered with the Squeezebox Duet certainly justifies the
price. Few products are available with the convenience offered with the
Squeezebox Duet. Most of the systems we have seen are significantly
more expensive such as the Sonos Music System
we reviewed last year. If you are looking for a way to distribute music
or Internet radio in your listening space and want the convenience of
a remote with a cool display, you owe it to yourself to check out this