Product Review (June 2010)
Logitech - Squeezebox™ Touch Media Player

By Kevin Nakano


Logitech Squeezebox TouchLogitech's long awaited Squeezebox™ Touch media player now joins the highly acclaimed line of networked-based audio products offered by the company. The new Squeezebox™ Touch features an intuitive 4.3-inch color touch screen that lets users easily select and play music as well as view album art and photos. The unit comes equipped with 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi and wired ethernet connectivity and can be linked to control other Squeezebox products such as the Squeezebox Boom. The Squeezebox Server software running on a PC links the media player to Internet radio, DRM-free iTunes Plus downloads, and subscription  music services like Rhapsody, Last.fm, Napster, Pandora, Slacker, Sirius, and a wide range of free Internet radio stations and podcasts. The system also supports a variety of digital music files, including uncompressed and lossless file formats. We downloaded the latest version (v7.5.1) and had it running on a low powered Acer notebook for test purposes.

Logitech Squeezebox TouchAudio Playback
The platform supports many formats including MP3, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, HE-AACv2, HD-AAC, and Apple Lossless. WMA Lossless, APE, MPC and WavPack are supported through transcoding. Like other Squeezebox™ products, the Touch cannot play music directly from a NAS (Networked Access Server), but instead requires a PC loaded with the Squeeze Server software.

The Squeezebox™ Touch sits with the screen angled towards the user, making it easy to see and use. The side of the unit has an SD card slot that lets users access music and pictures on compatible memory cards. Upon plugging in an SD card, the Squeezebox™ Touch will launch the Squeezebox server, which will scan the inserted card for compatible data files. The files are then available for playback through the user interface.

Logitech Squeezebox TouchFront Panel
The Squeezebox Touch is ideal for desktops where easy access to the LCD touchpanel provides excellent feedback to the user when navigating through one's music collection. The display itself is not as high contrast as some of the newer LCDs we have seen, but works well and has a friendly interface that is intuitive. There is a built-in ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the level of brightness based on the room lighting to optimize the best possible image.

Logitech Squeezebox TouchI/O Features
The Squeezebox™ Touch is loaded with interfaces on the rear panel. A headphone output is provided along with two-channel analog audio. Either optical (toslink) and coaxial digital outputs can be used to connect to a receiver. Both Wi-Fi and wired ethernet are provided for maximum flexibility. We like to use wired ethernet when possible, which allows us to place the Touch pretty much anywhere as long as we can plug in the power adapter. The integrated Wi-Fi gives users the freedom to place the Touch even in relatively remote areas. The USB port provides additional access to media files using a standard USB memory stick. Like the SD memory slot, the Touch reads the data once the memory stick is placed into the USB slot.

Logitech Squeezebox TouchRemote
The IR remote included with the Touch is a bigger and better version of the one supplied with the Boom. The backside of the remote has a spot for the index finger that keeps the remote well positioned and allows the thumb to do much of the button pushing. The buttons are spaced far enough apart, making it user friendly. There are buttons for Home, Sleep Timer, Power, Rewind, Pause, Forward, Add, Play, Navigation, and Volume Up/Down. The nine alpha/numeric buttons can be used to search for specific album or artists. The Home button takes the user to the home display and the Sleep button selects a time period between 15 and 90 minutes.

When using the remote with the Squeezebox™ Touch, the fonts on the display get significantly larger, so that it is easier for the user to read it from a distance. The normal five row text becomes larger three row text when the remote is used. Unfortunately, the remote itself provides no feedback, but does allow the system to be controlled from a distance. If you want a remote with a screen, then you should take a look at the Squeezebox™ Duet that we reviewed a while back.

Performance
The Squeezebox™ Touch has an easy to use interface with good response to finger taps on the screen. Scrolling through long lists is made simple with a solid, compact design with a rich set of features. The convenient Wi-Fi connection makes it easy to stream program material from a variety of sources using the Squeezebox server software running on a networked PC.

Sound quality was very good on this unit and benefits from the support of high resolution 24 bit / 96 kHz material. The analog and digital connectivity on the back of this unit allows users to maximize fidelity, especially when connecting it to a higher-end audio system. We were quite impressed with the audio quality when using the digital outputs to our Denon AVR-5308CI A/V receiver.

Conclusion
The Logitech® Squeezebox™ Touch (MSRP: $299.99, Street: $225) media player is a terrific design that works well when sitting in close proximity of the touch panel. The remote can be used to operate the Touch from a distance, but it does not have the same appeal as that offered with the Squeezebox™ Duet. The best application of this product is when it is sitting on the desk where you are working. The user interface is easy to use and provides excellent feedback when playing media. The Wi-Fi and wired ethernet support offers the ultimate in flexibility. Best of all, it can control other Squeezebox™ products in your home and was very reliable during our testing.

- Kevin Nakano




OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Computer: HP Pavilion dv7-1245DX (AMD Processor, 2.1 GHz, 4GB, Vista 32-bit)


Review at a glance


Logitech® Squeezebox™ Touch


Technical Specifications

Audio Formats

  • MP3, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, HE-AACv2, HD-AAC, Apple Lossless
  • WMA Lossless, APE, MPC and WavPack supported through transcoding
  • Some formats may require additional software installation (e.g. QuickTime), depending on platform

 

Internet Radio

    Support for MP3, Ogg Vorbis, HE-AACv2 and WMA formatted Internet Radio streams

 

Wireless Interface

  • True 802.11g wireless networking
  • Support for 802.11b and 802.11g routers and access points
  • Throughput up to 54 Mbps, high speed PCI interface to radio module
  • One-touch setup (with compatible WPS-supporting routers)
  • Supports WPA Personal, WPA-2AES, and 64/128-bit WEP encryption

 

Ethernet Interface

  • Shielded CAT5 RJ-45 connector
  • Connects to any 100 Mbps or 10 Mbps network (with Auto MDX)

 

General

  • USB host connector for accessing music and photos via USB drive or USB key
  • SD card slot for music and photos
  • Supports sampling rates up to 24 bit / 96 kHz
  • Stereo analog (RCA), digital optical, and digital coax output
  • 4,3" (11 cm) 24-bit color LCD with capacitive touch screen
  • Ambient light sensor to adjust display brightness according to environment
  • Infrared proximity sensor to detect presence and wake from sleep mode

System Requirements

For access to music on your computer use Squeezebox software with the minimum system requirements:

  • 256 MB RAM and 100 MB of available hard disk space

With any of the following operating systems:

  • Macintosh: Mac® OS® X 10.3 or later
  • Windows: 733MHz Pentium running Windows® 2000, Windows® XP, Windows® 7, or Windows Vista®
  • Linux/BSD/Solaris/Other: Perl 5.8.3 or later

Broadband Internet connection required for Internet radio and music services

  • Stereo system or powered speakers
  • Ethernet or 802.11 b/g wireless home network

Package Contents

  • Logitech ® Squeezebox™ Touch Wi-Fi music player
  • Power supply with plug adapters
  • RCA audio cable
  • Infrared remote control with batteries
  • User documentation
  • Cleaning cloth

 

Warranty

  • 2-year limited hardware warranty

Company Information
Logitech Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
6505 Kaiser Drive
Fremont, CA 94555 USA
Phone: 510-795-8500
Sales: 800-231-7717
Support: 866-826-5722

Part Number: P/N 930-000090
Source: Manufacture Supplied
Warranty: 2-year limited hardware warranty
MSRP: $299.99 (Street: $225)

URL: www.logitech.com


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