August 29, 2012
Logitech Announces Fresh Boombox And Headphone Lineup
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
I spend nearly 90% of my waking day listening to music of one variety or another. When I´m writing, I always prefer to use headphones to create an immersive experience, as well as keep my guilty listening pleasures hidden from outside judgment. So, it only makes sense that a few months after I splurged and bought myself a really nice pair of in-ear headphones, Logitech would announce some fresh, young hotness to make me want to visit the store once again.
In 2008, Logitech purchased the Ultimate Ears headphone line and since then, they´ve been slowly branding some of their devices with the UE logo. These new devices extend this dual branding even further.
Logitech has split their latest UE offerings into two categories: Shareables and Wearables. There´s an easy distinction between the two; Shareables are the box-set speakers meant to be played aloud in a room, whereas wearables are for personal consumption of music.
In the Wearables category, Logitech has released 4 new UE branded headphones, one of which features wireless playback.
The Logitech 9000 Wireless Headphones feature both active noise cancellation and wireless listening powered by Bluetooth. Looking at the spec sheet, these headphones look impressive enough, boasting memory foam cans and a durable headband. Noting that all wireless technology runs on batteries and all batteries eventually die, Logitech has included an external jack on the headphones and ships them with an extra wire, making sure the things are still useful when you keep forgetting to charge the batteries. Logitech has also placed external buttons on the speaker cups, a nice addition to those who would prefer to tap their ears rather than fidget with their phones. Priced at $399, these wireless headphones are a bit more expensive than other popular noise-canceling headphones, but are expected to deliver audiophile-quality sound.
Logitech only released one pair of in-ear headphones, once an Ultimate Ears staple, this go around. The Logitech UE 900 Headphones make use of a four armature speaker set up in each ear, complete with 3-way crossover, meaning each frequency will get its own, dedicated signal, resulting in a rich, well-rounded sound. Embracing the mobile lifestyle, Logitech has placed external controls on the cords of these headphones and the entire lineup of new headphones they´ve released today. Though no reviews are available for these in-ear headphones just yet, if these 'phones are anything like their Ultimate Ears ancestors, they´ll sound delightful, and at a price comparable to other headphones of its ilk, these in-ears start at $199.
In the Shareables category, Logitech has released 2 Bluetooth speakers and the second generation of their Squeezebox Radio Internet radio player.
The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is smaller than its colleague, the Jawbone Jambox, but works in a similar way. The Mobile Boombox can pair with 2 devices at once – say an iPhone and a laptop – and ships in a variety of colors, like blue, lime, red and white. Operating the Mobile Boombox should be easy enough, with only 3 large buttons on the top of the ℠box and 2 ports and a power switch on the back of the ℠box. Though sound quality is incredibly subjective and therefore difficult to judge, (and because I don´t have any of these units to test for myself) I can only tell you that while Justin Yu at CNET found the Mobile Boombox to sound “canned,” Matthew Miller with ZDNET thought these mini Bluetooth speakers sounded better than his previous favorite, the Braven 650. The Mobile Boombox starts at $99.
The Logitech UE Boombox is the beefier, larger sibling to the Mobile Boombox. Weighing in at 4.7 pounds, the UE Boombox is covered with a grill which wraps around towards the back and can be paired with a total of 8 Bluetooth devices, making this speaker a perfect option for trading songs with friends at the next get-together. The UE Boombox is packed with 2 half inch tweeters, 2 3-inch woofers and 4 2.75-inch pass radiators to spread the sound out evenly. This larger Boombox is expectedly pricier, starting at $249.99 and according to CNET reviewers, delivers a “near-premium” sound. The ZDNET review, however, doesn´t specifically mention sound quality, only saying that the Boombox is comparable to the Jawbone Big Jambox.
The Logitech UE Smart Radio is the dedicated music player capable of playing music from your own library or streaming any Internet radio station. A color screen displays album artwork, and a mobile app is available for Android and iPhone, giving users the ability to control their music from any room in the house via their smartphone or tablet. Starting at $179.99, this updated Squeezebox also comes with a rechargeable battery, allowing you to carry the music with you wherever you may roam.