Friday December 15, 2017

Squeezebox Boom Review

Audio Design
Since the Boom's primary advantage over the rest of the Squeezebox line is the built-in speakers, it's not surprising that a lot of effort was put into the audio design.  The Boom features a proprietary audio technology Logitech calls "StereoXL" that was developed by Logitech audio engineers to enhance the stereo sound field.  They also use two speakers per channel, a woofer and a tweeter, in order to produce outstanding audio quality by sending high and low frequencies to the speakers best suited for those frequencies.

Audio Design

Picture of Squeezebox Boom Audio Design
Source: http://www.audiodesignline.com/howto/212701647?pgno=2

I won't go into any more technical details of the audio design since there's a great White Paper written by Caleb Crome of Logitech that describes the Boom's audio design much better than I ever could.  Just know that a lot of thought went into getting the best audio quality out of this device since it was primarily being built to be used as a stand-alone music player.  If you're interested in more of the technical details behind the audio design, I suggest checking out Caleb's White Paper below:

White Paper: Logitech Squeezebox Boom Audio Design
A great write-up by Caleb Crome of Logitech, Inc. describing the audio design in the Squeezebox Boom and pictures of a completely disassembled Boom.


How Does It Sound?
The million dollar question -- if you're looking at a Squeezebox Boom review, you probably want to know if it sounds better than a $30 portable stereo from Walmart.  Let me say, I was concerned even as I hit play -- despite any of the many reviews I read saying the Boom's speakers were very good.  I knew I could always plug the stereo output into my kitchen stereo, but that defeats the purpose of buying a device with integrated speakers.  I was truly hoping to be floored at the sound quality.

I threw a ton of genres at it -- hip-hop, country, rock, classical and to my surprise, the Squeezebox Boom delivered!  I was actually surprised at the bass the built-in woofers were able to deliver on hip-hop music and the clarity of the instruments on classical/jazz music.  It can get pretty loud too.  I don't like risking turning volume up much over 75 or 80 percent, but I can have the Boom in the kitchen down the hall and still hear the music pretty well.

I believe the "StereoXL" is disabled by default.  I haven't played around with it a ton, but in some songs it seems to add a light echo effect effect.  It's nice to have the option to turn it on and off and you can adjust the level to Low, Medium, High.  Caleb Crome recommended the Medium setting in his White Paper (link above).


Still Not Convinced?  Good!
You're probably still wondering if you will be as impressed at the sound quality out of the small speakers as myself and many other reviewers have been.  That's okay.. I had those same doubts.  It really all depends on how you plan to use it.  If you want to have a party and fill the whole house with music, you're going to need more than just the Boom's speakers.  But for a kitchen, bedroom, using outdoors on the deck.. the Boom really packs a punch!  Just the right amount of bass, and if it's not to your liking you can adjust the bass / treble in the Boom's settings.

Comparing to the Fluance Home Theater Speakers I have my Squeezebox2 hooked up to, the Home Theater speakers win hands-down.  That shouldn't be any surprise tho.. they're much larger speakers and my receiver can put 100 watts of power through them.  The Boom's speakers are 30 watts.  I never thought the Boom would replace larger more powerful speakers.  It's meant to be a device that compliment existing systems and fill in the gaps of where music cannot reach or allow you to carry the Boom into whatever area of the house you want to listen to music easily without the clutter of separate speakers and wires.  It's by-far exceeded my expectations with how good it sounds.


Continue on for final thoughts & rating..

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