updated 09:45 pm EDT, Mon May 26, 2008
Pure-Fi Mobile Speakers
Most people like the idea of taking their music with them wherever they go. While it's easy to listen to music through headphones or ear buds, you might want to share your favorite tunes with others. Since it's not always practical (or desirable) to share a pair of headphones with someone else, Logitech offers its Pure-Fi Mobile speakers, which can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled phone, MP3 player, or personal computer with a USB port.
The speakers come with a padded carrying case that includes a compartment for holding its power adapter and an included 3.5 mm cable for connecting the device to an external sound source such as an MP3 player or portable CD player. Toss the speakers in this carrying case along with its accompanying cables and you have a completely portable sound system to go along with your laptop or mobile phone.
The complete unit only weighs 3 pounds, making it light enough to carry easily although its length (10.75 inches), height (2.75 inches), and depth (1.0 inches) can make the item slightly cumbersome to carry, like wielding a baton.
Setting up the unit is simple. A rubberized case makes it easy to grip while a pair of legs in back can swing out (to stabilize the speakers) or fold shut (to take up less room, especially handy when transporting the device).
Before using the unit, you must charge its batteries using the included power adapter or USB cable plugged into a computer. A complete charge takes approximately 3 hours while the batteries last approximately 12 hours. You must periodically recharge its batteries when using it wirelessly or when connected to an MP3 player. (When plugged into a computer, the unit gets powered through the connecting USB cable.)
There are three ways to connect an audio source to these speakers. If you have a mobile phone that supports Bluetooth 2.0 A2DP, you must first take the time to pair your phone with these speakers. After establishing this paired relationship, you'll be able to connect the speakers to your phone without going through this process again.
For added convenience, you can pair the speakers with up to four separate Bluetooth-enabled devices, although only one of them can play through the speakers at a time. You can place your mobile phone up to 33 feet away from the speakers. If you move the mobile phone or speakers at a greater distance apart, the audio will cut off and pick up again when you move either the speakers or mobile phone within range again.
A second way to play audio through the unit is by plugging the included USB cable into any Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS X computer. After specifying the operating system to direct sound through the Pure-Fi Mobile, you'll be able to hear your favorite music through better speakers than your computer might offer.
A third way to play audio through the unit is by connecting the 3.5 mm cable to the back of the speakers and into an audio device such as an MP3 player or portable CD/DVD player.
By pressing a button on top of the unit, you can choose the type of audio source (bluetooth, USB cable, or 3.5 mm cable) to play. Additional buttons allow you to adjust the volume or turn the unit on and off. Another button, marked Stereo XL, adjusts the audio quality to give a richer sound, although sometimes this enhanced audio mode can bury the clarity of the vocalist in certain songs.
The overall audio quality is much better than the built-in speakers on most computers or the cheap speakers that often come bundled with most computers. Still, the audio quality alone won't turn anyone's head. The true value of this unit is its portability and good, but not great, audio quality in an easy to carry, battery-powered device.
One unique feature of the Pure-Fi is its ability to double up as a microphone, which can be especially handy for making conference calls with a computer through Internet phone services such as Skype. Three buttons on top of the unit let you answer a call, end a call, or mute the microphones altogether.
For $149.99, the Pure-Fi Mobile speakers are handy for anyone who needs truly portable speakers for playing music through a mobile phone, MP3 player, or a computer. If you need to make conference calls, this device can be an especially handy accessory for both desktop and laptop computers. Not everyone may need the Pure-Fi Mobile, but for those who crave better audio from their portable music devices (laptops, MP3 players, and mobile phones), the Pure-Fi can be an invaluable accessory for every road warrior.