updated 12:20 pm EDT, Thu August 28, 2008
Squeezebox Boom and Z-500
Logitech on Thursday turned its attention to wireless audio courtesy of both a wholly independent Internet radio and speakers built just for notebooks. One of the first fruits of Logitech's buyout of Squeezebox, the Squeezebox Boom can pull and play unprotected music from any recent Mac or Windows PC on a local 802.11g Wi-Fi network but also picks up Internet streaming radio services entirely on its own, including largely free services such as Last.FM, Pandora or Slacker as well as a user's memberships to primarily for-pay services such as Rhapsody and Sirius' Internet streams.
The one-piece box is designed to fully replace a bookshelf stereo with separate high-power tweeters and woofers, but has an input for a separate subwoofer to separate low-end frequencies. It also adopts the same extendability of other Squeezebox units and can extend the range of the listening network to multiple rooms with additional stereos.
Logitech releases the Boom in September for $300.
In a considerably lower key announcement, the audio equipment maker has also introduced the Z-500 Wireless Notebook Speaker. The 2.0-channel setup relies on the same basic RF wireless dongle technology used in the company's mice and keyboards to pump audio over the air from a notebook in the same room, effectively freeing the portable from having to remain in one spot to improve sound quality over built-in speakers. The speakers themselves are completely portable and will play for up to 12 hours before recharging the lithium-ion battery.
The Z-500 supports both Macs and Windows PCs, and ships in September for $200.
Z-500 Wireless Notebook Speaker