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Logitech Squeezebox Touch REVIEW Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Article Index
Logitech Squeezebox Touch REVIEW
Set Up and Listening 1
Set Up and Listening 2
ImageLogitech has long been known as a maker of spiffy computer peripherals, communication devices, and entertainment products. The company decided they wanted to expand their market beyond computer speakers, mice, keyboards, webcams, and other items into high quality audio products. A few years ago they made a clever acquisition, buying up Slim Devices, a maker of networked, streaming audio players. Their best known product, the Squeezebox, allowed users to access music stored on hard drives attached to computers anywhere in the house, listen to internet radio, and set up multi room systems via Ethernet or WiFi. 

I purchased a Squeezebox three years ago on whim, as I had just moved into a new house with freshly installed Cat5 jacks in every room.  I also was a serious live music collector, having downloaded and traded almost 2 TB of live classic rock, jazz, blues, alternative, and world music in lossless FLAC format.  The only way I had to listen to this collection was on my computer via low quality speakers, or to burn CD-Rs. I had read about the Squeezebox on various internet forums and decided to give it it a go.

Though it was probably the best $300 I have spent in audio, there were some limitations.  First, the analog outputs of the device were of middling quality, necessitating the use of an outboard DAC via either optical or coaxial connection for high quality sound. Secondly, sampling rates were limited to 48 Khz.  But none the less, just about every file format was supported, and set up and installation was a snap. It worked just as well with Windows and Mac, and was a pleasure to use in every way.

The only glitches I experienced, about two years in, was problems with Ethernet connectivity due to some bugs in the SqueezeCenter server software that crept in for a brief period, until the Logitech engineers were worked around the clock to finally fix it.  For that short time, I switched over to WiFi, which gave me an opportunity to come away impressed yet again. Digital media players that don’t offer flexibility and multiple methods of connectivity are DOA in my opinion.

The folks at Logitech obviously decided to redesign the Squeezebox to improve upon an already proven platform, but also to make it more cutting edge, and offer even more options and set up choices. Some of the obvious changes are the ability to decode 96 Khz material, the inclusion of both USB and SD Card slots, and the touch screen interface.  You can now view photos and album artwork on the screen, as well as navigate all the menus via touch.

The Squeezebox Touch has so many features, it would be impossible to list them. Some of the most basic features are compatibility with just about every lossless and lossy audio codec, including WAV, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, Mp3, and more. It is now compatible with sampling rates of 96 Khz.  As before you can create playlists, but you can also control other Squeezeboxes as well as program the Touch to turn on or off at specific times.

The Touch comes with two digital outputs, one TosLink, and one coaxial. There is a set of analog outputs, and SD card slot, a USB slot, and an Ethernet Jack. It also comes with a Wal Wart power supply. My only ergonomic complaint is that the digital outputs and the USB slot are rather close together, and connecting and disconnecting cables requires having nimble fingers.


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