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Logitech AudioStation Express
With iPods still seemingly as popular as ever, no wonder the portable Dock Station industry is booming. Designs may vary but the technicality of the device itself is pretty standard. Mobility is the key factor. The idea of being able to take your music with you not just in the form of a small device that only you have access to and not having to carry amplifiers and speakers, is slowly fading away. The Dock station eliminates the need to cart around too many things. Logitech's addition to this genre of portable speakers is the Audio Station express. Let’s see how it fares.
On the whole I'd have to say this is one of the more conventional designs. The "If you've seen one, you’ve seen 'em all" kind. It’s simple and neat though. Essentially it's a rectangular box with the volume knob jutting out in the dead center of the two 2.5 inch speakers. It also comes with a full function remote.
On the top is the universal adapter for your iPod. At the rear, to the right at the bottom, you'll see a composite video out, a 3.5mm audio in and the DC adapter socket.
Here's what I like best about the AudioStation. The bottom of the device has a battery compartment that allows you to use the Station without DC and simply use 6 AA batteries. This is what really makes it so portable.
Features and Performance
Let's start from the top. Literally. When you have your iPod securely connected at the top and the dock is connected via DC, it will actually charge the iPod. Unfortunately there's no USB connectivity so you can't hook it up to your PC and update your player. On the plus side if you'd like to watch a video and aren't too happy with small screen viewing, no worries, you can hook the Station up to your TV via the Video Out composite socket at the back and you're good to go. You will however have to use the dock for sound.
Now in case you'd like to use your Mobile phone, you can. You can use a normal 3.5mm to 3.55mm wire to connect it to the Dock through the earphones to the Audio In. In case your mobile uses a propriety cable, or has a 2.5mm earphone socket, no worries, all you need is a converter (to 3.5mm) which is easily available. In case you don’t happen to own an iPod, any old MP3 player will work using the same connections. So not everyone needs to have an iPod. Connections are easy as pie.
Something odd I couldn't fathom for quite awhile when I initially turned it on, was why I wasn't getting any sound at all. I turned the knob back and forth pressing it in and out, increased the player’s volume all the way up and all I could hear was a scratchy sound emitting from the speakers. By the way the volume knob rotates 360 degrees. So you could spend your day rotating it with no difference. Then after fooling around with the remote I realized that the volume can only be increased via the remote, but it can be decreased using the knob on the Station itself. How odd is that?!
Like I said before the remote is fully functional. What I mean is it can be used to fast forward/rewind or even skip tracks. Volume is of course part of that deal too, like I said. But I did like the overall sound quality. Though at full volume you will have to adjust your players EQ to balance the sound or you'll probably end up tearing the speakers as it tends to jarr a bit. But on the whole, at a decent level, the Audio station delivers loud and clear enough sound.
The Bottom Line
It's a bit too steep at Rs. 7995. Had it been a wee bit cheaper I would have bought one myself. If you have the moolah to spend, go for it. Other than that bit of advice I'd just like to say it's a good product, extremely portable and it may not be loud enough for a party but it could be fun at a picnic though. But for just 'ok' sound and volume it's not worth that price. So just think about it real hard.