With an impressively sleek design, excellent sound quality and no-fuss wireless technology, the Logitech UE Air Speaker is a delight for both the eyes and the ears – but is it worth the high price tag?
Using Apple’s AirPlay wireless technology, the UE Air Speaker streams audio from iTunes on any device over your home’s Wi-Fi network.
Set-up is simple; all you have to do is dock your device, follow the on-screen instructions, download the app, enter your Wi-Fi network password and you’re away. Syncing up with a Mac or laptop takes slightly more time, but either way you’ll be ready to go in a matter of minutes.
If any of that’s left you confused, here’s a demo from Logitech’s global product manager Chris Labrutto to show you how it works.
Look and feel
The slick piano-black finish, brushed metal dials and subtle curves of the design make this speaker an attractive addition to any modern living room.
This is not for a household with sticky fingers, though, as that high-gloss finish is easily marred by fingerprints.
The three controls consist of a volume dial, mute button and on/off button, which has a bright green standby indicator alongside so you know when your system is ready for action.
The dock is integrated seamlessly into the wide, curved speaker until you need it, then you just press to pop it out, and dock your device in the 30-pin connector.
Whether you dock an iPhone or an iPad, you don’t have to worry about obstructing the sound coming from behind it as the speakers are situated either side of the dock.
This is a great design feature as you wouldn’t want anything to block the high quality sound coming from the Air Speaker. Dual tweeters and woofers pump out crisp highs and powerful lows – but not so powerful that the bass will disrupt the foundations of your home. If you’re so inclined, though, you can adjust the bass and treble via the Air Speaker app.
Users should bear in mind, however, that the sound quality from the speaker is only going to be as good as the files you are playing, so I implore music lovers to ensure they are downloading the best quality for their buck, in order to get the most out of this sound system.
The main point to note about the Logitech UE Air Speaker is that it’s for iTunes households only, and this may deter some not so fond of Apple’s music software.
While wireless streaming has its conveniences (and will impress friends who consistently asked me, “Where’s the music coming from?”), there are disadvantages to playing from one device onto another.
The main thing is control. All your speaker can control is volume, so if you want to select what you want to hear, pause or adjust settings, you need to have the device with you. But you can always leave your mobile device in the dock and let it charge as you listen.
Also, because the speaker has to connect to your Wi-Fi network on start-up, it’s not a case of switch on and tune in – more like switch on, wait 10 seconds, and then tune in. When you really just want to hear your favourite song, those few seconds can feel like a long time. It also takes a while to shut down, too, and you’ll have your finger on that standby button longer than you care to.
These are really just small quibbles with a device that looks and sounds as good as the UE Air Speaker does. However, bearing in mind the suggested retail price of €349, these factors may be the deal breakers that might make you go for a cheaper model.
The Logitech UE Air Speaker is available in Harvey Norman stores nationwide, where customers are welcome to test the sound quality for themselves, or you can buy direct from Logitech.