Logitech’s newest effort into music streaming and wireless speakers market came through a new line of products branded as “Logitech UE”. Previous tries to produce a mainstream product of this kind didn’t go well for this company, which is a well-known manufacturer of 3rd party accessories for PCs and Macs. By implementing a new brand, along with interesting new set of products, Logitech got much needed attention which made its Boombox UE, a wireless speaker, very popular.
Today we are going to talk about another interesting product from the UE lineup, which is actually a next generation of another product from Logitech, which was called Squeezebox Radio. New generation product is called (Logitech UE) Smart Radio, and brings some subtle changes to its design, and other more noticeable changes throughout its hardware and software.
UE Smart Radio is a music streamer, wired and wireless speaker, and alarm clock. It’s very light and quite small, and since this is also an alarm clock, it seems perfect for a nightstand.
In comparison to a previous generation, UE Smart Radio bring subtle changes. Form factor is identical, along with materials, position of buttons, as well as its screen. Buttons are only slightly different and some typography has erased during the process. Inside, the main new addition is a rechargeable battery with a life of six hours on a single charge. This means that you use UE Smart Radio as wired as well as wireless speaker. This also means that it features 802.11g Wi-Fi connectivity.
In order to use this product, you will need to set up a server software, which needs to run on your computer so it can stream local music. This is also where some improvements happened over the previous generation, which is a bit more complicated to set up, and required a Logitech account. Still, initial set up is still unnecessarily complicated, and doesn’t work smoothly both for Mac and Windows users. There’s also Smart Radio Controller, which is an iOS application (there’s also Android and Kindle Fire versions) which controls this device. It’s nicely designed, and gives you quick access to all features.
Just like Squeezebox, Smart Radio supports almost every popular music streaming service, amongst which are Pandora, Last.fm, Spotify, BBC Radio, Sirius XM, as well as your local streaming radio stations. It also plays several audio formats, so every music library should be completely compatible.
Just like the previous version, new UE Smart Radio continues bringing the same flaws. One of them is the initial set-up, which can cause a lot of trouble and stress for an experienced used. I would recommend reading tutorials and watching YouTube videos to see how to do this properly. Once you’ve set it up, it should work without any problem.
I also had another interesting problem, which I believe is a major design flaw. If you look at the pictures, you will see a large knob right below the screen. This surely looks like a volume button, and naturally it should be just that, but it’s not. This knob is used to move around the menu, while volume buttons are much smaller, and right next to it. I still haven’t got accustomed to it.