Monday, February 19, 2007

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Logic 3 i-Station Traveller

Product number 100: Logic 3 i-Station Traveller
How Much: £20 RRP x 6 = £120
Where can I buy one?

Apple may have the biggest and loudest iPod speakers on the market at the moment but I’ve never really seen the point in paying for a giant hi-fi system for my own home. After all if you’ve got an iPod then all your songs will be located on a computer somewhere and if you’ve got a computer then a few fancy speakers aren’t going to cost much at all. Apples behemoth speakers also make little sense outside of the house and you’re unlikely to want to lug them with you on a romantic picnic or even pack them in your suitcase on holiday.

So what’s a music player owner to do if they want others to hear their music without having to resort to the balancing act of headphone sharing? One option is to switch the music to your mobile phone and then become one of those annoying people who feel the need to play every one of their songs in a crowded train carriage at 9 in the morning. Whilst you will introduce other people to the latest songs it’s likely they probably won’t want to thank you for it in the long run.

Enter the Logic 3 iStation Traveller, a small and compact music player for pretty much any occasion. It’s also small enough to place in your hand luggage making it the perfect companion for a short break if you want to beat the ques at Airport check in. Speaking of travel, the unit is incredibly well designed and even comes with a built in slot for you to place the headphone jack when you’re not using it. It also runs on batteries so there’s no need to lug around a charger, and a carry pouch is included at no extra cost.

To use the iStation Traveller all you do is slide a headphone jack in to the bottom of you iPod, MP3 player, or mobile phone (if it has a slot) and then play away. This makes the device relatively future proof - unless companies decide they want to stop using wired headphones any time soon you should be safe - and there’s no fiddly changing of slots to store your device as two speakers will clamp it in place. Volume is controlled directly by your media player as opposed to the speakers and we found when using an iPod that this gave us the perfect volume setting.

During our testing of the iStation Traveller I opted for the silver model, and Marie for the pink (there’s also a range of four other colours including blue, green, red and black which you can win later today!) and we then set about putting the devices to the test using various different songs and genres. Read on for our thoughts…

Chill: To get things off to a relaxing start and to give the unit a relatively easy test I opted for my album of 2006 ‘Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly. Both the chilled out beats of ‘Call Me Ishmael’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ came through perfectly and even on maximum volume the sound was crisp and clear.

Rock: Wanting to up the bass a little and provide more of a challenge we then chose ‘Linkin Park’ and again the unit continued to hold up with no real problems. We also found that by switching the iPod equalizer to ‘small speakers’ the sound quality improved even further.

Club: For our first club test we chose ‘Silence’ by ‘Delirium’, again a relatively soft song, but one that contains a lot of bass. At the highest volumes the song started to become a little distorted and the clarity reduced, but on lower volumes (which were more than loud enough to enjoy the song) the unit still performed well.

R&B: We now decided to turn up the heat a little and opted for a bit of Rhythm and Bass in the form of ‘R Kelly’. At this point we started to notice a blue LED was flashing on the front of the unit in time to the bass. Thinking this was a nice feature reminiscent of the iDog we then went back to some softer songs and noticed the flashing LED had stopped. A few more bassy songs later and we realised that it was in fact the intense bass which was causing the LED to flicker. Intentional feature or not it’s definately mesemerising.

Extreme: For the final test we decided to push the speaker to its limits and go for ‘Clubland Hardcore Xtreme VoL.2’. Up to about three quarters volume the sound still came through fine despite some very heavy songs. After that point the music become distorted and hard to hear but for the size of these little babies that not surprising.

And that’s essentially what’s on offer here, some good value, nicely sized speakers which are perfect for any impromptu music you fancy. I have no doubt that by the time my summer holiday rolls around these babies will have a prized place in my luggage.

Check back later today for your chance to win one of four iStation Travellers.

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