Wireless Music – Part 3: The Results Are In

UPDATE (Aug. 5/08): Logitech doesn’t provide support for this product. By the looks of it, they never did. Eventually mine stopped working. I couldn’t find a simple solution online or through the Logitech website. I don’t recommend this product. It might work for you, but if it doesn’t, then all you have is a piece of junk.

Oops. I kinda forgot to finish my review of the Logitech Wireless Music System I purchased back in March. Here goes — cutting to the chase:

7 out of 10 (7/10). There is room for improvement, and the full retail price is a bit too high, but the product more or less does what I want it to do, so I’m happy.

Hooking up the Logitech Wireless Music System is not difficult. A small transmitter plugs into any USB port; mine’s plugged into the back of my PC. The receiver with a small AC adapter connects to the auxiliary RCA plugs on the back of my iSymphony kitchen stereo. The Logitech software, which took less than a minute to install and configure, is easy to use, but I can tell it was designed by tech-heads — it could have been simplified even more, because most of the time you’re doing one of two things: playing music through your PC speakers or through your remote receiver. That’s it. The sound quality is excellent. No sign of interference. A perfect CD-quality signal every time (or close enough that I can’t tell).7 OUT OF 10

I agree with J-Walk who said, “The only problem is that when it’s transmitting, the local PC sound is muted. In other words, you can listen to the music on the computer or in the remote location — but not in both places at the same time.” Another problem is that my remote control doesn’t work. I can mute the sound and change the volume, but I can’t skip or pause tracks. Returning the product for an exchange requires sending it back and paying for postage, and I can’t be bothered. Skipping tracks would be nice, but it’s not essential.

My main audio player is Winamp, but just about any player will work, including iTunes. Whatever I can play through Winamp (e.g. Whole Wheat Radio or the CBC), I can listen to through the wireless system. Being able to play all the music on my PC through any stereo in my house is convenient too.

The transmission and sound quality are excellent, and it’s easy to use, so I recommend it for those reasons. But I have a feeling this product is a prototype, something Logitech is using to test the marketplace. Hopefully they’ll come out with something that has a more reliable remote control — an on/off switch and an artist/song display on the receiver wouldn’t hurt either. Overall, though, not too bad. (See comments for updates.)

FINAL UPDATE (July 28/08): The damn thing doesn’t work anymore. It was always a bit buggy, but it just doesn’t work. I’m not sure what set it off: the latest XP update, some other software interfering with it — I don’t know and I don’t have the patience to bother with it. I thought it would work on my new Vista PC. It doesn’t. The Logitech Anywhere Music System doesn’t even show up in the sound card options. I enjoyed it while it lasted, but the software and the hardware are poorly designed. I plan to hard-wire all the speakers in my house. It might be more expensive, but at least I know it’ll work.

(See also Wireless Music – Part 1 and Part 2.)