If you want to listen to your digital music collection in your bedroom or in your living room, you don't want to have to fire up a PC. You don't want to hear the whirring of computer cooling fans. And you don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a custom solution. Enter Squeezebox v3 from Slim Devices.
Squeezebox is a small, well-designed appliance that lets you listen to your digital music from any room in your home. It provides ready access and high-quality sound without requiring a media-PC. And, at $299 (as tested), it costs a lot less than a media-PC.
Squeezebox is small (3.5" tall by 7.5" wide) and silent, functioning as a music access point on your network. Using a remote and the gorgeous vacuum fluorescent display to navigate, the Squeezebox can be set up quickly. With its brush metal aluminum and black face, it can go virtually anywhere in your home, being unobtrusive and beautiful, letting you hear your music or digital audio where you want to hear it.
The Squeezebox has a solid set of audio options, with digital optical, coax, and analog connectors that can be plugged into any home theater, stereo or set of amplified speakers.
Designed by audiophiles it has a 24 bit Burr-Brown DAC that provides clean output and low distortion. It supports a number of media formats, including lossless audio for discerning listeners. It support MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC, WAV, and Ogg Vorbis, streaming audio and can be upgraded as new formats emerge.
Squeezebox can be hooked up through either a wireless connection using 802.11g or to a wired network using a built-in Ethernet port. Slim Devices provides software clients to its SlimServer software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The SlimServer software is released under Open Source GPL license, you'll never have to worry about being locked out of your music, since the source code to the server software is freely available for anyone to modify.
With so much going for it, I decided to put the Squeezebox through its paces. I had reviewed the original Squeezebox for Tom's back about a year ago, and decided to see what was new, what has improved, and what might still need work.